It’s an excellent question, and it comes from one of my favorite movies: Rise of the Guardians. Seriously awesome! I love the question because it’s so relevant for anyone. It’s asking what makes you who you are and more importantly, what drives you. It can be a bit too vague to help with everyday things, but for an artist, it can mean the difference between a finished sculpture and a partially formed ball of clay.
Here’s a little background before I delve into my center, or in this case, my spine. A recent writer friend, Malcolm Rodgers, asked several of us to think about our writing. He asked us what our “Spines” were. In this case, he was referring to the beginning focus of a story, our centers.
It was an excellent question, one I had never thought to ask myself before, much like Jack Frost had never thought to ask either in Rise of the Guardians. (Seriously awesome movie.) I’ve started several stories, some novel length ones and some smaller short story ones. I’ve completed a lot of short stories, but the novels…I don’t know what happened. Some of it I blame on a lack of organization for the earlier ones, but the others? I like to think I’ve merely set them aside to focus on finishing one novel length story, but now that I’ve done that, I can’t seem to remember what it was that made me want to write them in the first place. Besides that, I’m struggling to write the next book that comes after the one I finished.
So what is my center? It’s certainly different for each book! After all, the spines of books all are different, so it wouldn’t make sense for my center for each to be the same! The joy of writing will always be the true core, but the spine…in this case the spine for MAD…I would have to say is triumph. It’s about taking a shy girl, taking her on an adventure, and having her break out of her “shell” and be free. That feeling of triumph, the confidence that comes with it, the victory, that’s my spine for MAD. It may not show, hahaha, like at all! But it is the core that’s struggling to break through and is what will drive the series to completion. Triumph.
What’s your center?