Monday, August 12, 2013

My Muse is Back and There’s Gonna be Trouble

(with apologies to The Angels and Robert Feldman, Gerald Goldstein and Richard Gottehre)

The muse flitted in during one of the wonderful summer days we had last week (that weather continues, yay!) and to say she was disappointed in my progress, or more accurately, the lack thereof, would be an epic understatement. First, she threatened to go on permanent vacation—something about going where her talents could be utilized—but then she said “Dummy! You wrote the story about Beckie and Amy and Ian because you know them. Don’t you think knowing Piero (he’s the villain of Background Check) would resolve your misunderstandings about where I’m trying to point you in this ending. Which sucks, by the way.”

She’s not much on mincing words. However, even I can see the light when the carbon-arc strikes and the harsh blue-white beam shines in my face. I’m writing a side story that won’t get directly included, but will inform me about the way Piero acts and the things he needs and wants. Before she left, the muse nodded sagely and said “That should solve that little problem. I’ll be back.” After a pause, “Probably.”

So far, about a thousand words done on “Piero’s Story”. I expect it to be five or so thousand. Since it’s not part of the book, some things can be hinted at or glossed over as long as I understand where his head’s at as a result. Since it is a reference, more telling is acceptable here than otherwise.

Do you find this type of exercise helpful to you as you create characters who, while not part of a continuing series cast, are still critical? As every character you introduce must be.

As usual, your comments are welcome.

1 comment:

  1. While you can't spend too much time on the supporting cast, every character needs to have just enough depth to feel believable and evoke the right emotions. That brings the setting to life too.

    I sometimes get a little guff for how flat Der'aevis can seem, but that was intentional. He's meant to be a blunt instrument, but in a way he's still fun. At one point I half-jokingly called him an "R-rated Disney villain". He actually does have a back story, and that comes out at least somewhat. In his POV scenes we're reminded that even the villains and minor characters are "the heroes of their own stories".

    As for the minor characters, we see how Taya cares about them, from the sick boy to Berise and Gurney. They mean something to her, so they mean something to us.