Saturday, May 25, 2013

Did Someone Say Inner Voices?

My heroes and heroines tend to be people of action, pretty much always in motion. They have thoughts, they do grow and change over the course of the novels, but there isn't much inner dialogue. Or at least not too much that gets shared with the audience or even with me, the Author LOL!

The Egyptian god Sobek in PRIESTESS OF THE NILE, for example, is grappling with the idea of being in love with a human woman and by extension having to care about the things that concern her, like Merys's younger sister. Sobek is a force of nature, keeping the Nile flowing smoothly, so it was fun to write about him trying to understand the emotions of another person. He was especially challenged to bring his attention down to the mundane daily issues of human life but because he loves Merys so much, he makes the effort. At one point he even takes on human guise to walk through her village and see the people and the place from her viewpoint. So there were bits and pieces of his thoughts in the book, but no long, extended self debate. In fact, he's trying to hide his thoughts from the goddess Isis.

In WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM, my main character Nick is supposed to be using the time he's on board the luxury space liner to think about the military tribunal he's going to be facing, and to figure out what he's going to do next. I'm afraid he does a lot of drinking before the disaster happens, some gambling occurs, a tour of the ship...he's really reluctant to sit for too long, revisiting the nightmares of his last mission. He consciously avoids that pain. Once the ship comes to grief, Nick is thrown into survival mode, and trying to save other people so his thoughts tend to be along the lines of How many people can I put on this lifeboat and Is that bulkhead going to give way before I get these two trapped children to safety? There are a few moments where he's wistfully contemplating what might have been if he and the heroine had met in a better place and time but....then another crisis hits. I guess that's just how I roll as an author.

Now Khenet, WARRIOR OF THE NILE (out in September), has a recurring dream in the novel. I always feel that my dreams are my own subconscious trying to tell me something important, especially when the dream is long and detailed, or especially vivid. All of which are aspects of Khenet's dream.  Here's the way it usually begins for him:

He was walking up a small ridge, taking deep breaths of the fresh mountain air, inhaling the perfume of delicate white flowers that grew nowhere else but here. Soon he would be at the top of the rise and the village would be visible, safe in its snug valley. Only it had not been safe, had offered no shield for his people from the violent, bone breaking sickness brought one spring by a flock of migrating birds that had fallen from the sky, ill, dying. No matter how many times he had this damn dream, no matter how hard he tried, he could never control the sequence of events as they unfolded, the direst of nightmares, based on the most painful memories in his soul.
 All he could do was walk through it until the last, bitter moment when he could force himself awake. Again.
Tugged along by the dream, he walked into the village, heading down the dusty central street. The road was empty, no merchants calling out their wares, no women gossiping, no children playing…only the buildings watched him, the windows like blank eyes, doors hanging open like silent screaming mouths. Even the pets and livestock had vanished in his dream. He knew the dead lay fallen behind the walls of their dwellings.
            As he walked, unable to help himself, Khenet stared around longingly. The village itself was always unchanged, just as it had looked the day he’d hiked out, untouched by the disease, sent by his father, the village headman, on a useless journey to the provincial capital to plead for help.  Oh, Nat-re-Akhte’s grandfather the nomarch had sent help – he was a good provincial ruler – but the assistance had arrived much too late to do anything but bury the dead.
His family’s modest house stood at this end of the road.
The only good part about this dream was that he never got that far, never had to open the door and see what had happened to his parents, his brothers and sisters.
Because now the worst portion of the dream was going to begin, as it always did....

So that's about as inner monologue-y as I ever get...
(You can find out more about WARRIOR on my web page and it is up for pre-order...but I'm afraid you won't be able to see how the dream turns out until September 16th!)

(Photo at the top of the blog post from SXC by ba1969, photo directly above is from the Author)

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