On the Evolution of Character

Hello friends!

One of my favorite things about writing is the potential every character has to become so much more.

By this, I mean that I often begin with one sense of a character, and as I continue working on them, they transform into something else. As with a lot of my work, the best example I have of this is in Kita’s story, in Scion of Victory.

The earliest scraps I wrote for this book were all very vague. I was still figuring out my world and the people populating it. The character who’s undergone the most change would have to be Ramint.

In early versions, Ramint acted as a sort of filler character. I needed someone around to react to a thing? Ramint. An orphaned line of dialogue? To Ramint. A task needed to be done? Ramint. Originally, I pictured her as an impressionable young boy, eager to prove himself. As I fleshed out the story more, I realized I needed more female characters, and I wanted a moral compass for the other characters. Ramint filled that need well. In the book’s current iteration, she’s a full-fledged narrator with her own motives, past, and arc. She provides a great contrast to Fahvitt, who is jaded like her but bitter and spiteful. She’s respected by the other characters for her outlook on the world and general optimism. She’s evolved into one of my favorite characters, and fleshing her out more fully has only made her more useful to the story as a whole.

My first full draft of Scion featured Ramint as a side character, and then I realized I needed to make her a narrator in order to better explore her motivations. Once I made that choice, I was able to build her relationships more powerfully, especially her friendship with Fahvitt. I wanted them to have a strong relationship from the start, and their bond only grows over the course of the novel. This benefited both of them individually and as a pair.

Ramint and Fahvitt both have significant arcs in book one now, and those arcs are very different from each other. Where Fahvitt becomes more trusting as he falls in love with Kita, Ramint faces betrayal and hardens herself. However, in exploring their characters more and allowing them the development they deserve, both rise from their tragic situations and become much more than they ever thought.

And to think, at the start I might have denied them that.

What I wrote this week: “Gabi, Filled with Wonder.”

What I read this week: American Salvage by Bonnie Jo Campbell; The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi.

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