Tag Archives: notes

Writing Prompts Take 01

I got a writing prompt app on my phone today that truthfully I’ll probably only use once or twice, but it was an impulse buy and it could lead to more fun, or possible give me that kick in the ass when I need to get a move on writing anything.

The first part of the prompt already coincided with an upcoming scene, so with 3 minutes between each new instruction, I rolled with it. 🙂

Start writing a story scene that..
Has a character who receives a mysterious message

Luke sat at the dining table feeling rather triumphant. The shooting lesson had gone as best it could (she was really a terrible shot), and now there was stew before her. It was getting a bit warm for stew, but cook had made it upon her request, and she was happy.

A footman appeared at the table then, bowing to her and handing her a folded card before excusing himself. Ever watchful, Aiden looked on curiously, but Wentworth was, as usual, engrossed in the evening’s news.

Surprised that any sort of note had come for her, Luke wiggled her shoulders and flipped it open.

    You are sadly mistaken, my darling.

Taken aback, she set the card down.

Include this sentence: “She was so forgetful that…”

“What does it say?”

Wentworth lowered his paper then, glancing at the furrowed brow of Aiden and the slightly ashen face of the girl directly across from him.

“Is something the matter, Miss Avery?”

“Who sent this?”

Aiden began to rise to grab the missive from her, but Luke was faster. Her panic, however, set her mind at a distinct unease. She was so forgetful, that she failed to push her chair out before she rose, and her crinolines resisted the movement, shoving her back into her seat, her bare elbow smashing against the gilded wood of the arm.

Include a dialogue that begins with: “I’ll tell you the secret”

Hissing in pain, she clutched her elbow as Aiden reached forth and snatched up the note. He read it and his mouth turned down.

“What does it say?” Wentworth asked, pushing his newspaper aside and resting his own elbows on the tabletop.

Aiden turned it over in his hands and cleared his throat, announcing, “You are sadly mistaken, my darling.”

Luke nibbled on her lip, and the blonde banged his fist against the table. “What the devil does that mean?”

“I’ll tell you the secret of the Infection if you could tell me that,” Aiden snapped in return, tossing the paper into his wineglass and watching the liquid soak itself hungrily into the paper.

Add this word: boots

“Well I, for one, am not about to stand around waiting,” Luke declared, remembering to push back her chair, and lifting herself safely out of it, “Let’s get to the bottom of this prank.”

“It isn’t a prank.”

Both Luke and Wentworth turned their eyes to Aiden in question and he sighed, looking over at his partner. “Fly, you and I both know this. We’ve all received them now.”

Shoving a hand on her hip, Luke stomped her foot, wincing slightly. These boots were new and not yet broken in. “You’ve been keeping things from me?”

Add this word: island

Aiden shrugged. “We keep many things from you.”

“Well I think I ought to know if we’re all getting nasty letters at the dinner table!”

“It’s far better if you don’t,” he told her, doing his best to keep his irritation at bay. She opened her mouth to protest again, but he leveled his gaze, “Consider it your own blissful island of ignorance.”

She cocked her head, but didn’t break eye contact and he groaned inwardly. There’d be no stopping her now.

“I’m not very ignorant of it now then, am I? Nearly getting eaten up by cannibals in the library, no less.”

He rubbed his forehead, sighing. “Yes well, I suppose we hadn’t considered there’d be a connection until now.”

Advertisements

Alphabet Soup: B is for Bold

This week, our letter is B and we’re going to talk about the boldness of our main three. I would say that this a personality trait that they all share, but in their own ways.

Aiden: Despite the fact that he is a wanted fugitive, he is hardly shy. Bordering on insanity, his barbaric methods of dealing with people who prove to be bothersome to him are bloodcurdling at best. He is quick to bark orders at those below him (everyone) and in conversation is unabashedly blunt and boorish.

Luke: Because of her near beggarly upbringing, she has very little knowledge of good breeding, and how a proper lady might behave. She takes cues from her books, but has a habit of butting in where she isn’t welcome, and blurting out the thoughts that anyone with a shred of class would know enough to keep to themselves.

