Writing Wednesday: Through New Eyes

I’m well into revisions for my second Phantom novel now.  One thing I’m finding particularly fascinating is the new opportunities for describing my two main protagonists.  You see, this book is strikingly different from Book One in a significant way–my main characters actually spend time together!

In Book One, my two point of view characters, Meg and the Phantom, almost never interact.  They’re only in the same scene five times–twice they don’t talk to each other at all, and once they exchange only a few lines of dialogue.  All of which means, there are very few opportunities for my two protagonists to describe each other.  We mostly only get to see each character from his or her own viewpoint–and the Phantom in particular is not very communicative.  I’m excited by how much more I’ll be able to share about my two characters in Book Two, by being able to present them through each other’s eyes.

The excerpt below is from chapter two of Book Two, from Meg’s point of view, and it’s the kind of thing there was simply no opportunity to put into Book One.  So it was fun to write!

*********

I watched him covertly as we talked, though I probably needn’t have tried to hide it.  He rarely looked at me, keeping his gaze on the curtains closing off the box, just as though they were open and a performance was going on.  When he did look at me, it was a quick glance that slid away again at once.  What was he thinking, in those moments?

My eyes had long since adjusted to the dim light, and I could see that his dark evening clothes were as immaculate as they had been the day I met him six years before.  Whatever grief he felt about Christine leaving, he wasn’t showing it in a disheveled appearance.  Why did a man no one ever saw care what his clothes looked like, anyway?

His mask hid so much of his face that I quickly dismissed it as a place to learn anything about his thoughts or his mood.  I found myself watching his hands instead.

When I had first come in, his hands had been closed around the arms of his chair.  It took some time, in the shadows, for me to realize how tightly he was gripping them.

Not so calm after all.

As we talked about music, first one hand and then the other rose, sketching points in the air.  He had long fingers, the right hands for a man who played the pipe organ.  I could almost see the notes in the air as his hand flowed through a crescendo.  His voice had grown warmer too.  Not enthusiastic.  Barely even friendly.  But at least there was a hint of interest.

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