One of my favorite things about writing is getting to know my characters. To me, the characters in my story are real. They do things of their own will; they write their own story. I craft the person, and they design their fate.
… except those times where I take control and ruin things for them. That’s always fun!
Caged really started with an individual. She came to me on a particularly hot day while camping with my husband. Sitting in a camp chair, praying that God would just turn down the thermostat just a little, an image popped in my head: a girl who wouldn’t stand for this kind of injustice, who would find whoever was making her this uncomfortable and verbally assault them until it changed. It was a ridiculous picture. Who in the world fights someone about the temperature outside? But Eden, whose name wasn’t revealed to me until much later, grew from this. Eden– who would fight anyone and anything to protect her family. Eden– who knew no mountain too high to be scaled. Eden– who fearlessly faced a world intent on seeing her dead and was obsessed with stories and languages.
But also, Eden– who loved with every ounce of her person and trusted too quickly. Every character has their flaw. For her, it was that protectiveness she felt for her family. You see, Eden fought blindly sometimes for them, sometimes missing the smaller details in front of her.
With Eden’s personality came her looks. Her best friend describes her to me as this: short for her age with somewhat ugly, pale skin (Good grief, she lives in an underground tunnel, what did you expect, LINUX?), but the most gorgeous electric blue eyes under her mess of knotted jet black hair.
Eden needed a sidekick. Every hero does! And so, Linux was created.
A smart boy, he proved to be everything Eden wasn’t, in both good ways and bad. Linux could be cowardly and careful, reserved and still. Where his best friend never stopped, Linux found himself often lost in thought, in coding, in watching, or in waiting.
Eden calls him “gangly” more often than anything. With broken glasses half-hanging off his face and a messy mop of dark hair, it’s obvious the boy lives in darkness.
Linux was the brains and caution; Eden was the strength and risk. They found comfort in each other’s haunted past and leaned on each other to fill in the gaps of their personality. Eden gave Linux the assurance that he’d survive another day. Linux gave Eden someone worth coming home to, someone worth fighting to see again when things in her life got worse.
But the most important part is this… To quote Linux exactly:
“Like a right and left arm, neither one of us can do our job without the other.”