Friday, May 1, 2015

On Loren, Her Lack of Backstory, and Her Irritating Insecurities

In a recent review, a reader spoke on how the first part of Caution to the Wind was not fleshed out and Loren lacked some of a backstory.

This was done intentionally.

I started the story right in the middle of the action, building up and revealing bits and pieces of her background as I went along. I was striving hard to avoid an info dump. However, I do realize I could've added some pertinent information earlier on.

In regards to other characters of the book lacking a decent fleshing out, that was also intentional. The focus on the story was Loren, of her insecurities and anxieties (which were also addressed by reviewers) and other characters were pivotal, but not entirely in the forefront. This will change as the series progresses. After all, this is just the first book and some other things will be addressed in later books, more backstory added, and other characters fleshed out as they become more involved in the overall story.

Yes, Loren is a damsel in distress at first, and yes I play on that quite a bit (repetitiously? yeah, I may have overdone it some), but it's part of her overall arc. Loren doesn't think she's important. She was brought up to believe she was no one and nothing she ever did was good enough. As the story progresses, she changes from that damsel to a figure who can stand up for herself, who does mean something, who is important. This was touched on in the first book and my plans are to expand it in the subsequent books. Readers will get to see more of Loren's backstory, more about other characters while introducing new characters, and more on her progression from no one to someone.

When I first began writing Caution to the Wind, I didn't want to have your typical heroine. I didn't want to start the story with a badass female character kicking ass. I wanted to write a character who has her faults and insecurities, who self-doubts herself constantly and who grows into someone who is confident in herself through the trials she's had to face. Why? Because I know people who are genuinely like that. I, myself, am very much like that. I have an inner strength and there are times when I just can't see it. I put a bit of myself into Loren. I drew on my own anxieties and thought processes to create her.

Is it irritating having a character who doesn't think much of herself and is constantly repeating it? Yes. Does that mean she's going to stay like that? No.

It's called character development.

Stayed tuned for book two (and book three and so on) and you'll see vast improvements on that. After all, a series is meant to be read sequentially. Things grow. People change. It gets better from there.

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