A number of children, while growing up, develop imaginary friends. My imaginary friends were in the books I read, but to me they were real people. I would fantasize being in the adventure with them and doing my part. I would laugh when they laughed and cry when they cried. I remember having nightmares every time we would just barely make it out of a situation alive. In my nightmare, we would both die.
I no longer need imaginary friends but I still become emotionally attached to characters, both in the stories I have fallen in love with and in the stories I have written. I have never seen myself as a leading man so I usually identify with one of the supporting characters. Over the years, several authors have killed off the supporting character halfway through the story. When that happens, I lose interest and rarely finish the book. When I was young, occasionally I would write the rest of the story keeping the character alive.
As you can probably tell, the stories I like to read and/or write are all character driven. Sometimes this makes it difficult for me as a writer because I will start to tear up at an emotional scene and can't continue. I will have to step away for awhile before I can come back and finish the scene.
I have always been a fairly un-emotional person who rarely laughs or cries. It's not that the emotion isn't there, it's uncomfortable for me to display emotion in front of others. Books give me a safe outlet for my emotions.
I sometimes wonder if I am alone in this or are there others who have to live their lives in a similar fashion?
Thanks for reading!
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Friday, February 7, 2014
In my story "The Eyes of the Deluti" I put together a team made up of a 'light shifter' and an 'ogre' to protect Navon, one of my main characters. Emma is descended from a race of tree dwellers with the ability to shift the light around them rendering her invisible. This ability enhances her profession as an assassin. Sebastion is a mountain ogre with a natural defense against magic. He relies on his size and mastery of weapons to get the job done. Sebastion is twice as tall as Emma and easily four times her weight.
In this scene, Navon has disappeared and Emma is forced to contact their master. See how she handles it.
In this scene, Navon has disappeared and Emma is forced to contact their master. See how she handles it.
All eyes turned to her. Once again, silence filled the clearing except for the quiet whimpers of the pups and a low rumbling growl from Bright Star that Emma could feel.
Sebastion stood, then sat again, hand clenched on the hilt of his sword. Slowly and carefully he spoke. “Little one, somehow we have failed. This is beyond any of us and we need direction. Only you have the power to contact the Old Man.”
Emma nodded and reluctantly reached inside her tunic to pull out the talisman she kept on a chain around her neck. The Ancient One had given it to her many years ago to contact him in an emergency. She had only used it once before and the experience had been unpleasant. This time would be worse. At the touch of her finger along with a small release of power, a misty figure formed in the center of the clearing.
A deep, powerful voice filled the clearing as High Lord Demitrios faced Emma.
“This had better be important, little one.”
“What, did I wake you from a nap?” she bristled. “Of course it’s important, Your Ancientness.”
Sebastion let his fangs show in a smile, and then quickly put on a serious expression as the image of the Ancient One turned to him.
“Sebastion, I am disappointed in you. I had hoped you would have her under better control. Now, I see all of you gathered here except young Navon and what is most disturbing, I can no longer sense his spirit. What has happened?”
Sebastion could only shrug while holding his hands out to the side.
Emma approached the glowing figure, hands clenched at her side. “That’s the problem. We don’t see him either. According to the wolf pups, he and Moonlight have been taken away by your Deluti Spirits. You should have warned us.”
“What do you mean? And who is Moonlight?” He stared off into the forest before turning to the elder wolf. “Bright Star, may I question your young ones?”
With a bark of command, the pups moved forward to sit at the feet of the old Deluti High Lord. He stared into their eyes for a short period of time, and then released them. They rose and returned to their parents, no longer whining.
The Ancient One paced back and forth with a look of concentration on his face as he pondered. “Which one of the Councilors inhabit the amulet that Navon wears? He is not ready. What is the purpose of the bond to the she-wolf? This changes everything.”
“Stop babbling, old man, and explain to us what is going on,” Emma demanded.
