I’ve been spending most of my time working on the Dark Red Press, LLC venture with my cohorts and I’ve been less than reliable in my posts of late. So, today, we’re back to talking about my favorite subject: writing!
I’m finding it interesting – and let me know if you’ve encountered the same – that when we’ve got a character that stands out, it can sometimes be a challenge to create a really good “origin” story.
I’m in the process of getting through the first draft of Trinkets and Arrows, an origin story for one of the characters who appears in my novel The Weight Of Night (which, I feel is picking up some momentum with book bloggers and readers, lately).
Firstly, Lily Abrams is a tough character to write in a way; but, in another way, she just shows up and does her thing. She is unique in her perspective on the world. She plays everything close to the chest, due to her prior experiences, and it can be quite frustrating to the other characters; sometimes to the reader, as well.
However, she has a good heart and that shines through, too.
Putting all of this together (and, to make the story as unique as Lily, herself) is not an easy task. I’ve got the gist of the tale and I know how much the poor girl goes through during the timeline covered by the story, as well as the time leading up to it. What I don’t want to do is just have it come across as brutal and cold. Lily’s story is not a cautionary tale, it is not a lesson in life…it is merely an examination of one demigod’s life and how she handles the obstacles put before her. Right or wrong, she does what she must to survive. This trait is nothing less than beaten into her, and she has a firm grasp on it. With complete understanding and acceptance of its consequences.
So, I’m not certain what I’m asking, if anything. I suppose this is little more than a stream of consciousness post about writing back-story.
What’s your take? Have you ever created a great character through the evolution of a story, only to not be able to truly delve into that character’s past life?
Man. They do become real, don’t they?