When your narrative is set in a real location do you research it or do you visit it?
What are the pros & cons of utilizing the internet to find out about a location versus actually staying there?
Feel free to answer the question in the comments.
Last week’s responses to the question:
Have you been asked to ‘explain’ a character trait?
Were you happy to explain it or do/did you feel it took something away from the narrative?
Interesting question. When readers take the time to express loathing for your antagonist, you know that you’ve done your job.
I have an adult thriller/suspense I wrote that focuses on a forensic team trying to bring down a sociopath serial killer. He showed absolutely no remorse for killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend. When he was sentenced, he vowed revenge on the entire forensic team. He is a drug abuser and blames everyone from his past, and those currently who are his targets, for the path that he’s on. I wrote this novel from the POV of the Forensic Psychologist then added a short chapter here and there to see the killer from his own view. Although I’ve never been asked to give an empathetic view of this character, my sharing his POV sort of gives a bit of background to answer the ‘why’s’ of his state of mind and his anger. I’m not sure he deserves empathy, but at the very least he shows his own logic for his actions. 😉
If you would like to contribute to last week’s question please reply to that post’s comments. Thank you
When we create a narrative, our first priority is to decide on which point of view we want to use, the narrative perspective or mode. First person, second or third. Each has it’s own guidelines and enables us to manipulate the reader into the mindset of the character or characters we wish them to sympathize with. As the author we are the omnipresent voice, the one who directs the action and reveals the plot. Whose thoughts, feelings and decisions we reveal to our readers can make a great deal of difference in how the story flows and if you want more mystery to the outcome or highlight your characters internal struggle.
Contumacious – definition: stubbornly defiant or rebellious; disobedient
I share with you an excerpt from my novel, Life in Slake Patch. Evan is my POV character and he has been charged with bringing the rebellious Tribe to justice. This scene has Evan and the Tribe leader, Aiden meeting for the first time.
As the riders moved toward u,s it was plain that all were young men. Just before they reached our barricade a rallying cry rung out
“Brothers fight for supremacy.”
Gripping my dagger even tighter in readiness, I shouted orders to my men.
“Stand firm behind the wagons, let them come to us.”
The clash of metal against metal and wood against wood filled the valley air. Cries of pain rung out as wounds were inflicted and cries abruptly silenced. A shadow blocked the sunlight above me; I looked over to see a horse’s belly level with my head. Swiftly I turned to look up and face the rider. He was no older than me and swinging a baton toward Peter’s head. I let out a cry and dug my dagger deep into the rider’s thigh and pulled with all my might. The rider’s scream of pain seared through the air as he fell from his mount. I held him fast with a foot against his chest and my dagger’s tip pushed into his neck.
It was then I noticed the deafening silence around me. Looking up, all faces were turned toward me as if everyone had become frozen. One by one the Tribe riders weapons began to drop to the ground, my men took advantage of the opportunity and grabbed their opponents. As the Tribe members were secured my victim groaned.
“Don’t fail me brothers’ fight.”
But he could see all heads hanging down in defeat turning away from his stare.
In truth I was shocked. It had not occurred to me or any one of us before, that there might have been a leader to the Tribe. We had thought it was a few disgruntled young men wandering the plains, surviving by stealing. This man must have recruited his followers. I looked down at my captive.
“What’s your name?”
“I am, Aiden, leader of the Tribe and proud of it, you down trodden oaf.”
At the insult I could feel my muscles tense and pressed the dagger tip deeper into his neck. He cried out again and I released the pressure.
“Secure this man with the others. Medic Jones, please tend to the more seriously injured first.”
I made my way to the south side of the camp searching the valley for any sign of horsemen. The tell tale dust plumes far below would show me their progress. We would have to guard these men well and trust there were no more members hidden in the small copses of trees along the range of hills. My group had fought well and from Medic’s report none were too seriously hurt. His only real concern was the rider named Aiden, whose deeply sliced thigh required treatment he was not qualified enough or sufficiently equipped to give.
“His blood loss has been significant and without timely treatment he may die, Merchant Evan. I do not have sufficient bindings to close the wound tightly enough.”
“Follow me, Jones; I have something you can use.”
Evan’s opinion of Aiden’s beliefs changes gradually from this point in the novel. Although Evan stands firm with the matriarchal law there is a shift in how he views the separated compounds.
Who is you favorite rebel?
There is of course James Dean forever cast as a troubled teen and Paul Newman in Hud and Cool Hand Luke. Rebels have a fascination for movie watchers. Is it the bad guy made good? Or just the excitement of their struggle?
Tribulation – definition: a severe trial or period of suffering
To thoroughly engage our readers our characters have to face or overcome trials of one sort or another. This is the core of our stories.
In my novel, Life in Slake Patch, my POV character, Evan had a difficult dilemma. Whether to choose between upholding the matriarchy laws and suffer separation from his lover, side with the rebellious Tribe or somehow find a compromise.
With my reincarnation romance, The Twesome Loop, my 18th century character, Gabriella wanted to escape from her cruel but wealthy husband. She would have to risk destitution with her young son or follow her heart with her husband’s younger brother, Arthur. Within the modern era of the same novel, Melissa could suffer years of neglect from her conniving husband as he spent her inheritance or forge a new life for herself in Italy.
And my fantasy, The Rython Kingdom, sees a troubadour become instrumental in the battle against a vengeful witch, along side a beautiful but mysterious young woman, who has her own agenda.
Care to share some of your stories core tribulations?