A few of my April drabbles were me playing around with characters and ideas, one of those characters was that of Maeve.
Now, Maeve is a character that I actually used to play in D&D - she was a "rogue" then, but when I needed a warrior-class character for my fantasy novel, I decided that I would resurrect her and change her into a warrior, rather than a rogue/thief-class.
Because I used to play her in D&D though, I have a pretty firm idea of who Maeve is. I know her personality and I have a certain concrete image of her in my head.
A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting on the skytrain on my way to archery class, and Maeve sat down across from me. Now, mind you, I'm sure this woman had her own personality and I didn't talk to her to find out what it was (because I was trying to not be creepy while I was freaking out.), but the woman who sat down across from me was Maeve, perfectly, TO A TEE. She was absolutely gorgeous, on the smaller side, beautiful black hair, beautiful eyes. She even held herself the same way I always envisioned Maeve holding herself.
The only thing different was the fact that she was Indian. (South-Asian? I don't know even know the proper ethnicity term.)
...and then I realized that everyone (or at least the main cast) in my novel was white.
Eventually, my beautiful perfect Maeve got off the train and all I could do was sit there and wonder, "Why did I ever make her white?"
So, now Maeve is brown-skinned and even more awesome than before (and since Maeve has a brother, he's been appropriately changed as well)... and I've consciously tried to change my "factory-default" settings of making all characters is my own image (ie: white). It works out great, really, because I did have one lone black secondary character before...and now he won't be the odd one out.
In other fantasy novel news... I've realized that while one of my strengths is coming up with really good protagonist characters (IMHO), one of my weakness is not being able to come up with good bad guys. I'm pretty sure this is one of the main reasons that my first attempt at a novel didn't work out so well...(which some of you kindly know because you read it even though it had major problems in the end). I'm just not good at coming up with evil plots or things for the protagonists to battle against.
The problem with the fantasy novel is that I still have this problem. I've once again come up with 5-6 protagonists that all kick ass, and I only have a vague idea of who their opposition is, and even that vague idea of a villain isn't really that well flushed out like my protagonists are.
And to top it all off, the plot that I HAVE set up (vaguely) kind of demands that their enemies be political in nature... like, there has to be a certain aspect of political-conspiracy and power-grabbing and such-like...I don't even know the TERMS for it, that's how bad I am at this stuff.
Even when I was studying history, it was more social-cultural history than political history. But, the tentative plot I've started up requires me to work out internal politics between governments, monarchies, and military...as well as foreign affairs with a neighbouring country... and yeah... I don't know how on earth I'm going to figure all that out.
Anyway, yeah, this is just me complaining that writing is hard.