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Aster

Reave has been live for…seventeen days now, and I’m no closer to accepting it being ‘out there’ as I was when I said I was trying to maintain some semblance of dissociation from it for my mental well-being. Somewhere in my mind I’m completely acknowledging the fact that, yes, it is out there and, yes, people are reading/have read/will read it. The positive feedback has blown my mind, I’ll say that again. (I’ll probably keep saying it.) Seeing people post things about it on Facebook, or randomly finding a new review has just been…fantastic. (I could make a comment here about Blades of Glory and the ‘mind-bottling’ remark.)

In a commenting back-and-forth with Ben from over at BensBitterBlog (If you’ve never seen his blog…you need to), I got inspired to post an entry. This is it, by the way. And this entry right here is entirely (mostly, knowing me) about the main character in Reave, Aster.

I’d contemplated making a post about her before, but that’s tricky for me. One of the things I’m most looking forward to as the series goes along – receiving input about it – is hearing opinions on Aster’s development. So what can I say without giving away too much? That’s the question.

I’ve felt it was almost impossible to dance around characters in a blog entry because the characters dance around themselves in the books. (Spend a moment trying to imagine how that works. If anyone figures out how it’s possible, let me know. I’m at a loss. Made sense in my head.) So what could really be said?

There’s never been much of a debate over whether I was going to write about something on here. If I wanted to, I did. If I maybe did, I didn’t. Simple as that. (An example to the contrary is the post I made about sleeping. I’d take it down if it wasn’t the entry that got the most hits off Google. And it might be a bit evil of me, but I seriously LOVE the search terms I occasionally see because of it.)

The point of that digression is: When having to ask myself so many questions about if I DID want to write about her, to let people get to know her a bit more…The answer was no, due to the questioning involved. But I think I might be able to manage it (if I could EVER get to the point in an entry).

Aster began as a product of my first series. The main character in it was……a brute, to be honest. It was fun at first, but then it was just…too much. (She was also an absolute MORON, but that is NOT the point.) So when I sat down to write Reave – putting the Reapers out of my mind and focusing on the MC – I knew…I wanted her to start weak. Now, if you’ve read Reave, or if you’ve even read a BIT of Reave, you probably already know…

Aster is ANYTHING but weak.

Mentally.

Even from the get-go, she looked at me and said, “I will not have this.” So, I wrote her how she was, then got dragged along behind her (and a few other characters) for the four books I’ve written and all the bits of ones I’ve only written in my head. I don’t have a problem saying that’s how she is. It’s apparent from Chapter One.

I’ll admit there were times during my multiple edits where I sat here in my chair, openmouthed, over certain aspects. You see, it’s probably not that noticeable with the first, but these books were made to be re-read. I know a lot of people aren’t re-readers, and that’s fine. I feel you can read through each book once and find yourself satisfied (unless you hate it/them, in which case…I’m sorry). I can’t say I designed them that way (I wrote them, but being a pantser…I only have so much to do with it), but I can say I tweaked it to make it fit the way it naturally wanted to be. And the series says, “I promise you’ll find something you didn’t the first time if you just READ ME AGAIN after you hit a certain point.”

Then again, I found things I didn’t initially find when reading through Twilight more than once. So………………………………………………………………………………………………

*cough*

The point of the most recent digression is: Aster.

I’ve written…six female protagonists, at least bits of them, depending on how far into their stories I currently am. (Seven if you count a spin-off series that goes in a different timeline where the MC is essentially an entirely different person. Please don’t ask.) I can’t say this series was my best WRITING (I can’t tell you how much I wish it was), meaning in the technical aspect or whatever. But I can without a doubt, one-hundred-freaking-percent say…Aster is, and will always be, my favorite main character that I’ve ever written/will ever write. And honestly? That’s WAY more important to me.

There’s the growth, for one thing. But for another? She SCARES me. I look at some parts of the books, and I get freaked out. And this isn’t a ‘she could kick my a**’ freaked out, it’s a ‘……how did she come out of my head?’ freaked out.

She’s damaged (we all are, and she has good reason just like any person). She has her flaws (the lack of knowledge about normal human-type things could definitely be considered one, but by god…it was fun at some points). Her moral compass is occasionally………..askew (then again, moral compasses being askew is all a matter of personal opinion). But there are so many things I love about her.

