Okay, so my sis had this pic of her from like, the 90's on Facebook. And I was like, "What. The. Heck is that?" and she schooled me that it was something like throwback picture week or whatever. And I was like, "I will kill you if you put up a pic of me from the 90s."
So front forward (yes, I know that's wrong. My DH laughs every time I say it.) a couple of weeks. I was getting dressed last week, and I'd recently cleaned off my dressertop. Thus, I could see the family pics from about 10 years ago sitting there.
And I looked at that girl.
And I tried to make her into me.
It didn't work.
Because I'm not that girl. Back then, I was a completely different person than I am today. And it felt weird. It felt so totally bizarre to be in my skin, and look at that girl and think about the life she lived in a different skin.
So then I went all nostalgic and pulled out a bunch more pictures.
Me, with a mullet. I look about eight, maybe, and I guess I caught eight fish that day.
How did that girl (↑) become this girl?(↓) The one not afraid to wear socks that don't match, and orange shoes and pose like an idjit for her girl's choice picture? (Yes, I have on a jean vest. 90's baby.)
Or this one? (↓) (That's me and my grandma and my sis. Leather is sooo much better than denim. At least I lost the bangs, right? And yes, that's the Canadian maple leaf with deer antlers behind me. My parents still have panelling. I mean, PANELLING. Yikes! Let the snarfing begin.)
And how did those girls become this one?
I think I know the answer.
I almost started crying.
And then, as I always do, I began thinking about my MC. See, she's been giving me fits lately. Through all the editing, in the beginning of the book I keep trying to make her someone--she--just--hasn't--become--yet.
And holy blazing light bulb moment.
Just like mine, her life is a character arc. (Yes, those words freak me out.) And just as I'm molded and shaped and changed by things that happen in my life, so is my MC.
And just like me, she is not the same at the beginning of her story as she is at the end.
Now, this isn't the first time I've thought about charcter arcs. It's just not something I pay attention to while I'm writing. Like, at all.
But I will now. Because I've internalized it.
What have you learned about writing from your real life? Am I the only one practically bawling when I see myself from ten years ago? (Okay, fifteen, sheesh.)