Sunday, March 11, 2012

Character versus Story

I have been thinking a lot about one of my initially minor characters, Bree. Bree is the youngest sister of Duncan and Rachel. She's a brat. In the first book, she's stroppy, demanding, and absolutely devoted to her big brother. Fleance's is wary of her and the feeling is mutual. Keavy, Fleance's adoptive sister, adores her.

In book two, the strength of her will and penchant for violence is touched on as she grows from a child into a person. And, by the end of of Bloodlines, it is very clear how much she hates Fleance.

Bree is tall like her brother and sister. She's been brought up in the royal court. She has grown a lot since we first met the young girl being lifted over the puddles by her big brother. She's determined, angry and has a plan.

To be honest, I'm having a damn hard time trying to wrestle her into line.

I've been a teacher since the late 1980s and I've met various forms of this character: girls who are mean; girls who are super insightful - way beyond their years; girls who are tall (or short) for their age. Currently, I have a student who looks 17 or 18. She's a model. She's intelligent, articulate and posed. She's only just 13. I first met her when she was 11 and I thought she was in high school. She's also absolutely wonderfully kind and generous.

I've had a couple of people suggest that what Bree is busting to do in Book 3 is not 'realistic' - after all, she's still a child. What I've realized is that the Bree that has come out on the page in Banquo's Son and Bloodlines is only the tip of the character who has been living inside my head. My editor gets her (and understands her - thanks Katie!) and so does my agent.

So, today is Bree's day. I'm going to give her her head and see where she leads us and what damage she does.
In the words of my eldest child, she has to do something catastrophic - everything else will be lame.

I've got the story all mapped out but it might be that the force of this one character alters the course.
I'll keep you posted.

What fun!

1 comment:

jtwebster books said...

I can't wait to read about this more mature Bree. She sounds like a writer's dream!