There were a number of things lost among the shredded contents of my former hard drive: Accounting archives for my Mom's bakeshop, almost-completed save files for certain games, recent business presentations that had to be taken home in one way or another. Chief among my personal losses, however, was my two years' worth of notes on Antaria.
Mind you, I haven't actually written the stories yet, so I haven't actually lost anything. The plots and their basic outlines are still floating around in my head, and that's not mentioning the tales that are already present in this blog, as well as the occasional artworks I churn out.
Two nights ago, however, I was forced to pull up a chair and list down as many character names as I could remember. I had built a substantial background and storyline among these creations, and I was loathe to restructure my plans in order to work around a single forgotten character. The names, for that matter, were a solace: They gave me the impression that the setting and the story would still be kicking around my mind long after the death of any hard drive.
Out of an estimated 800 characters, I was able to remember about 300 names. The rest, it seems, are now well on their way to mnemonic oblivion. (The occasional character still bobs to the surface of my thoughts every now and then, and I've had to keep a paper and pen handy.)
I try not to think about what happens when that kind of thing takes place. If Antaria were a real universe, then I imagine that its inhabitants would be terrified at the sight of people suddenly disappearing from existence.
For some strange reason, I feel a greater need to tell the story now. That way, there's less chance of the setting or the characters falling into the endless void. You don't want to spook your creations that way, I assure you.
It's funny about how some conceptualizations can take a life of their own, isn't it? For that matter, it's funny about how we can be concerned for the welfare of some of these conceptualizations at all.
On the other hand, if it means less voices knocking around my head at any given moment, then I'm all for it. Indeed, writers are a lot less sane than most other people.
But hey, at least we're never alone. :)