Hey y’all, this was a short story that I’d written for my school magazine. Have fun reading it…
THE BATTLES OF AN AUTHOR
As I started writing the last set of chapters for the novel; there was this feeling that there is something missing in the novel and I just couldn’t put my finger on it. Aware that a frustrated mind produces nothing concrete, I shut my eyes and rested my head on the table with a pile of papers surrounding me with a lot of papers with drafts that I had rejected, and my unsheathed sword of writing – my favourite fountain pen.
As I slipped into a deep slumber, suddenly I started hearing voices coming from the living room. This made me jump in fright. I had clearly made sure that all the doors were locked before I started writing, because every time I start, I enter into another dimension, and trust me, I’ve had a lot of bad experiences.
I peeked outside to see who the voices belonged to. There were five people standing in a circle having a very deep conversation about something that I couldn’t catch.
“Who’s planning on telling her that she knows absolutely nothing about character outlines? I mean, look at us. Somebody has to tell her” a person wearing a yellow shirt said.
“Not all of us agree to the same opinions, Sarah. It might be yours, but I disagree.” said the guy standing next to Sarah.
“But Emily, don’t you think that it applies to most of us? I mean, haven’t you ever thought that we all emote a particular emotion for every single situation, despite the circumstances that are present? It’s like we laugh at things we are supposed to cry about” said a guy in a blue shirt.
“Hey I think somebody is eavesdropping on us,” one of the five said, pointing at my hiding spot.
“Whoever is standing there, come out immediately! I warn you, we are armed!” Sarah said, with a trembling voice.
I came out from my corner to have a good look at the five intruders. And sure enough, they were the five people that I had created in my novel, Sarah; the most headstrong person of the five, who speaks her mind to anyone without question. And there’s Emily, who is a character based on my personality; a bit introverted, reading and writing are her main hobbies, apart from playing the violin.
Alongside her is Ethan, a modest person who values friendship and loyalty more than anything. But the downside is that he never knows whose side to take in an argument, especially if it gets worse.
Duncan, the guy in the blue shirt, is a quirky dude who is a very cheerful chap; always loves a good expression, basically a living meme if I say so myself. Finally, standing next to Sarah was Lucas, the peacemaker of the five. He and Emily have a lot in common and they are pretty close friends than the five.
“Oh, it’s you,” Sarah said with a sigh of relief. “We thought you were an intruder or something,” she added.
I just simply stood there in shock. “I must be dreaming this. This can’t possibly be true even in the most severe circumstance” I told myself, as Sarah came over and smacked my head for good measure to remind myself that I wasn’t dreaming.
“HELLO, I think we deserve an answer,” she said in that rude tone that made me jump like the others did.
“How would I be an intruder in my own house, Sarah? I think you are the intruders here. Anyway, how did you get in?” I questioned.
“That is not the point here! You do not know anything about writing a novel!” she screamed, which made me retract back for a few seconds.
“Sarah, calm down, I’ll take the lead,” Lucas said as he made us all sit down in a circle. “You see, we love our characteristic traits, but what you don’t know is how to develop them to the fullest potential. It’s like seeing everything from a single stand, without question as to how a person with different personalities feels about that. Everyone has a different method of thinking and emoting, and if you make it the same for every one of us, we’ll look like 5 mutants” he said.
“That’s right,” Emily said as she looked at me with the slightest sense of fear. “Continue, I wouldn’t mind. Besides, I would like your opinion more than the others, because I created you from my own self” I said, motioning her to proceed.
“Well, it sort of feels like I see five copies of thinking of myself. Not that I hate it, but sometimes it seems a bit too much to see people with good qualities to look like they have to think the same and emote in the same way as I do. They do have different talents and interests and I think that they need a say in how the story goes from their side.”
“Have you never felt the need to socialize?” Duncan asked.
“Well, I do think of doing so at times, but I have always felt that people never understood me that well” I admitted.
“So why create us all the same?” Ethan queried.
“I’ve always taken it that people should see the world in only one point of view and that multiple views of thinking can cause major negativity issues in life. Therefore, I decided that creating characters with singular emotions would help in not identifying the difference.”
“But what good is it going to do for us, if we’re just mutants?” Duncan whined.