The ability to overcome anything put in her way (maybe not in the most…fantastic way, but overcoming is overcoming). The drive and determination to fight for what she believes in. Her willingness to accept the bad but see the good (again, how did she come from my head?). She’s fiercely loyal (as long as it’s deserved). There is a whole list of things I COULD say, but CAN’T say without giving too much away. Still, there’s one more I can put on the list, and it’s up at the tippity-top.

The most amazing thing about her? She CONSTANTLY surprised me, even AFTER I’d written her. Every time I thought I knew her, I would find something and realize…I’d been wrong. And why this series will always be my favorite? Because I was constantly surprised over one thing or another, even after the fact, and I wrote it. O.o

I’ve gotten a lot of crap from people who’ve already read the first book. No one can understand my issue with it (I’m still wondering how no one understands my issue with it where the writing is concerned, but that’s not what I’m currently talking about here). All I can say to that is…

Wait and see. 🙂

Things are always better after the foundation is built, but that’s just my opinion…

By the way, I’ve heard/seen something twice that has given me the most stupendous feeling.

Our Aster. People have referred to her as our Aster.

That is….amazing. Because having anyone love her that much – people feeling connected to her? What else could I ask for?

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30 thoughts on “Aster

    • The first character I wrote still makes me want to punch things when I think about her. But I suppose, for all intents and purposes…Aster would classify as the first GOOD character I wrote.
      XD

      • I count Luke Callindor as my first hero because the ones from high school never made it very far. Most were rather bland and one-dimensional. Still looking for a place to put them too.

      • Maybe this is another one of those things that goes along the ‘foundations’ line. Is it possible to have your first character (FIRST) be decent at all?

        If you figure out something to do with unsatisfactory characters, please let me know. I’ve got a moron that took up six books worth of garbage laying around here somewhere…

      • I think it’s possible if you take your time, but most people rush into. Others use that first character to experiment with writing, so it becomes a toss-away. I had a few decent ones in my first story, yet nothing to the level of the Windemere cast.

        I hold onto the old characters and see if they fit into a later story. For example, the heroes of my first series might be going into a later series as pseudo-villains. They don’t have to stay identical to what they were. Could even be used as a minion since it sounds like you have a secondary villain there. At least it sounds like you hate the character enough to do that.

      • I rushed into that first one, for sure. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. Then again, I keep feeling that way every time I write a new one. (Then you get the new ones that make you feel that way regardless.) But yeah, rushed into it then rewrote what I rushed into and it was still a pile of garbage.

        I don’t know if I could ever take a character from one story and tweak them to fit into another. All the ones from the first series will remain there in their suckage (not all the characters were bad) in the hopes that, ten years from now, I’ll be capable of fixing the mess I made with/for them.

        But I DO LOVE the idea of minions, generally and also in the way you were saying. I also love the idea of turning former heroes into villains. There’s just something…..is it IRONIC? Maybe. I’m sleep-deprived, so I don’t know. Anyway, I think it would be pretty awesome for people to be talking about ‘the VILLANY!’ and you could be smiling the entire time thinking ‘if you’d only known them way back when…’
        Do pseudo-villains count as villains?
        I REALLY shouldn’t be interacting at the moment…

        It’s crazy the amount of control you have over all of it. I can hardly ever make anything happen the way I want it to, or make the characters do what I want them to.

        And I wouldn’t say I necessarily HATE her (at least not entirely), but my god…she was/is just…stupid. Stupider than I am, if that’s saying anything.

      • I’m saying pseudo-villains only because I’m not really sure of their motivation. Right now, they’re going to be starting as heroes and then realize that it makes more sense to side with their enemies. So the real hero of the series is going to have to go up against them. It’s allowing me to let the guy show what he can do alone against stronger foes because he’s typically working with friends or going one-on-one.

        We talking low IQ stupid or annoying stupid? I’ve noticed people don’t always mean dumber than a bag of bricks when they say stupid.

      • So these will be committing their villainy in a series after Windemere? I seriously love that sort of thing. It’s not really saying they’re BAD, only that they’re not necessarily GOOD. And there are so many directions you could go with it.

        We’re talking stupid in absolutely every sense of the word. INFURIATINGLY stupid. If there was ever a character that I enjoyed torturing…it was her.
        Sometimes you keep throwing them into the fire (where you can, where pantsing is concerned) hoping they’ll eventually learn some way to get out of it.
        Unfortunately, with characters like her, it’s more like wandering around in the fire and wondering why it doesn’t feel good.
        -_-

      • Sort of. They’re going to come off more as selfish because of how the plot might work. It’s strange thinking of after Windemere because while I’ll be leaving Legends of Windemere, I’m staying within the world. Second series is going to be about the vampire types and how they came to be in Windemere. They’ll show up in a few books and even be in the background every now and again.

