Hey, guys! Welcome to this week’s Muse! In case you’d forgotten, or didn’t read the first time I announced this, the Muse is still once a week, but it’s been divorced from Monday. Now it’ll happen whenever we darn well feel like writing one.
So, you know how we’ve been shopping Killing Mercutio around? That novel we wrote that’s a retelling of Romeo and Juliet to get rid of that silly ‘romance’ and keep Mercutio, aka the cool one, alive? Yes, that one. I’m fond of it. I mean, I should be… I wrote half of it, so it would be weird if I didn’t.
Anyway, there’s a character who dies. Well, there’s several. But there’s one in particular I’m talking about.
So. I had to, as in the play, kill Tybalt. He doesn’t die the same way that he does in the play, but he dies. And writing that chapter actually caused me to go on a spiral for about a week. It’s one of the first and only times writing something has had that kind of effect on me, because I’m really good at compartmentalizing and keeping it at bay. And because that happened, I did something I have never done before.
I wrote fan-fiction for my own novel. And, in this story, I brought Tybalt back to life. He still died in Killing Mercutio, making the story a sequel. In order to do that, of course, I had to find a way to make it make sense because what the fuck is the point of writing something if it doesn’t make sense within the context of the world?! (*cough*) So, in order to bring him back, I got the Faery Courts involved. Oberon decided he wanted Tybalt to join his court and dispatched Puck to rouse him using one of those flowers Shakespeare’s always banging on about. The original story (there are a couple now, which I may very well post one day) is about Tybalt seeking out a rival to get his revenge on the person who killed him. But later stories are about his partnership with Puck and all the stuff they do for Oberon (having Walter Raleigh executed/assassinated for insulting the Sea King, rescuing Ariel so Oberon has one on Titania, etc).
OK, C, you might be saying. This is all interesting, and I definitely want to read those some day (aww, thanks), but what does this have to do about realizations? Ah, don’t worry. I’m getting there.
See, the thing is that Tybalt and Puck have a very specific relationship. Puck is a trickster and Tybalt is forced to learn to control his temper and clean up Puck’s messes, making him the straight man. Tybalt is a really, really good man, an honorable man, and really lovable (HE IS), but his tendency to think with his sword is what got him killed, so he has to learn to, well, temper his temper. And, really, this is the way I’ve been thinking of this partnership the entire time: Puck may be a trickster, but he isn’t a fool. A lot of their early relationship is Puck helping Tybalt to grow, so some of his behavior is intentional, even if ridiculous. But once all that settles, they’re the long-suffering straight man stuck dealing with the fallout of the ridiculous partner who is nonetheless his best friend.
In other words, I took Lucky and Rig… and put them in Shakespeare. Rig has way more patience and has more of a sense of humor than Tybalt, but Puck and Lucky are both tricksters, though Lucky was just reborn as a human so, in that respect, Tybalt and Lucky share a similar dynamic. But, anyway… it’s interesting to me that that dynamic has followed me through multiple stories (Benvolio and Romeo have some of it, too). It’s definitely a thing that’s part of my writing style.
So… that’s a thing. It’s just an interesting observation. In fact, Earth Rising is one of the only stories I have without much of a Lucky/Rig dynamic. The main pair in that, Mia and Laras, are both serious and capable and not ridiculous at all. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you which one came first… I think the dynamic of each pair grew at about the same time. I was developing Liar at the same time I was writing these short stories.
I choose to believe Lucky and Rig are just that strong.