Reflection characters on WIP Wednesday

masqurade-1795‘Reflection’ character is Michael Hauge’s expression. I’m still processing his full-day Story Mastery workshop from the RWNZ Conference, but have already strengthened Revealed in Mist by applying his inner and out journey methodology to the hero and heroine.

The reflection is the person that shows the protagonist when they are acting according to the armour they’ve built around their woundedness, and when they’re reaching into the real person they’re meant to be. As always, you show me yours and I’ll show you mine.

In The Bluestocking and the Barbarian, the heroine’s sister holds up a mirror to her just before this scene, set at the Costume Party.

Sophia frowned at Felicity, who was ostentatiously ignoring her from the other side of the room. They had had words, especially when Sophia had realized Felicity had deliberately sought Lord Elfingham out, accosted him in the garden, rejected him for herself, and sent him to Sophia. Sophia was not taking her sister’s leavings, and so she told her. Felicity, of course, claimed that Elfingham wanted Sophia all along, but Sophia did not believe that for a moment.

Oh, dear. He was coming this way. He stopped to speak to the Persian king, and Sophia took the opportunity to hurry away, putting as many people as possible between herself and her suitor.

He could not possibly be serious, and besides, she had her life all planned. She would never marry. She would be content with her studies and her work for the disadvantaged. She would be an aunt to Felicity’s children and one day to Hythe’s. If Hythe married someone she did not care for, she had money enough to hire a companion and set up her own establishment. She would be free and independent.

Why did such a life suddenly sound dreary?



7 thoughts on “Reflection characters on WIP Wednesday

  1. After some uncertainty, I picked this scene from The Long Shadow, in which John talks with his brother-in-law and thereby realises he cannot live with himself if he cannot patch things up with William. The trouble is he’s not sure he’ll be able to live with himself if he lowers himself to try either.


    ‘I have given him time enough to come to me; he has not done so. He may regret the friendship of others, but I can only conclude he has little regard for mine.’

    John’s anger with his brother surged again, and with it the bitterness and frustration of his situation. He rose restlessly and paced back to the tall windows. Dusk was drawing in, great fingers of darkness reaching up the flagstones of the terrace. For a while both men said nothing. John was trying very hard not to think of anything; Eliot must have been putting his thoughts in order.
    Eliot spoke at length. ‘How you can say such a thing?’

    ‘I think my brother’s treatment of me speaks for itself,’ John ground out.

    ‘Chatham, please think. Pitt needs you.’

    ‘He may need *you*.’

    ‘He needs both of us,’ Eliot insisted. ‘My ties to Pitt are strong, I grant you; but the ties of blood are stronger. You are right to fault Pitt for his behaviour, but he is no ordinary man.’

    ‘I know,’ John said, with poison in his voice. ‘I have heard nothing else all my life.’

    ‘You do not understand. Power changes a man, no matter how good, no matter how brave. Pitt is surrounded by flatterers, men who have known him only as minister. He has become accustomed to his every wish being carried out in an instant: men come to him, not he to them. He cannot see what has happened to him, but we, his friends, must accept it is what he has become. He tells us half-truths, he dissembles, but he still needs us, and when his manner drives us away, he crumbles.’

    John shook his head. ‘I don’t feel it.’

    ‘It’s his way,’ Eliot said, mildly. ‘The minister in him sees every selfless act on our part as his due. We that love him must take him as he is.’

    John stared at Eliot. He was touched that his brother might have such a friend, but he suspected his brother-in-law’s willingness to give William the benefit of a doubt came more from Christian charity than true conviction. John could not think of William in such terms, not yet; the prospect that he might still owe something to his brother was one he was not yet ready to face.

    ‘So what should I do?’ he said at last, bleakly. ‘Should I forgive him?’ Eliot nodded and John felt despair welling inside. ‘I do not know that I can.’

    ‘It may be that you have to go further, and find forgiveness for yourself.’

    ‘I have nothing to reproach myself for,’ John said immediately, and coldly. ‘I have no need to beg my brother’s pardon.’

    ‘That is not what I meant,’ Eliot murmured.

  2. In The Renegade Wife (not yet released) the hero’s cousin calls him out when he appears to be giving up his attempts to rescue the heroine. The two men have grown morose over a failed rescue attempt, old wounds, and ideals not quite met. Then Charles hits him with some hard truth.

    Charles straightened and looked directly at Rand. “There is something else you need to consider. Abuse isn’t confined to the lower classes.”
    “What has that to do with anything?”
    “I’m thinking about Meggy,” the duke said. “Hear me out. My father was a beast of the highest order. He cowed my mother into submission until she believed she deserved it. She could no longer conceive of anything better. Will and Cath rescued me. They healed Mother.”
    “I remember. Do you have a point?”
    “We have to remove Meggy from that situation whether she cooperates or not. We have to put her someplace safe long enough to shed the shackles he has imbedded in her soul. Do not doubt it, Randy. The chains lie deep as long as she believes she has no escape. We have to take her away from him.”
    “We?” Rand raised a sardonic eyebrow.
    “After what happened last night? You don’t think I’m letting you do this alone, do you?”

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