Once upon a time there was a young girl who dreamed of being an author. She spent most of her time hidden in her bedroom curled up with a cozy book. To keep those wondrous universes to herself she hid, buried under rough quilts and fuzzy stuffed animals, deep in a closet with only a flashlight to light the way. As she grew older, bolder even, she cranked the stereo, drowning out the calls from loved ones to come out and play with the soundtrack of her imaginary worlds.
But like most childhood dreams reality crept in.
It's callous hunger consumed her heroes and villains without a care to good or evil. It obliterated villages, metropolitans and galaxies. Her dreams became nightmares, for that was when she heard their screams. Their cries for help, for rebirth, for the strength to live their lives.
It wasn't until the now young woman was at her lowest did one lone voice rise above the others. This character was as lost as she was at that time, as lonely and as eager for a fight. When the young woman could not stand on her own two feet, when life had been strangled from her throat to the point the sky swam and collided with the ground, when the marks of her oppressor left fingerprints on her spirit, this character did the impossible and set her free.
Rise above the hurt, the negative reviews and the disbelief. When reality bites allow your characters the chance to bite back harder. Then it is up to you to take a stand for them. After all, they are a piece of you.