Wentworth: Brazen in words and bright in dress, Wentworth is perhaps the boldest of the trio. Bashfulness is not an emotion he has ever known, beguiling every beautiful woman from brothel girl to baroness. His jokes are often bawdy and blithe, and never belittling. Entertainment is in everyone’s best interest, after all.


The Balancing Act

One of my favourite aspects of Aiden Finnegan is just how apathetic towards his fellow human beings he really is. The fact that he’ll off stable boys or chatty women without blinking an eye is terrifying, but when he has the audacity to complain that they’ve bloodied his favourite boots, I can’t help but crack a smile.

This is what makes fiction so great. Things that aren’t acceptable in real life are enjoyed when presented in a fictitious scenario. Some people love them. Some anticipate these horrors.

But when is it too much? Let’s take the movie franchise Saw for example. I’m not a fan of horror movies, but I did see that one and it was fabulous. It was unique, exciting, disturbing, and so very very delicious. But then they kept going. And they kept going. And they kept going. People still watch them, to get their horror film fix, I imagine, but you no longer hear about how great they are. Now they’re just sort of… all the same.

As a writer, it’s scary to think that someone might think that of my protagonist. I don’t think anyone does–I haven’t had any sort of feedback saying so, but like I’ve said in previous posts, I really like to take Aiden’s nasty and run with it. So I’ve got to step back and sprinkle in some human. But that too can get boring. I mean, let’s be honest. There are only so many times I can have the guy musing at dawn.

So what’s a good way to balance a character? My trick has always been the other characters. I’m good with characters. As a writer, they are my strength. (Can someone please teach me how to write action scenes?!)

Inner monologues and surprising fun facts learned during our anti-hero’s alone time are all well and good, but if we as real people grow and develop with the help of the people we surround ourselves with, isn’t the same true for our characters? They are, in their own worlds, people too. They function just as we do and in the universes I create, I don’t mess with that multi-dimension science/psychology/physiology/biology/personologyI’mjustmakingitupnow because I don’t understand any of it and I’m too lazy and too poor to go to university to study it in order to change it somewhere else.

Just, no.

So I throw in other people to balance out the extremists. If you’re a good writer (and I do consider myself as such, the pompous jerk that I am) everyone will work off each other and you’ll have a really good cast set up. Even if, as is the case of The Noble Project, they aren’t actually good people.

The first to tame Aiden’s fury a bit is Wentworth. This is the most obvious in his character because he is, as stated before, the complete opposite. He’s bright, funny, charming, optimistic, and values human life above all. He has also known Aiden since the steel hearted bastard was in the schoolroom, so he’s got a lot of valuable information to share with us throughout the story.

Secondly, and another obvious one, we have our heroine, Luke Avery. I wouldn’t say that she’s opposite Aiden, so much as different. Wentworth balances him, Luke unlocks him. She isn’t afraid of him, but she isn’t so brave either. She knows nothing about him, and sees things in him that no one else does. This isn’t because she’s amazing, radiating with empathy and understanding or even that she’s such a kind hearted girl that she sees the good in everyone. (She’s actually quite selfish) She is able to see good in this man because everyone else’s image of him is already set in stone. He does have quite a reputation, after all.

But we can’t just have the main characters working the three rings of this circus because that’s boring, predictable, and cheap. So I threw in one Mr. Espott.

The door opened and an elderly man came out, a measuring tape draped over his pointy shoulders. He blinked rapidly as he hollered, and brandished his arm (sporting a particularly dangerous looking pair of scissors), though the man was so thin and frail he appeared to nearly snap at each move that he made.

Much to Luke’s surprise, Aiden did little to defend himself.

You,” Wilfred Espott snarled, pointing his scissors up into Aiden’s face, “you ruined me!”

“I’ve ruined many men,” Aiden admitted, crossing his arms, “what makes you so special?”

Luke poked her head out from her hiding place behind his back to observe the old man’s reaction. At Aiden’s cold words, this man did not flare up like Glendale had. Instead, hurt flashed though his eyes. Sorrow and disappointment etched themselves across his features.

But he did not let these emotions linger.

