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September 2019
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Aerden [userpic]
My Characters' Angst-Ridden Lives

This is going to be a weird, rambling entry about my characters and the stories in which I am using them, and also about the way I relate to my characters, mentally. So, if you are completely confused by this entry, don't worry; that probably just means you're normal. If you're not confused, you're a fellow writer, and I pity you, if you have to go through the same things I am. (g)

I think I am going to have to inflict Aerden on Paul Graves; it's that dire a situation.

For those of you unfamiliar with either or both of these characters--Aerden is my irascible Pernese healer, created for StarRise Weyr, and Paul Graves is my 'Death-Eater and a Gentleman' original Hogwarts character, created for the SP Hogwarts roleplaying game.

Paul was coerced into joining the Death-Eaters, blackmailed by the hope of keeping his father alive and of someday rescuing him from the hidden place where Voldemort kept him captive. Eighteen years later, Paul prepares to do just that. There's only one snag--a fellow Death-Eater suspects Paul of being less than a total groveling slave of Voldemort, and she presents him with a magically-binding, blood-oath contract that will bind not only Paul, but all of his descendants in perpetuity to the Death-Eaters. Failure to sign will be regarded as proof of disloyalty, which would mean the death of Paul and his family.

Instead of signing, Paul tells the woman who brought him the contract exactly what he thinks of Voldemort and then murders her, so she can't tell other Deaath-Eaters what he admitted or show them the unsigned contract.

He's a pretty good actor, so he plays the part of enraged and insulted Death-Eather to the hilt while the cover-up team takes care of the body, sees to faking the coroner's report, etc.

The second they leave, Paul falls apart. He's fought plenty of magical duels, but killing someone in your formal sitting-room is quite a different matter. Killing someone like that after you've dedicated yourself to the service of the Light is unbearable. He thought long and hard about killing himself, the night of the murder. The result is that he is alive not because he wants to live, but because he feels he has a duty to his victim to stay alive and accomplish his father's rescue, and because he feels he has many things to atone for.

He's completely lost faith in himself. I haven't been able to write about him in a week. He used to have hope that he could right the wrongs he's done in his life, but with this murder, that hope is shattered in him.

This character, who is usually extremely eloquent and a pleasure to write about, can no longer bring himself to talk.

Or maybe the problem is that I haven't wanted to write a week's worth of Paul wallowing in angst and guilt. A little bit of angst inserted at appropriate times gives depth and pathos to a character. Too much of it, though, is annoying in the extreme. I don't want to annoy my readers.

I don't know how to kick him out of this, except maybe by having his doctor (who is an Aerden clone and knows that Paul is a DE) be more perceptive than might be realistic, figure out how miserable (and, frankly, suicidal) Paul is, and just argue him out of it. I think I did plan for him to have a doctor's appointment on August 20, since I also had one then, so maybe this will work. If not, I don't know what to do. I don't want to inflict this on Paul's wife. *wince*

I knew it would be bad, if we went through with the murder scenario. *sighs, tears hair out* And he's got to rescue his father before the new term starts at Hogwarts. Ack!

Current Mood: Tearing my hair out

I'm not confused in the least. Does that mean I should be worried? ;-)

And characters with dark - or at least a little gloomy - pasts are more interesting to write about than the happy-happy-joy-joy ones, IMO... :-)

Ack? Yes, ack.

Paul is an interesting character. I think we can see the angstation inherant in the lack of posting since that particular incident, although a good post would be nice to read.

You are right, however, that this time Lilith has to be the one who takes the intiative and pulls Paul from a cyclic repeat of the incident in his mind with accompaniment from the Guilt and Angst Violins in the background :-)

- Rich

I am in agreement.

Lilith has the required background, plus a woman's way of looking at the world. She knew what he did was because the stakes were so high soI know she has less anguish about what Paul did than he has.

Her silence this week can be considered linked to spending time with him.

i'm slightly confused but only in the fact that i don't know the whole story :) other than that, it's a very interesting summary!

tho i'm afraid i can't tell you where to go next, lol.

&you still haven't added me ;)

Hi, Sio! You're added now. :) Glad to have you in my journal.



Hi, I've been reading some of your journal and it sounds as though you feel about writing sci-fi/fantasy the same way I feel about writing murder mysteries -- and about a number of other important things like public life, etc. I'm new to lj, though a good friend got me started and I've been reading his journal for some time. I've added you and hope you'll add me. Cheers!

Re: Hi!

Hello! It's a pleasure to meet you, and I am sorry I took so long to reply to your letter.

I enjoy reading mysteries, too, though I don't think I am quite up to writing one, yet.

I will definitely add you to my friends list and look forward to reading your journal entries--and your books!

Chantal Whittington
aka Aerden

Re: Hi!

Thanks! Things have been a little out of control on my journal for a few days, but it looks as though normal service will resume soon (laughing!).

Re: Hi!

Every once in a while, LJ does something funky. At one point, it slowly started deleting my journal from my friends' friends lists. At first, I thought I must have insulted vast numbers of people, somehow. It was very strange.


You didn't confuse me -- but then I'm a writer and play RPG's. I also clicked through to Paul's journal entry, which was very well-written.

I had a heroic Star Wars RPG character who once snapped and tried to use a lightsaber to "convince" an Imperial captive to talk. (She was an Alderaanian and a victim of Imperial torture herself.) She "only" meant to burn the back of his legs, but she ended up almost taking the captive's legs off. It was completely unpremeditated, and shocked me as much as everyone else in the room.

She was mired in angst and guilt for a while, but it provided a marvelous situation for role-playing with the other members of the team, and great character development for all. Everyone had to deal with the consequences of Deidre's actions, and was involved in her search for redemption and healing.


Queen of Swords--I'm glad to meet you! Thank you for what you said about Paul's journal entry and for sharing what happened to your character Deidre.

I like writing stories like this, where, in some ways, the characters really do take on lives of their own and surprise us. For me, that sense of surprise is the intensely pleasurable part about writing--well, not so much the surprise as when the surprise rings with rock-solid truth.

Paul has since started speaking to me again (Yea!), but he really shut down for a while. I had figured he would, but I'd thought it would only last for a day or two, not an entire week.

As someone in the RP said once, "Tickets out of Hell are not bought cheaply." All in all, I'm glad this one wasn't; it made for a better story. I'm glad the same thing happened in your character's case.

I look forward to hearing from you again and/or visiting your journal.