A character challenge

28/04/2013 17:51

I’ve been doing some more writing on Empty Skies & Sunlight (mostly incorporating some ideas about flying and the necessary clothes), and I’ve got two challenges that I’ve started to tackle…


As mentioned in the previous post, one of my characters is based on someone I used to know. Absolutely charming, utterly fragile, manipulative and enthralling and a broken person that I wanted to help heal: and who, I eventually realised, wanted to keep those cracks because those were his attraction. So it will be a real challenge to try to a) write a prior relationship between him and Anoe, and b) get his character across, trying to convey the charm and the cracks with the same intensity and emotion that the real person had. If I can’t, the character will fall flat: if I get the cracks but no charm, he’ll simply be manipulative; if I get the charm but no cracks, his actions will make no sense. So…hum. I’ve started to write him, and I’m already appreciating how difficult it’s going to be: but then that’s part of the fun of writing.


The second one is my pirate lady – she’s going to be so much fun, but I’m very used to writing people that have one character base. To write someone that is a mix of extremes and opposites is going to be entertaining. I was also thinking about her, and I have a feeling that her relationship with Anoe is not as one-dimensional as I’d like – although they do hate each other, I think they could love each other as well. It’s one situation where I will simply let the characters interact with each other and see what happens. I can’t force either of them to act in one way, so they are almost real people meeting in reality: there’s no way to tell if the hatred or the love will win out in the end. I’m just going to have to keep writing and see what happens.

Characters for Empty Skies & Sunlight

26/04/2013 20:23

I’m currently (well, off-and-on) working on Empty Skies & Sunlight, the third book in the Greensky series.


Four of the characters – Toru, Anoe, Yeo and Catter – are out of the previous books. It’s nice to be working with a mix of old and new ‘faces’, particularly as Anoe, who only has a small part in Green Sky & Sparks, gets to be the main character in this one. Toru & Catter get relegated to secondary characters, but then I know them so well that it’s like having an old friend wandering around, occasionally adding a smart-ass comment but generally just making the place feel lived-in.


But the rest of the characters are new, which is where it gets interesting. One is based on someone I used to know, which makes it both easier and more difficult – at the moment he’s not developed into his own story person, and the real-life character is still coming through too strongly. However, I’ve found that it usually gets more subtle as I write more of the story, so I’m trying not to focus too hard on it.

The second new character of interest is based on a friend’s wife, who I’ve only heard about and not yet met. She’s fiery, argumentative, a mix of complete opposites and extremes, goes from one mood to another in a blink and generally sounds like a fairly amazing person. I’d heard a bit about her but then randomly thought that Anoe would hate her, and knew that she had to go in the book. They’ll absolutely despise each other but have to be incredibly polite, which should make for some very funny scenes.


So that’s my characters so far. They’re all slowly building into the story…only 4000 words so far but it definately has potential – and I’m enjoying writing it, which is the important thing.