Jane, on Respect #writing

Tiny Stories As many writers before me, I have noticed how restless some of my characters can be, from time to time. Then, they seem to resent the narrow jacket of the story, they want more from life, or, maybe, they just want to assert themselves, as independent beings, as their own persons, freed for a while from the authority of their creator.

Take Jane, for instance, Julian’s young sister. She can be very critical of the way she’s being portrayed, how her personality is stifled by “the plot”. And, of course, who am I to judge? Like parents, authors can create, but their creation is not always in agreement with their parents’ vision and aspiration. There may be rumbles in the jungle of the little people.

So, I thought I would at least attempt to give them a forum, outside of my own imagination, a place where they can express themselves the way they want, as opposed to be dictated a “role”. Whether this can be successful, for them as well as for me, will be up to their ultimate judgement.

Today, it is Jane’s turn.

“Little people”, this says it all: this is the way Honoré sees us, his creations, not as beings worthy of his respect and care, but as puppets at his disposal to move around the checkerboard of his silly stories.

Take me, for example. I am supposed to be a glamorous fashion model. What a joke! My role in his novel is one of support to his main character, my brother, the illustrious Julian. I am supposed to admire my brother, worse, to worship him, perhaps even lust for him in secret. Of course H makes me also a sometime lover of the wife, gorgeous Sarah. I am really H’s “bonne à tout faire”, literally. About my feelings, about the person I want to become, I have become, he says nothing at all.

What I am really doing in life, and why I am doing it, his readers cannot have a clue. They hear that I jet set around the place, strut my stuff on catwalks, and generally be admired, when I am not bedded by a variety of vague characters such as Julian’s ghost girlfriend, Melissa. Readers don’t know who I am really, how could they? For H, I am part of the background, popping in when he is short of ideas for the next scene. 

Can you imagine how uncomfortable it is for me to be “owned”, as it were, by such a tyrant? H is someone who can do with me what he wants, apparently. He sends me to funny places on errands for Julian. He has me participating to threesomes with some aliens from another galaxy. What is a girl to do? But there is worse.

What he writes about me is bad enough, but you should see (read?) but he does not say. Those fantasies are not all healthy, and I wish he would take some distance from his subjects, once in a while, allow us some privacy. He can explore my mind at will, or at least, he gives himself that privilege. Suddenly I feel different, distorted, as if my inner self has been modified, tampered with. Of course I resist, I want to be myself, not someone else’s puppet. A girl has her dignity, private corners of her own mind, her own thoughts and dreams. H trampled on all this, like the proverbial thugs crushing the porcelain of the Winter Palace.

I am not really “glamorous”, but unsure of myself. To tell the truth I am still searching for the real Jane, the one inside. My brother is a younger version of you-know-who, just as brutish at times. Yes I used to have something of a tender feeling for him, isn’t this usual, towards an older handsome brother? But I have my own life, not linked to his. As for Sarah, she’s a good friend, nothing more. I am not of that sort. I love men, and they love me. Thinking about it it, may be that is what makes H not so confident about me. He can be of a jealous type, the sort that would deny a woman her freedom of mind: the sort who think they know best…

Do you think I am complaining too much? Do you think characters have to allow their genitor some rights to manipulate their lives? Of course, this is creative license, up to a point. But what I ask for is some respect, for me, as a person, through his words, in his attitude toward me, and toward the others. Respect in the way I am being cast, or placed in situations that, myself, given a choice, I would not tolerate. In one word: I am no toy of his, and I want him to know.

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