Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Getting to Know You: Duty

Lately, you might have noticed that two of our authors – Betsy and Christine – have been participating in a series of experimental “story threads” on Come In Character. Such ongoing sagas have allowed them to merge their fictional worlds and simultaneously explore their (very different) characters – which may even give them fodder for their actual novels. Frankly, I've found such brainstorming sessions to be quite inspiring – if not a bit time-consuming to read!

Still, to make sure that no one feels left out, Christine and I will try to keep posting prompts that appeal to everyone. Also, if any other authors are interested in setting up “story threads” between their own characters, please let me know (by emailing me at laura@rubyhollow.com). I'd be more than happy to facilitate such creative endeavors.

In the meantime, I thought we could explore a concept that seems to crop up a lot on this site – most notably, in the recent story threads between Aidan and Marenya. That's, of course, the concept of duty – that is, the action, task, or chore that is required of you because of a military position, a professional occupation, a familial responsibility, a legal obligation, or another reason altogether.

So, authors and characters, I ask you:

What is your specific duty, and why do you strive to fulfill it? Of course, if you choose to ignore such duties, feel free to share that, too.

(As I've already said, I don't want anyone to feel left out – even authors and characters who shirk their duties.)

70 comments:

Gabe (On Common Ground) said...

Duty is the excuse those in charge use to make you do what they want. Duty is the nonsense allegiance to something without using your own head to determine what is right.

Duty calls? I blocked the number.

Luke (On Common Ground) said...

Gabe, don't be so jaded. Duty is also what you feel for Grace. Think on that.

Duty is a responsibility. I have a duty to my friends, and a duty to my family (may they rest in peace), and a duty to make my father pay for what he did.

Aidan said...

I have a duty to kill demons where ever I see them.

And to protect Marenya.

That's about it.

Marc said...

We're Sworn to Aidan, so I rather suppose he's our duty.

Mostly it feels like herding cats, though.

Candy said...

I have the duty to explore my Great Aunt's past life and discover what happened to those she once cared about.
I sure wouldn't do it it if I hadn't loved her though!

For me duty is only inspired by love.

Aidan said...

That makes sense, Candy. Love of country, family, or a new wife...

Or the love of killing demons.

Micah said...

First of all, let me say that I am Abigail's foster father--and Joel's father; his actions are my shame.
My duty is first of all to my King, secondly to my community, and to my family. Unfortunitely circumstances have ...er...lessened the number of people in the third catagory

Micah said...

First of all, let me say that I am Abigail's foster father--and Joel's father; his actions are my shame.
My duty is first of all to my King, secondly to my community, and to my family. Unfortunitely circumstances have ...er...lessened the number of people in the third catagory

Marenya said...

My duty used to be to my cousin Pelwyn as her companion. But now that she's married... well, I got married. And my duty is to serve my lord and husband, Aidan Trevet. And kick his ass sometimes.

And kill demons. Though I rather doubt I'll be very good at it.

Marenya said...

Oh, and to remind him to put clothes on when he leaves our room.

Really! It's quite embarrassing.

Aidan said...

You'll rock at killing demons, Marenya. Once Faldur finishes your training.

Kaelin said...

Micah, in what capacity do you serve your king?

Ginger said...

I don't really think I have any duties, except to myself as a small business owner. And I suppose a duty to my customers to provide the best food possible.

Raynor said...

My duty is to beat Aidan up every morning.

Marenya said...

thanks, love, about the protecting me part

Ginger's Guardian Angel said...

My duty is to protect Ginger.

Aidan said...

In your dreams, Raynor.

Faldur said...

My duty is to serve the King and the people by protecting the farms on the border from nightstalkers and revolutionaries.

And not to kill Aidan.

Has anyone noticed that Aidan has managed to get a mention in at least five other comments so far?

He is quite intrusive. Therefore, I believe I will pretend he doesn't exist.

(smiles slyly) now *I* can flirt with Marenya behind *his* back and see how *he* likes it

Aidan said...

I heard that. And it's a little different now that she's my WIFE.

Faldur said...

only by treachery, Hotblood. just wait until she realizes what you're truly like

Christine Hardy said...

My duty, at the moment, is to convince a very ill and cranky child to take some extremely nasty medicine. *sigh*

And to take care of myself, as I am extremely ill.

Hence all the playing around on the story threads. Heh.

Micah said...

I'm a Shoshannah--my author says it's a cross between a faith healer, a musician, and a religious leader.

Kaelin said...

Interesting, Micah. Nice to meet you.

My duty, currently, is to kill the demon that tortured my brother.

After that, I'm not sure.

Laura Martone said...

