Those guys. This may offend folks with discussing this, or it may straight up make them wanna go on the defensive, but others will nod and go yup. I know him. I know that guy.
Note – please do remember this is a fictional character I’m speaking on. Most of my blogs are about my characters. I simply use them as inspiration and go from there. So this is not about a specific person, it’s about my character first. Most of ya’ll are intelligent enough to understand this, but I’ll still disclaimer myself up. If anything these characters come out of traits of tons of people I’ve dealt w through life. Good, or bad. Usually if I use someone as influence, I’m all – this person inspired the character and they grew from there.
Louis is the guy that people say is a good guy, he just doesn’t know how to act around people. The guy who people say, give him a chance. The guy who people say, you’re too hard on him. The awkward guy who just feels off.
I’m finding myself cringe as I write him. I know what he’s about to do right before then and I’m all, ugh. Louis just don’t. lol
Deep down though, not all those are actually nice deep down. As I’ve grown and seen people of various worlds, backgrounds, beliefs, etc., I’ve come to see that even “evil” aren’t necessarily solid evil.
It’s so easy to look at someone, to look at their behavior, actions, and just go – he’s BAD. We see it daily. There’s something about a person that just triggers folks to no end and they declare from one reason or that said person is evil, but personally I believe it’s deeper than that.
Evil is the unknown, the dark, what isn’t seen. How does said person act when nobody else is around. What little acts does said person do when they won’t benefit. When they will gain nothing, who are they? In private, without anyone knowing, what do they plot? What do they think? What do they do?
That. That is who Louis is. When he is alone, he plots against the city he resides in. When he is alone, he is thinking about ways to hurt those he grew up with. When around Nala, he taunts her about Tarqin. Harasses her, calls Tarqin dumb, speaks ill of him, and calls his grandmother an ol’ crazed bat. It’s not that she isn’t crazy, but it’s how he speaks about her as his grandmother.
So when I write Louis, a huge part of me is just wanting to curb his behavior so much. Luckily his language is nothing like Dakota in The Alchemist series (Cessation, Mitosis). Ya know “colorful.” Still, it is beyond difficult to write someone who makes my skin crawl.
Louis is the epitome of the guys who want to hug you and hug you a moment too long. The ones who women say to other women, as they do in this story to Nala, “stand up to him! Tell him back off!” lol And Nala knows? No matter what she does, what she says – she tells him off constantly – Louis won’t stop. Louis knows full well what manners are. He just doesn’t care. He skirts the edges of the law (in their world) so nothing can be done outside of Nala continuing to tell him to back off. Or Tarqin punching him and telling him to stay away from her.
What happens though? Nala becomes forbidden fruit. Tarqin doesn’t want Louis near her? Ohhhh well then. Now he knows what really annoys Tarqin. So then Nala figures ignore him. Well, Louis is always in the center of the city after the dragon riders leave, to stir up trouble against them. So it’s difficult to ignore him, and not all hate him anyway. Plus, he lives in that city, and no matter how many try to make him leave, try to make him uncomfortable, he won’t. They have to deal with him. They being Tarqin and Nala, and those who don’t like him.
Louis never really goes so far as to cause issue enough for him to be banished. Because he’s certainly not dumb. He knows the rules and remains just far enough inside of them to keep himself from trouble. I think that is a huge part of what irritates Tarqin the most about him. He knows that if he, as dragon rider, and one of the rule makers, were to banish Louis then that very precarious line they walk these days between dragon rider and citizen (more so now that Louis is stirring the pot) may just turn. It may be that final nail in the figurative coffin that pushes the city to the edge.
Louis loves to skirt that edge and as much as I don’t like the character? He’s fascinating to write because I have to work out that line, and where is it?
Like today when he slams the door in Nala’s face just after harassing her about Tarqin and insulting the man. He was just acting like she was dumb for worrying over being alone w him, yet purposely taunts her into a corner to make her feel she should be. Then does the unexpected and just slams the door in her face.
As a writer, I’m more of a transcriber. I don’t think while writing. I let them live, I transcribe their actions. It’s in editing that they really come to life. That the stories do, the characters. So I get glimpses of what is to come right before I write it down, but sometimes it’s only right before I type it. Well, that was one of those moments that I definitely didn’t expect of Louis.
I can see now though that the only reason for that moment before? When he gave Nala the information she sought? It was to benefit him. He didn’t do it to help them, to help her. He did it because something of his was taken, and by helping them, he helped himself.
That sums up who Louis is as a person. On the outside, it seems that he helped. He even said he helped.
He helped himself, more.
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