The Secret Lives of Characters
As I mentioned in the previous post of this series, Ice is told from Christine’s point of view because it was too hard to get into Kavick’s head because he is so secretive (not that I never attempted to. There was originally a single chapter in his POV, but I removed it because I felt it made it a bit confusing). Christine is an introverted thinker who becomes close to Kavick very quickly, and can understand him extremely well. I realized right away she was the perfect choice to tell the story. I also felt she brought more realism into the story by being the voice of it, which was important to me. I wanted it to be as realistic as a fantasy/supernatural novel could be.
I also chose to write it in her POV because I knew I didn’t want Ice to be a typical boy meets girl story. I didn’t want it to be happy, but not a total drag, either. I wanted it to be bittersweet, just like how life really is and because I was very depressed during the majority of the writing process. When I started Ice, I needed an outlet for the feelings I was struggling with and I knew Christine had to be suffering through a terrible ordeal. She had to feel just as bad as I felt. So I wrote her as an orphan, but somebody had to be providing her with the things she needed. So she had an uncle.
Christine’s name came to me right away. It’s also the name of one of my grandma’s best friends, which makes me like it more, of course. The real life Christine is a hoot. I had started chapter one, and when I was supposed to type her name, I ran a few names through my head quickly. Christine was the third one, I think, and then Birch was the second or third, one, too. I thought it was the perfect name for her and I was surprised it was so easy.
Christine’s loss, the feeling of hopelessness in a new, strange environment, and her relationship all came to me as I was writing it. I didn’t have to brainstorm any of it.
I always saw Christine as slightly tan, tall, and skinny with long, straight, brunette hair. Her eye color was the only thing I had to deliberate. I thought gray would be pretty with her hair and skin. More aptly, I thought Kavick would think it was pretty. I had to see her through his eyes (over time, it got easier).
I soon realized they had a lot in common despite coming from completely different worlds, and I liked that he was the one person who could understand how she felt.
You might be wondering why Molly couldn’t understand Christine. Too often I have read stories where the leading lady has that one perfect girlfriend who understands her so well and she gushes about her friend to the point it’s annoying. I wanted Christine to be realistic. Even Charlotte has her faults, despite being nicer than Molly. Molly was supposed to be like most kids you meet in school. You’re friends, but you never totally trust her because the friendship is more about getting along with her instead of being close to her. You know that friend has, or might gossip about you behind your back because she gossips to you about other people. After all, she met Molly when she had Kavick’s secret to keep and Molly can’t be trusted with secrets. Charlotte, however, never told what she considered Christine’s biggest secret (her crush on Marcus), despite wanting them to get together so badly and thinking that he would return her feelings if he knew.
From the first moment Kavick introduced himself to Christine, he proved he trusted her. He had already put his life on the line to protect her from the bear, and then he put his life in her hands not only out of desperation, but because he trusted her. He was a lonely, lost boy like she was a lonely, lost girl. I can’t think of Charlotte ever being lost, or lonely.
And Marcus’ relationship with Christine: well, I think when you read the book its pretty evident that him and Christine are very different people, and her feelings for him made her too shy to ever get close enough to him like she was with Kavick.
Something else about her, Marcus, and Kavick I hope people have realized, but I think it’s largely gone unnoticed: Ice is not a love triangle between the three. Christine is not in love with them both at the same time. Just because they compete for her (and Kavick didn’t compete most of the time because he didn’t think he stood a chance) doesn’t mean she loves them both. If you pay close attention to what Christine says about Marcus, and Kavick, you’ll see. Love triangles annoy me and I feel like they are not as common as fiction makes them out to be (unless you consider cheating to be a love triangle).
I think that’s it for Christine.