Monday, February 23, 2009

What a Character

Have you ever had a character invade your mind? When you thought you were done with him, has he ever come back to haunt you, or to prove otherwise? It happened to me. When I began to write Nora’s Soul, the character of Dante was just a satellite character in my mind, a device to move the story forward. But he had other ideas and he just wouldn’t be silenced. He invaded my mind, took over my thoughts, and even tried to –

Dante: Stop, woman! You like to think you’re my creator, but we both know the truth of that, don’t we?
Margay: But I did create you.
Dante: Tell them how I came to you in a dream.
Margay: All right, so you came to me in a dream -
Dante: I love invading dreams. I don’t get to do it very often.
Margay: Can I tell the story?
Dante: Oh, yes. Please do.
Margay: Thank you. As I was about to say, it was one of the more vivid dreams I’d ever had, a fully realized scene of the two of us on the dance floor, dancing the night away.
Dante: I love dancing.
Margay: Dante, please.
Dante: Oh, sorry. Go on.
Margay: But you were something of a devil and that is how I first thought of you. But as the story came to develop, I realized that you were more of an angel, just a…misguided one. You’d lost your way somehow. You’ve been rather stingy on the details.
Dante: If I told you everything up front, what fun would that be?
Margay: Yes, I must admit it’s been more fun pulling the details out of you with a pair of tweezers. I just wish I didn’t have to go through Nora to get them.
Dante: Ah, yes, Nora. Sweet girl.
Margay: We’ve talked about this, Dante. You can’t have her. She’s not meant for you.
Dante: Can’t I have anyone? What kind of power do I have if I can’t take whomever I want?
Margay: Don’t forget free will. It’s all about free will. You see, they have to choose you. If they don’t choose you, you can’t have them.
Dante: I never did like free will. It’s always messing things up.
Margay: Dante, come on now. Maybe we should just talk about the book.
Dante: Yes, do that. Talk about the book.
Margay: At its core, Nora’s Soul is a story about one woman’s journey to rediscover her faith – in herself, in her beliefs, but along the way, she is challenged by two angels, one light and one dark. The light angel, Peter, wants to help her reconnect, but the dark angel, Dante, wants something entirely different. He wants her soul.
Dante: Nice summary.
Margay: Thanks.
Dante: I just hope you got the story right.
Margay: Well, I guess you’ll just have to wait until the release date to find out.
Dante: So you’re not even going to give me a little hint about how it turns out?
Margay: Nope. But if you go to my website http://margayleahjustice.com, you can read an excerpt.
Dante: And you thought I was the devil.
Margay: If you’re done, I’d like to regain some control over this article.
Dante: Oh. Sorry.
Margay: Right.

Well, there you have it. Character. You just never know when a character is going to invade your thoughts – or take them over completely and try to run your life. But what are we without the characters that populate our books, our movies, our lives?

10 deadly screams:

Carrie from Wisconsin said...

Hi Margay,

Characters having a mind of their own seems to be the topic of the week.

I had to create two different pieces of fiction for two different classes. Okay, fine, no problem there. For the one class I created something new from a thought that just came to me, one assignment done.

I wanted the second one to be different from the first one, so I pulled a storyline from a collection of ideas that I have gathered over the years and it seemed like it was going great idea.

All was going well, the first was going to take place on one planet and the second was going to take on a different one. All seemed fine and then, things went awry.

Before I knew what happened, the villain from my first story made his way into the second story and the main character from the first one became the cousin of the main character in my second story. And, to make matters worse, both stories now take place on the same planet on two different continents, but that also changed the second story moves to the same location as the first story.

Confused yet? Yeah, well, I was really annoyed at first, but I learned to live with it can now appreciate the connections. I just wish I would have been warned first, but the sneaks tricked me!

Carrie

Margay said...

Oh, Carrie, I hear you! When I first started writing Nora's Soul, I was under the impression that it was about Nora Kendall and her struggles with issues of faith and loss. Silly me. What I soon came to realize was that it was more of an introduction to Dante, who had a whole lot more story to tell than what is contained within the first book. I am currently in the process of outlining the third book in his arc and who knows how many more there are after that? But he is such a fun, wise character (though he doesn't like people to know that) I'm having a great time telling his story.
Margay

Carrie from Wisconsin said...

Don't worry Margay, your secret's safe with me!

Carrie

Gracen Miller said...

Hi, Margay. Sorry I'm commenting so late. Been a crazy day doing I don't know what, but I know I haven't slowed down all day. Started the day off with a parent/teacher conf at 7:15 and found out my 11 year old is involved in a love triangle. *blink, blink* I think she has him confused with some other child. He barely tolerate girls. I don't think I even know this stranger she's talking about. :-/

Anyway, I liked the character interaction here. My hero (loosely called hero) of my book, The Devil's Den, was a dream too. That's how I got the idea for him. Only he was a demon in my dream and I took a bit of creative license and morphed him into a dark vampire.

I'll be blogging over at The Countess - Elizabeth Black's blog tomorrow if you want to read about it. Here's the link:

http://trishwilson.typepad.com/blog/

Margay said...

Gracen, I think we are soul sisters - Dante was a demon in my dream, too, but as I wrote and rewrote the story, I discovered that he wasn't that far gone. He was actually what Peter calls a "Wayward One" - an angel that has lost its way and lives amongst the mortals. And I will definitely check out your blog.
Margay

Carrie from Wisconsin said...

Hey Gracen,

I have to tell you that some teachers have a warped sense of stuff. For example, in high school, I was wrestling, and I do mean wrestling, with a guy I was dating in the hall. There was nothing what-so-ever romantic about this situation. I believe he tackled me and I was trying to throw him, or the other way around (can't remember exactly). Anyway, I got a detention for, and I quote, "lovey doveying in the hallway." I didn't care that I got the detention. We were being rowdy and we deserved it. But I wanted the reason to at least be correct, but I don't think it ever was marked down correctly.

That being said, sometimes kids use that "I hate you" or other negative things to represent their feelings. For example, my cousin drives a bus and there was this little girl that apparently had a crush on him. Now, she tried to hide it, really she did, but it was the flushing of her face that gave her away when she got on the bus and sheepishly looked at him and said, "Jerk," before taking his seat. Needless to say, he was dumbfounded and had no clue how to act about it. He did have a good chuckle when he got home though.....

So, even if you think he can barely tolerate him, don't be too sure. If he's at that age where girls make him start to "feel funny," he might act like he can't stand them. Plus, it might be the "in thing," - words have opposite meanings. Confused yet? Yeah, me too.....

Carrie Santos said...

Hey Margay,

Just purchased your book!! Can't wait to read it!!

Loved your character chat with Dante.

Thanks!

Carrie

Margay said...

Carrie, thank you! I hope you enjoy it. Just so you know, that is only the first book in which you will see Dante. He is a character who has a lot to say!
Margay

Sarah Mäkelä said...

Hi Margay, sorry for the late comment! I really enjoyed your chat with Dante. It makes me want to do one of those, too, to see how it would be to talk with the character in a chat-like way! I have had characters take over my thoughts to the point where when I heard a song that reminded me of him I'd feel real overwhelming emotions. Kind of weird...but... yikes! lol

Margay said...

Sarah, it sounds like this would be a great exercise for you! You should try it.
Margay