Editing: Two sides to every story

 

Part of what I think I’ve always hated about Rain is her characterization. She trusts the good guys, she hates the bad guys FOR NO REASON. She’s just going along with the characterizations I know of- Myles is bad so she hates him, Zig is good so she trusts him, the end.

And it’s awful. It makes her come off as an idiot, a whiny brat, a clueless snit who deserves to die at the end, and worst of all, flat. My main character is flat and I hate her.

So in the editing, part of what I’ve tried to do is make her consider both sides of everything. It’s hard, because Myles really is an awful dude – but she doesn’t know that at first. So me trying to untangle what she knows vs. what I know is tricksy at some points. But even worse is me trying to untangle what she’s see of the fey and the Spiders. They’re my hero’s companions, my good guys, my go get ’em tigers- but Rain just met them. And had a pretty rotten experience to go with it. Why should she be all honky dory with them?

That’s right, she shouldn’t be.

So, time to introduce some doubt where there should be doubt, some less doubt where there should be more confusion, and some actual thoughts into my little idiot’s head.


 

She said nothing on the ride home, a fact everyone seemed happy to ignore. Her mother blathered on at her, as if Brooke were answering and explaining herself- or more like her answers didn’t matter. When Brooke wasn’t busy trying not to hurl, she watched Myles’ hand making tiny circles on the back of her mother’s. A flare of suspicion tucked itself away in the back of her brain,with the memory of his power crashing over her in the shop. She would not forget, and she would trust nothing this man did from here on out.

When they got home, she went straight to her room to lay down, no one stopping her. Apparently, the car ride had been lecture enough. She wondered how that conversation had gone in her mother’s mind, or how many other days had been altered like this one, without either or them knowing. Zig had told her it was important for magic to remain hidden from the rest of the world- when had she stopped being a part of it? Was this really the first time she’d used her magic, or had Myles been stealing away her memories too? Or was it even her magic? Had the fey done something to her?Why was she so keen to trust these strangers over the man her mother had chosen to marry? He’d been good to them, took care of them, taken them in off the streets when they had nothing, not a penny to their names-

No, wait, that wasn’t right. Sure, they hadn’t been wealthy, but they’d never been penniless. Her and mom had had a nice enough apartment. Yeah, it was small, and leaky, and not in the best part of town, but they’d had a home, and always had food, just not always enough for other, less important things, like fashion or cellphones. But they hadn’t been penniless – where had that thought come from?

Brooke blinked into the dim light at her ceiling, utterly confused. Her head was swimming with memories that weren’t her own, that had never happened, and nothing made sense. She sat up, sitting on the edge of the bed with her head between her knees. but the room kept spinning, shifting. She was home, back in their old apartment, down in the Underground, at the coffee shop, scenes blurring and words fighting to be heard.

 

Everything everyone had said rolled around in her skull, echoing off each other til the noise was nearly deafening. She held her hands over her ears, as if that would help. Into the noise she silently screamed QUIET! with as much will as she could muster. Everything stopped for a moment, and she drew a deep breath, steeling herself. She knew the noise would be back, just as sure as she knew it was meant to confuse her. Whatever part of her was suddenly awake and sensing magic told her it was acting on her now.

The question was, who was acting on her?

They fey had drugged her with their well water, but had said it was for her own good. Myles had done ..something to her and her mother in the tattoo shop, but she didn’t have the slightest idea what. But were the fey really more trustworthy simply because they’d explained themselves? She had no way to know if what they’d told her was even true. She’d never asked Myles about any of his magic, and if he’d had to keep it secret all his life… He’d not had a chance to explain anything yet, she couldn’t hold that against him…

 

She’d been to the Early Bird dozens of times, it was one of her favorite places to hang out, and the house coffee was good and cheap. She and her friends had haunted it pretty regularly when she still lived on that side of town, and nothing weird had ever happened before.

But this had been the first time she’d been since she’d moved. Since Myles. Could these people be using her connection to Myles to hurt him? She knew he was an important man, that’s why he was always dragging her mother off to who knows where to meet and greet. She had assumed it was for business, but if it was a witch thing? Was he an important witch? No, that didn’t make sense, her mother didn’t know he was a witch- so what then? She tried actively not to think about her mother’s adventures with her step-father, or think of him at all – but there was just so much to figure out now, and she had no idea where to start. She couldn’t get her head around it all. She wanted to talk to someone, to bounce ideas off of someone else and see how crazy they sounded. But she couldn’t tell any of her friends, and she couldn’t ask her parents…

She could text Zig and see what he thought of everything – but he was one of them, wasn’t he? Would he lie to her?

But Asha had said fey can’t lie.

But was she telling the truth?

Brooke flopped back against the bed with an exasperated sigh. There was just no way to know. But, in that case, it couldn’t hurt to hear what he had to say, could it? As long as she kept in mind that he might be a lying, every word meant to manipulate her –

She would have to do that with everyone.

 

God, that sounded exhausting. She’d already chased her brain in circles this afternoon and gotten no where. She just didn’t know enough about the world she suddenly found herself a part of. Fey disliked witches, but why? Magic fighting magic, but again, why? Different kinds of magic didn’t mesh, but fey magic would change hers-what the hell was her magic anyways? Too many questions, and no one she felt she could really trust. So she’d just hear everyone out, and decide what to do with everything when she’d gathered enough information.

 

 

 

 

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