Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Is That My Character or Is It Me?

   I've come to realize that as I'm writing male characters, I put a lot of myself into them. This is probably not a good thing since, honestly, I'm not that interesting of a person. My characters end up too serious, speak formally when they do speak and rarely laugh at anything. They're moody and hard for the reader to connect with.
   It's unfortunate I didn't see that until an editor pointed out the difference in how my male characters spoke compared to the others. I could never understand why everyone loved my female characters but had a hard time identifying with the males. Now I know why. I wonder if it's because when writing from a woman's POV, I have no standard to compare them to and therefore she acts any way she wants to?
   Apparently I must hold all the men to the only standard I'm familiar with and that is my own. It would be fine if one of the secondary characters acted like me but not the main protagonist. Somehow I will have to find a way to make my lead male more vibrant and with traits unfamiliar to me.
   I wonder how many writers, men or women, endow their characters with the same set of feelings, thoughts and attitudes as themselves? All I know is that I've a job ahead trying to eliminate all the Mini-ME's.

   Once again for this week, another short scene from my Fan/Fic.
   Thanks for reading!


   Afraid that he was stepping into a lion’s den, Androl followed the plump Aes Sedai into her hut. What he saw was typical of many of the huts being shared by some of the Asha’man. Two beds to one side, a desk and washstand on the other with a small table and two chairs in the middle. A single lantern gave off a dim light from on top of the desk. A small, round stove sat in the corner with a brightly colored kettle of water just beginning to steam. One small cup sat on the table next to a white jar covered in blue flowers. Apparently he had interrupted the Aes Sedai in the process of making tea.

   Gliding quickly to the other side of the table, so that it was between them, she appeared uneasy being alone in the hut with him but trying not to show it. If only she knew how weak in the Power he was. She was Red Ajah and should be able to stand him on his head with little effort.

   “Who are you and what do you know about the things going on in the Black Tower?” she demanded.

   “Androl Genhold, and what I know would curl your toes, Aes Sedai. For the past several weeks, someone has been using Compulsion on a number of Asha’men here in the Tower. Also, no one is allowed to leave or enter the Tower without the M’Hael’s permission. Opening a gate inside the grounds is no longer possible, and we have been unable to determine if gates still work outside, since none of us have been able to leave.”

   She regarded him a moment longer, then seemed to relax slightly, as if letting something go. Had she been holding the Source in case she needed to protect herself? Considering the position she was in, surrounded by hundreds of men who could channel, he thought it was a safe assumption.

   “Please sit, Master Genhold,” nodding to the chair on his side of the table. Settling into the other chair, she continued. “Pevara Lissen of the Red Ajah, which I’m sure you have already guessed. What you just told me confirms my greatest fear. Two of the Sisters sent here with me have apparently been subjected to some kind of compulsion also. This is such a vile thing that it is something we refuse to study in the White Tower so I have no knowledge of what or if anything can be done.”

   Androl knew that whenever an Aes Sedai made a statement like that, because of their oath to always tell the truth, he had to believe it. His hope that she would know a weave to reverse the compulsion had been a small one.

   “This may sound callous, Pevara Sedai, but I’m afraid that your Sisters and the men I once considered friends, must be left behind and not find out what we plan.”

   Just then, the kettle on the stove started to whistle. As Pevara got up and reached for a cloth to wrap around the handle of the hot kettle, she thought, so he has a plan. Was she so desperate as to listen to the plan of an Asha’man? Unfortunately, she was.

   Pouring some water in her cup, she apologized. “I would offer you some tea, but the woman I share this hut with will become suspicious if she finds two cups on the table.”

   Androl waved the offer aside and waited for her to settle back into her chair before continuing. “Pevara Sedai, those of us who are loyal to Logain must escape the Tower and get word to him or the Lord Dragon about what is happening here. I have no proof, but it appears the M’Hael is turning the Tower against him.”

   He hesitated when he saw the fire of anger and hatred in her eyes when he mentioned Logain’s name. So be it. When you walk into a lion’s den, you had better be a lion yourself. He put some fire in his own eyes and leaned towards her.

   “Let me make one thing clear, Aes Sedai. Whatever you feel towards Logain, the men here respect and look up to him. As soon as he came to the Tower, men started to follow him. They could see he was a man of honor and treated everyone fairly. There are two camps here, Pevara Sedai, one loyal to Logain and one loyal to the M’Hael. Our numbers have been dwindling because men from Logain’s camp are being turned. Those of us loyal to Logain did not come to the Tower for fame or power. We came because we know that every man who can channel will be needed during the Last Battle to fight the Dark One’s hordes. We follow Logain, he follows the Lord Dragon and we will die for either.”

   Pevara was taken aback by the conviction in his voice. Maybe Logain was an honorable man, but he would answer to her someday for the rumors he had spread about the Red Ajah. “You came to me,” she reminded him. “I assume you have a plan, but need my help.”

   “I do have a plan,” he replied. “But it will depend on whether or not you and I can link, or if you are even willing to try. I’m not very strong in the Power, Pevara Sedai, but I do have a special ability with gates. I can make one small enough to cut a single hair on your head or one large enough to drive a wagon through. How large of an opening would you or your Sisters need to be able to bind two men and shield them from the Source?”

   “I only need to be able to see them,” she answered carefully.

   “All the men and their families loyal to Logain, are moving to a barracks close to one of the towers located on the perimeter wall. There are two Asha’men manning each tower for periods of four hours at a time. I believe our best chance will be right after midnight when they rotate the watch. If you and I can link, I can open a small gate behind the two Asha’men big enough for you to see through. If your Sisters can then bind and shield them, we should have enough time to gather at the base of the tower and escape. Once outside the walls, it will be up to you and your Sisters to open a gate for us.”

   “Your plan has merit, Master Genhald,” Pevara admitted. “The weaves of the Sisters will be invisible to any man who happens to look in that direction. Will your men be ready to leave tonight? I would prefer not to spend another night trapped here.”

   “We will be ready. As soon as you arrive at the barracks tonight, we can put our plan into motion. The Light protect us if anything goes wrong.”

No comments:

Post a Comment