Thursday, May 3, 2012

Meet Gretchen Taylor, Main Character WIP

Image: nuttakit /

Welcome to Thursday's installment of Blog Me MAYbe!

May I tell you something about someone else?

I think today I will tell you about a character I have written in a novel that is technically already completed, but I still consider it a WIP because it needs some major editing before I'm happy enough with it to send it out into the world.  In the meantime, I've taken a break on that to work on my current novel.  I figured getting some distance from it would rejuvenate my creative gears and give me fresh eyes when I finally come back to it.

Anyway, Gretchen Natalya Taylor is the main character in this novel series from which I am on hiatus.  She lives on the colony world Terra Minor.  Terra Minor is inhabited by both humans and an alien race called the Kentari.  Tensions between the two species have been growing, and will ultimately lead to war.  At the beginning of the book, which is the first in a series of six (another reason why I needed a break-it's a MASSIVE project!) she is eighteen (about twenty in Earth years) and she is still in school.  She used to be a major athlete, but a near fatal accident led to her to give that up.  She feels aimless and restless.

When she, in spite of her parents claims that the Kentari are not to be trusted, she gets to know one of them.  His name is Quirin, and he teaches her how to use powers such as healing, telepathy, and telekinesis.  No one is supposed to know about these abilities save for a select few, so she has to hide what she's doing.  As she becomes more distant  from old friends and family, she discovers that her feelings for Quirin are complicating matters, and she learns of a prophecy that says that they are the only ones who can bring about peace.

Image: nuttakit /

As a way to show how some of the understandably tense and difficult situations that follow impact her without divulging more spoilers than I have to, here is her near the end of the series writing a letter to her younger self.  I'm not sure whether I'll use it in the book, but it's a good character exercise.

Dear Younger Self,

I haven't seen you in a long time.  Sometimes I feel your youthful optimism inside of me, but the world has done a lot to drown you.  Strong as I try to be, I can't ever recapture all of what I once was.  I've decided it's pointless to try.  The person I am now, while flawed and loaded with haunting memories, isn't so bad.  All I can do is try to hold the nightmares in check.  If they take over my life, I lose.

Thinking about it is also dangerous, because every time I dwell on these things, Quirin knows it.  Telepathy, while a wonderful thing in many cases, has become a stumbling block for us in that respect.  At least he also knows that I don't blame him for the bad things that happened to me.  They used BOTH of us.

Had you known what was coming ahead of time, you may not have done it.  The hard part is understanding that the manipulation used against us both may well have been necessary.  With that said, I still can't forgive them for it.  I've come to accept who I am now, and I still love Quirin dearly, but I miss who he was.  In a way, I mourn the loss of us both.  Life would have been so much easier, so much brighter.

I didn't used to dwell on the dark side of things, and I still don't really.  But in writing this, I find those darker parts of my nature hemorrhaging out through my words.  Maybe this is what I need.

Younger self, please know this.  Even through all the pain that followed, I don't regret what I did, nor will you.   Some things are worth it, even when the price seems too high to pay.

Well, there's a little bit about someone other than me.  See you Friday!

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