Creating Character: Abstract to Concrete

A primary antagonist in Anori is a know-it-all biologist who looks down on our leading woman, Dee, and yet is obsessed with fucking her. He was named Wolfgang in an early draft (drawing from a deep-seeded Nazi-derived prejudice) and was skeletal in design. Dee despised him from the outset, as was supposed to the reader, but it didn’t work because he was obtuse and one-dimensional.

Dee’s anger with Wolfgang was repetitive; the scenes were flat and dull. This monster wasn’t believable enough for the reader to react to his stark end. I needed someone more insipidly heinous, someone who seemed harmless but was dark matter through and through, someone like Tony*. (*Not his real name. Real name rhymes with tennis and begins with a D.)

I worked with Tony some years ago. He seemed harmless at first, self-deprecating, almost funny with his faux English accent. He looked like Ichabod Crane – bony face, odd features, fleck gathered at the corners of his mouth; if you didn’t enjoy his company, you at least felt sorry for him.

The Ichabod Crane I knew did not let them get away.

It took time to realize that he was a predator, that he lured isolated girls with his sad pseudo-Mensa charm, and then fastened himself on and dragged them in. No joke, he was a pedophile, through and through, and belonged in jail. The thing was how he disguised it, convinced others of the impossibility of such a thing.

That’s what I needed in this antagonist. And so that is who he became…with a fate the reader had better find fitting.

Dark Matter: Toxic People in Life

I have had the misfortune of being wronged by a most unpleasant individual for a number of years now. He seemed like a friendly enough person when I first met him at my place of work, four years ago now. He was new to the city and needed help and support. Columbus 011And so it was a complete shock to be suddenly subject to his abuse, to hear that he had slandered me to friends, and then was insulted directly over and over again. He dragged others into his damaged and crazed world. He made it his mission to attack me and eventually orchestrated a campaign of lies against me, with the aim of having me removed from my job. He is, without a doubt, one of the worst, most damaged people I have ever known. It has been awful to have had him in my life. dark-matter-galaxy-1920Time has passed. I recently began research for my new book, my science fiction trilogy journey into space. I have been reading about dark matter. No one knows what dark matter is, just that it is there only because of how it affects the orbits of suns and galaxies. It obstructs. It obscures. And it is said to comprise the majority of matter in the universe.IMAG1302This concept of dark matter has made me think. As much as I would rather not have had this damaged person in my life, I have come to realize that he is dark matter for me. He has obscured and obstructed; he has done everything he can to ruin my path.apollolaunchHowever the real question for me is how well I respond to this, how well I can maintain my journey through the stars. While it has been disorienting at times, I have righted my course and expect this piece of dark matter to dissolve behind me, to collapse into itself and, in all likelihood, drag other bits of dark, and waste, matter with it. And more than that, I have been readied for the next bit of dark matter coming my way.