So I finished chapter twelve yesterday and set Paul on a collision course with the other two protagonists. In my last post, I commented that he’s become quite a fun character to write. Not that I even intended him to be dull—what author deliberately saddles readers with a boring lead? But when I started Blue Karma, Paul’s chapters were the most difficult to draft: it’s a challenge to make bureaucratic dialogues and industrial plots compete with the excitement of iceberg poaching and snowmobile rides! However, he’s developing into a psychologically dynamic presence.
I think part of the interest comes from the alternative perspective he adds to the story. While Logan and Amaya both have survivors’ tenacity, Paul is sheltered. He’s used to having everything go his way. Mishaps rattle him, but he has to keep a smiling corporate face on his struggles. He’s really two characters: Vice President Paul, who supports his empire even in morally ambiguous territory, and private Paul, who questions his true values. I never know which of these two sides will react to each narrative curveball I throw him. It’s gratifying as a writer to see your character evolve on the page, mutating in intriguing ways you never could have planned. The growth has also made Paul surprisingly likeable, which gives me some guilt about the ending…teaser!
In other accomplishments, I finally completed the outline for the rest of the story; in your face, plot-holes! My road map is complete. Only nine chapters and an epilogue to go. Still sounds like a lot, I know, but it’s like passing the eight-mile marker of a half-marathon: there’s a lot more completed than remains ahead, and you start to think “holy cow, I’m actually going to finish this.” And I’ve got a whole week yet of WARS to work on it. I plan to post some excerpts shortly, so check back soon.