Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Origins - Sorscha

Okay, after starting this Origins series, I absolutely have to write about the most awesome character I've ever created.  No, I'm not talking about a Greek/Roman god come to life.  Nor am I talking about his wife, who when she finds out the truth refrains from trying to beat his brains in for making her live a lie.  And although Seph and Keion are both pretty cool to my opinion, they're still not beautiful-woman-who-can-transform-into-fricking-dragon cool.

Yes, I'm talking about Sorscha.

Sorscha the character began as a foil to the poor war god's significant other.  As I explained in a previous episode, the introduction of the S.O. went through a deliberate thought process.  Of course a god should own a fancy palace, right?  And of course he'd have servants maintaining that palace. And the god of war?  Depending on the story you read, he either stole the goddess of love from her consort, or had her stolen from him, and so in either case you realize that he's got quite the eye for an attractive female form.

So yeah, at the end of this line of reasoning was the unassailable conclusion that Matt would have a personal servant who absolutely had to be smoking hot.

That fact, then, leads down another trail of questions.  If the god of war's servant is smoking hot, why should he leave his mansion in the first place?  Why bring a human woman back?  Why would he not, in the grand cataclysm, just say, "you know, you're awfully awesome, but I have smoking hot back there at my mansion, so sayonara"?

That, then, led to the requirement that she can't -- well, give him what he needs.  No, seriously!  Think about this for a moment.  If the gods were creating a race of beings who could serve alongside their deified masters and mistresses for a long, long period of time, yet the gods wanted to ensure a continued interest in human affairs, wouldn't the gods then also be smart enough to make those beings asexual?  I mean, most, or at least much, of the messiness of human existence falls into the realm of sexual issues, right?  Why get involved in that if you can avoid it?

On top of that, why would you want a race of dragons to be self-propagating?  After all, the premise behind the series is that Matt et al created the dinosaurs first, got bored with them for lack of interesting interaction, killed them all off (well, a pair of them did, as explained in Cataclysm), and then created humans.  Sort of, anyway. 

(Matt et al are actually not powerful enough to create life, but that's not brought up in any of the books so far)

No, no, the dinosaurs and the humans were the playthings.  The dragons were the servants.  Period.  One set could self-propagate and dally around with deities and so on, while the other could not.

So anyways, long story short, I realized that if I were creating a race of long-lived beings who could serve beside their gods/goddesses with maximized serving intent which in turn calls for minimized drama, I'd make them asexual.

The initial idea, actually, was to make them not only asexual, but also devoid of emotion.  Thus they can serve, but they can't do anything more than that.  Problem is, the non-emotionality isn't really possible in any reality I imagined.  Heck, I can't even imagine living on Vulcan, to be honest, no matter how much I like the worlds of Star Trek and the character Spock. 

The thrakkoni, then, can have emotions -- but -- BUT!  As long-lived beings who have been forced to watch their gods and goddesses play the fools, their emotions would of course play out differently.  You know, smoother.  Wiser. More musical.

Yes, more musical.  Hey, that chapter -- and if you've read Cataclysm you know which one -- came out of nowhere.  Initially I just wanted Matt to take everybody through some sensory overload set to music to prove how powerful he was.  But then as I wrote and experimented with it, it developed and grew, and I ended up having Sorscha sing Mozart, writing it as I was while listening to Mozart.  Thus I breathed life into a chapter that I still love.

Incidentally, the name of the race -- thrakkoni -- comes from an old spelling of dragon.  Used to be that th and d were the same character, the thorn thing.  It also used to be that doubling up of consonants was just something you did when you felt like it.  So, yeah -- thrakkon, and thrakkoni for plurals.  I Googled the name to make sure it wasn't already in use, and it wasn't.  It is now.

So all that said, Sorscha ended up taking over a major part in the books as I continued revising.  My editor, Debra Ginsberg, said in the beginning how intrigued she was by Sorscha.  By the character's position, she deserves that kind of intrigue, having stood beside the god of war for a very, very long time.  She's the one who takes Crystal in while the wife is completely lost.  She's the one who helps prepare Crystal for her first trip to Olympus.  She's the one who helps not just Crystal but also the twin girls in the second book, while Crystal is going through her quests.

In fact, were I to write the first few books over, I'd no doubt give Sorscha even bigger parts, even more to do.  That's kinda what Debra told me to do, after all, but at the time I didn't really have the skills or knowledge to follow through. The fourth novel, though?  Watch out, man.  This one's gonna zing Sorscha into the action a lot of a lot, while playing with some of the initial characters and creating some others. 

Oh, and did I mention what an awesome editor Debra is?  Go see her page.

So all that said, hope you enjoyed! 


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