No cute pics this time around.
I don’t feel like it.
Emotional anchors, we all have them.
But what are they?
“They” are the people and things that, as the term suggest, anchor us to a place and/or state of mind.
An old faded black and white picture.
A favorite song.
“They” are the familiar, the steady, the comfortable, the definition of self.
And when they are gone, or you leave them behind, you feel adrift, lost, confused. A fire doesn’t simply destroy a house, it consumes a home. A accident doesn’t simply injure a friend, it cripples someone you care about and twist his image beyond recognition. A death in the family tears a hole in your soul, one that will only heal with time.
Characters, like their real life counterparts, have and need emotional anchors. That’s is why their loss affects them so and if done right will also have an effect on the reader. Putting down that effervescent ball of fluff that greeted you at the door everyday should have an impact on character and reader. How many of us have lost friends, family members and pets? How many of us have traveled to a foreign land and left everyone and everything we know far behind?
But we (human beings) are made of resilient stuff. We discover new friends, create new families, uncover new treasures. As soon as we leave or loose one or more emotional anchors we hurry to find or build new ones. Not only that, but we become, at times unwittingly, emotional anchors for others. The center of a web of relationships.
So it must be with your characters. Not only are they defined by what they do, or how they look, but also in relation to their emotional anchors, the things the cherish the most.
A song on this gray Saturday afternoon:
For you, grandpa, this day, February 20, 2010. May you rest in peace.