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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Character Clinic: Ally and Sam Knight

I've got two of May's triplet siblings on the couch today. They are both found in her YA fantasy novel involving mythological gods. The two of them lost their mother of the flu when they were young, and their father raised them. They have another sibling, Nico, who is in the middle of Ally (the oldest) and Sam (the youngest). Both Ally and Sam exceedingly excel at sports. Ally wants to save her best friend, but the gods are getting in her way Sam just wants to figure out what happened to his mother.

May wants to know for Ally: What other personality traits do you think she possess? Any greatest weakness, suggestions? And for Sam: How should his life play out in this book? What, if anything, should I add to him?

Well, the premise of the book is intriguing. I don't know of many recent YA releases that deal with gods like Apollo, Set, and Horus. (By the way, Apollo is a Greek god and the others are more Egyptian...just an aside. Actually Horus--or Heru--is the Egyptian equivalent of Apollo.) So that's an interesting angle.

Ally seems to be a vivacious, outgoing teen. Her lack of maternal support while growing up should have some sort of effect on her. You mentioned that Sam is the one who wants to find out what happened to his mother, but Ally should, too. Unless she has some other female mentor? Growing up with just males, her relationship with her girlfriend would be of extreme importance...a connection to the feminine world she doesn't have in her own home.

I love that you've given Sam the fear of thunder, even though he comes across as a very courageous and brave guy who would do anything for his family. It's awesome that you've got him interacting with Set, the god of storms and chaos. I mean, this is built-in tension, which is great.

Of the two, Sam seems the weakest, but in all honesty, both your characters would benefit from you reading Debra Dixon's Goal, Motivation and Conflict. (This is the cheapest link I could find it priced at.) It will help you beef up their conflicts and motivations, as you seem to have very clear inner and outer goals lined up. Your answers for the rest of the intake form were brief and a bit on the surface level. You've got to take these characters deeper!

I welcome any questions you might have in the comment section. Best of luck to you!

If you missed my post yesterday on why being a writer can be like carrying Dexter's "dark passenger," click here to join in on the discussion!