Aleks Sager’s Daemon – how horrible to be haunted by one of your own characters…


Kiprensky_Pushkin
150px-Duel_of_Pushkin_and_d'Anthes_(19th_century)
For those who are interested (looks about encouragingly and sees one mouse listening) ‘Aleks Sager’s Daemon’ is with my writing partner, awaiting her comments, and she is something of a perfectionist, so I expect rewrites before it sees the light of day…

I’m at work on my next; ‘Ravensdale’ : this is a spoof of the romantic theme so beloved by romantic historical novelists, The Misjudged Heir, Disinherited, through the Machinations of a Wicked Cousin, Turns Brigand. This is a light comedy, and a return to the highwayman theme that was part of That Scoundrel Émile Dubois, and is set only a few years before. Ravensdale is even a distant relative of that rogue…

After the black comedy of ‘Aleks Sager’s Daemon’ and the fact that I had to kill off one of my three main male characters, I felt like a bit of light relief. This spoof, like the romantic novels it’s based on, naturally has a happy ending.

It was odd how I thought of the plot for Aleks Sager’s Daemon.

Synchronicities are always plaguing me; that is another story, but the point is that I began to think about a strange topic, namely, how horrible to be haunted by one of your characters whom you’ve treated badly (and all authors know full well that when it comes to characters, we don’t treat them the way we like to be treated ourselves or there wouldn’t be a story worth reading) . At the same time, I came across a book by a fellow Indie author, Haresh Daswani, called ‘Evolution of Insanity’ (yes, I know, highly appropriate!): one of the short stories in that was about a character who turns on his creator (a splendidly coarse and comic sequence, by the way)…

So, I began to think that I might add to the plot of Aleks Sager’s Daemon, which I already intended to be a story about a writer who is increasingly disturbed that his life seems to be turning into a weak semblance of the last couple of years of Alexandr Sergeevitch Pushkin, when he began to be overwhelmed by his financial problems and the wild, obsessive pursuit of his lovely wife Natalya by the handsome young officer of the guards d’Anthes.

The character (it would be giving too much away to say how he comes to know that a horrible sort of magical correspondence links his life with the creative powers of the writer) is outraged at a vulgar fellow daring to profit from writing about his unsuccessful love affairs. He is a would be Byronic type from Pushkin’s own age, and he would like to challenge Aleks Sager to a duel, but to do that with a commoner would be too demeaning; however, a spot of defenestration is another matter again…

Besides, he’s seen the lovely Natalie Nicholson, whom Aleks Sager is eagerly pursuing, and has decided that he wants her for himself, at all costs.

But how horrible to be haunted by one of your own characters. How fearsome one gloomy, overcast evening when the wind howls round the eves (I know, Mari! That is a horror cliché for sure) to be writing in your study (in my case, the spare bedroom with a desk in it, in Aleks Sager’s a real study), to hear the door open, and to see that a strangely familiar person is lurking in the doorway, an expression of fixed hatred on the face and murderous intent in the eyes…

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About Lucinda Elliot

Writer of Gothic comedy, my ebook 'That Scoundrel Emile Dubois' came out in August and is available on Amazon. 'When young Sophie de Courcy, bored but patient companion to the Countess of Ruthin, agrees to marry her long-time hero, dashing French rogue Emile Dubois, she is catapulted into a dangerous world of Man Vampires and Time Warps. With the help of Agnes, her no nonsense, tarot-reading Welsh maid, she must come to terms with her new husband’s scandalous past, defeat the evil Vampire neighbours and rescue Emile from the machinations of time which threaten to destroy their new found love. All this in just one book! Scoundrel is an entertaining, over-the-top Gothic adventure, alive with colourful character comedy as it flits between Revolutionary France and misty Wales.' Based in mid Wales, once living and worked in London for years, I am fond of weight training, was long ago a champion Sportsfighter, I am a fully paid up, card holding English classics geek and love a laugh...
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4 Responses to Aleks Sager’s Daemon – how horrible to be haunted by one of your own characters…

  1. Mari Biella says:

    A cliché indeed, Lucinda, but an appropriate one. I know what you mean about being haunted by your characters – it happens to me all the time. I take it as a sign of success; if a character has become so real to us, then we stand a better chance of making him or her seem real to the reader. The novel sounds interesting – can’t wait to read it!

  2. Hello Mari, welcome back, I hope you had a lovely holiday. It’s very hot here now after a miserable June. I remember reading that you had a long, half conscious talk with that unlucky protagonist of yours, and he confided various unknown details of his life. He sounded quite sweet, though, unlike the savage hatred between Aleks Sager and Ivan Ostrowski… I’m glad your eager to read it; for sure, it’s a weird story.

  3. Congratulations on finishing your second novel, Lucinda! Like, Mari, I’m looking forward to reading it. I can’t say that any of my own characters haunt me, but I do find that I identify with some of them so strongly that I’m tempted to use their names as identities on websites. Could this blurring of personal identity be the evolution of my own insanity? Gasp! :-)

    Btw, have you given any thought to the cover art for Aleks Sager’s Daemon?

  4. Thanks, Thomas! My writing partner isn’t a soft one, so I expect it to come back with a load of suggestions that I rewrite this and that scene. She’s got two jobs, two boys, one OH and does things for the community and the environment besides being a writer herself (I feel exhausted even relating this) so I expect a delay, during which I can press on with the spoof Disinherited Earl ‘Ravensdale’. Re; cover, I am trying out ‘Streetlightgraphics’ on a recommendation form Rebecca Lochlann (I like those covers of hers). I’ve got a rough sketch of ‘The Daemon’ looking at Natalie from behind a tomb stone (which gives her a mistaken idea about his nature), to be used as a basis…
    Re; Your using characters names, I can fully identify with that. I often do use part of their names for passwords, so you are not the only one, oh dear!

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