I’ve reached an interesting, and unexpected, development in the rough draft of Tears of the Mountain – two characters who actively want to kill each other. I knew they were antagonistic towards each other when plotting out the story, but I didn’t realise just how much until I started writing. The difficulty lies now in keeping them apart. I could just let them off each other, but that would demolish the plot, but on the other hand I need a way to stop them which seems plausible and not heavy-handed.
An explanation of the background may be in order here.
The Amari city of Adranatti Vesa lies across the northern sea, and grew rich on gold and gemstones until the mines dried up, but by which stage it had become an important trading centre. Adranatti, like most Amari cities, is a princedom, under the nominal rule of the Amari King, but in reality most are semi-independent city-states. When the Prince of Adranatti, Tol Venatro, went to war with his western neighbours, his younger and more popular brother, Cantarossi, took the opportunity to usurp him and exile him, leaving him and his army trapped between hostile forces.
Both princes desire to find the fabled lost city that the Amari call Illiatoriun, said to lie in the deep deserts and to house a vast wealth of treasure. When the professor, historian and explorer Halir visit Adranatti, they both try to get him to find the city for them. His curiosity getting the better of him, Halir sets out to find it, and in his party are two men, Tol Marassi and Logawa, who work for the rival brothers.
They don’t like each other. In part because they work for rival brothers, doing the dirty work for them. Also in part because they both come for cultures that have a long history of feuds – think how the French and English perceived each other for centuries and were seemingly always at war. Both men are killers and are determined that their prince should come out on top.
The problem is I still need both of them alive for future events but both seem determined to derail the whole plot with their feuding.
It is certainly making the writing of the draft interesting to sat the least.