Hi! It’s me! The creator!!!
So the story’s moving along, I guess. Lily has her cousin Ai visiting from Japan, and they’re showing her all the sights and introducing her to all the food… Ai’s a bit confused by how we do things (and she has a point – why would we want that Buc-ees?) but generally she’s having a good time, and Lily’s family is making her feel like a part of the family, which is good.
It’s funny how the story has developed, honestly. I made a few very conscious choices when I started writing Lily. I mean, yes, she has her own character and it has developed largely autonomously, but there are a few things that were deliberate. One of those things was: larger events in the world, political, etc., don’t affect or bother her too much. I mean, sometimes they impinge, but for the most part, she doesn’t really care. That is, in large part, the exact opposite of me, but that’s deliberate. I get enough of that in my real life, when I write Lily, I just want to write a girl who’s enjoying life and having fun. I can’t do that if she’s like me, because, well, I generally don’t.
But I made a few unconscious choices as well. These are choices that seem to have become clear after I’ve written this for months, but I didn’t intentionally set out to make those choices. probably the most glaring is: there aren’t many males in the story. I mean, yes, there’s David and Dave, the owner, maybe her benefactor, the guy running her trust (not anymore)… but they’re all ancilliary characters. It’s not that they’re bad people for the most part, this isn’t an anti-male story, but it’s more that it’s a female-centric story. And that’s actually probably pretty true to the character. She’s a girl. Her life doesn’t revolve around men. She has her sisters and her friends and her mother… and those are the people she mentors or looks up to as role models.
I didn’t set out to do that. I didn’t write this story to take care of some SJW boner. I mean, that should be clear in that I’ve steered clear of things like LGBTQ+ASDFGHJ stuff, or race relations (to some degree, I mean, Sabby is black and there are things that naturally arise from that choice), or anything like that. But the choices exist to further the story, not to check off some kind of quota thing. And, well, Lily’s a girl. Her life revolves around girls, not the men in her life – though that is changing just a little bit. Boyfriends tend to do that.
Another thing is, I do take inspiration from things I read on the net, current events, that kind of thing. She runs into a few karens. That’s mostly because I listen to a lot of karen stories on YouTube, and… man, they’re awful. Notice that all the karens are women. There are male karens, and maybe I’ll introduce one at some point, but they tend to be more sexist and bullying. Writing that kind of thing isn’t fun. But sometimes I guess you have to write things that aren’t fun, right?
The long and short of it, this is, I guess, a conservative story. Not overtly so, and deliberately not overtly so, but Lily has a strong family, her family isn’t perfect but has a strong sense of values, her friends aren’t perfect and make mistakes but everyone’s heart’s in the right place, and at the end of the day, that’s really the story I wanted to write. A girl who is just trying to make her way through life with the family and friends she loves, and that love her too. And isn’t that what makes her so endearing at the end of the day?
When I started writing this story, I deliberately wrote a character that I knew I wouldn’t like or want to hang around with much. She’s so extroverted and fun-loving, it would make me really uncomfortable. But as I kept writing her, she grew on me. I kind of look forward to writing her now. She’s a breath of fresh air in what seems to be an otherwise awful world. She’s got the kind of beautiful heart that you always hope your daughter will have. And I don’t think she’ll ever lose it. Maybe someday I’ll write another story with a significantly more damaged girl. But that’s not going to be Lily.
260,000 words so far and still going.