Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

As a writer, while I experiment with different personalities in short fiction, including characters that you would probably want to punch if you met them (the narrator of "A Dose of Aconite," which is currently in submissions and set in the same world as Flow, is a delusional and rather unpleasant Border Watchman), my novels - at least those that spend the majority of their time in one or two perspectives - tend to gravitate to certain character personalities.  Some of this, of course, is just the usual desire to give the reader someone they want to identify with, but for me, I also want to write characters that I want to spend an extended period of time with.

So undertaking Vil in Unnatural Causes - a character who is non-human, from a world whose basic concepts are very different from ours; a character who interprets humanity through a lens that isn't always flattering - was something of a risk for me.  I wanted to be sure I could get deep within the character's skin, without lapsing too much ... but I wanted to enjoy the process of writing her, too.

So far, though, I've been having a blast.  It's true that Vil sometimes comes off blunt to the point of rudeness - but there's no malice in her, just an ingrained inability to understand certain nuances in human culture.  And Iluenn, who shies away from conflict and is much smarter than she gives herself credit for, makes a perfect foil and companion.  They're a formidable team - and both outcasts in their own way.

It makes me want to seek out different types of narrators in my long works.  Who else might be worth spending an extended period of time with, if I just give them a chance?

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