Anne Rice, a writer whose works I’ve adored since I was a teenager, offered up some advice I’ve never forgotten.
To go where the pleasure is, as well as the pain.
Expressing what’s raw and painful can be cathartic. It’s a powerful source of emotion to draw upon, our own pain.
Writing about what’s fun, what fascinates you, well, there’s a good chance you’ll keep writing if you’re interested, isn’t there?
How apt that Anne Rice was the one who offered this advice. She’s been the source of many of story I loved. Her concept of vampires utterly hooked me. More than the characters, I loved those vampire characters themselves.
Her vampire, Louis was so gentle and compassionate. Philosophical and often passive, he showed me that a follower is not a character to be ridiculed. Followers can do terrible things when their leaders are taken from them.
Louis’s did terrible and touching things for the sake of others. He lived for other people, making his brother, Lestat, Claudia, and Armand the centers of his world. Doing this left him extremely vulnerable to those people. His own perception of those centers often got in the way of actually seeing them.
The intial story with Louis’ brother sparked off an idea of my own, about a protective older brother keeping his younger ones sheltered from the outside world. This concept has evolved and changed over the years into Leiwell, the lead character in Protecting the Lights, which is appearing in parts at the Cauldron on Mondays and Saturdays. (He also has a part to play in my novels under revision; Stealing Myself From Shadows, The Hand and the Eye of the Tower, and A Godling for Your Thoughts? )
Leiwell isn’t Louis, but they have certain qualities in common other than black hair, green eyes, and pale skin. No, Leiwell isn’t a vampire, he’s a creature of shadow trying to exist in a real world. Such creatures do have certain qualities in common with vampires which I explore in my Tales of the Navel/The Shadow Forest stories.
Like Louis, Leiwell lives for other people. His master, the one who shaped him from the shadows. His mothers, who gave him a home in the real world. Above all, his little brothers, the ‘lights’ he’s determined to protect.
Such devotion will get him into trouble. When he’s at odds with one of the people he lives for, what can he do?
What will he do when they’re at odds with each other?
These questions I often explore when writing about Leiwell. Discovering the answers can be quite satisfying.
What about you, dear reader? Do you go where the pleasure is? What do you enjoy reading and or writing about? Any interests which sparked off ideas of your own?