Notes to Stregoni Benefici, Ch. 16

August 2nd, 2012 § 0 comments

(This note may be vaguely spoilerish, and so you may wish to read it after you read the chapter.)

You don’t go from a normal existence to hopelessness overnight.

This week, I finished a book, Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher. I highly recommend it; it’s a fabulous and very quick read. Its premise is that there is a teenage boy, Clay, who is sent the thirteen tapes recorded by a girl he crushed on, explaining her reasons for committing suicide, in thirteen stories revolving around thirteen of her peers. It’s a fascinating chronicle of how small things lead to terrible despair, and a highly addictive read. And, I think, this notion of how small things build feeds nicely into what is going on Stregoni.

Certainly, a number of things in Carlisle’s vampire existence led to the enduring loneliness and depression which he carries really all the way through the Twilight Saga (I believe it’s still evident in his actions in the four  canon books, despite his having gained his entire family by that time). But in order to understand Carlisle fully, we have to take time to stop and imagine what his human life was like as well.

Some other fanfic writers have chosen to give William Cullen (or whatever they choose to name the character, as “William” is my own invention) the burden of leading to Carlisle’s self-loathing, making him abusive and hateful toward his son. While I haven’t spared the character the kind of hatefulness that comes from narrow-minded thinking, I wanted a more multidimensional portrayal of who Carlisle’s father might have been—after all he was Carlisle’s role model of how to be a parent, and although he certainly changed many things, some he picked up from his own father.

But without William being deliberately a monster, then how did Carlisle’s human life contribute to the melancholy in which he lives the ensuing three centuries?

One reader of mine who has become a close friend over time, upon reading the first chapter in the 1667 timeline gchatted me shortly after she finished the chapter. When she was done reading the chapter and its tiny mention of Elizabeth Bradshawe, she told me exactly where this storyline was headed. One might think that when someone guesses your entire plot after one chapter it would be frustrating, but on the contrary, I was completely giddy. Because it was always my intention to lay the groundwork for this in such a way that the reader could see it coming…

…but that Carlisle never would.



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