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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Character Clinic: Eduard Hunter

Today, I've got Hafizah's character Eduard on the couch. He's a 17-year-old who can control fire. He lived with his mother and brother in an apartment, but they were killed from a fire that Eduard thinks might be his fault. He's not real savvy yet with his powers, and they sometimes make him want to do things he knows aren't moral or right, but feel good. Eduard finds out that he's not biologically related to the people who died, and yet he can't find out anything about them. His only relative alive is a half-sister who wants him dead. His best friend is kidnapped to another world, and he wants to save her.

Hafizah wants to know: I just want to know if Eduard is one of those stereotypical protagonist cliches. Also, I'm not sure if I've done a good job in "fleshing" him out. Lastly, do you have any suggestions on how to make him into a more believable and real character?

Halfizah -

Eduard sounds pretty multi-dimensional to me. You'd given him a great inward tension by disrupting his known identity and allowing him to learn that his parents aren't really his parents. Even more, you've given him this great motivator of guilt, thinking that the fire that killed them was at his novice fire-bending hands. That's got angst written all over it, which translates well to readers turning a page.

In addition, with the moral complexity you've included with his use of the powers, I don't think much of him rings like a stereotype. I think this is fantastic fleshing out, honestly.

As to what you can do to flesh him out, I'm going to direct you to a post that I wrote a few months ago. Why reinvent the wheel? I attended a Donald Maass workshop a three years ago that was phenomenal. It is basically exercises of his Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook and book.  Check it out and let me know how that helps.

Best of luck with this novel!