“You brought to me the finest inspiration,” he said, his arms raised up, at his lament, “the very best of models. At your bidding I created masterpieces! Absolute masterpieces! And now–ha!”

“The world is in a terrible state, Mr. Espott,” Wentworth chimed in.

“Trades!” cried the dressmaker, throwing an arm over his icy blue eyes in despair, “they come offering trades! As if I am nothing more than a common tailor!”

Aiden sighed in irritation, “Espott–”

“Ten years!” he exclaimed, shaking his scissors at Aiden again, “I’ve been waiting for you to return for ten years and what have you brought me? A womanizing gambler!”

Wentworth let out a cheery chuckle, “Knows me well, doesn’t he?”

Luke stepped into his view, knowing that there was no threat to be had here, but Mr. Espott did not acknowledge her, still howling on about Aiden’s lack of patronage.

You were the only man I ever designed for,” Mr. Espott reminded him, circling him and shaking his head in disapproval, “yet I see you have moved on to craftsmen who are less than worthy of dressing you.”

“Losing one’s status in the world does have its repercussions,” Aiden replied dully.

Wilfred Espott is not afraid to stand his ground, and he’s not afraid of any Aiden Finnegan. Why’s this? Mostly because he is old and pretentious. I didn’t do this on purpose. I didn’t create him to flesh out my hero, or to add a speckle of humor in order to give Wentworth a break. Mr. Espott’s real purpose was to introduce this:

The woman in question was. to put it simply, the most beautiful woman Luke had ever seen. Her porcelain skin was the color of fresh milk, and free of the sort of freckles that liked to surface on a sunny summer day. Her hair was dark, the blackest black and as the tight curls toppled out from the coiffure on top of  her head and down her back, they shone like a river of ink across the creamy skin of her exposed back.

Her eyes were particularly mesmerizing:  grey like Aiden’s, but lighter and far more delicate. There was a smirk on her face, just the slightest upturn of her lips, rouged for the portrait. Though she was silent, there was no mistaking what she wanted to say. It was the same words whispered into the ears of young gentlemen by the women who worked the street corners, the same sort of desire of two lovers entangled in a dangerous affaire.

“That there is Marietta Grace,” said Mr. Espott, turning to admire the portrait. “I never knew the meaning of my profession until he brought her to my door.”

Curiosity wormed its way through Luke’s mind and though she was too polite to inquire further, he went on, his sighs becoming heavier and his words wistful and lost in a time passed.

“I had never seen a more beautiful woman,” he whispered, “and she knew this. She wanted the best. She wanted to be noticed. She wanted what other women would spend their days swooning over while their own dressmakers did their best to imitate.” He paused to laugh, cracking a genuine smile at the memory, “He of course, thought nothing of it, practically tossing his gold at my feet.”

Something hard and heavy settled in Luke’s stomach then.

“He loved her, didn’t he?”

“Loved her?” he asked, shaking his head, “Yes. And then… she destroyed him.”

The meat of his rage, and the center of his despair. One of the very key reasons that he behaves the way he does. I mentioned it briefly in chapter one, and in this chapter, danced with so allusions to it, but allusions and passing thoughts aren’t enough. The seed has been planted.

There will be lots of people like Mr. Espott popping up, some giving Aiden more dimension, some Wentworth, and many, Luke. Really, the girl will talk to anyone.

Having a terrible man as a protagonist is fun, and people enjoy reading it. Giving him some balance is necessary, and having valid (if complex and unforgivable) reasons for making the choices he does, is what makes a story worth reading.


Recap: 15% progress

I’m a little just past the 15% completion mark inThe Book of Luke, the first book in The Noble Project series. (I know that in my last post, I said I was near 20%, but realistically, I’m closer to 15. Minor details, I know.) I figured that even though we’ve had character inspiration, snippet posts, and even a little bit on publishing, I haven’t encompassed what this is all about. So today I’m going to do a recap of what’s happened in this story from the beginning, to the point I’m at now.

