Alright. So I try not to let anything hang me up too much when I’m editing, but this thing with Myles may or may not be resolving itself. My problems with the scene is that I don’t know where he’s coming from, so I don’t know how to write him. Yesterday, I have a lovely conversation with an Academic witch who helped me figure out a lot about witches in general, and Myles in particular. So, I’m gonna cobble this information together to try and get a clearly picture of Myles before I try to edit today.
Some random facts from yesterday:
- Witches used to have complications conceiving children, until somewhat recently. It was an Academic who solved the problem. Before that, it was not uncommon for a witch husband to have a witch wife, and a non-witch mistress or two, for the baring of children. In many species, witch magic breeds true, so all hybrid progeny are considered witches, though there are those who hold “pure” witchblood children in higher regard (and wouldn’t you, hold your wife’s actual child in higher regard than a simple mistress’s? Hard situation to figure out the manners on, if you ask me).
- Academics are largely autonomous, each being too powerful to really control. They work “together” because they get more done staying out of each others’ way.
- There is an old fashion “sect” of witch thinking that holds that fey and shapeshifters are little better than animals, natural phenomenon to be taken advantage of and harnessed, rather than sentient beings and people in their own right. The culture ranges in cruelty, much like humans can own dogs, but still love them and treat them as family members, whereas other humans own dogs for working purposes alone, and some humans breed them for fighting. Same concept.
Some random Myles facts from yesterday:
- He is not an Academic. He doesn’t possess the control of emotion necessary to succeed in such a position. However, some Academic is …pushing him to pursue such a career. Whether they believe he can succeed, only care to take advantage of his research, or simply want to keep an eye on a time bomb is unclear.
- Myles cares too much about power, in the raw and absolute sense, and is blind to the subtleties of political power plays and such. He leans too heavily on Might makes Rights and believes too much in his own cleverness.
- Myles is mistress born, and had a very old fashioned daddy. He also has two witch-bred brothers that tormented him, instilling in him a sense of his second rate status (even though such things really aren’t a part of witch society anymore).
- Myles likely assumes that Rain is a witch bastard like himself, and so is wary of how his claim on her might play out if she were to be brought to witch attention.
- Myles is reasonably well educated, especially in power acquisition. He knows enough about the magic of other cultures to be open to the idea that Rain might be fey, or something else not witch-begotten.
So all of this comes together to paint a slightly better picture of the guy, but not quite well enough. I know he’s a hot-head by Academic standards, but that doesn’t mean too much, really. They’re all pretty cool customers, so who knows how much emotion is “too much” by their standards? But if he’s aspiring, he’ll need to be working on his control. So that’s one vote for toning him down a bit.
More reserved: 1 More emotional: 0
He’s going to be cautious about keeping Rain under wraps, because his claim to her is dubious, in his mind. He’s reluctant to simply kill her and take her powers, because he hasn’t had time to fully study them yet, and isn’t sure what he’s dealing with. So he wants time to work, but the clock is ticking. If she’s running around going off in random coffee shops, time might be running out. This might make him more desperate.
More reserved: 1 More emotional: 1
However, if he’s trying to keep her under wraps, he really needs to play it cool and not draw attention to her – especially if he’s worried that she might be fey instead of witch. That would leave Meliki with the better claim.
More reserved: 2 More emotional: 1
If he is worried about her being fey, and worried about studying her magic before he mucks with it, he’ll want to get her away from the fey as soon as possible. Their water might be doing things to her magic, either corrupting it or strengthening its fey nature, maybe even destroying it – and he has no way of knowing. The best he can do is get her away ASAP.
More reserved: 2 More emotional: 2
So the picture I’m being painted is of a man very conflicted. That doesn’t seem too helpful, with this split down the middle – until you remember it doesn’t have to be an either or. All I need to know is what’s motivating him. And as far as I can tell, his biggest motivation is time. He needs to end this Now, but while keeping a low profile-if he can. But the biggest concern is keeping her magic intact. He young and impulsive and driving by power – if he has to, he’ll rush things to make her power his own. He’d rather not have to, but he will if backed into a corner. But he can’t do that without the girl, so, ruling motivation:
Get the girl now, at whatever cost. Lay low if you can, but GET THE GIRL. NOW.
I think I will go back and tone down the emotional responses a bit – he will try to keep it cool, if he can. But the more Meliki talks, the more concerned he’s gonna get, and sloppier he’ll get. It’s needs to be a careful degradation of his control, a slippery slope kinda thing.
I think I write this now.
Wish me luck!