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Getting into Claire’s head

Claire is the secondary protagonist in Broken.  She is linked to Amara, the primary protagonist, through a dark covenant.  Neither one of them knows it yet.

Claire was a bit of an enigma — still is, even 5k into the draft.  I didn’t know anything about her before starting, except that she was stalking Amara and was a fan of Amara’s music.  As I began to write her POV, I learned alot more.  For instance, she kind of has a crush on Amara.  She may be lesbian or bi.  Not sure yet.  Also, she’s suicidally depressed.  Amara and her music help her to stay alive.  The big surprise?  She’s a writer!  I didn’t expect that one at all.

I primarily let my characters evolve organically.  The less I know, the better.  And I never really know anything until they hit the page, in that moment.  Nothing’s really planned.  And the sky’s the limit.

For instance, one of my most mysterious characters ever is Bossman from Requiem in Blue.  I added him on the fly, and he would not “talk” to me as my other characters did.  Instead, he showed me what he was doing.  And, he was very evil and sadistic, and he kind of scared me.  But as far as character development goes, he didn’t even exist until I wrote him in and bam! I got a glimpse inside his world.  Also, Anthonia from the same book was interesting as well.  She was to be a sort of double agent, and it came out, through writing her scenes, that she was considered a “warrior.”  I’m still not clear on that, but it intrigued the hell out of me.  Then, while writing on vacation (I remember this distinctly), a link between her and Meredith, the main character, developed.  Totally unplanned but very cool.

So, I’m working on getting inside Claire’s head.  She’s talking to me, for sure.  She’s intriguing because she seems to be a loner and kind of strange.  But the good kind of strange.  I can’t wait to see what’s next.

I also did something I have never done before ever.  Usually, I write in either first person or third.  Most of the time, I’ll alternate it for the hero and heroine — heroine gets first, hero gets third.  Well, with Broken, Amara gets third and Claire gets first.  Why’d I flip it?  Well, I need distance for Amara — much of her character is distant, and I need the actual distance b/c a small part of it is based on real life.  Very tiny.  But I needed to be in third so Amara doesn’t become me.  I can’t have her do that, so that’s why I wanted third.

With Claire, it just happened.  When she started talking to me, it seemed natural to write it in first.  A bit weird, having them reversed, but so far it’s working.

Broken is quite unusual for me — the POV thing, the premise, the whole experience.  Trying to expand my horizons.  I don’t know how it will all shake out, but so far it’s really going well.

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