Friday, July 26, 2013

ROUGH MAGIC: Nik & Nika's Relationship

I realized my last post about writing ROUGH MAGIC may have been a bit boorish. Stuff you've already heard. Here's the author lamenting about the process of writing...blah, blah, blah...which, to be honest, is as easy or hard to perfect as any other craft.

What I wanted to talk about today was the relationship between the two main protagonists, Niksabella, and her brother, Nikselpik--without giving any spoilers, of course--and how that relationship mirrors the relationship I had with my brother growing up. I wrote the skeleton of ROUGH MAGIC almost a decade ago. These two characters have been in my head for quite some time, so it amazes me I didn't come to this conclusion sooner.

My brother and I. We went to the same schools, played sports, and were relatively well-liked. Just normal kids, really. But I was the eldest by four years, and I remember giving my brother quite a hard time all the way up until my freshman year in high school.

I'll be honest here, I was a bit of a bully. A dickhead, is probably more accurate.

Notwithstanding the fact that I felt my brother was a mama's boy, over-coddled, and genuinely a little shit. Looking back, nothing could have been further from the truth. We were just different kids. He was crankier (back then) and I was always the self-sufficient, leave-me-alone type kid. Yet, he cried a lot, complained a lot, had a huge temper. He got on my damn nerves!

Let me give you an example. One time, I was talking to a girl on the phone--I was probably thirteen--and my brother got on the second phone, making those weird perverted noises only a little brother wanting to spoil your potential first date can make. I was furious. I hung up, chased him through the house, and shoved him into edge of an open door, where he busted his nose wide open; He may have broken it, I can't remember. I know there was a lot of blood.

Fights like that happened a lot. Him getting on my nerves, me blasting him, and mom coming to pull us apart. A similar incident happened at the zoo where he got on my nerves so bad I tackled him in the grass and pummeled him until he was, again, rescued by mom. Of course, I always loved my brother, and aside from the occasional fight, we were actually good friends. He snubbed my bullying, and usually gave back pretty good. We were often on the same teams for neighborhood pickup games. We played RISK, D&D, and Titan together.

Over time, those incidents waned and disappeared as I went off to college and my brother made his own way through life. I still can't remember why I got so mad at him back then, or what prompted me to bully him. I was generally a good kid and didn't pick on anyone else, nor did I have any disciplinary problems.

Yet, our past resurfaced, subconsciously, while dreaming up ROUGH MAGIC, manifesting in the two main protagonists, Nik and Nika. Why? I believe it was because I felt horrible about what I'd done, and I wanted to find someway to apologize as well as allow my brother to have a chance to confront me about it (in a fictional setting). Although we've never talked about our past in that sense--I still don't know if he remembers things the same way I do--creating Nik and Nika allowed me to work out that situation, to take a look inside the head of someone being bullied, and to see how that could have affected them negatively. Probably to punish myself as well.

That's what drew me (and continues to draw me) into the Nik/Nika relationship. They still have a lot of shit to work out. It gets deep, much deeper than anything me and my brother went through. It is, at times, intense...and I have to step away from the keyboard.

Anyway, that's the story. That became my motivation for this brother and sister duo. I hope you take the time to read about them in ROUGH MAGIC (GnomeSaga #1) and continue in book #2, THE TINKERMAGE.

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