Oh, well, THAT explains it, Christine! I wondered how you and Betsy had so much free time on your hands... sheesh. I mean, I can't even keep up with READING your comments, much less making them!

Oh, and I hope you feel better soon. :-)

Laura Martone said...

Oh, and I suppose my "duties" can fluctuate at any given moment. Although I have the permanent duty to love and protect my hubby and kitty, my work duties can change, depending on the project. At the moment, my duty is to finish a travel guide to New Orleans by the beginning of May - without wanting to scream, pull my hair out, and/or curl up into a fetal position. Wish me luck!

Olivia Harper said...

Goodness, author, no wonder you have yet to finish the revision on my novel. Seems that that ought to be at least one of your duties...

Laura Martone said...

Well, Liv, that's what the summer's for. So, keep your pantyhose on!

Christine said...

Seriously, Laura, I am sooo sick right now that this is the only thing keeping me sane.

Thanks for the good wishes. I should be much better in another day or two.

But spending a week in bed with Aidan has been... fun!

Ginger said...

Hi, Kaelin. I'm glad you stopped by. Everyone has been quite worried about you.

It's good to see you.

Need some food? You look kinda rough.

Oh my God, the poor kid! Just look at him.

Kaelin said...

Thanks, Ginger. I could eat.

Ginger said...

Let me see what I can find. (winks)

Laura Martone said...

Poor Christine. I sure hope you do feel better in a day or two. Being sick as a grown-up is no fun at all.

But I guess what you're saying is that, once you're better, the Aidan & Marenya story threads won't be quite so active?

Bummer.

Christine Hardy said...

Yes, Laura, at some point I must return to my regularly scheduled life.

But it has just been so much fun playing here!

Betsy and I have been saying this could go on forever. We call it "online parenormal fantasy soap opera". LOL!

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

While we're on the subject of duty, I should probably get back to drafting the second Sentinel book or my editors won't be happy with me.

Christine Hardy said...

And I won't be happy either because now I MUST read it!

(Not knowing Kaelin's fate is killing me. And Ginger.)

Laura Martone said...

I know what you mean, Betsy. Duty calls me, too. :-(

Donna Hole said...

My duty is to figure out the world building issues in my Quest fantasy novel. And then come up with a plot for the Cyborg fairytale. Really, they had such awesome starts. Everyone wants more, MORE.

And the page is blank. The plot mysteriously absent.

........dhole
Its all The History and Discovery Channel's fault. Every time I think I have the nuclear war angle developed, I watch a show that negates all my plotting. Or my son walks in and blows holes in it.

My Cyborg may never know why he has to climb the tower and wake the princess from cryogenic freeze . .

Or, why she had to be frozen in the first place.

Donna Hole said...

Luke, Gabe; so nice to see you two around. I've wondered how you were getting along.

......dhole

Robert Crane said...

I have a duty to serve God, to spread his word. To be the best man I can to my family and friends. To be a provider, a father.

*hiccup*

Failing that, I have a duty to finish this 24 pak and see if maybe some loyal friends want to join me. Perhaps they'll bring more beer, or whisky, or hey, I feel like a pipe tonight.

Wonder where Cal is . .

Calvin Mertz said...

Well, my duty is to come when my Bro calls. For whatever reason :)

My duties are divided, and subdivided . .

Family, work, the Organization. Friends, fun.

My duty is to be there, always, with the right answers and actions.

Fuuuuu

Do you "see" a solution in my future Aidan? Can you slay a few of my demons Kaelin?

LOL. Yeah, a pipe would be good right now Red. Lets see if Daryl has any plans.

Faldur; come teach us some moves. Daryl has plenty of girls to . .

Well hey, Candy, need some diversion . .

Aidan said...

I'm not exactly looking in the future at the moment, Cal.

But I'd take a beer if you have one to spare.

Calvin Mertz said...

Catch Aidan :)

Aidan said...

Thanks, man.

So. What are we talking about? Besides duty... which I think we've probably beaten to death.

Christine said...

Hey Donna,
As one of my writing friends and I say (regarding getting the plot moving), "When all else fails, stab someone."
That usually works. :)

Christine said...

Donna, this also works: Turn off the History Channel. LOL!

Seriously, I got all hung up on world-building details when first writing my book. And then I realized... it's fantasy. I can make up whatever I want, as long as it's internally consistent.

Just write it, Dude! You're not Carl Sagan, so don't worry about it. (can you tell Betsy is rubbing off on me?)

Christine said...

How about my world, which you have beaten to death, Aidan?

Do you know how much you seriously messed it up when you decided to just walk into Belhanor?

And what was all that doom and gloom this afternoon about? Do you think you know something the Author doesn't?

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

Donna, I always look at the start and see what questions it raises. That's usually where my story question lies.

