Enough about the moving saga. At least for now. Time to find the writer again. And my reintroducer after a week away is one who does not surprise me at all:

David Emory.

David, for those who are unfamiliar with this space, is the heart of The Spiritkeeper, a man of deep courage and deeper passion, endless acceptance and a bottomless capacity for love. He has flaws. He must. David will not permit himself to express anger, to his detriment. He has learned not to share what is in the nature of humans to share. He was created out of people I have known and one in particular I have not. He became for me, in short order, the perfect man. And therein lies the rub. And the question.

David is not the first character I have loved. Karel and Stef from The Eye of the Mind…to a lesser extent Matt Wicker from Sleep…to a greater degree, the not-ness of Terry Marsh in Everything: I loved them, too. David, however, may be the first character I have loved as if he were real.

We are Pygmalions, writers are, falling in love with the things we have created; Svengalis once the creating is done. We are Phantoms of our own Operas. We pluck Athenas from our own foreheads. Not surprising, then, that they should take on lives. We wrote them alive, so they continue to live.

David Emory is my special case. He has taken up residence in my heart and body and mind much as the souls of the lost inhabit his. And in that residence a strange thing has happened….

David comforts me.

He is with me when I wake in the night with a racing mind. He is the repository of my own passion; my own quiet faith that all will be well. The place I turn when I need to fill my tapped-out spirit.

He gives me back me.

For writers, the measure of a character’s success might be found here…how alive they are…how alive they continue to be after the story is done. A great character can make a lesser work. A great character—to be more than obvious—sits in the room with the reader just as he/she has done with the writer, and quietly commands the attention.

The question is this: Does the character create the story or grow from it? Or both?

I do know that David has changed me; grown me. He inhabits my soul as other souls inhabit his. He is a giving gift who will be a hard act to follow in flesh and blood. Until I write him again.

Advertisements