One of the hardest things about writing a book is creating a new being from scratch. Not only do you have to come up with a physical description, but you also have to figure out their personality and behavior traits and do your best to stick with the blueprint throughout the book. The only problem with that is…. sometimes they take on a personality of their own.
Paeris is particularly difficult.
When coming up with him, I knew from the beginning he was going to be complex. Being a mixed-race elf, whose unique heritage has forced him to spend most of his life in isolation, it was a given that he would have difficulty dealing with other elves. But I didn’t want him to be all bitterness and anger.
I wanted him to have a bit of a lighter side, coupled with a sarcastic sense of humor. Unfortunately, I have a tendency to lean toward the ‘dark side’ I guess you could say, and I often caught myself getting a little off track. That has led me to write and delete nearly 6000 words thus far, as I try to rework the scenes so that they fit the idea of who I think Paeris should be.
Below, for your reading enjoyment is one of those scenes. Be warned it is unedited and rough. In it, Paeris is talking about the first time he realized the other elves feared him because of his appearance. Give it a read and let me know what you think!
I’ve never been claimed to be a perfect person. Quite the opposite, actually. I am impulsive, hard-headed, and have a slight issue with anger. I can’t help it. It was the way I learned to cope with the relentless taunting and abuse I suffered at the hands of the villagers. All it took was seeing the fear in one lady’s eyes when I snapped back at her for her cruel words for me to realize I didn’t have to take it all lying down. These fools were as afraid of me as I was of them. Not because my barely three-foot self was intimidating, but because they had never seen anyone like me before, and had no idea what I was or was not capable of.
After that day, I made up my mind that if the world was going to afraid of me, I might as well give them a reason to be. Better to be feared than be afraid, or at least that was my take on the situation. My Mana, however, was not pleased with my new outlook on life or my change in behavior.
Fear feeds hatred Paeris, it doesn’t destroy it. By terrifying them you are only fanning the flames of a fire that will one day consume you.
Mana was right, she always was. But I was too young and hard headed to listen. Kind of difficult to be logical when you are being spat on by a priest who supposedly lives ‘in the light of peace’. But like Mana said, hate begets hate. And the more I fought back, the more they loathed me. Insults and disgusted looks turned into threats and acts of violence, until one day the inevitable happened. I was attacked, beaten, and stabbed by an angry mob. To this day, I have no idea how Mana got me out of that mess and back to our house. All I know is she spent months nursing me back to health and we never set foot in a village again.
Triumph of the Unworthy
K. R Fajardo