Character Creation ramble

I suppose I should be grateful with the skills of my editor, because this next book is looking to be a large one again… oops.

One of the most challenging aspects for me when building a story is character creation. Landscapes unfold before me, but if I’m not careful/attentive to it, the characteristics of those living in the world blend into each other too much, making them all think alike and destroying any potential inter-personal conflicts. Hello boring story. And that’s not how it works. Not in the real world, nor in any fantasy ones. People rarely fully agree with each other in my experience. Even those chasing the same goals can have different opinions about how to reach them. What are acceptable consequences, or sacrifices?

However, a well-crafted character, or scene with that character (where everything just falls into place according to his/her behavior) is incredible satisfying to create. One of the characters which has been growing on me is Decan. Introduced in Wavebreaker, Trista’s little brother was just the catalyst at first, mainly for Trista’s character development. Creating a triangle of family worth and jealousy between the siblings and the newly-hatched water dragon, it created a dynamic that Raylan and Galirras had not encountered. However Wavebreaker was really intended to explore the bond between human and dragon. As a result, Decan was put in the background a little in the second part of Wavebreaker. Something that did not go unnoticed by readers and some voiced to regret quite a bit.

Now that the story is moving on, it is satisfying to have more opportunities for exploring Decan’s situation/path. The impact of events on his fragile, yet flexible, mental state as a teenager is one of the more interesting aspect of his storyline. Disinterest, self-protection, anger, longings, things are not easy when growing up, let alone if you constantly have to fear for your life. If I think about it, Decan’s road might be the hardest one in the entire series to be honest. It’s a brutal world in conflict and in a way the boy represents the innocence in that realm of existence and how it is influenced by everything that happens around him. While writing, I ask myself: How will he be a link in the chain of events? Will his innocence be sacrificed, or will it have a roll in saving the day in the end? It is shaping up quite nicely inside my head… but, to get it written down is a whole different beast to slay.

WIP – Book III

The next book’s first draft is shaping up nicely (115,000 words and counting yay!); with the work-in-progress now sliding toward the last quarter of the novel. In it, Decan already has a few nice (and sometimes intense) scenes, so I thought I would be fun to share a small excerpt from it.

 

Have a great weekend everyone.

– A.J. Norfield

 

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