As in, the very first line of my WIP goes:

Kaelin Trevet paused midway between his car and the old barn as the ground trembled.

If you know it's a spec fic story, EVERYTHING is suspect. That definitely is, and the ground is going to keep trembling until they find out why and learn they can't stop it. (That's all I can really say without spoilers).

But I tend to plot, too, so I write a query, then synopsis, then plot then the book, so there's that...

Aidan said...

Hey, the Gryphons let me in, so whatever.

I'll fix it. I said I'd fix it, damn it and I will. Get off my back, woman.

Ginger's Guardian Angel said...

They let me in because I vouched for you. I said I would be responsible for any trouble you caused.

I am deeply regretting my impulsivity.

Olivia Harper said...

I'll bet you are, Ginger's Guardian Angel. *wink*

I know I'd be pretty upset if some impulsive demi-demons (handsome or not) brought trouble to South Padre Island.

Aidan said...

So you'd rather I let the demons have Belhanor?

I think his majesty might beg to differ.

Olivia Harper said...

No, Aidan, I wouldn't rather that. Still, I wonder if the demons would have surfaced had you not shown up. I know you mean well, but you still have a tendency to, uh, rile creatures and people up... if you know what I mean.

Laura Martone said...

Olivia has a point, Aidan.

The situation reminds me of what the oracle says in the first (and best) Matrix movie about Neo's dropping her vase after she warned him about it...

"What's really going to bake your noodle later on is... would you still have dropped it had I not said anything?"

It's a question of fate versus free will. Would the demons have appeared in Belhanor even without you there? If so, then it's a good thing that you came when you did (besides the fact that you're now married - congrats, by the way). But if the demons were content to lie dormant, waiting for a reason to emerge, your presence sort of gave them that reason, didn't it?

If only we could know the mind of a demon...

Christine Hardy said...

Exactly! THANK YOU!!!

Donna Hole said...

@character CHRISTINE:

OMG, I'm not Carl? LOL. Let me come up with the excuses . .

I don't "stab" people, I shoot them :) Maybe a change of methodology is warranted though. Stabbing is so much more intimate, and Cal is an intimate character.

Betsy: The stories I'm referring to started as blogfest concepts. Prompts. I've never started a story that way. I ALWAYS know where a story ends, and work backwards to a beginning. Unusual, I know, but it worked pretty well with the novels.

Lately I've been engrossed in short stories; and I think I've lost my drive for epics. The writing of, not the reading.

So quit teasing me with snippets from Sentinel! I'm hooked. I'm not sure I was even interested in Urban Fantasy until I started reading your characters.

You and Christine are inspirations to me.

Love you both . .

......dhole

Calvin Mertz said...

@Aidan:

We were talking about love, marriage. Family.

Ties that bind whether we want them or not. Obligations that are a part of our being, that we cannot, will not separate from.

Ah the world; what a glorious time to be alive. The risk, the adventure, the possibilities . .

Aidan said...

(Sigh)

Love. Marriage. Family.

Great. Haven't had enough of THAT in the past two days.

(sorry, love, even though everyone blames me)

Anyone care to come kill some demons? Cuz we've got plenty. No waiting.

Marenya said...

Love, marriage... yeah, you're loving every minute of it, Babe!

Did I tell you yet how sexy you are when you're irritated?

sex scenes at starbucks, said...

Ah, thanks, Donna! I can't wait to get the book out there!

Samantha Harper said...

Geez, Marenya, enough with the sexy talk! I'm getting jealous.

Olivia Harper said...

Sweetie, you're too young to be jealous.

Samantha Harper said...

Whatever you say, Mom.

Aidan said...

(walking in from Belhanor)

(glances around, stares at the comfortable furniture by the fire, remembers sitting with Marenya there, Faldur scowling...)

Look. Cal's passed out.

Marc said...

(purses lips, but amused)

Those God lads really know how to throw a party. Sorry we missed it.

Cassidy said...

(the rest of the rangers look around the room, standing with exhaustion written all over them, dirty, ash-stained and some nursing wounds)

I'll just take them...

(leads them away)

Julian said...

Early day tomorrow.

(touches Aidan on the shoulder, smiles)

Well done, young one.

(leaves)

Marenya said...

(holding hands with Aidan, a broad smile on her face)

Hi everyone!

We did it. We won the Battle for Belhanor.

And now Aidan is taking me home.

Marenya said...

I must be a pretty special hawin.

I got a demon to fall in love, marry me, save my whole world (literally) and bond himself to me for eternity.

Not bad for someone only 4'8".

Aidan said...

Shh, love. You'll wake them up.

We can tell them tomorrow.

Marenya said...

(leans against him briefly) yeah. tomorrow.