He turned to the ogre, as if he hadn’t heard. “Sebastion, I must ask that you travel to the capitol city and present yourself to the King. Princess Sofia of Dahlian will arrive soon to fulfill an agreement between the two nations. My vision is unclear but I sense that the Princess is next in line to receive an amulet. One of the Barons is planning something and I have to assume he is an agent of my brother. He will do anything to get his hands on one of the amulets. Tell the King I have sent you to be her personal bodyguard.”
He ignored the fuming Emma and turned to the elder wolf. “Bright Star, my old friend, the fate of your daughter and young Navon is now out of our hands. The Deluti spirits have activated the Arches of Rineron. We cannot interfere or aid them in any way.” The Old Man paused as he raised his eyes and gazed to the south. “They must have passed through the first arch. I now sense Navon’s spirit far to the south in the land of the Shadron Nomads. If he and Moonlight survive their trial they will return to the north through the Shadow Mountains. Wait for them there.”
Finally he turned to Emma with a look that caused her to step back. “And you, my favorite little tree climbing assassin, will accompany Sebastion to the capitol, find out what the Baron is planning, and then contact me again. Stay out of sight and stay out of trouble if you can.”
Before she could respond, the image of the old man returned to her talisman, leaving her and Sebastion to stare at each other in apprehension.
“That went well, don’t you think,” Emma beamed. “Did you hear him? He said I was his favorite! C’mon Sebastion, let’s take care of the wagon and get going. The sooner we can arrive at the capitol, the sooner I can find out what the Baron is up to.”
Sebastion shook his head and chuckled as they broke camp.
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Just for background on this story, Elayne has the power to bond someone to her so that they share feelings and strength. Sort of like an over the top bodyguard and friend. Birgitte’s soul belongs to an ancient hero who comes back from the dead to fight whenever the Horn of Valere is sounded.
Do the strong emotions of this scene come through? If not, any suggestions on how to make it better?
This is part of a fan-fic I am writing just for practice.
The coolness and familiar surroundings of the Pavilion helped to settle her thoughts. The servants had attempted to pattern the inside of the Pavilion after her quarters in the Palace, even placing a dummy fireplace against one wall that would hold a brazier if needed for warmth. The bed was certainly not as impressive as the one in the Palace but was probably the only bed in camp. Someone had been thoughtful enough to bring some flowers and arrange them in a vase on the table.
Her thoughts soon turned sour again. Blasted mood swings! She would find a way to make bloody
Rand al’Thor pay for the difficulties she’d been
experiencing because of her pregnancy. It wasn’t totally his fault but she
would make him pay regardless. It was also entirely possible that her mood was
being influenced by the pain and despair seeping through the bond from
Birgitte. Something was eating at the soul of her friend and Elayne cared too
much not to try and help.
“Bloody ashes Birgitte! Will you please sit down and talk to me. I haven’t been able to get more than a few words out of you all day. I can feel the conflict inside of you and it will destroy us both if we can’t find a resolution.”
Birgitte snorted as the faraway look fled from her eyes. “Such language from a Queen. You’ve been spending entirely too much time around soldiers Elayne.” Then in a quiet voice she continued, “Especially a soldier like me.”
Elayne said nothing. The look she gave Birgitte spoke volumes as she pointed to a chair opposite hers. She had assumed the mantle of Queen now and would brook no more nonsense.
“You will not like what I have to say Elayne,” Birgitte murmured.
“I don’t like seeing my dearest friend suffer like this either, so I will just have to find a way to deal with it,” Elayne replied.
She waited patiently as Birgitte struggled with what she needed to say. A flicker of fear began to dance around in the back of Elayne’s mind as the suspicion of what her Warder wanted flared to life.
“You want me to release you from the Warder bond,” she whispered. “Why?”
Taking a ragged breath, Birgitte slowly walked over and sat in the chair facing Elayne. Hands tightly clenched in her lap, she looked up and saw her tears reflected in the eyes of her beloved friend.
