Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Changing Character Flaws in WIP

My characters, plot, world--everything has changed so much from the earlier versions of my WIP that I am stepping back to discern the character flaws all over again.  I knew them once, but my characters are so changed by the new circumstances that I need to "get to know them" again.  Which feels weird since I'm a quarter the way trough the rewrite.  But, hey, it will help when I hit the next revision stage.

My main characters and their flaws are these:

Kyrriki Ednin -- The Lord of Ednin is  petrified by fear of losing everything, a fear exacerbated by the murder of his sister and her husband.  He has to overcome the fear so that he can make decisions that will protect his people.  This means that he has to accept that he is the best champion they have, and that hiding is no longer the proper method to achieve his goals.

Gellayna Hehriya -- Gellayna Hehriya takes great pride in her peoples' traditions, but blind adherence prevents adaptability to her circumstances.  She pretends to adapt, because acting is part of the job she was trained for, but must actually accept the world she has found herself in and its dangers in order to affect change. she needs to let her experiences in the empire change her...into something more than a Rextian born in Kordic.

Teshen Hehriya -- Is a bit overconfident in his own abilities and knowledge, a touch narcissistic, and resents Kordic rule of his people so much so that even when he becomes aware that his sister is likely in danger due to his actions, he  embroils himself in more intrigue in the hopes of combating oppression, rather than seeking her out.

I think that will work.  The basic conflict in the WIP is the xenophobia of the Imperial laws, and how one enemy seeks to use those laws as a bid for power while the Empire hovers on the edge of war with lands to the south.  Fear and effectively, racism, are modes of control of an elite over an ethnically diverse Empire that wants to pretend it is homogeneous.  Meanwhile, the diverse identities end up expressed politically, philosophically, and begin to unite and polarize the Empire after the death of the Lord of Rijnic and his wife (Kyr's sister), an act whose significance will bring war.

I'm afraid my academic background is firmly visible in this plot, but so be it.   I'm working on actually reducing the description to something that does not wield such...highfalutin...word choice, but no guarantees.


  1. Wow. I don't even feel intelligent enough to comment! My character sheets are one-liners at the end of my WIP. I tend to get to know them as I write, not before.

    Of course, I myself am not so deep, so neither are my characters. I have a very WYSIWYG view of the world.

    I envy your ability, though, to think through your characters with such depth and understanding.

    - Eric

  2. Thanks Eric :) I feel sometimes that it's a hindrance. I want to communicate, and sometimes my overly complex self seems to get in the way of that >.< Here's hoping that I can reduce complex ideas to a form that feels simple to the reader's eye! That's my challenge, and I really hope that all my efforts towards this end are successful :)