Shatter Souls – unraveling the main

So far in my writing career, I’ve written three novels.

The first, like many first novels, is a mess and a half with plot holes big enough to drop an elephant in.  It’s a classic fantasy, a little dark, but I spent years writing it. Because it’s my first, I’ll always have a place for it in my heart, but I don’t know if I’ll ever go back and revise that story. I love the characters, but it’s too mainstream. There’s nothing groundbreaking in the story, just a quest with characters.

The second and third novels are something a bit different. While it’s still fantasy, it has a more urbanish feel, though I don’t think it qualifies as typical UF. In fact, it’ll have a distinctively science fiction feel after a while. It’s going to be fun building a realistic world where magic and technology works together.

But, as with all fun projects, there’s a down side.  I realized today (though it’s been nagging at me for a while) that I’m going to have to nearly literally destroy my main character in order to rebuild her so that she’s strong enough to face what she has to.

This isn’t going to be fun.

Ty’s a strong character. She’s a survivor but she’s already bent. There’s some things that’s happened before the first novel that deeply affects how she relates to the world. She feels betrayed, alone and uncertain, but she’s surviving the best she can. But there are other forces at work in this story–deeply hidden forces that are chipping away at her from the inside. Their goal is to destroy her from within since they haven’t been able to do it from the outside.

And in order to do that I’m going to have to unravel her.  I’m going to have to pull every string and expose the very core of her. Everything that I’ve enjoyed about writing her thus far is going to be stripped away until there’s only a little left. And at that point, she’s going to be standing on the roof, looking down, wanting to end it.

There’s no net, no hero to save her.  She can do it (step off) and be done-only to be born again-perhaps to remember what she is and become a stronger person or she can walk away from that edge and rebuild.

It’s not going to be an easy decision for her. Nor for anyone close to her. I’m not even sure of the deciding factor yet or even if she steps away from that edge. Perhaps she is hauled off of it and forced to reconcile with her past. Or perhaps she is manipulated past even caring.

I don’t quite know yet.  Ty hasn’t told me.  All I see is a vision of her standing on an edge, looking down into an abyss and wanting–no needing to end it. But I have ideas on what happens. It just depends on some of the other characters and how they react to her actions.

So now, I’ve got some research to do in psychosis, personality disorders, addiction and suicide so that I can begin to set up the collapse of a character. It’s scary to realize how much power an author has over a being. While they aren’t alive (at least not on this world) they have an impact.

I just hope I can do this justice.



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