Sometimes Central Casting is Idiotic
And by central casting, I mean me.
I’ve written before that I have a roster of characters who haunt me. These characters are, to a degree, unintended actors looking for the one, right, role. And I’m the casting director struggling to create that right role.
In trying to create the right story for the right character, I’ve often tweaked both story and character.
Take Honor Gale. She’s been with me for years, looking for the right story. I’d played with having her be the protagonist of two ideas which I’ve largely abandoned. It wasn’t until I’d decided to approach The Goetic High as a single novel that I found the perfect role for her.
The problem with that realization, however, is that I had demote Webster Cypress, who I’d originally intended to be the protagonist of the project (had it been a series) to a supporting protagonist role. Why? It just felt right to have Honor be the protagonist. And my subsequent work on The Goetic High has supported my decision.
The next project after The Goetic High is the one making me feel somewhat idiotic.
Originally, Tyler Spang, the protagonist of Bright Light, Deep Shadow, was intended to “star” in a more realistic work. As I struggled with his request to be a gay action star, I tweaked his character.
That was absolutely a mistake. I don’t know how many brainstorming hours I wasted when the answer was starring at me the whole darn time.
Why was I twisting into creative knots? The tyranny of history.
But I realized that I’m not writing historical fantasy. I’m writing the magical land I want to create. And I don’t need to adhere slavishly to what happened in our Earth’s past. History is inspiration not mandate.
So, Tyler is back to being his college freshman self. And I couldn’t be more excited.