This week, I wanted to try something new. Every writer struggles with something. We’re all just human, so we’re going to have shortcomings. However, creating solid characters has never been an issue for me. I won’t be doing these posts on a weekly basis, but I think doing one every other week would be fun. We’ll see how this first one goes, then I’ll continue from there. This week, we’ll talk about one of my favorite characters to write.
Piper serves as one of the main cast of students and also goes through the most development in the first book of my series Heroes and Vigilantes. She has one of the best relationships to Ellie who is the closest thing this book has to a protagonist. If you’re a bit confused on why she’s only close to being the protagonist, then you can read up on my unique writing style here. Moving on, what makes this character such a strong one, is because of her journey throughout the book. She makes a good first impression as the brightest character in this series. One of those characters you just instantly fall in love with based on just how nice she is. She contrasts Ellie’s more abrasive personality, which is what makes the duo work well. At the same time as being nice, Piper isn’t afraid to call Ellie out when she starts acting out of line. Surprisingly enough, she’s actually one of the stronger fighters in the series, because of her home life.
Many kids in my book have gone through a lot before enrolling at the high school of their dreams. Some have high expectations placed on their shoulders because of their last name and others grew up without a family. What Piper goes through isn’t something that’s happened before, but what’s currently going on in her life. A bit of a warning past this point, I will be talking about a serious topic. If abuse makes you uncomfortable, then I fully understand if you want to not keep reading.
Piper is a victim of child abuse. She’s grown up in a household with a parent who believes that superpowers are bad. He takes a strong stance against using them, and has hit Piper anytime she’s used her power. He validates his actions by believing that if she associates pain to using her power, she’ll stop wanting to use it. Of course it clearly doesn’t work on Piper as she’s still using it during orientation. I don’t want to give too much away about what she goes through, but I will talk about why I write a victim of abuse in the way I do.
Unfortunately in our world today, this is a very serious problem. Every day there is someone out there who is getting abused but is too scared to say something about it. I want to start off by saying get help if you need it. One of the reasons I write Piper in this way is to show that an abuse victim can move forward and become stronger because of it. The main focus for Piper is that I wrote her as kind. By a mile, she’s the nicest person in the series. She takes everything in stride and adds a positive spin to it. Someone who has such a dark home life focuses on only the positives. I write her this way because she’s seen how bad the world can be, so she doesn’t want anyone else to feel that pain. She has a natural desire to help people and in doing so, this makes her one of the most headstrong students. I want Piper to give people who have suffered from similar circumstances hope that they too can persevere.
My other focus will be on her relationship with Ellie. She plays the role of Ellie’s closest friend in the class. Having a best friend has always been such an important thing for me. Being someone who has lost someone I considered my best friend, I know the pain that comes along with that. I make it a big point to highlight this friendship because of my past experiences with this. I believe having a close friend is just as important as having a boyfriend or girlfriend. They say that sex sells, but I’m an avid believer in having close platonic relationships in my writing. It shows that you don’t need to be romantic with someone in order to be close. Piper needs Ellie as much as Ellie needs her and there’s beautiful poetry to that. Their friendship develops just as much as the characters themselves.
I don’t want to get too far into detail so I’ll only add those two points to this spotlight. Certain characters will have more detail than others depending on their relevance to the plot.
To finish this character spotlight, I’ll add an excerpt from a recent chapter she was in. I think this quote perfectly sums up the character.
“We’d all like to wake up and be a better version of ourselves, but every day we have to struggle just to achieve that. I don’t think I’ll be ‘cured’ tomorrow, so I’ll just have to try as hard as I can starting today.” -Piper
If you’ve made it to the end, just let me know if you’d like to see more character spotlights! If you do, you can also let me know which type of character you’d like to hear about next. A villain? Another student? Maybe a teacher?
Regardless, thanks for reading! I’ll see you next week. 🙂