Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Dear Knight Immen,
You are not a real knight, but this post was written with you in mind, so I'm addressing it to you specifically. You see, Faith and I started writing you over seven years ago. When we began to plot the Restoration series, you had several specific purposes in Book 1: Awakenings. What we quickly discovered, though, was that you seemed too stinking good. You were Mr. Nice Guy. You were He Who Could Do No Wrong.
You drove us crazy.
You weren't much better when we wrote Book 2: The Guardian Race, and by the time we wrote Book 3: The Lost Scribe, we despaired for you. What kind of character seems to have no flaws? You couldn't be that perfect. Yet, we found that most people who read you loved you a lot. Faith and I discussed the fact that people really do like the White Knights. They are safe and comforting and who doesn't like to see the goodness shining through? But when you're the writer and not the reader, it can be frustrating to encounter the White Knight. Writers are looking for the flaws, for the things they can dig into and pull to the surface. They're looking for the tension, the drive, and no matter how good a character seems, no normal character can be all white.
Then Faith and I began Book 4: Binding Ties. We talked extensively about you. And we realized: it's all a matter of perspective.
I wrote a post last month on developing characters and the importance of perspective. And boy, was this important to keep in mind for you. We realized that in the first books, you were seen through the perspective of people who saw you as the White Knight. These were the people who saw you through rose-tinted glasses and who held you up as a hero. But when we get to Book 4, we see you through the perspectives of people who are jaded by your actions, people who see you in a different light.
Faith and I rejoiced. We are still ridiculously excited about the prospect of showing your not-so-white side. This is the benefit of writing a series—we have time to drag characters through certain things, leave them to stew for a while, and then come back to them when we're ready to drag them through some more mud. Bwahahahaha.
So, my frustrating Immen Corper, brace yourself, because you may honestly be a good guy and you may be doing what you think is right, but you also have issues and imperfections that will get dug up and thrown out there for all to see.
One of Your Two Authors
*Do you have a character who seems a little too good when seen through one character's eyes, but when seen through another, you begin to uncover the dirt and imperfections?