Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My First Characters

A conversation this week had me thinking about the first novel I ever wrote.  That would be the novel I wrote during nano 2010.  It was a short 50,000 words and was about an idea that had been bouncing around in my head for about ten years.  It was about the Greek Gods.  Basically the Gods had gotten into a war and, in essence, died.  I believe they had sacrificed their bodies in order to protect Mount Olympus, which would have given anyone to take it over the power to literally control the universe.  The Gods were only able to survive by coexisting in the bodies of their descendants (or the closest thing there was to them.  For instance, one god lived in the descendants of her brother, as she was a virgin goddess.)

At it's core, that probably sounds like at least a decent idea for a book, and I would actually agree.  Unfortunately, it wasn't executed all that well.  Not all the surprising, considering it was a first attempt.  Of course, that's the book that pretty much every single member of my family has read.

Anyway, thinking about that book, I couldn't help but think about the characters.

Now, I don't remember all of their names, I've simply created too many characters since then to remember them.  I do, however, remember the name of the main character.  Well, one of.  She was the first character I created for the book.  Acacia.  The spoiled rich kid, who was somehow more down to earth than pretty much any of the others.  Her parents were famous - an actress and director - who were always on the set of some movie.  The book was set in Calgary, and I have no idea why this famous pair would have a house here, but that was what I decided.  Her parents were never home and loved her through gifts.  She hated this, of course.  She just wanted their attention.

I don't think I've ever written such a Mary Sue character in my life.  But I loved her.  I loved that she hated her boyfriend, but was with him to gain popularity in her school.  I loved that she had a mental break down in the middle of school, ruining her reputation forever.  But, most of all, I loved that three books later I had her tortured and she not only survived, but somehow came out stronger.

I also had a pair of twins in the book.  Oddly only one of the twins had a POV.  The boy.  Don't ask me their names, cause I don't remember for the life of me.  What I do remember about them, though, is that he fell head over heels in love with Acacia.  I remember this because they got pretty close really fast.  They were practically dating by the end of the book.  This may not seem fast, but the book took place over a period of about a week.  The girl twin died in the third book, and his reaction wasn't anywhere near what it needed to be.  He was more distraught when Acacia was kidnapped and tortured.

Where Acacia didn't have any flaws, he had far too many.  He would have needed so much work, just thinking about it gives me a headache.  Yet there were parts of him that I loved too.  I loved that he could get distracted by a girl that he had fallen in love with at the worst times.  I loved that, in a group of females, he was the only non-fighter.  Most of all, I loved the fact that I was willing to take the risk of writing a male perspective on my first time around.

The final two characters were also female.  To be honest, I don't remember much about them.  One, the descendant of Aphrodite, was a tom boy with short spiky hair.  The other I remember even less, but at the time I remember thinking that they were the perfect cast, and when that book was finally written, it was definitely going to be published.  How could it not?

As you've probably guessed, that book has been shelved.  Actually, it's been filed away in a dusty folder in the back of my computer never to be seen from again.

So why am I telling you about it?  Well, as I said, I was talking about the book to a friend this week.  She asked me about it, and what it meant to me.  I told her that maybe one day when I'm a better writer, I might go back and rewrite it.  Give those characters the stories they deserve.  Right now, though, I see that book as the thing that told me I could do this.  I could become a writer.

Really, isn't that what all first books are about?  Very rarely are those first attempts the amazing piece of literature we thought they would be, but in the end they take us a step closer to being the published author we're dreaming of.  While I'm sure the book isn't nearly as bad as I remember it (it was set in the modern day, but no one had cell phones...before you ask, no, it wasn't explained...) I know that I will certainly never regret writing it.  Without that book (and the two others I wrote that November) I wouldn't be the writer I am today.

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