I really need to get a waterproof speaker so that I can listen to music while I shower. Because I always come up with the weirdest shower thoughts. I think I’ve even mentioned some on this blog before. I do things like brainstorm the infrastructure of floating islands (you know, what they do with their trash, who lives on the edge and who lives in the middle, stuff like that). I can’t help it. I get bored in the shower.
There’s this funny thing that happens for writers. Non-writers, maybe even some young writers, believe that the writer is in control of the story. This might be more true for some writers than others. It’s about 2.5% true for me. All my stories are character-driven. A friend of mine pointed this out the other day: I don’t start calling it a story when I figure out the plot, I start calling it a story when I meet the characters. And I say meet because honestly, I’ll make a profile with some arbitrary details, and suddenly the character is a living, breathing person with a mind of its own. And while living breathing characters can be proof that you’re doing your job as a writer, they’re also very frustrating.
Today’s edition of shower thoughts features a character named Joe. My writing group wants me to get rid of Joe. So I’ve been trying to figure out how. (I don’t like this idea, for the record, because he’s my favorite character.) He’s really only in two major story arcs, one of which I haven’t written yet. And I could write him out of the main book and incorporate his important details into someone else. But then I don’t think there would be enough left of him to keep him for a side story.
So anyway, I was thinking about Joe and kind of going over what I know about him. And I don’t know if this was Alec still on the brain or what (because I finished City of Bones yesterday), but I had the sudden thought, “What if Joe is gay?” And I kind of stood there for a second like, no way there’s no way, but…
He moved out of his house when he was in high school. What if he came out to his family and his dad kicked him out? After all, he has an awful relationship with his dad.
His best friend is a girl. They’ve kissed more than once, but that didn’t make it weird, and that’s kind of weird.
He’s also an actor. Which doesn’t necessarily mean he’s gay, but a lot of actors are gay. Or at least, most of the ones I think are cute are.
There’s this image on the Internet somewhere (I saw it on Pinterest, but I think it was off Tumblr) that basically says, “Can cute boys stop being fictional, or gay, or dead, or all of the above?” Obviously, the fictional part applies to me the most, but apparently so does the gay part. Even in a book that I wrote myself, my favorite character has decided that he is gay.
Honestly, I’d write him out of the universe before I let this be canon. It’s too complicated. But now if I keep him, this thought will always be in the back of my brain. Like, well what about his little Asian? Does he actually love her? They get married, I think, but what if he’s just using her?
Ugh my brainnn.