Monday, September 18, 2006

HE'S SUCH A CHARACTER!

It dawned on me (things eventually do) that readers are probably much more interested in the characters they've read about in my books than in me, the author. I don't blame you. I know all of us: me, the author, and them, the characters. They are definitely more interesting than I am.

So given, that, I thought I'd share with you some of my characters' backgrounds, secrets, histories and other eccentricities that unfolded as I unfolded their stories.

Many of you have read FINDERS KEEPERS, my space opera romance novel (and RITA award finalist) released from Bantam in May 2005. Many of you have lusted over Rhis, also known as Khyrhis T'vahr. Here's a peek at one of my earlier 'character outlines' on him, when I was trying to understand what made this gorgeous, sexy, oh-so-distant-but WAIT 'til he meets Trilby!... man. Keep in mind that some of this goes back to the late 1990s, when I FINDERS KEEPERS was just a story I was "messing around with"...

"...--Khyrhis T'Vahr: 38 year old male; Senior Z'fharin huntership captain; educated; wealthy, powerful, attractive, cold, arrogant, brilliant, decisive, loyal; genetically engineered to be superior; lab-bred; knows is resented by many but feared and respected; isolated; a brief fling with Malika ____ convinced him love was something for other people; problems: feels people see him for what he can do for them; for his status and power (Malika). Goals? His career and his people, the Z'fharin; his duty -- yet always a nagging sense of emptiness.

He lies to Trilby as to who he is he THINKS for security reasons but in reality he is reluctant to see the fear in her eyes that all others have when with him..."

In essence, that was my free-write summary on Rhis. But it wasn't where he started. FINDERS KEEPERS was originally written in 1993 as a novella, not for publication (well, okay, it rather hovered in the back of my mind that I might want to do so at some point...) but more because I couldn't find what I wanted to read, so I wrote what I wanted to read.

In the original version, Rhis awakens much more quickly than in the novel, and 'makes a move' on Trilby much earlier as well...

[snip]..."Trilby." He said her name softly and she turned, surprised to find him standing behind her. "Trilby, what did I say that was so wrong?"

"Nothing." She forced a laugh. "What makes you think you said anything wrong? I--"

And he plucked the datapad from her hands and placed it back on the side of the nav console. "Because you always have a funny sound in your voice right before you jump up and run away. That is how I know something is wrong."

She stepped back and leaned against the edge of the console. He was too close. She could feel the heat from his body, smell the male scent of him. "It's nothing. You didn't do anything wrong. It's just me, okay? I'm, I'm not used to having someone around."

He sighed. "You are many things, but you are not a good liar, Trilbi'chenka."... [snip]

Even back then, Rhis still had his formal-sounding accent. But I'm leaving in the misspelling of 'Trilby-chenka' (which is how it appears in the novel) because this is from the ORIGINAL 1993 version. And that's how I wrote it, then. This scene, above, isn't in the novel. But the essence of what makes Rhis so sexy is in the novel. And that develops from my association with him - Such A Character! - in the earlier novella.

I still have most of my original scribblings for all my novels: WINTERTIDE, FINDERS KEEPERS, GABRIEL'S GHOST and more. If you all would like to continue to see earlier versions of scenes and characters, as well as their motivational outlines, let me know. I'd be glad to let you peek inside the process of creating my books and my characters.

Hugs all, ~Linnea

2 comments:

  1. Interesting. I always enjoy glimpses into the workings of other writers' minds. Recently on one of my e-mail lists someone commented about throwing away old notes and drafts. I keep everything. Some of it might be useful for future projects. Let the kids worry about what to do with all the paper after we die, I always say. Maybe I'll get famous and they can donate the stuff to a university library. :)

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  2. why, yes, I'd be very interested. I'd find it fascinating.

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