I'm going to get back into doing character closeups now that my second release is nearing completion. For the curious, it's looking like I'm not targeting the first week of February to make the book available. The issues I mentioned on Wednesday have made a habit of getting in the way, but I'm hopeful we'll be able to push through. I'm really anxious to share the story.
In the mean time, I'll introduce you to some of the characters. I'll try to do at least one per week. Today we'll start with Werim Swift.
The challenge I made to myself when I started writing this book was to try and have two equally weighted protagonists. Werim is one half of that pair, his sister Sharee being the other. Werim is a 16 year-old boy with curly black hair and hazel eyes. He turned 16 several months before the start of the book. He's tall and lanky, in that awkward, teenage-growth-spurt sense.
The story starts in the mountain village of Kokamongo, where Werim and Sharee live with their parents. Werim starts off on the childish end of the spectrum, having not really had to face any adversity in his life up until this point. For his 16th birthday, he receives a sword. He approaches swordplay the same as he did playing with sticks in the woods as a kid. It's simply something to do for fun, and a challenge to win.
He idolizes his father and torments his sister. When their father leaves for an extended period of time, Werim's taunting gets worse, and he has some clashes with his mother as well. He doesn't really like being the "man of the house," as a lot of the heavier chores fall to him. It is a role he accepts, just not with a great attitude.
Early on, Werim displays a willingness to break the rules. He gets into trouble stealing bread from the local baker, and apologizes when forced by his mother, doing chores at the bakery to compensate. It isn't until the village is razed by invaders that he begins to realize the things he's taken for granted.
As the story progress, we see Werim mature begrudgingly. Where his sister accepts life's lessons with grace, Werim fights every note. He learns in fits and starts. He's a bit of a reluctant hero, though he does take his responsibility to his family seriously. His sister looks up to him, and - while he still may like to tease her - he accepts his role as big brother and protector.
Werim's cleverness begins to assert itself later on, and it becomes apparent that he takes after his father. "More guts than wits," is what his mother says of them both. Werim's not yet met a fight he doesn't think he can win or a situation he can't weasel his way out of. Werim's belief in himself and his abilities is tested throughout the story.
As a kid, he'd dreamed of adventure, but when adventure finds him, he can't help but long for the simplicity he's lost. Unfortunately, there is no turning back. Pressed onward, he has no choice but to grow up and face the future that the Fates have in store for him.
My favorite scene of Werim's involves a stolen cask of rum, shared with a friend under the starry night sky. Mind you, neither of them had tried hard alcohol before. I discovered that I rather like getting my characters drunk. May have to do it more often...
Millions of historical images posted to Flickr
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