I've had quite the collision of ideas lately, crazy stuff from all directions, all related to SCAR. I think it's my mindset (I know it is) that's picking out these details and linking them back.
I think I mentioned I'm adding in other POVs at the moment. I think I would write a MPOV book this way again, start with the main protag and write his story, and then go back and fill in the blanks with the others. Yes, it changes plot and character reactions. But it enabled me toreally get to know Trinidad.
Like a lot of my characters, Trin withholds a lot. He's reserved, but not a thinker. He functions from his gut. Usually he's already made up his mind on what to do and is waiting for me and the other characters to catch up. I'm cool with his reticence, but sometimes I try to push him in places he doesn't want to go and then he wakes me up at some ungodly hour and tells me I'm wrong. Like yesterday morning he told me that he would cave into his bishop's orders and turn Castile over to the city marshals, even though it meant torture for Castile, even though he disagrees with the bishop on politics and principle. Right now, at this stage in the story, his gut is the Church. That overrides all else. As it should; he's vowed his life to its protection and well-being. After all, and he still harbors dreams of martyrdom. When he meets Castile, he realizes that here is his ideal: someone who would sacrifice everything for what he believes. Unfortunately, for Trinidad, everything he believes in is starting to crumble.
I learned a lot about our discussion the other day, and the discussion on FB. You can't know how much I appreciate each and every one of you who chimed in. It taught me a great deal, especially that I should forge ahead with this book in letting it be all things to all people. (In particular, I learned how to treat my atheist character. He is a very good, honorable man, btw, though it's buried pretty deep.) My greatest desire is that SCAR causes controversy among its readership, because within that lies discussion and understanding. (I also think Conversation is the new genre, as I outlined in my article for Electric Spec.)
I plan to foster controversy through a lack of commitment on my part. My characters all think differently from each other and are very committed to their ideals. Most of them think much differently than I, even Trinidad. (I'm probably most like Castile, actually, in beliefs if not personality.) As a group, my characters are teaching me a lot, too, most of all a deep appreciation for Mystery.
What have you learned from your characters lately?