Ahhhh… for a bit of sunshine. Actually the story is not dark and dreary, but I’m still getting the hang of WordPress and the templates available to me for the site.
Once the main character, Skylar, who goes by Skye to most, and the bad dude, Ryan, are introduced, some back story has to happen. The reader gets to see that Skye is a college instructor in the Theatre department at a community college in California. She has a crush on a recent addition to the departent, named Jake, who is the Technical Director. He is handsome and masculine and he has had an eye on Skye as well, but neither of them has made that known to the other.
Skye’s policy of not fraternizing with co-workers has kept them apart and we also see that while she is successful as both instructor and director of theatre productions, she is lonely and somewhat isolated living in the mountains by herself.
I tried to model Skye after someone I knew, but the more I wrote, the more I found that Skye had aspects of her character that were not similar to the person I was trying to model her after. I found myself just making up her characterisitics loosely based on what her childhood had been like. Although she had hardships growing up, Skye was bright and funny and had a happy countenance about her. She was pretty and much liked by students and those who actually got to know her better.
I also tried to picture an actress I could see as Skye as if this was a movie instead of book and then settled on Rachel McAdams as a blonde. I’ll put a photo of her here and hope it doesn’t take up the whole page, but it likely will. Sorry Rachel.
I didn’t give a lot of thought to the description of the antagonist. I didn’t have any guidelines, no mentor and no classes for information. Honestly, it didn’t occur to me to look for information online, let alone read anything specific about the topic. I just started writing.
I knew I needed a worthy opponent, although I didn’t know yet, what for. I decided to make him sociopathic. Why? Because I did have academic training and experience as a psychotherapist so I felt comfortable using my knowledge. I went to the DSM to bolster my understanding and I remembered a client from years ago who I counseled for a while. He was an international drug dealer who piloted his own plane as well. He would only give me a first name and no other information about himself.
My client was young, good-looking and extremely personable. He was intelligent and in good physical shape with a ready smile. He was charming and I never felt alarm talking with him. I used this man as my model.
I belong to a writers club. One of the members spoke to the club about how she used images of well-known actors to enable more connection with her characters by picturing the artist. She even cut out photos of them from magazines and put them in a scrapbook. She wrote historical romance so she used paper dolls to create different dresses and clothing for the time period for her characters. I thought those were terrific ideas. I didn’t do that myself, but it helped me a lot to think of people I knew as fitting my image of the characters I was developing. That’s how Sassy Brassy entered the picture. (More on her later).
So Ryan Eddington, my villain, emerged. At first glance he seems like an alright kind of guy flawed only with a bit of a temper. Well more than a bit. We soon learn however, that while he has a boss, he also has men who work for him. One is in the military. One is a deputy sheriff.
I was ready now, to move into some back story and an event that heightens the action.