When I was in year 12 (2012) I completed Extension 2 English for my HSC (Higher School Certificate). For this subject, you were required to undertake a a major project; generally something creative like a short film, short stories, performance poetry etc. or a literary analysis.
I did a collection of short stories, and instead of creating my own characters, I embodied three of my favourite and most complicated fictional characters. They all had things in common; their location, their time, and their overall consuming feelings of isolation. You had to choose an overriding theme and that was mine; isolation.
My three characters were;
Holden Caulfield, The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
Esther Greenwood, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Holly Gollightly, Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
These stories were written in the form of the character’s diary entries, all complete with a letter. They were spinoffs from the original texts, using gathered information to create my own fictional scenarios involving these characters meeting one another, ultimately having an overall influence on each other’s lives.
I’m pretty fond of the stories I created, however I do think they need a lot of editing. They’re something I’ve always wanted to return to and with some serious dirty work, maybe even consider some form of publication (dream big). I just want to post some little snippets of these stories here on the odd occasion, just as a reminder that they exist.
Here’s a little something from Holden’s diary;
July 19, 1946
I’m not really sure why I’m writing all of this down. Or whether I even need to be. I’m not gonna do that whole “dear diary” phony crap, because I’m not that sort of guy, you know? I don’t really know what kind of guy I am, but I’m definitely not that guy. So, my brother, right? My brother, he is dead. Allie is dead as of yesterday. And I don’t know what to do. I feel like I should go and speak with Phoebe, but she can’t be handling this any better than me. My parents don’t want to speak to me any more than they usually do, which isn’t very often. I’m not gonna say that it all sounds crazy, because it is crazy, that is something I am sure of.
Last night I slammed my fist into the walls of the garage again and again. They bruised up, nice and purple. I did it for Allie, hoping he could hear the pain. He didn’t say nothing. Death is a real funny thing. Not in a ha-ha way, although I do feel like if I had a good laugh right now, this might all disappear. Anyways, it’s real funny. Strange it is. Allie was here a few days ago and now he is gone. He was sick as a dog, could barely speak, but his presence was enough for me to not completely resent my healthy existence. Now that you’re gone, Al, I hate myself. Why the crap am I still here? Your baseball mitt lies next to me, all covered in that bloody green ink and I am so unsure of what to do. Should I read those poems that you always adored and I ignored? Because it seems really hypocritical for me to try and enjoy these scrawlings now. I can’t become one of those people, Al. I know you know it too. Those people that make a hero out of the dead. You were great, you were real nice, I’m not lying to you, but I never did read those poems, not that you ever really asked me to in the first place. Maybe I’ll bring myself around to it though, give me something to do, like it did for you when no one was up to bat.