Back in the day, I found I started a lot of stories without finishing them.  I'd get an idea, I had lots of ideas, but it took me years to realize what a solid idea is supposed to look like.  For me it has to do more with plot than character. I can come up with an army of fake people within a few hours.  I wrote a series (unsold) with a cast of 125 named characters. With, like, histories and backstories and family ties to each other. It's a big tangled, glorious web that taught me a lot about characters.

What I didn't really have was what my protag wanted, deep in his heart. Unfortunately, it's taken me damn near close to a million words to figure that out. (I'm a bit dim.) He wants some things, sure, but what does he want beyond all else? What am I, his goddess, supposed to keep from him?  I still don't know. When I do, I'll have a damn good story. Aidan has a new voice and it's probably some of the best stuff I've written. But it has no direction yet, just a storyboard with some stickies.

Trinidad, maybe.
Trin knows. He wants peace. He wants his parents not to have been suicide bombers. He wants his little brother alive again. He wants his memories of Castile safely locked away behind a steel door of denial. He wants to believe in Christ--and only Christ--and to keep his people safe.

He wants the world to be crisp, black and white, instead of cast in shades of glittering, silvery grey.

But that's not the world, is it? So, ultimately, he's not going to get what he wants. I've known that from the start. SCAR was always meant to be a bitter pill to swallow, especially for Trinidad, especially for me. (Because one of my most personal frustrations are shades of grey. Not for me, but how others rarely see them. Trinidad is not me. He is Everyone Else.)

                                                                                       Castile, maybe
Now I have to figure out, with three short chapters left, just how tragic this story is meant to be.  It scares me. But I guess that's good. If it scares me, it might just scare the reader a little, too.

What scares you about your story? Anything? Or am I the only one who thinks of story this way?


Anonymous said...

Interesting how you use the photos to depict those characters. I sort of do that, too --- but I mostly use people I see in magazine ads (appropriate for all ages), of people relaxing or socializing. I've never used celebrities. But if you see Castile as not only Leonardo, but say, Leonardo in The Departed, then I suppose you have a new mine of inspiration for particular bits of body language and facial expression to use in conversations and confrontations.

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

Yeah, that's true. It's more his elfin features that attract me to his look. That works for Castile--as long as he has dark hair.

Trinidad is tougher. I dont think Jonathan is right for him. Trin is half-mexican for one. but I like the idea of his having dark skin and light eyes, that works for his heritage, and the hair is right. Trin keeps his shorn off close.
I dunno. It was more for fun anyway.