I’ve only tried writing fiction a handful of times and I’ve always left my main character nameless because I felt if I named them, then I would grow too attached and having their fate at the mercy of my keystrokes is terrifying. I’m not that caliber of writer yet.
Roxanne, on the other hand, is an amazing writer.
This week’s Letters For You guest is Roxanne from Unintentionally Brilliant with a letter to Matilda, the protagonist in a novel she’s working on called Finding Agnes, the story of a girl who is searching for the mother that abandoned her as a child. You may read excerpts here.
I hope Roxanne and Matilda end their journey together in peace.
I’m so sorry about all the pain and confusion I’ve subjected you to over the past year. Your life has been filled with ups and downs and rewinds and rewrites.
In the beginning, it seemed simpler. You were searching for your mother, who had left you and your father when you were 3. Then I decided to kill off your father when you were only 11 years old. But then you were 7 when your father died. And then you were sitting at the kitchen table at 16 and having a conversation with your father about your mother. Who had still left when you were 3.
Her disappearance was shrouded in mystery. And then it wasn’t. And then you found her second husband, only to find out she’d left him too. And it was another mystery. And then it wasn’t. And then you found out she died. And then she didn’t.
I kept getting stuck on your story. I wanted to write it, but you just weren’t speaking to me the same way Emily and Travis did back in 2010.
I had a breakthrough the other night, and I think you’ll be quite pleased.
Your mother still left. I’m truly sorry about that. But Agnes had her reasons. You’ll see.
I hope you’ll be very happy to see that I’ve decided to let your father live. Your life is hard enough, without having to lose your father too. But don’t tell him just yet. I want to surprise him with it this weekend.
One last thing. When I started writing your story, you were much older in the bulk of the plot. You’ve noticed that everything I’ve written lately has you in high school. This means that Charlie isn’t going to survive the editing process. He’s got to go. It was him or Delia. And, honestly, it’s just a little easier for me to write a sprightly young high school girl of 16 or 17 than a 20-something gay man without playing into stereotypes.
Blame it on Robbie. He’s my friend, who is gay. I had based Charlie on him (only slightly). And he totally plays into the stereotypes.
While I finish up the outline of your story, I just have one little favor to ask of you. I hope you don’t mind. I mean, I let your dad survive. That seems like you owe me one.
Help me finish your story.
That would be awesome.
Lots of Love,
Roxanne “Your Writer” Piskel