Wednesday Writing — Research & Character Creation

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Deirdrê Myth by Helen Stratton 1915, Wikipedia
Deirdrê Myth by Helen Stratton 1915, Wikipedia

Welcome, all.  Even though I engage in full-on whimsy, and often pantser (fly by the seat of my pants) through stories, everything I do is for a reason.  Today I’m explaining what undoubtedly seems like a strange quirk on my part — the color green.  That also relates to a character in “Dead of Winter.”  I’ll get to some research for that character too, but first that reoccurring color.

I hadn’t given it any thought until during the serialized rewrite of The Delta Pearl, I realized a connection in character names. Of course those riverboat characters were named after gemstones.  I chose the name for the protagonist, Émeraude Perlezenn, naturally I was aware of emeralds.  I didn’t realize until later the connection of the heroine of Atonement, Tennessee, Ralda, short for Esmeralda, which also means emerald.

It’s fun to give characters little quirks. Letting Émeraude have a penchant for green seemed natural. However, I wasn’t thinking about the epic I wrote many years before and another character who always wore green — Dead of Winter’s Boabhan.  However, everything about “The Woman in Green” comes from my research.

Don’t worry, there are no real spoilers here.

I wanted to have one supernatural character among my group of travelers in that fantasy world.  My research of Celtic mythology brought me to the Boabhan Sith.  (It’s often spelled Baobhan, but I liked the sound of the more obscure spelling when I read it aloud.)  The Boabhan Sith is a combination of vampire, succubus, and fairy. They are female.  (I depart from that in my story.) They attack their victims and drain their blood, but not in the same fang-way as vampires. Rather, when attacking they use their long and sharp finger nails making deep scratches in the victim.  Then they drink the blood from the open scratch wounds.

Additionally, they can take the form of a raven.  A few of the legends say that instead, they can change into a wolf.

La Ghirlandata (1873) modelled by Alexa Wilding, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
La Ghirlandata (1873) modelled by Alexa Wilding, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Wikipedia 

Where I Make My Own Myth

I didn’t want an indestructible, hugely powerful person. So, I had my Boabhan’s “turning” interrupted, causing her endless suffering.  She can do powerful things, but she also is often weak, almost fragile.  The Boabhan Sith of mythology are often portrayed in groups.  I didn’t want a bunch of vampire-like creatures teeming around my world.  A few would suffice.  Some of the myths give these creatures hooves rather than feet.  I didn’t do that either.

Borrowing from the Myth

As for the physical appearance of The Woman in Green, as she is sometimes called, I took that from the Scottish mythology. Boabhan Sith usually appear as a beautiful young woman wearing a long green dress.  (Some say green is the color of magic.) Any color illustration I’ve seen portrays them with long red hair, which feels right, considering the Scottish origin.  

Boabhan’s origin story is in “Dead of Winter: Journey 6, “The Fluting Fell.”

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Wishing you an easy coast down the other side of this midweek hump.  I love to hear from you, so friendly comments are encouraged. Hugs on the wing!

***

Dead of Winter — All of the Journeys

Dead of Winter, Journeys 6 and 7, by Teagan Riordain Geneviene
Dead of Winter, Journeys 6 and 7, by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Universal Purchase Links

Journey 7, Revenant Pass

Kindle:  relinks.me/B098MS8P48

Paperback:  relinks.me/B098GV1G5V

Journey 6, The Fluting Fell

Kindle:  relinks.me/B096CPJNSX

Paperback: relinks.me/B096CPJNSX

Journey 5, Llyn Pistyll Falls

Kindle:  relinks.me/B09431TD6G

Paperback:  relinks.me/B0942KC471

Journey 4, The Old Road

Kindle:  relinks.me/B092G5LB7R

Paperback:  relinks.me/B092M51Y88

Journey 3, the Fever Field

Kindle: elinks.me/B08XTNZ9M8 

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08XXY3JXF

Kobo:  Dead of Winter: Journey 3, the Fever Field eBook by Teagan Riordain Geneviene – 1230004609599 | Rakuten Kobo United States

Journey 2, Penllyn

Kindle:  relinks.me/B08VMNSF97

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08VLMR2KD

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/dead-of-winter-journey-2-penllyn

Journey 1, Forlorn Peak

Kindle:  relinks.me/B08RBBVRGX

Paperback:  relinks.me/B08R7RH4F5

Kobo:  Dead of Winter: Journey 1, Forlorn Peak eBook by Teagan Geneviene – 1230004446033 | Rakuten Kobo United States

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This is a work of fiction.  Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.

Copyright © 2010 and 2021 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved. 

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or provided by free sources, unless stated otherwise.

