Cassidy and Lloyd differ from most of my other stories because they aren’t part of an ensemble cast. They’re a duet with neither character having a true claim to the main protagonist role. Some chapters have Cassidy doing more than Lloyd and others have her along for the ride. Typically, we have a main hero and a sidekick, but these two didn’t turn out that way.
I have to admit that writing a duo makes scenes easier to keep track of. In Legends of Windemere, I have 6 champions and Fizzle at least. In the Bedlam Series, I have only the two at minimum, which might be another reason why I find these books a lot more refreshing than the others. Less juggling in that respect. Yet, it’s also hard to make sure they stay on equal footing. A sidekick is easy to push into a corner when you want to, but doing that to a partner weakens them. For example, you can have Batman go on an adventure without Robin and nobody thinks anything of it. Lloyd going off without Cassidy or vice versa doesn’t work too often because neither has been established as the main hero. You can give them a reason to split up like fighting, kidnapping, shiny objects, migraines, etc. That’s different than one simply not being there because the adventure had nothing to do with them. Mess with one and you mess with the other.
One thing I’ve definitely learned is that you have to make them compliment each other while retaining their individuality. Lloyd is a close range fighter with a wild personality and not much knowledge of the Shattered States. Cassidy prefers guns and is more restrained in personality while being the expert on the region. She can still fight with a knife or her fists while Lloyd has his paintball gun and an almost ninja-like ability to get within stabbing range. They have their specialties, but do require each other to truly survive. Maybe this is more suited for their genre since it focuses more on staying alive than accomplishing a quest.
I find myself flying by the seat of my pants on this one because I’m so used to working with more than two characters in most book chapters. Looking like I have a lot of unlearning to do from my Legends of Windemere years, but I’m having fun with the new dynamic. I can use this for when I have characters with similar relationships. Not that the champions didn’t have this, but there were so many to juggle. I keep trying to think of any partnerships that are similar to Lloyd and Cassidy, but they’re fairly unique within my pantheon of ideas. At least with male/female partners. There’s no romance or even hints of such a thing between them, which makes them stand out and creates a different sense of equality to them. Not really sure how to explain that, but I guess equality with romantic love is different than equality with friendship love.
It’s funny since this was originally going to be an ensemble story, but it got chopped down to a pairing. Sometimes things just work out for the best. So, what do you think about writing duos?