Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Inspiring Abby

Since I provided some thoughts about where the characters of Tholly and Pierre came from ages ago, I thought it was only fair to give you some insight into how the character of Abby developed.

My original concept of Thorn of the Kingdom was that it was a love story between Abby and Tholly. Even after that relationship ends, it's still the driving force of everything else that occurs. But, over time, I've come to see TOTK much more as "Abby's story." Tholly is an important part of it, but he isn't her whole life.

It may surprise you to know that I didn't originally intend to write TOTK from Abby's perspective. I thought the narrative would be mostly about her, but with a few chapters focusing on settings where she couldn't possibly be present. I didn't like writing first-person stories and hadn't attempted one in years.

However, just a page or two in, I knew something wasn't working. The third-person narration was lifeless. To save a story I knew I had to write, I took a deep breath and started writing it a different way. It's strange, once I made that critical decision, Abby's voice was just there. The more I wrote about her, the more I felt I knew her.

... And the rest is history.

In my writing notebook, I keep several pictures of Abby. I think this photo of Liv Tyler in Lord of the Rings captures Abby in a wistful mood. Perhaps this is how she looked when she met Tholly in the empty corridor the night of the grand ball, or perhaps she's in the midst of some philosophical debate with Pierre. The only thing wrong with it, is Liv doesn't have enough red in her hair.

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