So first, we met Aiden:

The black boots that strode through the halls of the underground city threatened citizens with authority just as much as the man wearing them commanded their submission. Black deerskin breeches and a plain black waistcoat demanded their silence. A double breasted riding coat forced power upon them, and leather gloves, one gripping a horse’s reins, caused women to usher their children inside of their houses. For all the black, however, it was the stark white of a linen undershirt, the crispness of a pristine cravat, and the mirror shine of two silver pistols that kept the people of this city in their places.

Up above, in the world that saw the sun, he had been a feared man, a dangerous man, but the moment he had come down here to serve, he had proved just how menacing he could be. Down here there were no laws to keep his tendencies at bay, no status quo to force him into gentlemanly behavior.

Down in this horrible city of blasphemy and pleasures, Aiden Jayson Finnegan unleashed a reign of terror.

Shortly after, Wentworth graces us with his presence:

Seated in an armchair before the desk was a man roughly twenty years his senior, though one would hardly be able to tell. His shining blond hair curled loosely, but neatly atop his head and his laughing blue eyes sported no crows feet at their corners. He was shorter than Aiden, and slightly less slender, but even his form, by means of pure muscle, commanded respect.

His clothing, too, was opposite from the dark Mr. Finnegan. Light creams, embroidered in deep rose and blush complimented the lace spilling from his sleeves and neck, and the brilliant gold of his buttons and stickpin.

“You’re looking well, Aiden,” he said with a chuckle, observing the outfit so typical of his friend, and shaking his head at what he considered to be funeral wear.

“Don’t toy with me, Fly,” Aiden replied gruffly, taking a seat next to him, “I’m tired.”

“Ha. Tired of what? It’s near two-thirty in the afternoon!”

Aiden groaned, but ignored him otherwise. This man, Wentworth, was, quite literally, his partner in crime, and had been since the very beginning of his work here. They had a system, one that worked rather well for the both of them: Wentworth spoke, and Aiden ignored.

We learn a little bit about their line of work, and the sort of men they are:

Wentworth shrugged then, mostly because he didn’t actually have any opinion on the event that had taken place eight years ago. That was just the way Aiden was. His disregard for life was easily the reason he had been partnered with Wentworth, who valued the breathing but not the material. Possessions were replaceable. People were not.

That train of thought was a bit contradictory to his current profession as the most skilled charmer of innocents. Young girls fell weak at his knees, and into his arms, where they were then hoisted up into his carriage and carried to a facility where they were housed until being shipped out to a dealer.

He had been to slave auctions before; they were always loud and lively events, but he himself had little interest in actually purchasing one of his own. Once the girls had learned the truth of where they were headed, they hated him. It didn’t bother him overmuch; his position was far above theirs, but he knew that he would not want a servant who would resent him, and he certainly did not want a lover who would resist.

The same could not be said about Aiden, who, while Wentworth had gone to work seducing these poor maidens with his sweet words and flashy dress, kept them silent. Wentworth did not like to deliver the girls but Aiden had no remorse. Lining them up and sorting them into groups based on their attractiveness was nothing more than his job. He could handle their tears and their wailing easily. It meant they were frightened.

They deserved to be frightened. If a girl was so stupid as to allow the words of a finely dressed gentleman to sway her decisions, then she wasn’t worthy of anything more than what he was leading her towards. Foolishness was the greatest mistake a person could make in their life. He was paying for his, and now they would pay for theirs.

They receive their orders, kicking off the main plot line:

Once they were again seated before the desk, Xander took up his place behind it, and with his fingertips set firmly on the wood, leaned forward, his eyes serious and his mouth unsmiling.

“I have stolen something from the both of you,” he began, “something very dear to you. Both possessions are being held in a safe facility and once this mission is complete, will be returned to you.”

Neither of the two men even blinked. Xander had never threatened them before, never stole from them, and never felt the need to take collateral.

“This is serious then.” Aiden’s voice held no hint of emotion and he snuffed the life from his cigarette into an ivory tray.

“Very much so,” he replied. “There is a girl to the North. You two will retrieve her for me.”

Wentworth raised a brow. “I beg your pardon? One girl?”

Relaxing his pose, Xander reached for a decanter and poured himself a glass of amber liquid. “I had set my sights on this girl many years ago, when she was a child.”

Aiden crossed his arms. “She is valuable?”

