It’s funny how wildly out of control things can get. I mean, you start out with the intention of simply writing a short 2,000 word character study. Short, concise, maybe spend a day or so on it.
That’s not what happened.
What happened was I set aside my novel and spent six months on writing a 26,000 word novella featuring a character who originally only had a small part, until I fell in love with him and created a more in depth history.
In his simplest incarnation, Flintathriël, an elven prince, was basically created to stand around and offer snarky and sarcastic comments to the hero and flirt with his love interest. That was pretty much his entire purpose in the beginning.
Until one day his entire past just came crashing through, demanding to be written. So I started jotting down some notes for a short story…
I had this amazing idea, set against the backdrop of an ancient war with love, betrayal, dragons and elves and all those good things. But I only wanted it to be short.
I was determined to finish my other novel in 2015…
I wrote a novella instead…
But Flintathriël was destined to be more than a flat caricature and all too soon he had taken over telling his own story. He wanted more from life so I obliged, turning him into a fully fleshed out character as he demanded, creating something magical in the process.
In getting distracted with my novella, it has enabled me to fill in a few gaps in my novel. Several characters appear in both stories and writing this story has allowed me to flesh out those characters and add more depth to a specific story arc.
So while he still maintains that cocky arrogance I originally intended, Flintathriël is now burdened with a darker edge, making the transition from comic relief to tortured hero.
Excerpt from The Last Dragon Rider.
Arms akimbo, he slouched against the frame, all lean muscle and sharp angles beneath his leathers. Silver-white hair fell across his forehead, hiding the dark arches of his brows as he gazed at her with silver blue eyes, the typical colouring of the royal family.
Her gaze traced his tattoos. Sweeping vines encompassing runic symbols, curling down from his bottom lip, winding and weaving their way down his chin and neck. She knew every line that twisted and spread across his shoulders, across his back, lines that disappeared beneath his tunic and reappeared along his arms. She still remembered the day he received the markings, branding him Nuvian. The day she first gave herself to him, the day she truly became his.
They had been betrothed since the year of her birth, the dragon wars had already been raging for many, many years. Sairalindë had grown up alongside the royal children, against the backdrop of war, becoming close friends with Flintathriël’s twin sister, Faëlwyn. Neither Flintathriël nor herself had wanted the match, had spent many summers chafing against the binds of duty thrust upon them.
Throughout their adolescents, she found him arrogant and cocky, the typical characteristics of one born to incredible privilege, owed the world purely by the virtue of being born.
By the time she reached her eighteenth year, her feelings began to change, though his did not. His constant parade of conquests through the halls where she studied magic was like a dagger through her heart. She threw her innocence away, running to the stable hand that had been sweet on her and let him tumble her in the hayloft in an effort to rid him from her thoughts. When she emerged tussled and smelling of sweat and sex, Flintathriël had been there. She had called his name, and the look of complete devastation that briefly flashed in his eyes before his arrogant smirk took its place on his lips, shattered her.
They spent the next three years hurting each other, ever knowing one day the bonding rites could be delayed no longer. Until that day he had proven himself, one of the Nuvian, an ancient and elite class of warrior, bound to spirits of animals.
Flintathriël had chosen the wolf. The wolf is fearless; the wolf is strength, the wolf is power, and the wolf endures.
The eternal hunter.
She had been so proud the day he received his tattoos, the spirit runes twining with natures vines, and so, tired of the games they had spent years playing, she had gone to his room, thrown him down and rode him until his knees buckled, and he finally claimed what had always been his.
She brought her gaze back to his face, mischief dancing in those silver-blue eyes, a twisted smirk upon his lips. A dark brow raised in question.