When you write a novel you are more or less aware of how much of yourself goes into a particular character. Some of them are certain to be a fantasy you indulge about who you are, or who you could be. Others are a conglomeration of your fears about yourself; your insecurities about what you believe, how you behave, or who you might become.
This self-analysis through character is part of what makes villains so fun to write. They are a part of who you are can be isolated and enjoyed through fiction. Villains tend to be single-minded, un-bothered by doubt. For an artist, doubt is the constant companion. A companion whom you can discard for a moment as you plot to sack a village, seek revenge on your foes and conquer the world... in the pages of your stories.
And now, I wonder how my son will enter my writing.
Breaking the Skies was completed before I met my wife. I've seen her influence enter some of my other work, and I'm sure she will find her way into the sequel, whether on purpose or not. Her voice, her character, her carriage have all entered and fleshed out the way I write women. Even boosting my desire to write more female characters because I can... how do I say this? I can gain a sense for the feminine characters with greater depth and richness because of Maggie.
In my minds eye, I already see my son in the role of Tem; our star character in chapter six. At least, I hope to see my son there. Tem is observant, bold, insightful and compassionate. But I know he, the character I've written, is also incomplete in some ways. He can't really be a child the way I want him to be a child because I have lost some of my own child-likeness. And I wonder if, as John Marshall grows, Tem will become more like him. More complete, more wondrous, more fun, more challenging.
I look forward to finding out.
In this week's chapter, it's time for Tem and his father to visit the great fortress, Tynshact. They meet with the Artorens and the young boy learns there might be more dangers in the world than revolution and rebellion. He also learns a few lessons about what it means to be a friend, what it means to be cunning, and perhaps just a smidgen... about girls.