“No, not valuable. This particular girl is a personal desire of mine. I intend to keep her.”

Then, Miss Luke Avery makes an appearance:

    Luke had no intention of letting any of these men up her skirts, but at the same time, very few of them were trying. She had made her desires known. It wasn’t just that she wanted marriage (she would never simply settle for a boy who compromised her), she wanted love.

These thoughts, naturally, made her quite unpopular.

It wasn’t exactly that she wasn’t liked, as many of the men, married and not, did thoroughly enjoy looking at her, and had no issue making a show of trying for her affections as she bustled about the tavern refilling drinks and making cheerful small talk with her father’s patrons. She was good fun for everyone when under the influence, but never would any of them consider her for marriage.

It wasn’t only the boys her age that were turned off by her attitude, but their mothers. They weren’t a big community, just slightly more populated than a village, and eligible members of either sex were scarce. No one could believe that Luke Avery, the daughter of the tavern owner, had the audacity to proclaim she would not wed without love.

We learn the state of their world:

The Noble Project was not a load of pig shit, she thought to herself. It was a desperate measure, taken by their rather desperate king, but for all the political and socioeconomic good it would do their world, she didn’t care. The program created nobility out of peasants. She could become a noble. She could save her father.

Rounding a corner and quickening her pace, she tried to contain her excitement. Their world was in a horrible place, she knew. Some years before she was born, strange things began to take place. People were becoming ill, with no apparent cure, mad for no reason, and even worse, crumpling to the ground–dead, with no cause.

It started somewhere in the East, steadily spreading across the land to the far West, and hitting the North and South as it went. Panic ripped throughout the kingdom. Walls were built, intruders executed, and by the more religious folk, anyone who strayed from the moral code of the Good Book were cast off into Hell without a second thought.

Still, for all of the efforts the citizens put forth to stop the spread of what they didn’t know or understand, it carried on.

And how The Noble Project came to be:

Whether the new king’s ailment was the intent of the Infection or simply a glorious opportunity, death unleashed itself upon the court.

It came swiftly, with such a force that it shook the very foundation. There wasn’t a soul with noble blood inside the walls that was spared that night. It wasn’t a violent massacre and it wasn’t the plague. It was something new, something strange. Something that Cale would never be able to forget.

[…]

He could not brush this off. He could not give himself the luxury of a mourning period, and he would not move on. Was this display a warning to him? Perhaps, but he was dying, so the threat of murder did not frighten him. Was it a promise that his kingdom would fall? No. No one could make that promise. No one could make that promise because until he drew his terminal breath, he would fight for his people.

And fight he did.

Cale was not a warlord like his father, not initially. Cale was the sort of man who studied position, class, and the effect it had on his kingdom’s economic standing. They could not afford to allow strangers into the land to trade, so they were entirely dependent on their peasants for resources. He had ignored the problems of the peasants before, so this time, he would repay them.

He knew that a kingdom could not flourish without its class devisions and king to peasant was too great a step. It was clear, by the destruction of the noble class, that he was not the only one who knew this. So he rebuilt.

The Noble Project was instituted six months after the genocide at the High City court, pulling exceptional candidates from the poorer population, fitting them with a title, a fortune, and rigorous training, then launching them into society, born again as nobility.

Aiden and Wentworth put their deception in motion:

Ridiculous thoughts kept coming to her. The weather, recipes she was certain she had never made, dates that  held no importance to her, and faces of people she had never met. Breathing worsened, and she soon found herself trapped against a wall, gasping for air, and praying that each breath would not be her last.

“Somebody help me.” It didn’t sound like her voice, and it didn’t sound like her language, but it was the best she could do.

“I’m not infected,” she said weakly as someone, though she couldn’t see them through her foggy blindness, charged forward.

A gunshot rang through the air, and when all went silent, including her thoughts, Luke’s knees gave out. A strong hand on her back stopped her from hitting the cobblestone of the alley she had wandered into, and when an arm came under her legs to lift her, she let her head loll back.

“Miss Avery,” came the smooth, deep voice of her hero, “we have you at last.”