“Oh shut up, you’re all figments of imagination, giving you a say is itself a step too far,” I said with a rude tone. They were getting on my nerves at this point.
“You know what I think? I think you want us to be the same so that people who read this book understand you the way you are. Which makes you nothing but selfish” Sarah said as she stood up from the circle and stormed outside. Duncan and Ethan followed her a few seconds later, muttering about cooling her down or something.
“Please tell me how to fix this Emily” I begged her. She seemed like the only person who understood me more than any of my other characters.
“Give me your draft and I’ll edit it for you. It just needs a few tweaks here and there to make the story sound reasonable” she said with a small smile.
“I think you should apologize to Sarah for hurting her by saying we are figments of imagination because the only thing that she kept going on about was the need for us to be together in any obstacle. She went a bit haywire towards the middle, but I think if we read through, we might be able to fix it” said Lucas.
“Thank you so much, guys!” I squealed in delight. “Now, I’ll go get that draft!” I said, running towards my room to get it.
“Guys, can you give me a minute? I’d like to talk to Sarah alone, please” I said to Duncan and Ethan, who readily agreed and said that they were going to make food for the rest of us, as they made their way back upstairs to my apartment.
“Sarah, I am really sorry for offending you. I know what I said wasn’t right and I’ll do anything to make it right for the both of us” I said.
“I always thought of you as my hero, you know. I loved my character so much that I felt the need to come and thank you for creating me when I got the chance to do so. But towards the middle, I felt a deep sense of feeling unconnected with the story; it was like there was no meaning to expressions in the plot. It felt like I was controlled, having no self-thoughts or personality. It also felt like that you never wanted to let go of us and the thought of you controlling us to not let go seemed so rude and unfaithful to me.” she said with a cracked voice.
“I know how you feel. And I have to admit, I love you guys so much that I didn’t realize that I need you to shape out as YOU and not as ME. You all have different interests, thoughts and feelings and I think learning to respect that and allowing to let myself not get too attached with my characters is something that I really need to improve on – a lot.”
“You should get yourself some true friends, and I wish that they should be just like us. Trust me, you and Emily are two photocopies that I can handle, because she’ll be with me no matter what, and I know where to find you if I need help with anything. But five copies of Emily is just so surreal, you know.”
“I truly did not know what I was thinking when I was writing those few chapters; she’s changing it right now. You wanna have a look?”
“Sure thing. I’m super starved and I hope that Duncan and Ethan have made something delicious,” she said as we made our way upstairs and joined the rest of the gang.
Duncan and Ethan are the best cooks on the planet. They made so many dishes that I basically did nothing but stuff my face with all the food that they made. Ugh, I wish they could stay with me forever, but like I promised Sarah, I need to let them go.
“Here’s the draft. It’s amazing, but like I said, the few tweaks always make a difference” she said happily.
“Thanks, Emily, you’ve done a great job. I need to write the last few chapters, and then I’m done. Would you guys like to help?” I asked them.
“Sure thing, we’ll get it done in a jiffy,” Duncan said as they pulled up chairs to my writing desk; giving me ideas for the final parts of the story.
“The end,” I said with a sigh. “Thanks for helping guys, it means a lot to me,” I said.
“No need to thank us. We’ll always be there for you whenever you need it,” said Emily
“Now drink this. It’s good for rest and rejuvenation. Duncan and Ethan made it” Sarah said, handing me a glass of a drink of sorts.
Trusting Duncan and Ethan on food without second thoughts, I drank the glass. It tasted a bit sweet like chocolate. After giving it back to her, I collapsed on the table and slept off for what seemed like days on end.
I woke up the next morning on my desk. Looking at the pile of papers, I let out a sigh of worry for completion of work. As I continued to massage my neck, I turned to my left and saw a completed draft of my story along with a note that said:
We compiled your draft for you. Thanks for understanding our concerns about the book. You are our hero and we hope that you have friends with our personalities in the future.
Emily, Sarah, Duncan, Ethan and Lucas
Smiling at the note, a wave of mixed emotions swept through me as I jogged my memory of the events that happened the previous day. I read through the draft and wished that I have friends just like my five characters in the future.