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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I’ve done it . . .

I have actually let another person impact a decision, past what to eat for dinner.

Many of you who actually read my entries on here know that I’ve had a very difficult time trying to figure out if I wanted to attempt to publish traditionally, or if I wanted to self-publish.

None of you know how many times I’ve flopped back and forth about it. Seriously – I kid you not – every other day it will be the one, then the other. Throw small presses into the mix and you’ve got a very not-fun mix of things to flop over (and over and over and OVER) with. I’m sure many of you have been in that boat before. But I’m sure most of you – after doing the research – have been able to make the decision that was best for you. I couldn’t. I’m not kidding. There are pros and cons to all sides, which anybody who does a Google search will know. All those pros and cons evened themselves out with me.

When talking to people (especially my husband) about it, they tend to just go along with whatever you say. That’s not bad. Most people understand that a person will do whatever they want in any given situation, and trust that a person is capable of making the best decision for themselves. So when I call you at two in the morning almost screaming my lungs out about how I’m GOING TO SELF-PUBLISH, of COURSE you’re going to think, “That’s the best thing for her to do.”

I’ve done it. Yes. I have made those calls.

I have made those calls, slept on it, then woke up with a different outlook.

And if you read my post Balance, then you know (where I’m talking about my hair) that my husband is THE ULTIMATE agreer. Yes, I know agreer is not a word, but it should be.

So (after going through this for months on end) while laying in bed yesterday morning before sleep (yes, I said that correctly – I am nocturnal), I caved. I said, “Husband, I NEED your input here. All of these pros and cons are even. HELP ME, FOR GOD’S SAKE!” That is not verbatim, but it’s close enough to pass.

He thought on it. Just now, we had a conversation about it.

He wants me to try to get an agent. And he wants me to do that so I don’t lose my mind. Getting an agent . . . well . . . it’s damn near impossible to do, I know. I don’t think I REALLY realized how damn near impossible it actually WAS until recently. I’ve realized. The likelihood is . . . not good. I’ve accepted it.

I’ve accepted it and am backup-planning in my head.

But you know what?

Until my editor (WOOO) gets done with my book in . . . let’s see . . . my brain is NOT working right now. A little over two months. Yes. She’s starting it August 1st and will get done at the end of the month. So until she gets done with it, I will get to focus on my writing rather than stressing to the high heavens. I’ll take that.

So when I fail with getting an agent (I’m not being negative – only realistic) . . . I will cross that bridge when I get there. The good thing about being realistic is that you ALWAYS have a backup plan. But now, I’ve got a plan BEFORE the backup plan is necessary.

Thanks Husband.

How strange it was to just say, “Alright. If that’s what you think I should do . . . it’s what I’ll do.”

If you know me at all, then you will know that DOES NOT HAPPEN. Just saying.

Sorry. Figured I should get all that out there. It’s off to bed for me.

Hope everyone is having a lovely day.

🙂