LinkedinTwitterThe DetailsConnectBlog Facebook Meet the TherapistHome For Writers

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Treatment Tuesday - Comicbook Queen Esther

This week's assessment is from Clarissa. She's doing a comic book in the style of manga that is loosely based on the book of Esther. It takes place in a mythical Eastern Europe country called Karj.

Kilgore* is the son of the prince of Karj and a woman from new-money nobility, a relationship which was not well received by the prince's family. To save Kilgore's live from a "hit" ordered by the king, the king's closest servant switches his stillborn with Kilgore and raises him as his own. When Kilgore meets his biological father, who is now the king of Karj, his father dotes on him, seeing glimpses of the noble woman he had loved and lost to death. However, Kilgore's stepbrother Borimir* is insanely jealous and later tortures Kilgore with cuts to his face and makes him listen as his wife Nadine* is beaten to death. Instead of being psychologically broken, Kilgore fights back, leading a revolution to overthrow Borimir. Dani*, the heroine travels from America back to Karj (where she was adopted from) to do a two-year medical internship, much to her parent's dismay. She saves Kilgore when war breaks out, but his eyes are hurt and he never sees her before his friends spirit him away. Borimir kidnaps Dani and grooms her to become one of his many mistresses, but Kilgore storms the capital and Borimer leaves, leaving Dani as well, and Kilgore forms an instant attachment to her.

* Names have been changed to protect the fictional.

Clarissa wants to know: What would make Kilgore form an instant bond with Dani? Would it be the fact she was almost abused by Borimir? Would the death of Kilian's wife make him protective/possessive over Dani? Are the fears valid that Dani's family have, specifically her mother's fear that she is rejecting her adopted family in some way?
I'd say the best thing you have working for an instant attachment is that time period Dani has with Kilgore when she rescues him from the battle. I'd play that portion of the novel up, because that'll give the reader romantic undertones you'll need later.

If Kilgore's eyes are hurt and he can't see her, his other senses will be heightened. He'll tune in to his rescuer's scent, lilt of her voice (which will sound more Americanized in Eastern Europe, right?), the feel of her clothing brushing against him as she tends to his wounds.

What might make it an even more psychologically powerful scene (or two or four) with him would be to give him the background of his eyes being somehow partially damaged during his earlier torture with Borimir. (Whether for that time period, or a more permanent eye injury to contend with on a daily basis.) Maybe that experience prompted him to hone his other senses more so than average, so that's he's really tuned into the nuances of his experience with Dani a.k.a. Florence Nightengale.

If his eyes were hurt during the time when he had to listen to Borimir kill Nadine, then he wouldn't have had his eyes to rely on to say his final goodbye to Nadine when they brought her corpse in to him. This would connect his past vulnerable state to how he feels when he's in Dani's care, possibly connecting the two women on a high, psychological plane. The fact she was almost abused by Borimir would certainly work in the same vein to connect him to her. Dani was someone he could save, and that might heal a part of him that still grieves over Nadine. Something to play with, at any rate.

You mentioned Kilgore's love language being touch and that if he trusts someone, he will touch them. This will be interesting for his brief recovery time with Dani because if he can't see, there will be much more touching than usual between strangers. Brilliant, if you ask me, as it really puts him out there in unknown or uncomfortable territory, exposing him for this one woman. This is a lot of inner tension for someone like him, which I would think would translate just as well to comics as the page. Plus, it's bound to affect him, because people who speak one love language generally prefer to have that same love language spoken to him....and that will be an instant connection to his rescuer.

Now you just have to figure out a few things to connect the rescuer to Dani in Kilgore's mind. (Presumably Dani will know who she had saved because she will be able to see Kilgore when she's rescued?) So you'll draw back on those things his other ability to evoke powerful memories. I'd use that one along with his love language of make him aware of something he touched of his rescuer's that Dani has. Maybe it'll be something on her (like a scar on her hand) or an article of clothing, etc.

As far as the possessive/protective question, you have to figure that Kilgore doesn't know who Dani is right away. She's been almost abused in the worst way by Kilgore's archenemy, and I think this will make him very protective of her. I mean, Kilgore's a good guy, right? An average guy would want to keep her out of harm's way, and if you add in Kilgore's history, he'd have even more reason/drive to do so. But possessive? Not initially, but perhaps more and more as he connects his rescuer with her (assume Dani doesn't just come right out and tell him).

You're other question about Dani's foster parents, especially her mother, feeling like Dani is rejecting them when she wants to go back to her homeland....I'd say this could be spot on. Realistic, feasible, you name it. Adoption can be TOUGH. For people who never see things behind the scenes, it's hard to understand. But a parent who finally gets a child, connects/bonds with that child, the greatest fear is always that something or someone--whether a little known legal loophole for bio parents to swoop in and take the child back or a medical internship back to where the child was adopted from--will take them away. Dani's mother's fears are very rationally based, although she acts irrationally, which is her chosen way to deal with the perceived threat.

Hope this has been helpful. As always, I'm happy to field questions in the comments section!

Wordle: signature


Shannon said...

Wow, I have to say that not only is this an interesting plot premise but probably one of the most detailed and interesting Character Treatments I've seen Jeannie do (and that's compared to some pretty great Treatments). Nicely done. It's even given me a lot to think about with my own characters.

Clar said...

Holy crap this is great! I read and reread the treatment absorbing every little bit of information. (Great pic of a doctor with a bat)

I must say you made the premise sound cooler then I did ^_^!

I was actually thinking about having his eyes temporarily affected by torture but now I know I'll have to do it.(its quite poetic because in the story he is emotionally blinded by his anger and wish for revenge)

Dani's organization she works for is forbidden to give aid to members of Kilgore's army so she is stepping out of line to help him (she argues that she is helping just one individual) But in reality she does more then that.

When he becomes conscious does he push her away thinking his in the clutch's of Borimir?

I'm glad that I've made the mom's fear reasonable, but should her behavior be a little more subtle? I've also thought about how Dani would help her mother. She promised that she would call her every night so when she goes missing her poor mother freaks out.

Thank you thank you thank you! this helps out soooo much! I was thinking too far ahead of the story but you redirected me back to the period where Dani takes care of Kilgore. Back to work I go!

Post a Comment

Both comments and questions are welcome. I hope you enjoyed your time on the couch today.