If you’ve been following this blog, you know my main goal in this book is to destroy the world. If you haven’t been, you can read about it here http://wp.me/p1lH4W-7X. I get to tear the world apart and then repopulate it as I desire. (See it is a fantasy novel!)Some of the groups that will survive will not be my ideal survivors. There has to be some future conflict, after all. But this group, in this first book, this is my dream group. These are the people who I want to make it, to recreate society, to build a civilization that I would want to live in. Essentially, these are the best America has to offer, at least in my eyes.
This concept is reflected in my characters, and more so in the “supporting” characters; the secondary, primary, and even “only decor” characters. It’s important to me to get as good a cross-section of the beauty and diversity as I possibly can. Every single character is important. In fact, I have near complete bios on every single name I use…and will probably end up posting many of them here, for myself as well as for your entertainment. (It might help me keep track of them all!) Secondary, tertiary, and “decor only” characters may evolve, may get promoted, may be used in the next novel or the novel after that as primary characters. Why develop another character when you’ve got a perfectly good spare lying around neglected?
So I begin posting today on the “secondary” characters although in my heart there really are no small characters. Just big characters with small parts at the moment.
Enter Bronwyn. Bronwyn’s last name is in flux, currently I have her named Bronwyn Welsh. It’s probably going to change. Of course, her friends call her Brownie.
Brownie’s mom is from Argentina. Her father left when she was still a toddler so she really knows next to nothing about him but his last name. As a person who is very private by nature, she would tell no one about her history, so if she knew more about him she wouldn’t be likely to volunteer that information.
Like others in this story, Brownie doesn’t really belong anywhere. She takes after her father with her looks; long, wild, flame-red hair, green eyes, and pale skin, so she’s not always embraced as “Hispanic.” As a practitioner of Voodoo, she’s often the odd lady out at Pagan socials as well.
Brownie’s character serves four purposes:
First, she’s the clear perspective. She sees things, knows what’s really going on. She’s the voice of common sense. She knows who can be trusted and, more importantly, who can’t. Of course, she isn’t always listened to. If she were, there would be a lot less conflict and drama to write about!
Second, she’s the role of best friend. I learned something from watching all that Doctor Who and that’s that every hero needs someone to talk to or they just look batty. Not to mention, someone to cry to, someone to laugh with, someone to laugh at them and keep them real…etc., etc., etc.
Third is long-term planning. This first book is very “Man vs. (un)Nature” so there isn’t a villain, per se. There are a couple of assholes, the jerk who abused George for instance, but no real good arch-nemesis. That does not, however, mean that there will not be one. I’m breeding one, a person who is in the first little group of friends, who will be getting eviler and eviler as the books continue, until it eventually comes to a head. Not in the next book, although I might reveal the villain in the next book, any actual battle with that person won’t be for at least a book or two after that. Brownie does not like or trust this person from the very beginning of the book, and Brownie being the person with clear perspective, is the one knows. Again, if everyone listened to her, there wouldn’t be any drama, now would there?
Fourth, there’s a very important connection with Brownie and her mom and what’s going on…but I’ll just tease you with that. Because I can.
So now I’ll admit that this character’s existence owes everything to Mousie. Because she inspired this character…so much to the point that Mousie’s my beta-reader and often suggests dialog, changes in dialog, or actions. If I get confused about a scene that involves Brownie, I can easily ask Mousie her thoughts on it and 99% of the time I will use her suggestions. I rely on Mousie just as Hope (and eventually George) relies on Brownie. Mousie is my muse and my clear perspective on things. She’s invariably right about who to trust and who not to. No, of course I don’t listen to her as often as I should…
But that makes great material for the book!