Writing about character…

I thought I would share these two extracts that were written many years apart. My character, Liam Flowers has changed and grown. He still carries the scars of his previous incarnation. Older and wiser, he cannot escape his narrative arc.

From The Piper Book of Hearts

Liam

Since he had moved in with The Leatherman, Liam had grown in understanding. The body in the armchair had fascinated him. Its controlled preservation was nothing short of a miracle that awaited his own coming. During darkness, when only the light from his monitor fell across the room, he felt the eyes, long since turned to dust, watching him, pleading for release. Time would come.

Somewhere along the way, he had mastered many skills that enabled him to quietly contact the others. He established websites that reached out across space and drew in those who also didn’t sleep. Many were young like himself, but a significant number were older and some were very old. They had been waiting for him and word was spreading of his arrival like echoes in a sewer. Soon, his nerves tingled,soon.

Liam had recently taken to wandering the streets. Moving like a shadow along the unwanted hours that people threw away. He loved the illicit mutterings of this time, of the groans of sleepers, the scuttle of feet belonging to creatures that ventured out beneath sight, the plotting of acts whose names could only be whispered. Liam was a nefarious tourist, glimpsing a kingdom that could soon be his. The Piper had been right. Everything was turning towards his promise. Everything was moving along the lines that had been drawn so very long ago. Everything, that was, until the two new boys turned up.

Flowers and the Dead.

It was the old woman again who calls herself Cynthia. It’s probably not her real name and I think that a lot of the stories she tells are perhaps only loosely based on fact. She probably looked quite good in her heyday. You can tell that with some people; bone structure. Booze is like longshore drift that gradually wears away at the soft tissue and leaves the hard stuff stranded and way out at sea. Anyway, she still has her figure.

She’s just been telling a tale of how she was an actress. Big name on the West End. Dancing and singing and all that. I have this image in my head of her as one of those burlesque girls, long legs and kicking them up into the air to show a little peak of her knickers. They did that back then, before it became un-PC. Political Correctness meant not doing or saying the things that had the possibility to harm or hurt. Women’s bodies and wrongly chosen words could do that. Anyway, back to the woman who calls herself Cynthia. 

No, I have a better plan. Let me tell you a little of my story, from my perspective.

My name is Liam Flowers and I’m an alcoholic. 

I just love that line. It’s meant to be about repentance and honesty. For me, it’s just a case of putting your cards down on the table. A lot of my story has already been told, but a lot of what has, is not necessarily kosher. At the very best it was written by other people. At the worst it was the product of some writer’s imagination. Some writer who should have been concentrating on his own life rather than mine.

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