Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Dauntless Swiftsure strode into one of my dreams one night and announced, "I'm deceitful and dangerous."  When I woke up, I knew she was part of Sanna's story.  Lisa develops her characters.  Mine come to me and yell behind my eardrums till I write them down.  They know exactly who they are and why they are and what they want to look like.  It's up to me to accomodate the details to fit them.  Oh, and they do what they want to do, and if the readers don't beliee it, then it's my job as a writer to convince the reader.

Dauntless Swiftsure is a member of Tribe Dauntless, of the Peoples of the Wide Skies.  The Peoples are nomadic and matriarchial.  The women are the core of the tribe, and the men come and go as it pleases them,  All the women in a tribe are related.  Unlike patriarchial systems, where the bride is sent away from her family and home and forced to live with the groom's mother and sisters, it is the sons that leave home.  Marriages last a year and a day and can be dissolved sooner if both partners choose.  Babies are a gift to the tribe, and everyone helps to rear them.  Men are welcome to travel with any tribe that they like, if the women of the tribe will accept them.

I don't know if I would like always being with my mother, my sisters, my cousins and my aunts.  Would you?


  1. This is such a fascinating society. No, I wouldn't like to live with my female relatives, but then if they lived in this sort of culture, they'd be different and I might be more willing to. :)

    Frankly, the whole thing with developing my characters and doing the character collage came about because after spending five years writing four books about the same characters, I had no idea what to do when I was faced with developing new ones. I had the basics of two of them in my head, but the secondary characters were cardboard cutouts. And even though I set out to do a lot of development, after the first couple characters I got bored and just plunged into the story. Somehow, though, having a visual helped me to imagine the other characteristics. It was like seeing them told me who they were.

  2. Dauntless Swiftsure is such an interesting character! i remember that I quite liked her when you first introduced her in our writing group. But later, I warned you that I was growing distrustful of her. Silly me! You were in complete control of the story, letting your readers become uncomfortable with the character as you intended them to.