 


61 thoughts on “Wednesday Writing — Research & Character Creation

  1. I love reading about how you do character development. I find it very fascinating. I am so behind…still on journey 3. Just got back from an unexpected trip back up to Seattle…..all’s good, but I need to sit back, relax and get caught up on my reading!! My best to you! Have a great weekend!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kirt. Thanks for adding that “all’s good” because I would have worried. Unexpected travel, even when good, has it’s own particular bundle of stress and fatigue. I do hope you get to relax. The Journeys will always be around whenever you get to them. Journey 3 is still one of my favorites, so I hope you love it. Stay safe and well. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It is exciting to see your story developing, and i believe it will be outstanding as your past stories have been. I am not surprised to see that you will be using the color green. In reality, green has a history of not only beauty but a good foundation for your upcoming thriller. Wishing you much joy as you write your next! !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Heartfelt thanks for cheering me on, Ms. Frances. I’m behind schedule with Journey 8, and needed that boost. It has divisions, and reunions, and of course more peril ahead. 😀 I appreciate you spending part of your day here. Hugs on the wing!

      Like

    1. Thanks, Mark. When research leads me to something that is particularly intriguing to me, it sticks with me. The “leftovers” often get into new stories. Those who look closely and mindfully can probably see threads of that in many of my stories. Green and emeralds have an even deeper connection that I didn’t get into here.
      Thanks for spending time here. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great stuff, Teagan!
    I finally read the last promised book. The lead character has 4 gowns in the story, so I’ve started drawing those.
    I will be doing a review/interview with the drawings.

    There’s a couple of other promised posts, with drawings. Kind of an unfocused schmeleke, but I’m drawing.
    All will come together!
    Then, twill be the time to buy your second book on Kobo, and get the whole Kobo thing together. I might buy 2 & 3 at the same time.

    I’m fast as a turtle, but get where I’m going! {{{hugs}}}

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Love your header – so interesting! The color green – … one of my childhood memories, that already as a child I had a very outspoken taste, which caused me to have an argument with my mother, who had bought me a horrid forest green with grey skirt, and made me half an hour late for school, but I did not care! It was not until 7 years ago when we started living in the forest, that there were shades of green I did like, lol. Have fun with your latest endeavor:)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Welcome, Arnav! Assigning an age range for my books is difficult for me. After reading a few of your very well-written blog posts, I think they would be fine for you. I asked one reviewer, and she said 10 year-olds or even 8. I can comfortably say that none of my books have “extremes” — not in language, violence, or sex.
      The sixth installment of Dead of Winter has a violent scene, explaining how the Boabhan character became supernatural, but the wording is not explicit. With that in mind, I would generally say age 13 and up.
      Dead of Winter is an epic fantasy that I am publishing in monthly novelette-sized installments. There will be approximately 12.

      I see that you love animals. I have three very whimsical 1920s books that feature animals. https://www.amazon.in/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=sr_1_20?dchild=1&keywords=teagan+geneviene&qid=1626356512&s=books&sr=1-20
      Thanks for visiting. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks a lot for appreciating my blog, Teagan. Means a lot coming from you! Dead of Winter sounds so interesting! I will definitely check your website for it😀 I am a fourteen so I fit! Oh and yes love animals so so much! Will check your books on them📚
        Nice to meeting another wonderful author, keep writing!

        Liked by 2 people

  5. What a lovely post, Teagan, with ancient legends and beautiful artwork. I also love the color green for its presence in nature. It does feel magical. Boabhan’s character is perfectly depicted. Can’t wait to get to Journey 6. Soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have always connected the colour green to you, Teagan. Your have a special connection to the earth and to the mythologies & spiritualities that come from ancient times. It comes through in your writing and in your choice of characters and character interactions, your locations and timelines. It is a pleasure to read your books!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. It’s so interesting to get a glimpse into the mind of a fantasy writer, Teagan. I love how you make the elemental connections your characters have with colors. Fascinating! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for that feedback, Priscilla. In my imagination she was the original Boabhan Sith… I don’t say that, because it wouldn’t be accurate — since she was created by another, but… Anyhow I’m happy you enjoy the character. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Even when you’re “making it up as you go,” the foundation is in your research. That’s very interesting. I don’t know how you do it, but your characters are always so well developed. They contribute so much to your stories. Thanks for working so hard for us.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We learn much more about Boabhan in Journey 6. I hope you enjoy it, Michael. Thanks for reblogging, and for all your support. I still can’t access your posts (except for random occasions when I can reach them in the Reader), so I’m sorry for not showing my appreciation at your blog. But I sincerely do appreciate you. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you very much, Teagan! Will hurry up for a faster progress in reading. Oh sorry, i am self hosted at https://books.eslarn-net.de. The reblog on WP.com is only for keeping up system. Here in Germany we are not allowed sending data to the USA, and WP.com uses Jetpack for the liking, commenting and reblogging. So i had to self host without Jetpack. ;-( But i am trying to get a similar function included soon. Hugs back! xx Michael

        Liked by 2 people

  9. Boabhan is a fascinating character, Teagan. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us (and I did wonder about the green and Atonement as well). I’m happy I managed to read and comment on this one. Looking forward to more insights into your magical creations.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Tim. Sometimes the character comes to me whole. Other times, as with Boabhan, they might be inspired by something, but their personality doesn’t develop until I start writing the story. As Dead of Winter went along, Boabhan also developed a “strange sense of humor” and a great capacity for empathy. It’s fun when they grow that way. Hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 2 people

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