“In all of my previous lives, I have never had a sister. You have shown me what I never knew I’d been missing. You have given me a precious gift Elayne. Not only by saving my life but also the gift of the love for a sister. You will always have a special place in my heart.”
“I don’t understand,” Elayne cried softly. “I need you now more than ever. Please don’t ask me to do this.”
Springing up out of the chair, Birgitte began pacing back and forth. She had never been comfortable sitting while trying to marshal her thoughts.
“Do you understand what I am Elayne?”
“Of course. You are Birgitte Silverbow, heroine of the Ages. She who never misses what she aims at.”
“No Elayne. That is who I was and as long as I’m your Warder that is all I’ll ever be. But that is beside the point. What I am is a hero tied to the Horn of Valere. I must be available to answer the call when Mat blows the Horn at the Last Battle.”
Unable to hold back her tears, Elayne struggled to control her voice. “What are you saying Birgitte? Do you want to die?”
“No one wants to die,” Birgitte murmured as past memories of death rose up to haunt her. “But I am afraid. I shouldn’t be here Elayne. Moghedien ripped my soul out of the World of Dreams and thrust me into the world of the living. Her intention was to see me die the final death and I would have if you hadn’t bonded me, giving me a link to this world. I have felt the Pattern twisting itself around trying to fit me in.”
Stopping at the side table where one of the servants had thoughtfully left a pitcher of wine and a pitcher of goat’s milk, she poured herself a cup of wine and after a moment of indecision, poured another one for Elayne. The Queen wasn’t supposed to have anything other than goat’s milk during her pregnancy but Birgitte felt they both needed something stronger.
Returning to her chair, she handed the cup of wine to Elayne and at her questioning look Birgitte smiled, “I won’t tell if you don’t.”
“Why now?” Elayne asked.
“It seems that one of the requirements for being a Hero of the Horn is sensitivity to the needs of the Pattern. Maybe that is why so many of us are born over and over, each time accomplishing something important. Gaidal and I have lived more lives than any other because we are the most sensitive to the Pattern. Yesterday I became aware of what the Pattern requires of me. Somehow I am now tied to Mat. If I am not with him he might die and the Last Battle will be lost before it ever begins.”
“Birgitte, I know that Mat blew the Horn of Valere and he seems to have a certain flair for fighting but
Rand is the one who is destined to battle the Dark One and
save the world.”
Birgitte leaned forward and gripped Elayne’s knee, her braid of golden hair falling from her shoulder. “Think Elayne. Even if that too handsome man of yours manages to seal the Dark One back up in his prison, what then? Will the hundreds of thousands of Trollocs just roll over and die? Will the Seanchen shake their heads, disappointed that they missed the Last Battle, climb back onto their boats and head for home?”
“Of course not. We have one of the largest armies ever assembled along with the greatest military minds of this age. We will deal with the Trollocs first and then push the Seanchen back on their ships whether they want to go or not.”
Bounding out of her chair, Birgitte resumed her pacing. How to make Elayne understand? Her need to find Mat had become almost painful. It was like an itch she couldn’t scratch. The worst part was she knew she couldn’t do anything until he returned from his insane quest into the
. That would have
to stay a secret for now but maybe he would forgive her for revealing just one
of his many secrets. Tower of
Her eyes glazed over as she remembered the desperate, blood soaked battles many generations in the past. “I fought and died several times during the Trolloc Wars Elayne. It took many lifetimes before they were finally defeated. Your armies are impressive but from the number of Trollocs rumored to be massing at the border, they will roll over your armies like a storm flattens a field of young wheat. Your armies are too fragmented with different loyalties and agendas. You must have one Marshal-General in command of all the armies to have a chance. Who will you choose? Toward the end of the war when all looked lost, one man stepped forward. He rallied the nations together and fought with cunning and a certain amount of luck until they finally drove the Trollocs back across the border.”
Coming to a stop in front of Elayne, her body quivering with emotion, their eyes locked.
“That man was Mat.”