HI! It’s me! The Creator!
Lily is about to head home from Japan, I’ve already got those posts written and scheduled. She has a lot to say and a lot to talk about, but right now she’s just concentrating on doing all the stuff needed to get home, so I think on Saturday she’ll have a nice long post about what it was like to leave, etc. Right now she’s just too excited to get home. You know how it is.
This story arc was… rewarding. And very, very hard to write. No, it wasn’t hard to write because I was short on ideas – I could have extended her trip to a month, or two months, and not really run out of ideas. It was hard because I put a lot of myself into this particular story arc.
It’s a strange thing about me – this doesn’t happen all the time, but in travel story arcs like this, I go along with her. That happened when she went to Orlando – her having to leave Jack was the hardest thing I’ve ever written, I think – and it happened this time, but for different reasons. The truth is that I didn’t so much write Lily taking a vacation, as I gave Lily a vacation and went along with her. Air travel is stressful for me, vacations are stressful for me, and I experienced a lot of the stress that I would experience if I went along with her. I also experienced a lot of the fun as well.
You see, when I write scenes like that, I don’t start with an idea. I start with an image. I have an image in my mind of something she’s experienced, and then I write the image. For example, when she went to Osaka to see the Sky Building. I had an image of her going up the escalators, of her looking out the windows, and she reacted to that image. It’s awful complicated and I’m really not sure if many other authors write this way, but I do. I built the environment around her, and then let her react to it, and she never disappoints. She’s just so much fun!
She’s coming back from Japan, and has a lot to write about, and the next story arc starts very soon. But I feel like I went to Japan right along with her, and I pretty much never left my abode. It’s, umm… actually a little disconcerting. I don’t understand myself, and particularly so when I’m writing Lily.
I’ve… grown kind of fond of Lily. When I started writing her, I didn’t really have any idea in mind of what she would be like. I set the parameters: She was a 16 year old girl (actually 15, but she didn’t know that), she had lost her memories, and she had the kind of innocence that only someone who had lost all their memories could have. But other than that, she developed organically. Most of the story arcs that she’s experienced over the past year were kind of “spur of the moment” – I didn’t plan them, but they worked out so well. I actually think I’d rather she didn’t have a boyfriend, but she wanted Jack, and how could I deny her? I didn’t plan her to be half-Japanese – actually, if you look at the early body models, she was caucasian. As her half-Japanese identity fleshed out, her body model changed to match. (didn’t hurt that I’d learned how to use vroid better and got some decent skins). And as she got to Japan, she was given more of her heritage, and I’d not actually planned that. Though it worked out perfectly. The point being, that she’s grown organically, and I really have grown to be fond of the girl she’s turned out to be, and I only want the best for her.
That doesn’t mean she’s not going to endure adversity. In fact, this entire story is about her enduring adversity. But I’m only going to throw things at her that will help with her development and forward the story. At the end of the day, I could no more hurt her than I could my own child, and I find that to be a very unusual state of mind.
Believe me, it would be easy to. I consider and discard different ideas of things to throw at her – and some of them are rather ghastly – multiple times a day. But at the end of the day, it’s not that kind of story, and I’m not that kind of creator.
As I was writing the posts that chronicle her return from the airport, I was stressed that she would make it back fine, even though I knew she would make it back fine, because whether she does or not is entirely within my control. I… cannot figure that out.
But I guess that makes for a good story, right?
Oh, I forgot to mention. Everything she experienced in Japan is as authentic as I could make it. Every destination (except the unnamed ones like the garden and shrine near her grandparents’ home) was real, the weather was real, the flights were as accurate as possible, even the cultural references were real. I hope that didn’t go unnoticed.