THE PLOT THICKENS

ON A SUPPORTING CHARACTER IN PRIVATEER

If you’ve been keeping up, you may be wondering about the hunk-and-a-half who was introduced to the story a few days ago. Wanna know a secret? So am I.

I knew that Derek Aubrey had to come into the picture at some point. What I didn’t know was how I was going to make the guy into the total *melt*-fest that I considered him to be. He needed a nonchalant manner. He needed a crooked smile. He needed a hero complex. He needed chest hair.

When I began to introduce Derek, I seriously took my time. I may yet go back and touch it up, but I literally took an entire day to choose the first words for his adorable mouth to utter. I don’t think I’ve ever written a character like this before—one whom I could so clearly see in my head that I had to be this precise with diction, so that my readers would see him exactly as I do. It’s pretty much terrifying, especially when even you as the author don’t know exactly how he’ll develop later on.

Okay, but can we linger on the name for a few moments? Derek Aubrey. Derek… Aubrey. Aubrey, Derek Aubrey. Thank you, gods of BabyNames.com. Is it just me, or does it really roll off the tongue? I kind of think it sounds like a name from a romance novel, or maybe a pen name, or someone who might appear in a Hollywood adaptation of Shakespeare.

Sorry, sorry. I’m done now.

Derek’s only been in the story for a few pages now, but somehow, his presence alone has dulled Charmaine’s sharp tongue and (I think) eased her intense personality. He has that effect on people. He has that effect on ME.

You know you need a life when you develop a crush on a character that you’re writing. *facepalm*

But, considering that I based his looks off of actor/heartthrob Ben Barnes, if you really think about it… it’s, uh… actually not that weird at all. Right? Don’t answer that.

—Samantha Chaffin

P.S. – As of today, I’m at 27,451 words. It’s kind of a miracle.

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7 thoughts on “THE PLOT THICKENS

  1. storymultiverse says:

    Derek Aubrey is an awesome name. Always cool when you nail it. I may or may not change the names right I’m working with for my NaNo project . . . we will see.

    • samchaffin says:

      Oh man! Isn’t that daunting? Maybe it’s just me, but when I settle on a name, there’s really no going back. I admire writers who can change a character’s name without changing their perception of the character him/herself. Good luck!

  2. TheJaneite says:

    I cannot express my pleasure reading this post. You do have a life- it’s writing an amazing character that I can very quickly get a crush on myself. So keep doing it. I adore him already…is that premature? And HE LOOKS LIKE BEN BARNES?!?!?! Heck to the yes. I do hope you mean the new and improved grown-up Ben Barnes from Voyage of the Dawn Treader / Dorian Grey (not Prince Caspian) who has a beard-thing going on (did I just say I like a beard on someone? Yes. It is a first.). And oh my word, thank you for taking that time to write so perfectly because- you nailed it. Honestly- the way even Charmaine is a bit weak-kneed facing his gorgeous-ness (yes, Charmaine)- it’s just wonderful. I love your book. That’s all I can say. And YES- the name is tremendous. Phenomenal, even. Derek fits him perfectly and Aubrey? Kinda like a little nod to Jack Aubrey there? Even if not, coincidence is lovely. So please don’t keep me waiting too long for the next chapter(s). I neeeeeeeed more.

  3. TheJaneite says:

    Oh, and if it’s wrong to have a crush on one of your own characters, I’m guilty. My first completed novel had a hero that I was seriously in love with. I guess that’s the way it works. Now, as I revise, I realize that Aidan himself is actually not very well written; it’s just that I knew exactly what he’d be like to talk to, and I loved how long-suffering and sullen he was. Haha Derek, however, is perfect. 🙂 I am a fan.

    • samchaffin says:

      Haha oh Lydia, I cannot express my joy at the thought of someone else sharing my love for Derek’s character and name (as bizarre as THAT sounds…)! And gosh yes, older Ben Barnes = dreamboat. Pretty much NEEDED to base a character on him, there really was no choice in the matter. 😉 And oh! I KNEW that name sounded familiar. I hadn’t actually thought about Jack Aubrey at all when I chose the name, but now that you’ve pointed it out—YES! Absolutely full of coincidental win. Haha oh my, do you know what I think? I think I really need to read Betrayal (maybe once you finish revising?). I read the snippet that you posted on your blog, or maybe that was from the sequel, but in any case I was captivated!

  4. deshipley says:

    “You know you need a life when you develop a crush on a character that you’re writing.” — whoops. It sounds like I need several lives.
    The writing of the crushworthy is a daunting privilege. After all, we don’t want to love them on our ownsome. Our task is to show readers who don’t know why they should love them exactly wherein the big “why” lies. From the looks of TheJaneite’s comments, it looks like you’re doing alright. (:

    • samchaffin says:

      HA, love it, Danielle. As people who spend hours staring at pieces of notebook paper and computer screens, we all probably need several lives… But I love how you put it—gotta make the reader see the “why.” I 1,000% agree. It’s the execution that’s the daunting part.

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