Saturday, February 04, 2012

Contrasting Protagonists

All week, I've been hammering out a new chapter which might need to be broken down into two in my next book, Blood On The Vine.  As I've been writing, I've found it interesting how different the protagonist of this story is compared to Skye from my two Clouded Skye books.  I thought I would write up some of the comparisons.

Skye starts life as an orphaned street urchin.  She grows up to be a curious happy-go-lucky wanderer.  Life is a game, life is fun.  She's rather charismatic and optimistic.

Sanami, on the other hand, starts life as a slave on a plantation where a key ingredient to magic potions are grown.  She is cynical, abrasive, outspoken, and rebellious.  Life is not a game but a war.

Skye is short and skinny, the result of a youth of malnutrition and stunted growth.  Sanami is tall and gawky, the result of being born half Saphiir (a taller people generally), and half Yaddi (a shorter or more average people generally).

Both learned to fight but for different reasons.  Skye learned in order to survive but mostly because she found it fun.  Sanami learned to fight with the goal of rebelling against and destroying her slave masters.  Skye focused on learning to fight with swords while Sanami learned to fight with nothing but her own body.  Sanami's Kamaktan martial art form is heavily inspired by Brazil's Capoeira, a form developed by black slaves on Portuguese settled plantations in Brazil.  It was developed to condition their bodies to fight or escape their masters while being disguised as little more than an African tribal dance.

I like writing about Skye because she's funny and outright quirky.  I like writing about Sanami because she has a fighting spirit, raging against the machine and all that.  The two are nothing alike but they are both strong characters (see my post about strong women).  Both have ample reason to simply sit and bemoan their miserable lives, "Wo is me, my life sucks, poor me".  But no, they don't.  They both attack life head on.  Skye propels herself forward on hope and optimism.  Sanami propels herself forward on anger.  Neither sit navel gazing.

I can't wait till I get Blood On The Vine out for you guys!  You're going to love it!  The setting is so rich and open ended.  I could see myself writing stories in this setting for years.

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