Changing Characters Through a Story

This week I decided to mix things up and put in some excerpts from the story I wrote ‘Becoming the Redeemer’ for NaNoWriMo. 


Ailith was decidedly uncomfortable. Her father’s armor reflected the thin slivers of light piercing their way through the trees.  The armor, or more accurately breastplate, hung heavily on her shoulders.  She was entrapped within it, the large armor engulfing her form.  She could force the arms of her thin form through the holes.  leaving huge gaps around her arms.  She held a sword, the long straight blade forced her arm into the metal of the armor.  She was unable to put on the rest of the suit, it fell off after being buckled on.  Instead, she wore thick leather breeches, and a pair of leather bracers covered her lower arms.  Her head remained unprotected.  The dark blonde hair she wore was twisted into a neat braid.

Casually, Hammond shoved her with one hand, and she flopped backwards onto the rough ground.  She rolled and struggled to rise.  The greasy man laughed at her predicament.

“You, my lady” his voice dripped with sarcasm “are alive for only two reasons.  Having the lord here legitimizes us as ‘Toll Collectors’.  The other reason is you know the best places in the forest to lay in wait.”

Hammond leaned in close, his face inches from hers. His breath was rank. “Should you give us trouble I have no issues with tying you up and letting my men have some fun.  Hell, I may let them anyway, it’s not like a Lordling like yourself can do anything to stop us.”

Ailith’s eyes burned brightly and she returned Hammond’s gaze.  “You wouldn’t dare.  I am the L-”

Hammond’s hand shot out and smashed across her face, bringing stars before her eyes.  “We can discuss it further IF you can even rise in that ridiculous armor of yours.”

The sound of an owl echoed through the forest.  Hammond stood and rubbed his hand together. “Finally a mark. Are you men ready?” The two swordsman raised their blades and the bowman slid into the shadows.  Hammond yanked Ailith to her feet, and his voice was a growl.  “Play your part girl, or I will see you live to regret it.”

Her heart jumped in her chest, and she was trembling.  What a fool she had been.

Later in the Story

This particular day Ailith was holding up two stones, one in each outstretched arm.  She shook and sweat poured down her face despite the chill and the leather vest she wore.  The linen doublet she had worn to the forest had so many holes in it it was indecent to wear.  Luckily from somewhere, Bran had come back with some leather shirts and vests, as well as new pants that fit her perfectly.  He wouldn’t say where he got them, saying that the source liked their privacy.

Her arms wanted to give out, but she refused to budge, determined to hold them even longer than yesterday.  She glanced at her arms, and almost dropped the stones in surprise.  Her muscles, which used to be soft and delicate, were now bulging and corded with muscle.  I am strong now, she realized.  Her arms were stronger than the burliest woodsman among her people.   

Then the dagger was across her throat.  She faked surprise and grinned inwardly at his look of triumph.  I’m going to let you up, and you will change into the clothing in the bag.  She nodded and as soon as the dagger moved an inch she made her move.  AIlith slid aside before he could react, and dropped off the bed.  Silently, she slipped into the darkness.  He hadn’t brought a light in case it woke her.  Now he couldn’t see her, but his heavy steps and curses told her exactly where he was.  She was a foot in front of him before he saw her.  He started to bring his dagger around to strike her.

He never had a chance.  She stuck out, slamming her foot hard into his knee and felt it buckle.  He screamed and dropped to the ground. Before she disappeared she ripped the bag from his hand.  In the concealing darkness, she explored the contents of the bag.  The clothes were leather and far more revealing than even her undergarments.  One other thing was in the bag, a collar.  Her cool anger blossomed in a flaming rage.  He wanted to make a slave of her.

She closed in on him again, to the side of where she last approached.  As expected he had not turned.  She slammed her foot down on his damaged wrist, shattering the still fragile wrist, and pinning the blade to the ground.  As he screamed in agony she bent and casually ripped the blade from his hand.  With no effort, she brought her knee into his chin and he sprawled across the floor.  

How is this the same character?

Simply put, the point of a story is to develop as a character to a challenge.  In this case the character has undergone months of brutal, relentless training to gain the power to defeat her foes.  I didn’t montage it because the premise is the character changing from a girl with delusions of grandeur to one who can protect her people, and others, from practically any foe.  


In this way you can see the change in her as time passes.  She loses her foolishness and becomes strong, physically and mentally.  The girl is gone, and the deadly living weapon leader has emerged.  There is more development, but I’ll hold off on that til I get it edited and published.


Published by Robert C Hartwell

I live in Northeastern Vermont in the US. I am currently working towards becoming an author. I am the proud father of two great kids.

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