Is Clyde Still In There?

Alucard from Hellsing

Tomorrow I begin writing the next series: War of Nytefall.  This introduces Clyde and the rest of his Dawn Fang gang who will pave the way for the vampire society that was briefly introduced in Legends of Windemere: The Mercenary Prince.  It’s a big step, but it has a wrinkle that I just considered.

I haven’t really touched Clyde, the main character, in almost 20 years.  Nothing beyond outlines, character bios, and explaining him in passing.  This is a guy who took on my dark side while Luke Callindor was my light.  He was monstrous, cocky, and brutal, which is why I usually use a picture of Alucard from ‘Hellsing’ for him.  I haven’t accessed those traits entirely in a while even though I’ve edged near them with Lloyd.  It isn’t the same either because Clyde evolved to not be a random source of destruction, but a meticulous killer lurking the shadows.  Many of his odd kills in the games was because somebody challenged him or the GM wanted to keep him out of the action.  Clyde always found a way to get his target even if it was bare-handed.  He was nearly unstoppable and remained on the edge of losing his humanity for most of his existence.  One push is all he needed to go full monster and never return.

I’m waxing poetic here, but it’s more out of stalling.  Wiping the dust off Clyde and pouring some blood into his mouth has been a long time coming.  It has to be done since I’ve had him wait in the shadows too long.  Maybe I’m being strange, but I can’t figure out if I can handle him or get him right.  What if I let him go too monstrous and he comes off more as a villain?  What if he comes off as too weak because he takes too much of a beating or shows compassion too often?  This is such a different vein than my previous heroes because Clyde does border on villain at times.  The things that Luke would never dream of doing are on Clyde’s option list because he’s a monster battling other monsters. I’m left wondering what I can do to make sure I don’t make him a vampiric copy of Luke or, considering power levels, Nyx.  Do I use tomorrow to sit and meditate on what makes Clyde different?  Do I just dive right in?

Maybe this is pre-project jitters since this is the opener and I won’t really get to the true Clyde until Chapter 1.  He has to get buried in the prologue and then Mab needs to convince Prince Tempest to let her dig him up.  Might up it from 50 to 100 years that Clyde has been trapped.  500 too much?  I’m rambling now to distract from my own doubt and worry.  It’s possible that I release him and find myself trying to wrestle a rabid tiger on steroids too.  He’s been itching for his chance and I can always feel him poking around out of boredom.  Clyde even managed to slip a bit into The Mercenary Prince if you pay close attention.

So, what do other people do when they’re about to take on a long overdue character or one that kind of scares them?  Is this a unique problem for me?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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15 Responses to Is Clyde Still In There?

  1. Ah, yes… the elusive balance. I have a few romantic heros that I’ve had to make hard due to their setting, leadership role, or just the crappy state of their lives, BUT I also had to make him tender enough for the heroine to fall in love. You can do it!! It will probably feel more natural once you start officially writing his story.

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  2. I vote for a bit of pondering. You might even try scratching out the opening a couple of different ways. Then compare them and see what you like.

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    • I’ll give it a shot. Might just ponder though. Clyde doesn’t make his full appearance until near the end of chapter one. The opening is him captive and Mab failing to break him out. Then the Great Cataclysm goes off during his execution and the entire Sun God temple is sucked into the ground. Guess I have time to set the mood before I have to fully worry about Clyde.

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  3. Send him to Washington D.C., he’ll fit right in.

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  4. Just write, and see what happens. If you find you’re worrying for nothing, you won’t need to do anything. If you find your worries are justified, you can work with him to tone things down during rewrites.

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    • I’m starting to wonder if I’m the only author who doesn’t do massive rewrites. I edit and alter stuff, but I never change how characters come out in the first run. Figure the story will change if they behave differently.

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      • Actually, I’ve never had to do what you might call a massive rewrite. I’ve tweaked things a bit because I later realized they didn’t quite work the way they were first written, but never done a massive rewrite. The option is there though, if it’s needed, and it’s what I’d do if I was in your situation: Just write, and worry about how it worked out when you have something to go by. If you’re happy with the way things work out, awesome! If not… Well, just because you don’t usually do massive rewrites doesn’t mean you never can.

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      • Well, I’ll see what happens. If it comes out poor then I’m more likely to just scrap it and outline again. Massive rewrites over a character not coming out right means something is wrong with the core. At least for me, which is why I’m worried. I’d rather not scrap a character I’ve spent so long preparing for.

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