@taylorclogston Thank you for your observations! They are super helpful and thought provoking. Especially the point you made about Arrowood. I’ve been having trouble developing him, mainly because I came up with the story idea and the main characters first, and then had to put a face to this vague antagonistic force I had. It’s always so hard to know where to start with story ideas! I had been thinking that he would have some internal conflict caused by his attachment to Rubi. So maybe he tries to stop her from finding out her past, partly because he loves her, and partly because he doesn’t want her knowing what he has done to people (possibly she saw him doing something?). Or maybe he just doesn’t want her knowing that her parents are alive. Maybe he wants her to stay with him. Or perhaps all those motivations combined. I’m wondering if villains can have a negative character arc throughout a book, or if they are already supposed to have made their “wrong decision” before the story happens. Because I had thought about him choosing to wipe Rubi’s entire memory before she finds out the truth. And yes, I had been planning on having the message be something about “erasing a memory doesn’t erase reality and what happened”. In other words, erasing your own memory doesn’t make your sins lose their consequences or change the fact that you’ve hurt other people. But then that applies more to the villain than the MC. Phew, writing takes so much thought and planning.
Yes, I could definitely make Rubi younger. I also really like your point about her being emotionally stunted. I was thinking that when she meets Ikal, he could be the outside force that causes her to question things. But she would also have to find out something more personal, instead of being unrealistically motivated by this random guy who is looking for revenge.
You could tie that into a character weakness of Arrowood in believing no person should ever have to experience pain, to the extent that he believes he’s doing the right thing by removing Rubi’s sense of self to prevent her from feeling emotional pain at her past and the way he’s betrayed her. He doesn’t even need a selfish desire at this point (outside of not wanting pain himself, which you could express through other ways like a drug addiction) but only a belief that it is okay for him to control the lives of others if it means doing what he thinks is best for them.
This was an intriguing thought. I had considered making Rubi’s main fault wanting to control others at the expense of their humanity, so that could possibly work, with Arrowood being the representation of where that problem could take her.
Thanks again for the help! (Also, don’t feel like you have to reply. This was pretty much just me brainstorming through the ideas you shared, lol)
a flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it.
it just blooms.