I have posted on more than one occasion how much I hate Chapter 2 of my book. The fact that I am still posting about this particular chapter after many, many, many months speaks to my unique level of aversion. I’m aware that I shouldn’t feel like this about any chapter I’m writing, and in fact, seriously considered throwing it out all together. I brainstormed on creating different characters and pushing them through different trials, but inevitably, the truth came out. It wasn’t about the characters.
It was about me. I don’t hate myself. Not today anyway.
I was uncomfortable with the character because he is Judas. I have a pretty staunch religious background, and while I am not currently practicing, it still made me uncomfortable to play around with religious cannon.
I called my mentor to ask him about it, and he joked that I was going to hell. But in the end, it comes down to literary license. What that means in the eyes of God, who knows. I’m not turning Judas into a saint, but I’m not painting him as unforgivable either. I want to humanize him.
This chapter is indicative of much of the reconciliation I have had to make in my life. Gay and Christian (and Democrat). Do the three have to be mutually exclusive? This chapter became a symbol of my struggles over the last decade. (And here I thought I was just writing a novel.)
I had a productive conversation with a friend, and she made me feel much more comfortable with the chapter, which I hope will help me to move through it more smoothly. Opening up my black and white perception of individuals in the Bible, including Judas, and allowing for their humanity to be seen (or my interpretation of their humanity) has only helped me to understand myself better. I know that sounds cheesy, but with everything we write, we should learn a little bit more about ourselves. After all, we can only write what we know – even when it’s fiction – so seeing a piece of me in this character I’m creating is not wholly evil.
The point is, I am working on the chapter now, and hopefully it will be a little easier.