Of the Arbour rewrite update, and the similarities in style

As you may have seen with a previous post, I’ve begun writing a rewrite for Of the Arbour. It started out strong and feverish, but now that the initial excitement has worn down a little, it’s become as plodding as the other stories I’m working on not that I’m slow, per se, but I’ve been weathering a slump as of late. I’m very pleased with the direction it’s going so far, despite being only around 15 000 words in. I’m still really excited to get to some of the major plot points coming up. Sage’s final year at the Arbour is only just starting where I’m at, and with it come strange dreams, a permanently crippling injury or two, and a life-shattering revelation. I’m also very excited to get past his time at the Arbour, and touch over his time spent as a mercenary before leaping into his meeting of Maia and Stride, rediscovery of old friends, and the beginning of the main plot’s manhunt. I plan on this being a lot darker and more violent than the original, which was fairly violent to begin with. Lots more descriptions of how bleak and grim of a place Hailstone is.

Not a lot of note has changed since the original, save a few minor things touched on in a previous post.

  • Carol’s name has changed to Thalia
  • Sage has more friends
  • but is more reviled by his classmates
  • He doesn’t deal with this well, and gets into more fights than the original (in which he got into a lot of fights; 15 000 words in and he’s already been hospitalized 4 times) as his way of dealing with it
  • He knows virtually nothing about his parentage (he used to know a little about his father)
  • He’s self-conscious about his appearance—despite being a strapping young lad in my head—and especially his height (he towers a head over most men)
  • Kell, a friend two years younger than he, has become a major character quite without my meaning her to. She’s a fiery redheaded giantess (she’s taller than Sage by an inch or two) with a foul mouth and a hairtrigger temper. Which actually ties in with the second part of this post:

I noticed something the other day as I was writing a scene between Sage and Kell in which she harasses him about his sex life. While he fumbled about in true, head-to-toe blushing, awkward Sage fashion, she sat there with a wolfish grin and watched him squirm. She talks in slang and is considered foul and uncouth by other characters.

In other words, she’s a redheaded Sophia Henson.

For those who might be unaware, Sophia is a minor character in Changeling, who grows up to become a major character in Abomination. She’s 10 in Changeling, a precocious raven-haired girl who has a penchant for swearing, getting her way, getting in scraps with boys—who also happens to be the daughter and only child of Vincent Henson, the pirate king of Canton. In Abomination, she’s hitting 30, has become powerful in her own right, keeps daggers on her person at all times, is known for her brutal war over Canton (during the first year of which she never bathed, so the people would see that she still wore the blood of her enemies), and uses such phrases as:

  • old whore’s cooter
  • meat shield
  • calm your balls
  • son of a cock sucking whore
  • for fuck’s sake
  • what in the holy shit
  • witching slut

I adore Sophia. And Kell is really starting to grow on me, though I’m sensing a theme here with character development. They are completely different people in their own rights, but they definitely have some notable personality similarities.

But if we’re going to generalize it, my stories seem to have several strong themes in character.

The Bitch: Changeling has Aisling — Of the Arbour has Briar — Purity has Vanessa

The Charming Hero With an Awkward Streak: Changeling has Alistair — Of the Arbour has Sage — Purity has Caitlyn

The Ruffian: Changeling has Sophia — Of the Arbour has Kell — Purity has Allegra

The Negotiator: Changeling has Hession — Of the Arbour has Stride — Purity has Joachim

The Bad Guy Who Isn’t That Bad But Still Can’t Be Considered a Good Guy: Changeling has Vincent Henson — Of the Arbour has Malachi — Purity has Heinrich

The Weirdo Who Gets Along With Everyone: Changeling has Morwenna — Of the Arbour has Siras — Purity has Muriel

The Strong Silent Type: Changeling has Leto — Of the Arbour has Keelin — Purity has Fane

The Work Mom: Changeling has Riane — Of the Arbour has Thalia — Purity has Elise  (for those who aren’t aware, a work mom is a person, often a coworker, who mothers and looks after people though may not be a mother themselves)

There are, of course, some characters who won’t have a direct counterpart. Of the Arbour, for example, has the Misunderstood AntiheroCain, and the Hero’s Jerk Best FriendAsh. Changeling has the Gnarled Wizard, Father Zdravko, and the Disapproving Father, Godric. Purity has the Sociopath, Jezebel, and the Ex-Lover, Verity

There will always be certain character stereotypes I’ll include in my stories. Scoundrels (in the style of Dimitri from Anastasia, or Han Solo), a bumbling idiot who charms the pants off everyone he meets (which would definitely be Alistair) and someone who is always in a good mood and somehow makes friends with everyone (Morwenna and Siras are both very good examples of this one). Some types of characters, such as these, are impossible for me to veer away from, usually from some childhood nostalgia (such as Dimitri and Han!).  Each story and character is unique—Alistair is generally pleasant, but Sage has a bitterly angry streak, and the three bitches have some good reasons for behaving the way they do. I just can’t help myself when it comes to the broken and pitiable, or the comedic relief with a sharp tongue. Each character has come from a different past, and has come to where they are because of their experiences—they just happened to meet along the way.

Does anyone else have a character stereotype they seem to stick to in their stories?

2 thoughts on “Of the Arbour rewrite update, and the similarities in style

    1. I didn’t notice until I realized that Kell was a lot like Sophia. They’re very different, but through a generic lens they have the same basic shape. Similarities might crop up for you, too. Or maybe not. Maybe it’s just me!

      Thanks! I’m so thrilled about being back in Sage’s head. I missed him.

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