        That definitely sounds like a sidekick or a minion.

      • Selfish sounds like a good pseudo-villain. Do you ever get the urge to punch selfish characters in the face through a book you’re reading (or writing)? Either that or pat them on the back when they’re both selfish AND something (like cunning)?

        I know what you mean with leaving (but not leaving). You spend so much time in the world, having so many other things going on, and it just seems like a shame not to share all that as well. Especially when you put so much into building the world.
        I love spin-offs, like what you were describing – where they’re kind of there occasionally but not really a major part of it. It’s like seeing old friends. 🙂

        Haha, yes, I wrote a six book series with a minion MC. That’s worrisome…

      • Rarely do I get the urge to hit a character because I hold hope that they’ll change. If they’re still a pain by the 75% mark then I just pray they die.

        I’m okay with the characters falling into cameo status. Their story will be done and I don’t want to push them too far. Otherwise, people will remember them as the dried up characters instead of the lush ones they were meant to be.

      • LoL, that’s a good approach to take. I’m not typically calm enough in my dislike (or hatred, depending on) to take the same.

        And I agree 100% with that. 🙂

  1. Thank you for writing which is quite good, best wishes always for writing and best wishes always and greetings, kindness blossoms in your heart

  2. You write about being surprised at some of the stuff you write, as in “how did that come out of my head.” When I go back and read one of my stories from months or years ago, I frequently have the same feeling. Or even a story I’m working on. It’s a marvel. That these ideas keep coming out even though we have absolutely no idea how they do.

    • It’s kind of scary!
      I didn’t have that problem so much with the first book in this series, but with the others (which I’m going through for the first time in about a year)……..it’s………..yeah. Definitely been a bit creepy.
      And I think taking a look at something from a past point is a completely different thing (though admittedly similar in some regards). I’ll get a bit shocked at some things as I’m writing them, but taking a long break…wow. You either get the, “WTF was I THINKING then?” or the, “WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME?” or the, “WHERE DID THIS EVEN COME FROM?”

      It’s can be pretty funny, though.

      I honestly don’t even know if my response is relevant to what you said. I’ve been sleep-deprived for about three days now, so I’m having a hard time even figuring out where I am at the moment. O.o

  3. It’s a truly amazing thing to have readers embrace your work with such amazement that it stops you. We act like giddy school girls with every review & feel as though someones handed us a gold bar!! Matter of fact, we just wrote a post The Perks of Writing & that made the top of the list. Merry Christmas to you & yours!! 🙂

  4. All I know is that Aster is one strong woman, especially considering her circumstances. She gets the “crap beat out of her” figuratively and she just keeps fighting back, kicking back, and not taking crap from even the biggest baddest men in the land. Don’t mess with her. Life threw her a 40 car pile up on the Matrix freeway and she just cleaned up the mess, told the cops who to arrest and fixed the Matrix.

    • This comment. BAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      I keep trying to reply, then just giggling over the last bit.

      Yeah, she’s definitely strong in some ways. I just hope people continue to think so later on in the series. I’m telling you…the moral compass. haha

      But I say, “As long as she can clean up the 40 car pile up on the Matrix freeway…what else matters?”
      >.>

      I’m still giggling over it, so thanks for that. XD

      • Basically it means they don’t make any sense. I think…
        I don’t really like soccer, so American. Actually I don’t like American football that much either….

      • You couldn’t pay me to sit down and watch American football. I feel like I lose ten intelligence points every 1.2 seconds that I catch in passing. That’s just me, though.
        BASKETBALL, on the other hand? Totally different thing.
        And I fell in love with rugby. I just wish I had the time to watch it.

      • I guess you should stop watching football then. That’s a lot of intelligence lost in such a short time.
        I used to play basketball when I was a younger person. I love the feel of it so much more than football. Football is such a planning oriented/you be here and there/stop do one play/stop do another play kind of feel. Basketball feels more flow like to me. And every one gets a chance at the ball.

      • LoL, I don’t watch American football, only catch it in passing. I honestly probably wouldn’t have married my husband if he watched it (the way some people do). But maybe that’s unfair of me, given my basketball problem. XD

        Yes, I’ll agree with all that. It seems like absolutely nothing happens in American football. They run for about three seconds, then it stops for two minutes. I just can’t handle that. I have better things to do with my time. Like…watch basketball. Where things actually…HAPPEN.

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