I spent a wonderful afternoon yesterday hashing out the details of the latest Five Rims installment with my good friend and collaborator Jack Johnson. If you don’t have a writing group from which you can bounce ideas around, you need to at least get a good friend who is also a writer or at least an avid reader.
In our conversation I would volley ideas about where I think the next novel should go (tentatively titled The Shibboleth Code) and Jack would springboard off of those ideas and help me shape the plot into something that will keep me from getting bogged down in story elements. He’s also really good at finding plot holes. In turn I’d help him with any projects he’s thinking about or mulling around.
Much came of the conversation, but one thing is certain, I’m pretty sure my main character Guillermo March is a lost soul. A lost soul is a character that exhibits several traits:
- Lost souls feel disconnected from others.
- Lost souls fall back into bad habits repeatedly.
- Lost souls feel like they have no place left to turn.
Guillermo has had these three main traits throughout the course of the first two novels (The Terminarch Plot, The Terminarch War) and as he has progressed, most of his character growth has been from trying to overcome these three traits.
I think there is much in store for Guillermo in the end. One of the things Jack and I talked about was how in Breaking Bad, Walter White goes from being Mr. Chips to becoming Scar Face. In my novel series, my character is kind of going the other way around in that regard. He starts out as an un-loveable jerk and by the end he will do something that will set him apart as a true hero.
The fact that he is a lost soul has gifted his character with enough angst to try to better himself and those around him, even if the original intention for doing good came from a very selfish motivation.
Creating a lost soul as the protagonist for my novel series has been a fun ride, mostly because I had to figure out a way to make him redeemable for a reading audience. How do you fall in love with a rogue who doesn’t seem to care about anyone but himself?
Have you ever had any experience writing a character who was a lost soul? Share about it in the comments below!