And Luke falls for it hook, line, and sinker. (As much fun as she is, she isn’t the brightest of females)

“And there you have it!” Wentworth said, beaming. “And our job is to transport you safely to the High City.”

Luke’s breath caught in her throat. Certainly he didn’t mean…

But he did.

“You have been selected as a candidate for The Noble Project,” he told her gently, bending to his knees before her. “We have orders from his majesty–” he held out his arm and Aiden deposited a roll of parchment into his hand, “–to return to the city with you.”

He undid the seal and Luke stared ahead at the royal notice before her. Aiden watched silently. She would find no flaw in the papers. Among one of his most cherished, and most valuable talents was forgery of the written word. He needed only a sample of type or handwriting and for the rest of his days he would be able to replicate it exactly. As a child, he had practiced with none other than the Cale Rutherford, the King himself.

Luke begins her attempts at winning Aiden’s friendship (lol)

“This ship,” she repeated, looking up at him with those bright emerald eyes of hers, “it is not made to carry people. Why is that?”

“Do you find your accommodations unpleasant?”

“No, but–”

“Then don’t ask questions,” he snapped, cutting her off.

“Curiosity is healthy.” She was gripping the edge of the ship now, leaning backwards, her heels the only things keeping her vertical. She really was a child.

“It kills cats, I hear,” he replied, with little emotion.

Luke thought on that for a moment before her face lit up and she let out a rather fetching laugh. “Mr. Finnegan, are you being funny?”

The make the first stop on their journey!

The city was bustling with people of all sorts, much unlike her town. In her village, everyone had been set in their ways and the ways of their parents before them and their parents before them. Here, it seemed as if people had made their own choices. Women were laughing, men were hauling goods across the streets, and small children were chasing cats and dogs. Musicians sat on the corners, strumming their strings and beating away at various percussive instruments, their hats turned upward, a silent request for a bit of silver.

“This is wonderful!” Luke cried out to Wentworth who was riding carefully alongside her.

“The sun does know how to shine,” he agreed, raising his voice against the noise of the streets.

This was something Luke hadn’t considered. By the sea, this city had the wonderful advantage of having the sun visible at all hours of the day. It reflected off of the ocean’s glassy surface and radiated through the very streets, unlike her own town, where smoke hung thick over the rooftops and caked itself onto the very walls that made up their houses.

“Ah, but there are places far more beautiful than this pit!” Wentworth called to her, giving Rosie’ s reins a small flick and trotting on ahead.

Foreshadowing happens:

“I’ve half a mind to let you stay there,” he replied, checking his timepiece, “but fortunately for you, I am not permitted to leave you in dirty barns.”

“So Mr. Finnegan does take orders from someone.”

Aiden froze at her smug tone, his watch tucked halfway into his waistcoat. In ten years, he had never considered that fact. He did take orders, but not in the way an employee or a servant might. He made the decisions, he handled negotiations. He was a leader. He was in control.

Wasn’t he?

Suddenly here, with this girl a decade his junior, with no credibility, he began to doubt.

“Mr. Finnegan?”

Slowly, he looked up at her. She wasn’t smiling at him anymore. Some of her mousy hair had fallen over her eyes and she moved carefully to brush it aside.

She looked familiar.

Familiar in a way that he couldn’t place, and wasn’t sure he wanted to. Nothing about her was distinct, no part of her would stand out against a crowd except for her smile, and she wasn’t displaying that now. His eyes traveled across her face, searching, and wondering, but keeping an unsteady distance.

“Did I say something?”

Clearing his throat, Aiden shook his curiosity and reached forward, plucking her from the saddle. She was much smaller than her current garment suggested, and much lighter than any of the women he had ever previously lifted.

Luke realizes that men will always be men:

“My apologies if this is not what  you would consider ‘suitable housing’,” Aiden snapped, throwing her an icy glare, one that normally caused the bravest of men to cower in their boots. Luke, however, simply sighed.

“I won’t complain,” she told him, looking at him with a keen eye, “I’m not ungrateful.”

Aiden opened his mouth to retort, but halted his speech as the sharp booming of nearly a dozen doors slamming resonated through the entire establishment. This noise was followed immediately by the thundering of footsteps down the hall, and finally, the high pitched squeals of excited ladies.

