Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Heart to Heart with Neek


This weekend I sat in on a panel at FaerieCon and I learned that I'm not the only author whose characters are like real people.

Odd, I know, but I think every other author will agree with me on this. No, we don't need meds and we're not all fans of
Inkheart. We're just really good at creating characters. So good, in fact, that sometimes it's almost like they have a life of their own. They become like children or friends. You end up having discussions and arguments with them. Sometimes they do things that you don't want them to do and then you have to figure out how to get them out of it. ...And as Maggie Stiefvater put it, sometimes you just get so frustrated with them that you have to drag them through a side story where they die horribly before you can get them to cooperate.

So, in light of that I decided to spin a little spoof between myself and one of the characters from my WIP. I've been having some problems because Neek (Nekehleis) is trying to jump the gun in this YA steampunk romance. So I think I'll let him try it his way and see what happens. *Sinister Smile* Maybe he'll cooperate after this. Hope you enjoy!

I’m about a quarter of the way through chapter twelve. Neek and Adelle are meditating after one of their classes. Neek opens one eye, peeks at Adelle. She’s got her eyes closed, her brow is furrowed in concentration and she’s got that pout she does. He thinks about how much he likes that intense expression on her face; how much he wants to touch the hair that spills around her face and shoulders; how hard she's trying to get this right -- all for that brat, Madlyn. Neek suddenly shakes his head.


I growl under my breath, annoyed that he’s interrupting my process. “What now?”


Neek takes a deep breath, lets it out. I stare at him expectantly, knowing he’s about to say something he knows I’m not going to like. “I’m going to kiss her.”


I blink. “What?" I squeak. "Now? You can’t do that!”


He cocks his head, stares at her lovingly. Oh, if only she saw that expression. She’d kill him for sure. “Why not?”


I throw up my hands, upsetting my tea and scaring the cat. “Are you stupid? She’s your enemy’s daughter!”


“Yeah, so?”


“So, she’s trying to kill you.” I start mopping up my tea.


“Yes, I know. I had a vision about that, remember? I’ve got that whole Solar Seer thing going for me.”


“See? Even Ehleis is trying to tell you that she’s trying to kill you. Use your head, Neek, I made you smart for a reason.”


“And?”


“What if you mean “and?” Hello! If she kills you I won’t have a story and Ehleis won’t have a Blessing. We’re covering our asses here.”


Neek bites his lip. “Maybe if I kiss her, she won’t kill me.”


“If you kiss her I’ll have to make her kill you,” I say with a sigh. “I made her that way. The readers expect it.”


“I’ll take my chances and hope you like me enough not to let Adelle kill me. The readers will like it better if I kiss her. Sex sells.”


I get a bad mental image of attempting to navigate a love scene around Neek's wings and Adelle's ridiculous outfit. Scowling, I attempt a new approach. “Sleeping with the heiress of the Empire? The empire that’s besmirching the natural world with it’s mechanical abominations and alchemical warfare? Ehleis wouldn’t like it.”


Neek’s eyes widen. “No? I think it’s an excellent idea.”


“You’re seventeen, Neek, the only thought processes you have come through your penis.”


“Well, my penis thinks it’s an excellent idea,” Neek says with a shrug. “Besides, wasn’t Ehleis the one who told us to go forth and prosper?”


I cross my arms. “There’s no way in hell I’m letting you two prosper, Neek. This isn’t Twilight.”


Neek glances out the window. “No, I’d say it’s just about mid-morning. That's a great time for sex. We can have lunch afterward.”


I slap my palm against my forehead. “No it’s a- Oh, just forget it.”


“So,” Neek ventures cautiously. “Kissing Adelle?”


“If I had my way you’d wait a few chapters before doing that. I’m not responsible for what happens if you kiss her before she’s ready.”


Neek grins. “Of course not.”


I give him a worried look. He's really going to do it. Stupid kid. “She’s still carrying that dagger under her skirt.”


His grin grows a little wider. “I know.”


I lean back and give him my most petulant expression I can manage. “I really hate working with you sometimes.”


Neek cuts his eyes at me. “You’re no gift to fiction yourself, A.L.. I mean, violet eyes? Come on, even Lilith got it better than I did.”


"Oh, have I offended your masculinity?" I reach out, pull the keyboard closer, and threateningly settle my fingers back on home row. “It's not too late to make them pink. Now shut up and kiss her already, I want to get to the part where she circumcises you.”