Adore them or loathe them where would we be without them. Our characters. The Lovedays frequently drive me crazy when they do their own thing and change the plot entirely. Yet that is positive as a novel is created through action and reaction.
In the new work in progress I have a different dilemma. The story has moved on to Bryn (Adam's ward) searching to discover his past when his memory returns and the adventures that follow. He is easy to deal with. But it also features Rowena the oldest of the Loveday children. She is the image of her mother, the scheming fortune-huntress Meriel shown on the cover here. She has her mother's cunning and beauty and from her father has inherited the reckless spirit of the Loveday men. But who is her father. She naturaly believes it is St John who married Meriel but there has always been a question mark hanging over her paternity as at the same time as St John, Adam was also Meriel's lover. The personality of her father is also her guiding force.
St John adored Rowena and could refuse her nothing. She was spoilt and her wilful nature has put her at odds with her family. When I began writing her story in the latest novel, I had real problems with her until I realised that actually I did not like this spoilt selfish brat. Major crisis here as she was to be the main heroine in the story and the reader must have empathy with her or they will lose interest in the story. I could make Meriel transparently evil as she was a secondary character and fed upon the weaknesses of others. This would not work with her daughter.
Putting my own prejudices aside and aware of Rowena's troubled childhood - abandoned by her mother, her devastation at the death of her father and feeling betrayed by him for the loss of her home and security - it was obvious that by the time she became a young woman she would be a complex character with many emotional issues to be resolved. She is also wily and secretive and to make her work as a character readers will want to succeed, I spent a week doing a complex character profile and realised that the only way Rowena would work was to allow the reader into her head in a very different way than I have used before. It is still in its experimental stage in the writing and like all early drafts it will either work or its back to the drawing board.
I do sometimes feel that today's teenagers are an alien race who dance to a completely different drum to their parents. Although the rules for them in Rowena's time were much stricter than today and the consequences far more dire if they were cast out of their homes, they faced the same problems we all did as teenagers in trying to find our way and hopefully achieve success without too much trauma.
I am hoping that readers will see in Rowena every generations need to break free and be true to themselves and that her story will truly be one that transcends time.