Posts Tagged With: characters

Are Labels Truly Defining?

introvertsIn my book Time’s Tempest, Taya isn’t your average introvert/extrovert – those labels don’t accurately apply just as they don’t for many of us. The average individual will show signs of tendencies toward one label or the other but tends to be a mish-mash of both attributes.

How then do you categorize someone who is an extremest but doesn’t fit a standard label? Do people like that actually exist?

Yes.

This is where I typically shift to the nature vs. nurture debate and focus on how someone who might naturally be an extrovert shows greater signs of introvert-ism leaving that person in flux and never quite whole in their understanding of themselves and their world.

In my experience these individuals tend to either be walking time-bombs (ready to explode out of a protective shell) or come across as being scattered and maybe a bit psychotic (there is so much buzzing around in their head they find it difficult to concentrate and feel more than a little unstable).

extrovertsMy character, Taya, is the former rather than the latter. She’s built up walls around so many different aspects of herself that she’s become disjointed and single-minded. She’s literally picked up the shattered pieces of her childhood and closed them off from her waking conscious to the point of ignorance – ignorance of how they’ve impacted who she’s become and why her life followed that course in the first place.

She doesn’t ask questions… until she meets someone who encapsulates the person she might have become had the circumstances of her youth taken a dramatically different turn.

The hardest thing for someone who holds things in and builds mental walls is letting go of those safe-guards once they start to fall apart. The notions and personal realities we cling to can be just as illuminating as the forces that crept in to the cracks of our strong-holds.

While I cannot profess to have had a shattered youth to any degree of significance compared to so many children and scarred adults living in this world, I can say that what I did experience in my childhood impacted me in a similar way. Imagine never knowing you’re shy until the age of 12? or being on the receiving end of an emotional blow-out after too many picks and hammers have chiseled away at your carefully crafted walls?

That is a journey I have taken; a path I understand and a struggle I, too, am still working to fully overcome.

There is much of an author in every character she builds but the great ones shine brighter the more heart-wrenching their truths are.

~

Where do you fall in the spectrum of introverted/extroverted?

How would you weigh in on the nature vs. nurture debate?

Flickr/Creative Commons/Nguyen Vu Hung (vuhung)

Flickr/Creative Commons/Nguyen Vu Hung (vuhung)

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Categories: Musings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Journey of a Lifetime

Readers enjoy a good sequel and books seem to have the market covered on that front. Hollywood has managed a few (some of the Terminator sequels were just as good or better than the original, same with Transformers, Star Wars, Indiana Jones and the Marvel Franchise) but their best work tends to arise from books that are turned into movies.

Girl-Reading-BookLord of the Rings

The Hobbit

Harry Potter

The Hunger Games

Percy Jackson & the Olympians

Jason Bourne

People have a passion to reconnect with strong characters time and again. One of the ways that authors are taping into this journey of a lifetime is by pushing the limits of the prequel story. J.K. Rowling flexed her keyboard a little with The Monster Book of Monsters and Quidditch Through the Ages. C.S. Lewis wrote The Magician’s Nephew as the 6th book but anyone who’s read the series knows that you read that book first if you’re interested in the chronological order and not just the order in which they were written. I recently read Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and learned that prior to the release of book one in the Throne Series she wrote a mini-series of back stories about the main character Celaena Sardothien consisting of novellas of the assassin’s early exploits. Even Maria V. Snyder put out short episodes that took place before and during her Poison Study series.

There’s so much of the world of an author’s characters that never gets to see the light of day and for true fans the hunger for more is often overpowering. These writers have inspired me to share similar pieces of my characters stories before and during the series I am writing – The Chronicles of Xannia. In the first book, Time’s Tempest, 19 year old Taya has experienced far more than the average Xannian after having lived only 1/8th of her life. Certain moments in her past that are only touched on in Time’s Tempest have become the source of a series of prequels I have named The Lost Chapters.

While it is not necessary to have read these Lost Chapters to understand book one in The Chronicles of Xannia, I wanted to be able to share a bit more of this wily and quirky character with you.

The Gauntlet – Lost Chapter #1 will be released for free on eBook(s) this June in anticipation of the launch of Time’s Tempest this fall/winter.

Happy Reading,

M.J.

Categories: Musings | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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