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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Wasting Away, But Not in Margaritaville

I've been thinking lately about wasted lives. No, not me, although sometimes I wonder since I'll finish a book, look up and a season will have passed. The heroine in the WIP has been marking time for years now, surviving, but not really living. She's not happy with her life, but she's made no effort to change anything either. There are times that irritates me and I want to shake her and say, hey! wake up and do something. :-)

Of course, I write about characters who grow and change in the ways necessary to have a happily-ever-after ending, so she will wake up. In fact, her world will be rocked on so many different levels that she'll be reeling for awhile. I can't wait!

(Remember my motto: Torture the characters before they torture me. (Although in this case, the characters have already been torturing me, but I digress.))

For right now, though, I'm having a hard time respecting Maia and I wonder how that's translating on the page. I like her--she's done some wonderful things over the years, especially for her sister. She's a nurturer, a caretaker, but she's never taken care of her own life. So if I have trouble respecting her because of how she's drifted, will a reader feel that way too? Will they wonder how the hell she could put up with her situation without doing something?

Change is hard, I do understand that and there are plenty of people who fight it for all they're worth. I don't know if Maia is quite that bad, but she seriously should have done something long before this point in time. She's frustrated, at times she's angry, but when her sister has pointed out she should look for a new job, Maia balks. And Ryne, who doesn't back down from much, has never pushed Maia hard enough. I think because of hero worship. Creed, though--Maia's hero--doesn't pull his punches. He's already told Maia once that she's embarrassed her family name, but he's struggling with his own issues, and his own world is pretty grim and bleak. And I wonder, too, how this is translating on the page. Will anyone like these two characters?

They're both wounded, they're both in need of change and they're both too damn stubborn. Creed's not has messed up as Maia, but he's focused solely on one thing--his job. Everything is about this for him and he bulldozes through anyone or anything that gets in his way. (His job, BTW, is to protect his people. He's a troubleshooter for a society of magic users--like Ryne was in the book I finished previous to this one.) Actually, the bulldozing isn't all bad because he bulldozes Maia into helping him and that's what starts her down the road to changing her life, but for right now, she's still wasting it.

Which brings me back to where I started this post. :-)