[*** DISCLAIMER: THIS POST HAS SPOILERS FOR MY NEXT NOVEL. STOP READING NOW IF YOU WANT TO BE SURPRISED ***]
This is a continuing series of posts about the writing of my novel, Starveyors. You can start at the beginning and catch up at your own pace, or just read on and try to figure it all out on your own. There’s a link list for these posts on the blog’s sidebar to your right.
Character Motivations and Backgrounds
As I mentioned in the last post, my hero is a mixed race Votainion/human named Cryse. It was important that she have mixed blood as it gives her a foot in both worlds. Her mother is Votainion and her father is a black human. They met on Khara, the first Votainion held planet to change allegiance from the Votainion Empire to the Western Alliance. Cryse’s mother, Tove, was in the diplomatic core and she met a dashing young officer from the Alliance fleet named Alba Mayer. They had a brief and steamy affair that ended when Mayer was reassigned to form the nascent Starveyors.
Tove never told Alba Mayer he had a daughter and she raised Cryse on her own and largely in secret. It broke all kinds of Votainion laws to have relations with humans and then to have children out of wedlock. Tove was the daughter of a rising politician on Khara named Kerns. Kerns could never admit that his daughter had a part human child out of wedlock and so had to publicly disown her. Kerns appears in the novel as one of the negotiators from Khara.
Tove raised Cyrse on her own and was castigated by society at every level. Eventually, she contracted a mental illness and died. Cryse spend her later teen years bouncing around from orphanage to orphanage until she ran away and joined the Alliance military, claiming her human heritage as part citizenship in the Alliance. Having never had a real father figure, she developed a need to please people to compensate. No matter where she found herself, she was able to get along with people and form alliances and friendships. But she has a deep seated desire to find her human father.
After being assigned to the joint Votainion/Alliance Starveyors, Cryse found herself involved in the negotiations to admit several Votainion planets into the Alliance. Her natural negotiation skills shined and she earned a reputation as a Peace Maker, as she was able to bring not one, but three planets into the Alliance. This is when she came on Admiral Mayer’s radar. His new fleet was all about bringing the two former enemies together and she was rapidly becoming a star.
Cryse’s need to find her biological father and her natural ability to reconcile people’s differences give her the perfect skill set to help end the war. Her character is a living example of the theme for the novel – Reconciliation.
The truth about who her father is eventually comes to light in the final act of the novel. It’s just one of the little subplots that tie into the theme and make the character’s struggle identifiable to the reader.
While writing the novel, much of this back story will come out. Some of it will be explicite and other bits implied. As I write I will become more familiar with Cryse’s character and new atributes and back story will be developed. But this is a pretty good foundation to start from.
Kelley’s character is a stark contrast to Cryse. Where Cryse is an orphan, Kelley comes from a rich, privileged class within the Alliance. Kelley is nearly twice as old as Cryse. She’s never had to fend for her life and she’s never been in the military. Kelley is meek, quiet and reserved by nature. She does not crave adventure unless it’s through the lives of the people she studies in her history books. Dead people can’t whisk you away in some crazy adventure that could end in your death. She likes her quiet, contemplative life in University libraries. She watches 3D programs of famous and not so famous people from history, living vicariously through their lives.
Never married and considered an old maid by the people who know her best, mainly academics and scholars. But her seminal history of the Great War, has put her squarely in the sights of many active duty Admirals and Generals. They are reading her books as they are released and consider her to be the foremost authority on the war. Military leaders are always studying the past to learn how best to take on the future.
Admiral Mayer comes to her and convinces her to help him write the final chapter of the war by participating in the Peace Talks. She refuses at first. That’s real world adventure and the bad things could happen. But he appeals to her on many levels. First, he’s dashing, handsome and smart. She likes being with him from the moment they first meet. Second, he’s offering her an adventure in witch she will play a major part in writing future history. That kind of thing doesn’t come around very often, especially to an academic. It will challenge her mentally and physically in ways she can only imagine.
In the next post I’ll continue to explore the main characters in the novel. A few more good guys characters, a couple of grays and then we can dive into the bad guys!