I’ve been working a lot on making the main character of Faerie Blood a bit more appealing to the readers. As an exercise recommended by a thus-far-wonderful ebook, the title of which I shall pass on if, when I finish it, I deem it worthy, I wrote a scene from an alternative POV in which two characters are discussing the MC. I kind of like it and would like to know what you think.
WIPpet Wednesday, on the very off chance you haven’t heard of it yet, is a weekly blog hop in which the various members post snippets of their works in progress. The only rule is to relate the snippet to the date somehow (usually with convoluted math, though other methods are allowed as well) and show general obeisance to our Grand Mistress, K.L. Schwengel. My math this week goes… um… um… It took me about ten minutes to type this? Maybe? Warning: It’s over 700 words. *cringe* Sorry. When I started writing, I thought it would be closer to 200.
Blake plopped onto the couch next to Jason. “So. Heard from her yet?”
Jason passed on of the game controllers to Blake. “Nah. The camp she’s at is in the middle of nowhere. I don’t think we’ll hear from her for a while.”
Blake nodded understanding. Harsha’s quest for a cure often put her in strange and, as her most recent attempt proved, dangerous situations. He didn’t like it, but what could he do? Their relationship bordered on mere friendship. Try as he might to deepen the bond, Harsha refused to cooperate. “Think she’ll be okay?”
Jason lifted one shoulder and let it drop. He wielded his on-screen character to trounce Blake’s.
Blake cursed, pretending he disliked losing. In truth, Jason’s casual dismissal of Harsha’s safety angered him. “You’re not worried?”
Jason pressed his lips together and moved his head toward the screen, eyes forward as if nothing but the game mattered. His fingers flew over the buttons, pommeling Blake’s character with a series of digital kicks and punches.
Blake watched the man-boy brother of his not-quite girlfriend with growing frustration, wondering if he cared about her at all, or if he just sponged off her. Jason stared at the screen and deployed his character with deadly force, his shoulders hunched. He defeated Blake yet again. Livid, not because of the game, but because of Jason’s complacency, Blake dropped the controller in his lap. “I’m tired of this. Let’s see what’s in the fridge.”
Jason shouted an obscene profanity and threw his controller across the room, where it smashed against the wall, bounced back, and landed in pieces. He turned his face to the window, shoulders quivering and chest heaving.
Blake, fearing Harsha’s blame if she came home to find her brother dead because of a temper tantrum, picked up his controller. “Hey, man. It’s okay if you want to keep playing. I just thought you might be hungry.”
“She’s so stubborn.” Jason’s words sounded flat, as if he forced them under a steamroller before letting them pass through his teeth. “No matter what, she gets what she wants, even if it hurts the people around her.”
Blake’s estimation of Jason went up by several points. It seemed the reserved, dependent little brother felt more than passing gratitude for his sister after all.
“She’s always been like that. You know she got me to go on a diet with her once?” Jason turned to face Blake. “Me. An elimination diet, no less.”
Blake raised his eyebrows, impressed. “Wow.”
Blake harbored no illusions regarding the incredible influence Harsha exerted on him. If she asked him for a sample of black coral, he’d kill himself free-diving to get it for her if need be. He assumed his wild disregard for his own desires stemmed from the infatuation he strove, but never managed, to keep in check. Maybe Jason felt the brotherly equivalent of that infatuation.
“The thing is, even when we were little, she never bullied or manipulated to get her way. She just… I dunno. It takes everything I’ve got to tell her, ‘no.’ She just says, “Hey! Let’s do this!” and then it’s like I can’t resist. Sometimes I even think it was my idea to begin with and she just put words to it.”
Blake nodded, remembering several of his own examples of just such a phenomenon. “What is it? What makes everyone around her want to do whatever she wants like that? I’d say her innocence, or something like that, but it’s not.”
“No. Not innocence. She’s seen stuff. Bad stuff. Did she ever tell you about Vegas?”
“She keeps me out.”
“It’s sure not innocence that makes people follow her. I think…” Jason fiddled with one of his nails, bit it, and spit out the clipping. “I think it’s because she still hopes, even though she knows the world is crap. You look at her and you want to be part of it, whatever she’s doing, because it makes you feel like maybe things aren’t as bad as they look, or like, even if they are, you can make it better somehow.”
Blake stared out the window with Jason. Harsha’s brother was right. You looked at Harsha and all you wanted was to make it better, whatever It was, no matter the cost. All he ever wanted anymore, aside from Harsha herself, was to make Harsha’s world better.