I could use more of these kind of days. In fact, I would like 30-45 more of them, please, because I’m that close to completing the novel.
Today I pulled together the various pieces I’ve been brainstorming about Mandala-Steele, the company our heroine freelanced for before they turned on her and chased her across several continents.
For those who don’t write, it’s amazing the amount of detail you have to compile so you can fully understand your character. In this case, the company is just as much a character as the people who work for it. I’ve known all along what I wanted the company to do to a certain point, but what I didn’t know was WHY. To understand the whys, I had to develop it from its origins, build a complete company org chart both before the merger and after the merger, and since its mission is compartmentalized, I had to figure out who was privy to what, and what would drive the loyalty and unswerving diligence of each hard-faced employee at each knowledge level.
Today I answered all those pesky ‘why’ questions. How much of it will make it into the book? Very little.
What it accomplished, though, is helping me understand the stakes that drove the company’s endgame, why they were willing to go to the extremes of kidnapping and murder, why they would continue to look for our heroine after she escaped their net–and even more important–why the majority of them thought they were doing the RIGHT thing. Making the hard choice for the greater good.
That’s an antagonist you can sink your teeth in.
Now it’s time to repeat the process with my other antagonists.