Wednesday, February 25, 2015

[Guest Post]: Writing an Alter Ego by Mindy Phillips Lawrence

Most of what I write is to forward the thoughts of kindness and light. However, I get those notions at times (human that I am) to jettison kindness. I consult my inner person and ask it, “What would I do in certain situations if I were EVIL?” Things I would never actually do come to mind. I go to the “dark side.” It was during a moment at lunch today when I thought about what I’d like to write if I were the opposite of who I am. I began to think of an alter ego.

I developed a mean, awful character and decided to make up a name. The first set of letters I used showed nothing at all on Google except something in a foreign language with no definition. However, when I changed one letter in that word I got STRIYAM, which means BEAUTIFUL WOMAN in Sanskrit. The definition makes the name a great cover for evil. Here is my introduction to her, the opposite of all I believe:

“My name is Striyam, The Woman. They say I am beautiful but that’s just a cover. I have no country. When I write, I don’t care what anyone thinks. I write ME with all my cruelty and transgressions. My characters represent my foibles and magnify them. Evil is fine. In fact, evil is the catalyst for creativity at times and I am familiar with how to use it. I can leave a sweet little girl behind in a lion’s den and slam the gate shut. I can leave that same sweet little girl in a pit of vipers and laugh as she screams, swells from the bites, and dies. There is no end to my brutality. There is no end to my evil. I hide it well but it’s ingrained. Don’t cross me.”

I read this and was immediately REPELLED by her. At the same time, I was excited that I could think on the other side of what I would normally write. She excited me.

Try to come up with YOUR opposite sometime. Have a conversation with yourself about your ideas, values, and normal way of thinking then turn the tables and write the opposite. ENJOY yourself. You may turn on a creative spigot you didn’t know was there.

LINKS

Alter Ego, Liz Bureman
http://thewritepractice.com/alter-ego/

Alter Ego: Merriam-Webster
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alter%20ego

10 Famous Authors’ Fascinating Alter-Egos, Kim Parker
http://flavorwire.com/294017/10-famous-authors-fascinating-alter-egos

JK Rowling tells story of alter ego Robert Galbraith, Liz Bury
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/jul/24/jk-rowling-robert-galbraith-harry-potter

How to Create an Awesome Alter Ego, Lisa Bernier
http://community.sparknotes.com/2013/01/09/how-to-create-an-awesome-alter-ego