Why We’re Content with Love to Change as a Book Ages
I’ve been reading and downright enjoying the Sarah J. Maas series “The Throne of Glass.” It is a vast and comprehensive world of both light and darkness. It is the story of Celaena Sardothien or as her real name comes to be revealed: Aelin Ashryver Whitethorn Galathynius. She is a Fae princess stuck in a human body when the story begins. I don’t really want to get into revealing too much of the story for some who haven’t read this excellent series. What I wanted to discuss is why we’re content with love to change as a book ages.
By which, I mean, there are different choices/different triangles as the story moves along. You wouldn’t think this would be a good move but surprisingly, it works really well for the characters involved because as you would expect: life changes and so should relationships. When we first meet Celaena, she is enamored of the prince who rescued her from a prison of darkness and pain. He is the son of the King who murdered her family and wiped out her bloodline. His name is Prince Dorian. He is charming and smart, a bit of a ladies’ man as can be expected of that type of character.
There is nothing serious between the two. At least, on Celaena’s part as she recognizes she could never belong in his world. She finds the gruff bodyguard of the prince, Chaol, more intriguing. He will not make a move on her, however, as long as Dorian is in the picture because Dorian is also his best friend, and future sworn King.
When Dorian comes to the slow, painful realization that Celaena won’t ever love him back as more than a friend, he steps aside so that she and Chaol can be together. Full of guilt, they begin a love affair too late as Celaena has won the title of King’s Champion (or Assassin) to free herself of the prison forever and now must go about doing the King’s business. But true to her character, there is a façade to her actual deeds that Chaol doesn’t see. He only sees her as a threat to his prince.
To protect her and his prince, he petitions the king to send her to another land for an assignment. The King is only too willing as he believes it will wipe out two of his enemies. While there, she learns about her Fae heritage and how to bring it to the forefront with the help of Prince Rowan. As much as she hates him for the physical and emotional challenges he throws at her, she begins to fall for him as well.
Each of the relationships she goes through is different, unique. I think that’s what makes them believable, sustainable in each case. She’s not just throwing men aside to be with them. She truly cares about each of them. And they in return, care about her. I’m not saying there’s no jealousy between the men. There most certainly is but they work through it and get to a different spectrum of the their relationship with her.
And we, the reader, can see why she falls for each of them and in return, why she passes on the ones before Rowan. I’ve never read a series like this. Where you actually go through the fall and breakup with the character and then the new bud of another relationship instead of the Twilightish triangle/till death to us part ideal.
This just works better. Like I said, it shows more real life. You don’t always stay with one person forever from your teens on up. Things change. We change. Partners change. We’re human. We grow. Interests go in different directions. Sometimes we realize how unsuited we are to that person. When the right one comes along, he doesn’t try and change her. He accepts her, both her human and Fae sides unlike the others did. We can see why he is “the one.”
Have you seen this in other series? I’m quite a fan of it, I think. I haven’t considered it in my own work, but I might in the future. Sarah J. Maas has definitely won me over as a fan for life with these books. Her style is very elegant and yet old world casual, if that makes sense. Her world and the characters in it are so deep and satisfying. I haven’t finished the final book in the series yet but I’m looking forward to seeing how she ties it all together.
Happenings: I’m just beginning to get over a viral infection that kept me out of the mix for a couple weeks straight including through my birthday. I was able to get my new plates and my license. So often in the past, I used to shudder at my photo and I admit though I’m not actually thrilled with this one, it is more me. At least, more of the “me” than the glossed-up, trying to be someone I’m not image. Appearances shouldn’t have to be fussed over and be faked to matter. This one was more recognizable to me because I see her when I look in the mirror more and more. Aging has been hard. Women don’t like to look all wrinkled and chewed up by life’s wear but that’s what happens to us all. Eventually, we turn into our aunts or grandmothers or uncles, or fathers. It’s just the way it is. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Youth is meant for the pretty, the more graceful. I’ll take my dents.
Some links around the web you might enjoy:
- The Bee Writes.com https://the-bee-writes.com/2023/01/28/not-wanting-to-see-nicht-sehen-wollen/ Yesterday’s Holocaust Memorial Day quote brought back the realization of how easily we humans fall for propaganda. Many Germans after the war said “We didn’t know” but I assume what they meant was “We didn’t want to know,” because knowing is uncomfortable. Knowing asks us to act. Knowing asks for sacrifices of us. Knowing asks “Who am I really”. This is a topic that makes me worry for all of us. Who are we when no one is looking? Do we hide our real selves and join the crowd? Do we shrink and try to hide from the violence of what’s shown in the daylight? Only we can answer that question. We pray we would do the right thing but how many would turn aside when one of their loved ones was threatened? It’s a scary thought for all to answer. And why we might bellow of course how we’d react, we wouldn’t actually know until those circumstances impacted us.
