Thursday, February 23, 2006

I don't think I'm going to be one of those writers where readers say all the characters are the same. They're certainly very diverse in my imagining. Occasionally I almost wish that I could write more stereotypical ones - or maybe I should say 'archetypal' - but each one of mine lands in my imagination with a strong and very individual emotional core, and I have to then build on that, keep the character consistent and true to themselves, and work out all the whys and hows of who they are.

I've mentioned before that I've been jotting notes and ideas for the second book after Shadows and Light; I really have to know in my own mind where I'll be going with this linked trilogy before I can proceed much further.

I can already tell that the heroine of this book, Mariane, is going to provide me with some significant writing challenges. She's a quiet, dedicated, academic historian, thrown as soon as the book opens into a world she's totally unequipped for - on the run from the CIA, MI6, and ASIS, not to mention a powerful arms dealer.

My challenge in this will be to keep Mariane real, without slipping into the convenience of traditional characterisations; she's neither a kickbutt heroine, nor a wimpy heroine who has to be rescued. Yet in the first chapter, she will be struggling in a world she doesn't understand enough to deal with - but I have to keep the plot real, too, without building in contrivances to enable her to show her strengths. (Yes, I know being on the run from assoretd intelligences agencies and arms dealers sounds very James Bond fantasy-ish, but that's not the style I write in ;-) )

It's just as well I've got a while to mull this over before I get serioulsy into writing it ;-)

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