‘Ladies’ was an incorrect term Luke realized, as these women came pouring down the stairs. Dressed only in the naughtiest undergarments she had ever seen, and tiny bustle skirts, the occupation of these girls was immediately clear and she felt her jaw fall slack.

“It’s a whorehouse.”

Her observation went without reply.

“Mr. Simon!” They cried, all crowding together at the bottom of the stairs, none of them daring to step foot onto the tavern’s floor, but each vying their way to the front of the pack.

“Ladies,” he replied smoothly, bowing with all the grace of a practiced gentleman, “it has been too long.”

“And Mr. Finnegan.”

As Aiden was addressed, their voices got lower, sultry, and slightly breathless. Luke rolled her eyes at this and swiveled in her seat to face the bar. She didn’t know either of these men very well, but it was quite clear that Wentworth was a man set out to please all the women he could find, and Aiden, well, he was superior to dealing with the troubles of a common tavern wench.

When the tall, brooding man stepped forward, Luke watched with vague interest, but when his hand closed around the bare arm of a mildly attractive blonde, her eyes widened. As he led the lingerie clad woman up the stairs with a firm hand on the small of her naked back and didn’t even so much look over his shoulder at either his partner or his charge, Luke felt her heart sink a little bit.

So perhaps Aiden Finnegan wasn’t superior to dealing with the common tavern wench.

And there we have it. Hope you’re enjoying the ride! I sure am! 😀


Character Association

Sometimes it is little exercises that can be the most inspiring. Because I spent most of my night preparing my Newsletter (!!) forms, I give to you, dear readers, a bit of word association for each of the main, or frequently seen characters. Just for fun. 🙂

Luke Simon Avery: Fairy tales, Christmas, ale

Aiden Jayson Finnegan: Piano keys, reins, murder

Wentworth Maurice Goldsbury Simon: Circus, women, tea

Xander: gentlemanice, wolf

Cale Jonathan Rutherford: guilt, cough, ghost

Marietta Grace: ink, filigree, feline

Philip Michael Avery: force, poverty, man

Isabella Henrietta Avery-Rutherford: giggle, pleasantries, flight

Tommy: whisper, serenity, mustache

Time to turn off my Jewel Pandora station and hit the hay.


Character Inspiration: Aiden Finnegan

For me, little things inspire the creation of a character. I am the type of writer who does not sit around bouncing around ideas, they just come to me. I have control over the words I use to tell the story, but the story itself.. well, it really forms itself.

The same is true for characters. If ever I said, “I need a love interest for my hero”, I would sit around for days coming up with all these female characters that I have absolutely no attachment to. Why? I couldn’t tell you. What I can tell you though, is the ones that simply pop up are always the ones that stay.

Characters popping up into my mind do have a beginning, or at least I think they do. Most of them do.

For Aiden, it was my Western Literature course. We had just read Much Ado About Nothing, and I’ll admit I had no idea what had gone on. I don’t do well with Shakespeare unless it’s on the stage or in film. I really enjoy his characters and plots, but the language I just can’t get. The modern “translated” versions of his work are just lame, so I opt for a visual experience.

Luckily for me, we were watching the 1993 Kenneth Branagh film in class one day because my professor thinks the way I do. He knew we didn’t get it. Also, because I can’t just sit there and watch a movie, I pulled out my notebook and started to do some doodling.

The movie is progressing and I’m growing pretty fond of Don John and his brooding misery and then I looked down at what I had drawn only to find a stylized depiction of Keanu Reeves as Don John with a little bit sharper features, and much more emotion of a scowl on his face. In cursive, as some sort of a signature, I assume, I had written ‘Aiden Jayson Finnegan’.

And then he was born. Inspired by Keanu Reeves.

I sometimes forget, or maybe repress Aiden’s origins. I mean, he played a good stoic jerk, but Mr. Reeves isn’t exactly the most badass of fellows.

So. Now that I have a new character, naturally his story is coming forth, Luke and Wentworth joined him within twenty minutes, and I began my greatest writing adventure yet.