Sea of Twisted Souls – Growing a Character Up

Sea of Twisted Souls – Growing a Character Up

As I mentioned before, one of my primary goals with Sea of Twisted Souls was to make Morulin the star of the show. I wanted to know who this bright young star would grow up to be. And I also wondered what kind of people her brothers would turn into. Growing a young character into an adult isn’t quite the same as creating a character from scratch. The audience has already connected to this character, already knows something about her personality and aspirations. So I was keen to make sure the adult Morulin matched people’s expectations. Likewise, while her brothers were just babies in the last book, and hadn’t really had a chance to establish themselves, I wanted them to feel equally familiar to the reader.

They say we are the sum of our experience, and I have taken that to heart when I build my characters. Usually, I start with the personality I want them to have and fill their lives with experiences that would create that kind of person. In this case, I had to tailor the personalities to the experiences I knew each child would have. That meant Lyntaru (son of Catilen and Sentomoru), would have a much different experience growing up than Darien (son of Catilen and Damian) because one of them had an absent father and the other did not. So while both had a set of stable, loving parents to look out for them and support them, one always felt the sting of an absent role model, while the other only had an upset brother to soothe.

And this turned into a central conflict for the story. While Lyntaru and Darien are close, especially since they’re twins, there are experiences each has that the other cannot. And that makes them unique individuals with distinctive traits and personalities. They have an innate trust that allows them to work well with each other, but there’s no denying they are unique individuals with differing perspectives and ambitions. I made sure they were distinctive; I didn’t want to fall into the old trope of identical twins. I wanted the boys to have a special partnership, impossible to replicate. But I didn’t want them running around acting like clones of each other.

Nor did I want them to be clones of their parents. So while each has a parent they identify most closely with, they each share personality traits with both of their parents. Lyntaru, for example, possesses his mother’s Empathy. But unlike her, he enjoys sensing the emotions of others, using it to more easily communicate with and help the residents of the island. He also shares his father’s flare for the dramatic, especially in terms of artful magic casting (though he can’t seem to live up to the man’s expectations). Darien, on the other hand, is studious like his father, meticulous when it comes to knowledge and details. But he has the peacemaking skills of his mother, rather than the hot-headed impulsiveness of his father.

Which brings us back to Morulin. Though it was tougher, by far, to make sure Morulin matched the young girl she had been, her personality came to me easily. That’s because Morulin is decisive. She knows what she wants and she isn’t afraid to go after it. And once she sets her mind to something, she cannot be easily turned from the path (a trait she no doubt gets from her father). Mourlin has a knack for magic, and she has used both that talent and tenacity to study the finer details of the island’s inner workings, tracing a map of its possible destinations for future reference. But Morulin also remembers spending the first eight years of her life with three parents, one of whom disappeared a long time ago. And that didn’t fail to leave an impression on her. Especially since Damian was probably the parent she identified with most – whether or not they shared a blood tie.

Can Morulin and her siblings resolve all their familial issues? You’ll have to read the book to find out!


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If Morulin’s family can’t heal their fractures, they might lose their dimension-hopping home…

It’s been sixteen years since Damian disappeared. Morulin’s twin brothers are preparing to take over the island while she struggles to find her place in its future. The last thing she needs is the emotional hurricane caused by Damian’s return.

Morulin isn’t interested in making amends. She’d rather spend her time with the enigmatic Pilgrim, a dimensional traveler with information critical to furthering her personal studies. Until someone attempts to assassinate the island’s new heirs and Damian lays the blame squarely on the Pilgrim’s shoulders.

Is Damian trying to frame an old rival? Or has something more sinister come to visit their island paradise?

Win a copy of the entire trilogy signed by me! (It’ll probably be a long time before I run another giveaway like this!)

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