The Lives of Characters
I feel like my characters, over the length of book one and two, have developed on their own. It's almost as if they and I were fresh friends when I began writing, and the farther along the story goes, the more both I and the reader discover. Aurora is a calm in a storm. Bridget is constantly emotionally torn. Donovan is scummy, but the type who people love to hate. Malcolm is patient. Eleanor is troubled but trying. Silvia is in the midst of her own mental war. These are the simple things, the traits of personality you learn early on in a friendship... what comes after though is like watching a flower unfurl, like falling in love. I like to think about why people act and respond to actions they way that they do. In Harmonies of War, Xenos, although a participant in the brutal slaughter of his own academic colleagues choses not only to let Aurora live, but holds onto a necklace he feels must have sentimental value. Why? To answer that question, I put myself in his position. If I was loney, lost, brainwashed and had tucked my emotions away for years perhaps I too would be capable of terrible things... but the heart of a person is a difficult thing to break. Somewhere, hidden deep inside, are Xenos' sweeter memories and sentiments. There's a boy who loved his school mates and once enjoyed listening to the tales of Prophecies on snowy nights spent in the tundra. When I think of it that way, I suddenly see that of course the well-trained soldier would be inclined to kill without remorse but the child inside would weep at the thought of ruining the stories he held in fond regard. Each character's journey is intwined with the others, just like our own lives are intertwined with our friends', family members', and coworkers'. We gather expierences, learn lessons, and develop emotions greatly because of the people we are surrounded by throughout life. It is no different in the life of a book series. A reader (and I as the writer) rejoices at the triumph of, and mourns the sorrows and deaths of, characters just as they would a friend.