Notes for Stregoni Benefici, Ch. 18

August 23rd, 2012 § 0 comments

I distinctly remember where I was when I decided how to structure Stregoni Benefici. It was the summer of 2010, I was living in a tiny studio apartment across the city from where I live now, and as I do now, was working retail for the summer. We closed the store at 11, which meant that I regularly was walking home from the bus at midnight or later. And I don’t remember why I was thinking about Stregoni, or what else was going through my mind, but I remember distinctly being about three blocks from home, in front of the apartment building where one of my friends lived, when I realized that in order to make the story work, I needed to give Carlisle a foil in each of the three timelines, and that to do that would mean I would have to write Aro.

Aro is the hardest of these six POVs to write (because I consider Carlisle in each of these periods to be a different POV–twenty-three-year-old human Carlisle resembles the two-hundred-seventy-four year old vampire in many ways, but in some ways they are different). Some have said that he seems almost split-personality, and it’s taken me two years of writing him, and some careful conversations with close friends, to figure out why.

As I see things, power is Aro’s primary motivation, and anything he does which seems benevolent (sparing the Cullens at the end of Breaking Dawn, for instance), is about the preservation of power and his ability to mete out punishment. Carlisle, who desires nothing but peace and companionship, throws a complete wrench into Aro’s understanding of how the world works. As B, a friend and reader pointed out in a review, Carlisle “seems like he came from outer space” to the brothers, with his different views.

Yet I think his purity of heart is infectious, and draws Aro in, both out of Aro’s curiosity, and out of Carlisle’s generosity of spirit. But for someone who doesn’t feel very often, being jerked around by suddenly not wanting to kill someone doesn’t sit well with Aro. And so you get a guy who ping-pongs back and forth from anger to what is almost a fond affection back to anger.

And while in my opinion, this personality whiplash is perfect for his character, none of that is particularly easy to write.

I wrote this chapter in June, revised it before sending it to Openhome, asked her to shred it, which she did because she’s wonderful, and then I shredded it again, rewriting the Aro POV from the ground up. So I apologize for the brief delay, but hope you find it worth the wait.


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