Writing Update: The Characters of Intersection Thirteen

My draft of my next novel is still proceeding well. It currently sits at five complete chapters and a sixth only just started. Total word count is 26,500 words. I’m still feeling as though there’s a long way to go. I probably have not crossed the one-third mark.

The main characters continue to feel good. I want to write this week about about the point-of-view character. Her name is Mira Rous, and I started this project with her very clearly in mind. She is driven, capable, and hungry for knowledge. However, she has also had a hard life with a lot of betrayal and loss, and as such she’s always wary of people she’s just met. It’s hard for her to trust anyone.

I’m trying something new structurally with this novel (which will surprise no one who is familiar with my writing). Each chapter starts with a letter from Mira to her boyfriend, who is also the leader of the group she belongs to on Earth. The letters give me a mechanism to establish her personality vis-à-vis somone she can trust and also gives me a venue for her to describe what she’s learning about Intersection Thirteen. The middle of each chapter narrates her exploits in the intersection, while the end of a chapter will jump back to her past on Earth, helping orient the reader to the 24th century society that generated her.

There are two intersection personalities who started out much more vaguely in my mind than Mira. One is Cathy, a PR expert for the Intersection Thirteen government, but she’s got a lot of layers and lot of hidden complexity that I dare not spoil. Another person that Mira meets in the intersection is Martin, a journalist for a left-wing newspaper. It’s amusing to play Mira off Martin because Mira is so jaded and cynical, whereas Martin’s comfortable existence allows him to be completely candid and congenial. He’s the guy who will talk you up about anything you’re interested in, and then tell you his life story, and all about the pocket universe he lives in, both its virtues and vices. Mira is stunned that he can even exist, once she lets go of her assumption that he’s part of a government plot to learn her secrets or steal her technology.

But my favorite aspect about Mira far and away is her love of books, and how she will go to great lengths to preserve precious literature. I definitely put her amongst my favorite of all the protagonists I’ve created.