Figment [fig-muhnt] , n. [L. figmentum, fr. fingere to form, shape, invent, feign.]
An invention; a fiction; something feigned or imagined: just a figment of the imagination.
In a writer’s heart, there are normal characters… then there are REAL characters. Characters who become more than just a plot device or collection of random biographical data. Characters who endure the test of time, survive the rising action and extend beyond the happy (or not so happy) ending. These are characters that remain with their Authors for years, even decades. They develop and grow, sometimes slowly… sometimes unobserved. And they become a part of that Author’s life.
This kind of character has become what I call a “Figment” — a living fragment of ourselves that plays out across the page. Figments develop minds of their own, complete with hopes and fears, likes and dislikes… and very often they let the Author know only as much as they feel like sharing at the moment.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Do you believe that your fictional heart and soul is ruled over by one or more characters who have become figments?
I’m here to tell you that you are not alone! You are not weird to have characters who have become more than just words on a page. Writers, often the greatest writers, across the years have experienced the exact same phenomenon as this!
I discovered my first figment at the age of 14. I didn’t realize what I had found until many years later… when that character simply refused to fade away into the rosy glow of pre-teen memories. In fact, that character (now figment) is still part of my life today. It was through this figment that this and many other online projects and websites were founded. It was through this figment that I met my best friend and creative partner. It was through this figment that I discovered more figments… and in doing so, started down a road of self-discovery.
Of course, I couldn’t see where it would all lead to then. But that’s the way good things work in life.
Do you have a figment of your own?
Who was your first and when did you discover they had become more than just a character in your life?