Aisha/Nex Story: To Pass Through Fire

If you like fluffy love stories full of cute scenes that belong on valentines, let me warn you: you might not like my Aisha/Nex story. I have cruel plans for these two. They will suffer, physically and emotionally.

Why would I torture two characters I love? That’s exactly why: because I love them. The more I love a character, the more anguish I want them to go through…because it makes them and their story more interesting.

If I hate a character, I want them to live a painless life because they don’t deserve a good story. Let them disappear into their unearned “happily ever after”.

I think that’s something that separates creators (writers) from consumers (readers/viewers). Consumers want things to go right for their favorite characters. They don’t mind watching them face some misfortune, but they want the characters they hate to suffer more. Their favs should get everything they wanted, and their least favs should get booby prizes at most (or better yet, death).

But creators are sadistic. We love to break our “toys”, no matter how precious they are to us.

Their dreams? They may never come true. Their plans? They’re always at risk of failure. And if the character is attached to something (or someone), we rip it away from them.

But why? Are creators heartless? No. As strange as it sounds, we want the best for our characters.

To Pass Through Fire

I’m a Critter, a fan of the web series Critical Role. Every Thursday, a bunch of nerdy voice actors — including Sam Riegel, Riven in the Nick dub of Winx Club — get together and play Dungeons & Dragons. One of my favorite moments from their first campaign was when Marisha Ray’s character, Keyleth, received a letter from a friend: a blacksmith named Kerrek (Patrick Rothfuss).

Here’s an excerpt. (It doesn’t spoil any major plot points.) I can’t think of a better way to explain why creators put their characters through, um, Gehenna:

Did you know that there are some seeds that cannot sprout unless they are first burned? …I think it is interesting that there are some living things that need to pass through fire before they flourish….You have the heart of a gardener, and because of this, you think of consequence and your current path pains you. I am not wise, and I do not give advice, but I have come to know a few things.

Sometimes, breaking is making. Even iron can start again, and there are many things that move through fire and find themselves much better for it afterward.

The point isn’t to smile as we crush our characters’ spirits. We want them to survive their worst nightmares and become stronger because of it. Creators are like blacksmiths. They plunge their characters into the fire, pound them, grind them, temper them, until they become the brightest, sharpest, most beautiful swords.

I wanna be a “blacksmith”, a creator who burns their characters in order to shape them into something better. So Aisha and Nex will suffer in my story, but they’ll get through it together. And in the end, they’ll be unbreakable as a couple and as individuals.

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.

Helen Keller
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December 14, 2019 7:02 am

[…] Aisha and Nex will both suffer in my story, but he’ll suffer more. It’s about time. Rainbow has been too nice to him. ? […]