Of Pen and Ink – The Ever-Changing Anatomy of Creativity: Part 2

I’ve discussed this once before, when I talked about how my main novel started as a fiction submission for Wizards of the Coast’s shared world book line.

Now I’d like to talk about how even the story line itself has transmuted considerably. Since my protagonist has his origins as a character I created for a roleplaying game, it’s only natural that he was in his prime. Twenty-three, I believe, in his first inception, while I was only 15. This makes sense because in a fantasy roleplaying world of danger, an adventurer has to be old enough to hold his own. So his original story line was thusly based off some of his pen and paper adventures, including an antagonist that mirrored his personality. (A little cliché, looking back – probably inspired by the similarities and disparities between Drizzt Do’Urden and Artemis Entreri, from R. A. Salvatore’s books.)

When I began adapting it to my own setting I quickly found myself asking, “How did he get to this point? What makes him act like this?” Most of these questions had already been answered in my character’s background, but it was spotty; just enough to build on for a roleplaying character but not enough to satisfy me. And so much had changed with the shift in setting, that I knew I had to build his history from scratch and tailor it to this world. And even that wasn’t enough. I couldn’t be satisfied with how he had grown, I had to know how his antagonist had grown. I wasn’t happy with a two-dimensional villain.

So now, instead of a novel dealing with a 23 year-old committing acts of daring do, I have a launch title consisting of a 12 year-old pulling pranks on his family and unwitting teachers.

And the antagonist? His story will certainly be told as well.

~Meredith Purk

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3 thoughts on “Of Pen and Ink – The Ever-Changing Anatomy of Creativity: Part 2

  1. Absolutely! If anything, my protagonist may become a little less shallow in personality (he was always self-absorbed) from having the chance to grow on the pages. Like you, I’ve learned that giving myself deadlines and trying to rush to publication isn’t the way to get things done. And at least my story should benefit from this evolution.

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