Saturday, December 15, 2007

P2PC Backstory: Variations on a Theme

In developing the characters for P2PC, I realized that the three principle characters all have something in common; they are refugees from their pasts--each in a very different way. Each suffers from grief and confusion over a life-altering event. They have all endured personal torment. They all have inner demons to defeat. One of the characters even seems to have benefitted, until the reader is clued in how their life was impacted. (Yes, I'm intentionally being non-gender specific here.)

P2PC has three protagonists--one male and two females--though two of the protags become enemies. In a twist, the lives of the two who are at odds end up having close parallels. It takes a violent confrontation to reveal the common ground.

The characters all deal with their loss differently--by escaping from it, by swearing to avenge it, and by living in denial. Eventually, they all have to face it.

Backstory is always one of elements I enjoy discovering, whether I'm writing the tale or reading it. The novel begins at a place and a point in time, but what came before defines how the characters will act, feel, and respond to other characters and their environment. It's the buried treasure chest waiting to be uncovered. But what's inside? Is it bright and shiny or dark and twisty? (Dark and twisty is so much more fun.)

When I sit down with a story idea and begin working, I don't know every nuance of the characters or their pasts. These elements come to light as the story evolves.

I think that's why writing is such an addiction for some (*raises hand*), because it's constant discovery and you never know what surprises and revelations await you. Writing a story is, as Forest Gump said: " a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get."


  1. Tis true, I make it all up as I go along and I amaze myself sometimes. Themes are there all the way through that I had no conscious awareness of including. Characters react - in character - shock horror!! I'd like to say it was all thought out and planned but it isn't. It does make writing more fun, I think but any more publishable?? Who knows.

  2. Oh, I have no doubt that your stories will get published. They're downright addicting. :)

    I love the creative process. All sorts of cool things happen that I never expected. Non-writers have a hard time believing how real these characters can become, or how they can take over and tell their own tale.

  3. Hi Laurie,
    Great to see you online! It's been a while (my fault entirely, I know!) I just created a new blog about writing...I tried to subscribe to yours but it won't let me. So here's mine:

    Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year!


  4. OK, so I lied about my link. :) It is actually:

    I've added your page as a link--hope you don't mind. Have a wonderful holiday!

  5. Hi Aileen,

    Well you got a long-winded response on your blog, but I just realized I need to acknowledge your post here, too. :)

    Congrats on your launch of Center of Chaos (Did I get the title right? Such a great description of a writers life.)

    Please stop back often and please keep me updated on your progress marketing D5. Such a wonderful story. :)


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