Writing gray character = fun! (Character Development of Lark)

In the second part of Writing gray characters= fun, I am going to introduce you to Lady Meadowlark, Daughter of Lady Nora and Calafas the Bowyer. Younger sister to Oroderthin and older sister to Calthal.

Though Lark is a “good” character, she too falls in the realm of a gray character– primarily because she will do anything to succeed. She believes in the “ends justifies the means” even when she is the one who faces loss by her decisions.

Lark was Nora’s first child to prove her place in House T’Ralom and named beloved granddaughter of Lady Aster. As I said in Orin’s post, Lark came to me very close to fully formed. It was her counterpart which was the question. Even so, there were a few things I needed to work out when I first began to write the stories.

Obviously the first issue was their relationship. The second one was how do I make this young lady on a dangerous quest a little more interesting?

Hypothesis: the most boring stories are wishes that come true without trials. Lark has two spoken goals in bringing Orin back to the Daoine. First of all, she believes this will cure their father’s broken heart and make him well. Secondly it will prove that Nora’s bloodline is strong. She also has one private wish: that Orin will provide kinship that she needs.

So those are her goals, but how did I make Lark herself more interesting?

As I said in the previous post: making Lark and Orin siblings makes it easier for them to be cruel to each other without dire consequences, while Orin is basically a villain softened through the eyes of his little sister, what makes Lark interesting is her hard side mixing with her weakness.

Hardness:

1) She is not an ingenue. Prior to The Carp’s Eye, she fought both the internal and external enemies of the Darien and won a war for the Daoine which has caused her promotion to Lady of the Forest at the tender age of 85. (If she had been a human girl, she would have been about 14).  She knows how to win wars. Throughout the books, the reader sees it is her who sees how to get things done.

2) She doesn’t like hurting people, but she will do what is necessary.  

Lark’s memory of her nights with Galdor from Living Stone

3)  Unlike other young maidens, she is not a virgin. Prior to her journey to find Orin, she had an affair with Galdor– a boy from her village. She is in love with him, but his jealousy of her promotion tore them apart.  Orin knows she made a “little mistake with Galdor” and like many big brothers, he doesn’t particularly want her talking to boys until she is older.  Lark likes talking to boys and will even disobey Orin to do so, but she doesn’t sleep around simply because she understands how babies are made. (Lord Brogan and Healer Nonia made sure of this fact after Galdor.)

Weakness:

1) Lark was abandoned many times in her life, now her need for companionship and love is so great that she accepts abuse.  (As I said in the previous post, physical abuse of children was a learned behavior in their household/society.) As an adult brother of a child normally he would have authority over her, but Lark is not just a kid anymore, she is also a Lady of the Daoine. Inside the village, due to her rank, if she ever tells anyone that Orin hits her, their extended family will kill them, so she keeps quiet.

Another point which is related, but not exactly a weakness is Lark has had such a tough life, that she prefers death to failure. She doesn’t always think of the consequences of her actions and will put her life and her place in the House on the line. The reader sees this during the Goblin Skirmishes when she stood up against the entire counsel, how she stood against Malak in order to protect Orin during the Carp’s Eye and how she disobeyed Orin in Living Stone because she knew of the job (and as you can see from the image below rescued two puppies in the process.)

So that is an introduction to Lark’s character. How do you form your characters?

If you like what you see consider supporting the Print Faminelands: Mareton’s Curse Kickstarter Campaign which is running between Mid- October to Mid November. More information to follow….

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One response to this post.

  1. […] days, I have written about how I write gray characters in Faminelands. I talked about both Orin and Lark, but today I am going to talk about how I wrote my two favorite characters: Lady Aster and her […]

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