- Syl’s 65 blog https://syl65.wordpress.com/2023/01/29/1-29-23/
- Robbie’s Inspiration https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/2023/01/28/robbies-inspiration-a-poem-on-vocal-and-a-poem-for-tanka-tuesday-poetry-poetrychallenge/ Vocal is running a poetry challenge with the theme of Uncommon – write a poem about something rare. I wasn’t going to participate as I couldn’t think of anything I fancied writing about until yesterday when I discovered Eleanor, the hadeda, had come into my office for a visit. I thought that was quite rare, I’ve never had a hadeda come inside before and I’ve lived in my current home near a bird sanctuary for nearly 20 years. These are the pictures that inspired my poem, The Visitor. You can read the poem on Vocal and if you have a few extra minutes you can register on the site and leave a like and/or comment for me. Or you can just leave a comment here.
- Writers in the Storm https://writersinthestormblog.com/2023/01/top-posts-from-2022-the-wits-dynamic-dozen/
- Fiction Favorites https://johnwhowell.com/2023/01/30/the-last-drive-tour-with-annette-rochelle-aben/ Annette can be described as a Communicator, WordSmith, Artist, Guide, Mentor, and Muse. She is all of these things. As a communicator, she is a trained radio broadcaster and has a blog talk radio show. Her wordsmith moniker is proven by the fact she has a daily blog and has written 20 titles which are available on Amazon. Her artistic talent can be seen in her Zazzle store. Here is the link http://www.zazzle.com/annetteaben. As a mentor and guide, Annette has developed the concept of Attitude with Gratitude. She shows folks how to approach life in a way that produces happiness. You can visit several examples of her teachings HERE. As a muse, Annette invites everyone to her blog with these works. “In addition to writing, I am completely in love with Angels, cooking, making jewelry, photography, cats, listening to music, and laughing! Perhaps we have something in common, if so, leave me a comment, and let’s connect.” Annette os a wonderful host! I’m sure John would agree as he visits with her today to discuss his latest book. I find the idea of being able to choose which state perhaps you’d like to visit in the after life fascinating.
- Chris the Story Reading Ape https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2023/01/30/monday-funnies-5/
- Story Empire https://storyempire.com/2023/01/30/when-the-words-stop/ Hi SEers! Denise here to talk about when a story hits some unexpected roadwork and comes grinding to a halt. The ideas and words flow until that one day, and they don’t. It’s like riding in a convertible, watching the sunset on a warm summer evening. A cool breeze is blowing the story onto your computer screen or paper. Everything is right in your world until that one moment when you see a stop sign ahead, and everything suddenly stops. A lot of times, like Diane said, the best thing to do is set it aside and come back to it. You’re going to beat it to death if you just keep fooling with it until it’s ready. I’ve done this before with the research to, thinking something was true when it wasn’t.
- Entertaining Stories https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2023/01/28/a-different-angle-on-editing/ I’m down to the final reading of each manuscript. This is something I always do, but since I have three, there might be an option. Today, I started out reading one chapter, then switching stories to do the same thing. Right now, I’m up to about seven on each story. I did this, because when I get into the tale, I start enjoying it, then I miss things. I have no illusions about missing something. There’s always some stupid thing that gets published. t honestly feels like it’s working better to do it this way. Doubt I’ll ever have three finished stories at the same time again, but this one time it feels right. I’ve read recently from an editor’s opinion and I think it’s true that no matter how many times you write a book or go through the editing process, each will be different. Because they have to be. You learn stuff. You apply stuff. And then you pull together all that you’ve learned.
