A character I created in 1990 died recently. I’m not certain if ‘died’ is the correct term. It’s a little hard to talk about, because in every sense except the important one she still exists to me. Her name was Stace Carmichael, and she was a character in two novels in progress of mine. In one novel as a baby, and the other as an adult.
I will call my books BOOK 1 and BOOK 2 to avoid people stealing the titles before they are published. BOOK 2 was a ensemble originally, and Stace was one of the characters, but over time the story got trimmed down more and more until it only featured two characters directly, and Stace was not one of them. It didn’t bother me. Her story would be told elsewhere, I figured. BOOK 1 takes place in late 1973 when Stace was a baby, and just this week I realized that my one main problem with the story, without realizing it, was Stace’s plotline. It seemed to weigh the story down, and turn it into soap opera, which is the LAST thing I wanted. After much consideration and deliberation I decided to cut Stace out of the book. Vivian, her mother in the story, has no child. Stace now ceases to exist.
True, I could still use the name Stace, and the same basic character personality in another story, but it wouldn’t be the same. Obviously you don’t know what I’m talking about fully, and I wouldn’t be able to go into all the details here, but Vivian being her mother and what Vivian does was always a HUGE part of what Stace was, and what she came to be. Without Vivian being her mother, she simply is not Stace Carmichael, no matter how I may attempt to deceive myself.
She is gone, and yet she lives on inside my head. To me, she isn’t really dead at all. I can consult her whenever I choose, converse with her when I like, write stories which still figure in that old timeline for my own amusement, but for all intents and purposes she is gone. Deceased.
And strangely, I mourn for her. She feels both alive and dead like Schrodinger’s Cat.
Stace Carmichael, 1990-2006