Characters Are The Best When They Are The Worst

Little catch-up time here.  Chapter 23 is up now, but first, a few thoughts about chapter 22

We're getting into my some of my favorite chapters to write. Chapters 22 and 23 have this feeling (at least for me) of the car teetering on the side of a cliff.
It's totally fine, you guys
And the reason for things quickly getting out of hand?  The very people that you hoped would be trying to prevent this outcome.

I like flawed characters.  Some of my favorite books are about classic anti-heroes who spend half the book making an absolute mess of everything they touch.  They essentially are the opposite of King Midas turning everything they touch into shit often through their own ignorance, stubborness, selfishness or other massive flaw.  And then, just at the end and often despite themselves, they do the one thing they could never bring themselves to do.

Flawed characters are fun to write because they can always be counted on to make a situation worse.  Whether it's Viekko's drug withdrawals, Althea's enabling or Cronus' myopic, selfishness they can always be counted on to screw it up worse.

And the best part is that you (hopefully) kinda like these characters.  You want to see them succeed or, at least, not fail as miserably as they could.

In this chapter, it's Cronus that we find out was working against the group.  Actually we found out back in chapter 20, but the full extent doesn't become clear until Laban plays his hand.


Well, as you might remember, Cronus wasn't originally part of the group. He kinda showed up in chapter 3 and has been moving through the story with his own set of motivations.  It was only a matter of time before those motivations clashed with those of the rest of team.

And there's no real loyalty to the group. Only to the data stored on the servers.

The Human Reconnection Project fractures a bit more and the car moves a couple of inches farther toward the edge of the cliff.

Which brings us to chapter 23 and Isra.  We'll be getting more into Isra's origins and how she evolved very soon.  For Isra, it's all about control.  It's not about loyalty for her as much, you can stab her in the back and she can work with that so long as she sees it coming.  (She'll just spin around and angle the knife so that it hits something advantageous to her.)

Cronus is the first sign that there are significant factors in play that are beyond her control and she cannot find a way to deal with that.

A coworker recently shared a maxim that he picked up while in special forces, "Time to solve this problem with brute strength and ignorance."

That's strikes me as a pretty good description of what Isra is doing.  Once she found out the Ministry had disavowed her team and Cronus was the reason, all she could do is desperatly cling to an idea that has not, hitherto, produced any positive results.

And the car creeps a few millimeters closer to the edge.

I love when characters behave badly.  They can easily, in the words of Terry Pratchett, solve any minor problem by turning it into a major disaster.

Standby for disaster.


Popular Posts