- Writer’s Helping Writers https://writershelpingwriters.net/2023/01/how-does-internal-conflict-fit-into-the-characters-arc/ If you’re writing a story in which your character will need to evolve internally to achieve his goal, a cohesive and well-planned character arc will be vital to its success. This type of arc (a change arc) requires internal conflict, which will provide opportunities for your character to adapt and grow. But first, let’s quickly summarize what the change arc is and what it looks like. At their heart, most stories boil down to a simple formula: It’s a story about A (the character) who wants B (goal/outer motivation) because Y (inner motivation). That Y explains why the character so desperately wants to achieve the goal. If you look at the movie Groundhog Day, Phil Connors (A) wants to win Rita’s love (B) so he can find meaning in an utterly meaningless life (Y). This example shows how the character’s outer and inner motivations work together in the story. The outer conflict is the main external thing keeping the character from his goal. Phil’s conflict comes in the form of the supernatural forces that have him reliving the same day over and over, making it virtually impossible to get Rita to fall in love with him. But what internal conflict or struggle does Phil experience throughout the story? Or, as Michael Hauge puts it in Writing Screenplays that Sell: What is standing in the way of the character achieving real self-worth as he pursues his inner motivation? In Phil’s case, he simply loves himself too much to love anyone else. This is why his initial attempts to win Rita’s heart fail—not because of time limitations but because his motives are selfish. She sees him for the pretentious, condescending, self-absorbed prat he’s always been, so he has to resort to deception and trickery to achieve his goal. And it never works.
- Life in the Realm of Fantasy https://conniejjasperson.com/2023/01/30/heroes-and-villains-part-2-who-are-they-and-why-should-we-care-amwriting/ When we begin planning a novel, we might have the plot for an award-winning narrative in our head and an amazing cast of characters eager to leap onto the page. But until we know who the hero and the antagonist are when they are off duty, we don’t really know them. And until we know what they want, we have no story. No matter what genre we write in, when we design the story, we build it around a need that must be fulfilled, a quest of some sort. For the protagonist, the quest is the primary goal. But they must also have secrets, underlying motives not explicitly stated at the outset. The supporting characters also have agendas, and their involvement in that storyline is affected by their personal ambitions and desires. Our task is to ensure that each of our characters’ stories intersect seamlessly. Motivations must be clearly defined. We must know how the person thinks and reacts as an individual. To that end, we assign verbs, action words that reflect their gut reactions. What drives them? This is where we give them a void, a lack or loss that colors their personality. We assign nouns that describe their personalities. Finally, we ask ourselves, “What are their moral boundaries, and what is out of character for them?” Good questions! I love that she says, “Until we know who our character is off duty, we can’t know them.”
- Writers in the Storm https://writersinthestormblog.com/ 2023/02/7-tips-for-a-dose-of-relatable-dimension-to-your-character/ by Miffie Seideman As authors, we know our characters need to be multi-dimensional, with emotions, characteristic traits, backstories, and flaws that speak to our readers. So, we spend countless hours designing characters. A number of great tips can be found in these previous posts for creating characters that are genuine, strong, or stand out. One additional way to create a relatable character with dimension is to give them a simple trait, quirk, or habit—one that resonates with readers. Just a little something to bring the character off the page and make them memorable. For example, what quirks, traits, or habits come to mind when you think of these characters? The Joker (in the Joker) Jem (To Kill a Mocking Bird) Haymich Abernathy (The Hunger Games) Hercule Poirot (Agatha Christie Novels) Captain Hook (Peter Pan) An often-overlooked approach is to give a character a habit involving socially popular drugs. Not all drugs require big, bold, and deadly scenes Think writing about drug habits is all about hard core drugs, overdoses, and addiction? Think again! I’ve just written a short story where the character had an addiction in a world devestated by loss of the people in it. The more I rewrote it, I came to see that the addiction needed to be focused more into the story than just a slight mention.
- Roberta Writes https://roberta-writes.com/2023/01/31/cffc-legs-and-feet/ Regarding the Queen Push-Push photo–I have one of those. Her name is Callie or Calico. I swear she thinks my desk is hers! She claims everything on it including the right to knock anything of it. Believe me, she broke my computer a few months back and I had to replace it. Sigh.
- Tel Aviv Feral Cats https://telavivsferalcats.home.blog/2023/01/31/how-far-do-domestic-cats-travel/ How far do house cats travel? And how far do domestic cats travel at night? Is there a difference between a house cat and an outdoor cat roaming range?
- Myths of the Mirror https://mythsofthemirror.com/2023/01/31/january-book-reviews-3/
- My first book reviews for the new year! I hope everyone is up for a great year of reading.
- January’s reviews include my 4 and 5-star reads of a memoir, literary fiction, a paranormal adventure, a poetry collection, a collection of short stories, a collection of poetry and flash fiction, and three short reads on Irish Mythology.