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Monday, April 4, 2011

How my characters evolved

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The characters in my book went through many phases, change, and rewritings to become what they are now.  Some of the characters have had name changes, social changes, and even sex changes.

Giovanni went through several name changes. I considered calling him Gerard, Gerod, and even Godfrey, after an actor, my father, and another famous character. The one thing I knew from the beginning was that I wanted his name to begin with the letter ‘G’. For some reason I felt that the character in my dream might have had a name that began with a ‘G’, but I really don’t remember. In addition, I think it was fitting that this character’s name to begin with a ‘G’ seeing as how he is a gray man. Then I came across the name Giovanni watching the credits of a dark comedy and then looked up its meaning. The rest is history.
Abraham was originally supposed to be a lay preacher who was wondering the country and then stumbled upon Giovanni as a sad, scared, and confused young boy. Trying to develop this angle of the story began to depress me. I think the material is good and may use it for something else later, but I needed Abraham to be more cheery.

While the final character of Abraham lives through a great many tragedies, he’s a constant inspiration and symbol of hope, instead of despair. In addition, when I first began to write my draft, I referred to Abraham as Abe, but I quickly went back made a change. Using his full name throughout the book, I feels gives Abraham a sophistication that none of the other characters have.

Mira’s character actually began as two different people, a man, and a woman. Mira became a doctor after I decided that, the less characters involved, the better the sense of isolation would be felt. The doctor in the story was supposed to a character named Jeffery, who is now just a sidebar in the background of Mira’s history. Originally, Jeffery was to somehow meet Giovanni and befriend him, later introducing him to his girlfriend Mira. In this original story, Jeffery dies and Giovanni ends up comforting Mira.
 -Day 16 complete.

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