Apr 2, 2012
C is for: Creating a monster
Cashore said it's taken her three years to write the final in this trilogy in an interview with Enchanted Inkpot blog. One of the reasons she said she struggled was having to deal with Leck, a horrible, sadistic character that overlaps in all three books (and actually, his appearance makes them companion novels). Leck enjoys twisting people into doing his bidding.
" I can’t imagine ever writing more than a few pages from Leck’s viewpoint; I honestly think it would be bad for my mental health to try to do more," Kristin told her interviewer, Cindy Pon. "He really doesn’t have a single redeeming quality, and writing the glimpses into his psyche was a disturbing experience for me."
That reminded me of a scene I'd struggled with a few days before. Creepy Guy wasn't even an MC - just a character I'd created to keep tension high. Oh, and he made my skin crawl. He had really bad urges and smelled like blood and he had pustules all over his skin...ugh. I couldn't wait to kill him off. And I didn't wait. One brutal, gory scene later and bye, bye Creepy Guy.
I also avoid stories with characters like that who narrate. There's enough awful stuff in the world today without entering into the mind of a fictional killer, IMO. But there's no denying that they drive a whole genre of mysteries/thrillers, which is my preferred genre to both read and write. So sooner or later, I'm going to have to have a more than passing relationship with a nasty.
So...what do you do when you've got to pull a Dr. Frankenstein and crawl inside the monster of your own creation? How do you keep that slimey feeling from coating your brain while you plot?