Writer’s toolkit journal entry.
Over the last couple of days I’ve been thinking of the relationships between characters in my novel. My main character is defined as a bit of a lone wolf. He has several connections he holds onto which gets him into trouble, but ultimately everyone he thinks he can count on turns against him. I’ve been introducing emotions such as jealousy that sparks up later life for some people, and when they have power over him such as ‘it’s up to them whether he gets caught or not’ they make their choice.
I’ve been looking at a new character to introduce or rather introduce a personality into a character. I was thinking of almost a doppelganger-like character to oppose the character in an ‘equal’ sense, but at the same time be different. I think it would be interesting to make a character who is villainous, at the same time justified. Like Alaric, the main villain of Thomas’ story (my main character). He is trying to become a tyrant to unify his own kingdom, to further advance his nation and overall improve their position for the better. It is justified, and Thomas is in his way by the rumour of Thomas’ wife being the last legitimate heir to the throne. As well as the fact that his seer gives Alaric the idea that Thomas is having a son. Which from a usurper’s perspective, and bastard grandson of a King, would realistically make his legitimacy false. Ergo, Thomas and his line must die in order to better secure his own right to rule.
I want to focus right to rule as being one of many standpoints for the reason that Alaric feels it is important to put so much resource into pursuing Thomas. It’s not the only reason. From childhood Alaric has been offended by Thomas’ presence, and after Thomas is the one chosen to carry on all of the fathers’ skill/attention he felt resentful towards him, as he barely got his father’s attention and this boy, who had his own father, was taking his father’s attention as well. From a young age he felt it was unacceptable and never understood it. This drove his malicious attitude as a boy further from his family and a little insane in motive. The emotion jealousy, and envy drove him to the point where he confronts his father and chooses that it would be better to remove his father, so he can further enhance his position. This is however, after he finds out that he is of royal descent (a bastard) and pushes all the jealousy into strength. It becomes like a mask he can never remove when he walks the path he does, into kingship. To the point where he no longer recognizes himself, and becomes like Thomas in the sense that his personality splits in half over what is right, and what he needs to do.
The class I’ve been taking: Writer’s Toolkit has helped me understand character a bit more, and how they need more than one motive to do a task or start a journey. Characters need to be broken, in a sense that they take up a new ideal, or make a promise, or even become the monster’s they’ve been running from.
The idea that everyone has 3 faces, one they show others, one they have inside, and the one they truly are. This idea gives every character more than one side, and more than one track they can run on. So to speak, more than one flavour in the stew that is themselves.
As I have two stories at 2,500 words each coming up soon; I want to look at perspectives in these, and utilize how different a scene can happen from two point of views. I’m a little stuck between A husband and wife’s point of view, two character’s taken from my novel (Thomas, and Freya) or taking the perspectives of Thomas and Alaric. I would like to write the same scene and show how different it can be, depending on the character, and use a soliloquy to define character’s inner thought whilst this is going on and show how different they are.
I’ve been playing with the plot thanks to the class we had in Writer’s Toolkit where we looked at the chronological aspects of a story and how they can be re-written, and re-timed in different ways to write the story and how it doesn’t need to be in order. This has been a really useful tool in understanding the way I want to write the novel. I was thinking of starting at the end or at the climatic point.
I could begin the story where Thomas has his sword aimed at Alaric’s throat, and then go back to how he got to that point, and then push past after his confrontation with Alaric. Or, start later where Thomas is close to death and then roll back 10-12 years to how he got there.
The other thing I’ve been looking at is chapter perspectives, and wondering how it would work if I developed the journeys of multiple characters, who change each chapter. There are a few characters I can follow. The two who I would focus on are Thomas and Freya, of course… but then there’s a character who seems very important to Thomas, and who travels with him for a while, and they meet multiple times over the 15 years Thomas’ story is mainly based around. The character is Lisett Rosaire, who teaches Thomas the darker side of combat, and a dis-honourable way to kill/fight. Using dirty tactics, to survive and win.
I’ve focused quite a lot of time into this character and the more time I spend the more I’m interested in how she develops. The difference between her and Freya is the fact that she is very much a bad influence on Thomas’ behaviour, and plays a large role in making him feel that it is okay to let loose, letting out his ‘inner demons’ to use when fighting. Which in turn, morphs his behaviour throughout the story. Freya however, keeps him calm, and feeling almost protected from them.
Here’s a little teaser of Lisett Rosaire’s character:
“Lisett is a woman with a very dark past, she is a very unique character and when she looks into Thomas’ eyes and sees his pain she falls in love with him, the odd thing about her is that she should have died as a child when she was hung, but somehow she managed to live, but lives with the scar across her neck as a reminder not to trust anyone.
She finds it difficult to spend time with Thomas as when she looks into his eyes she feels her first flutter. She attacks him out of fear of the feeling. They travel together for two years before parting ways.
Lisett is a woman who feels it is necessary to kill every man who has a perverted enough mind to pursue a woman even when she says no, she targets drunkards, known men who have hurt women, and seduces them, taking their life as soon as they make a move.
She has a unique set of beliefs, much like Thomas, and the only person still alive, to use blood magic, aside from Thomas. They learn from each other, teach other, and do unspeakable things. There is a huge connection between them and they make a pact with each other to meet in the next life as they are not yet ready to spend their life together as they are both still sorting out their demons.”