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  • Melinda

Meet a WIP Character - Kate

Name: Kathryn (Kate) Scott

Job: Waitress at retro diner



Kate began as filler character for me to write. My main character needed a mother, so Kate was born. I know, that's not how biology works. But it's how a poorly planned pantsed novel does. Kate was boring. She was a mother who had survived a terrible family tragedy and was therefore fragile and anxious. That was all of her.


But I have been walking around living with Kate in my head for the last few weeks. I'm told this makes me a 'real writer." Side note- being a 'real writer' is painful! Why do we do this to ourselves? It's hard enough to be myself, let alone someone else who has her own set of problems. Anyway, Kate has evolved. She has become real to me and I love who she is. So who is she?


Yes, she has still survived a tragedy, and yes, she is still fragile and anxious. She wasn't always this way, though, and when we have a thread of passion inside us, it never really goes away. It can lie dormant. It can even seem to disappear. But it gets woven into who we are and it will always surface in unexpected ways. Kate was once a poet and creative writer. She suppressed much of this and lives a life of necessity and survival. Her daughter, Halcy, is loud, confident, dramatic, and passionate. Halcy knows nothing of her mother's struggles, which Kate keeps vaulted tightly. She assumes her mother to be boring and lacking in whimsy. As the two grow to better understand each other, they realize that they are more alike than either of them ever appreciated.


As a mother myself, I very much identify with what Kate must do for the sake of raising her child. We may have a bad day, but we march on. We sometimes feel sad or angry, but we smile and make dinner. This is Kate, this is me, this is many of us. At a young age, children should not have to understand the weight of what mothers endure, but all of us eventually learn that our parents are people, too, with their own struggles and emotions. And, much like Kate, mothers must learn to remember that they are people themselves. I'm working on that in my own life...