Two Surprising Elements that Create a Dynamic Compelling Character in Dark Fantasy
About The Unholy
A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, the Unholy is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.”
Guest Post by Paul DeBlassie
The stronger the character in terms of the capacity for both love and rage the more compelling they are and it is in this that the true character is birthed. Love and rage are in essence the nests in which the characters are cared for and nourished and then allowed to fly free.
I find that I must dip into my own capacity for primal feelings of love and rage in order to discover that aspect of myself that is like the character, has been like or felt like the character feels in the situation.
It’s critical to always allow this to move the story forward and not get stuck by over thinking the character, to just hit and go into the emotional life of the character and let the character then tell me what he or she wants to express. The rage in particular can be horrifying because of our human capacity to inflict injury on others or society.
To express this on the page leaves me feeling vulnerable yet also true to myself within this dimension of storytelling. It’s mind boggling for me to experience the rage of the character and what the character like Archbishop William Anarch in The Unholy wants to do and does to innocent human beings.
Claire Sanchez, the medicine woman, on the other hand needs to find rage, a healthy aggression, that has gone awry in Anarch, and only by doing this, if she can, will she potentially be able to discover the strength to fight the powerful archbishop.
Book Excerpt from The Unholy
As she ran forward, out of nowhere the two crows flew at her, scraping the air near her face with their sharp talons. Fists clenched, she struck out at one and grabbed at the other. They flew up, circled overhead, then dove, talons flaring. Unmoving, Claire placed her hands by her side and held their gaze. They fluttered above her head for a minute, then left. Claire turned and saw an eagle soaring—a healer’s spirit manifestation. Medicine women said it came only when needed, when danger lurked.
Frantically tugging away bush, bramble, and cacti, she uncovered the mouth of the seventh cave and stepped in. She had the feeling somebody was watching.
Her eyes adjusted and she made out the contour of something. Squinting, she stooped and touched what seemed to be a circle of stones and charred, cold logs. She stood up and pulled back. A bat flew at her. She waved it away.
She stopped, waited for her breathing to slow, and, stepping sideways, touched the walls of the cave. They were damp and the stink of blood and guts was everywhere. Using the hard surfaces as a guide, her fingertips suddenly brushed through a hollow space roughly the size of a human body.
About the Author
PAUL DeBLASSIE III, PhD, is a psychologist and writer living in his native New Mexico. A member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association, and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, he has for over thirty years treated survivors of the dark side of religion.