Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Writing from Edward's POV

There's just something about Edward Cullen.

I'm not talking about Robert Pattinson...although he does a fair job of portraying Edward. And he's captured Edward's agony well, especially in New Moon.

No, I'm talking about the amalgam of literary heroes whom, rolled together, result in Edward Cullen.

I see Edward Cullen most clearly in the character of Edward Fairfax Rochester in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre: a man of principle twisted by "Fate"--by factors outside of his control--into a life of self-loathing and self-control, a self-control that he struggles with and then yields as he falls in love with his ward's quirky and plain governess. Mr. Rochester throws aside society's rules in order to pursue Jane, but when society catches up with him at the altar as he prepares to marry Jane, the lovers are separated, and Mr. Rochester goes out of his mind with grief. He sacrifices himself in attempting to rescue his mad wife who has set Thornfield, his home, on fire, and ends up blind and crippled. Once Jane is restored to him through supernatural means, he regains his sanity and his sight, finally becoming the man he was always supposed to be through the power of love and the grace of God.

I also see Edward Cullen, to a lesser extent, in the character of Heathcliff in Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, an intrinsically evil character made so by forces mostly outside his control, yet becoming more human through his twisted love of the monstrous Catherine Earnshaw. Glimpses of Edward Cullen may also be seen in Mr. Darcy of Austen's Pride and Prejudice and in the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast.

And let's not forget the Byronic hero, the handsome, tortured soul saved from himself through the power of love. Dictionary.com defines the Byronic hero as "A kind of hero found in several of the works of Lord Byron. Like Byron himself, a Byronic hero is a melancholy and rebellious young man, distressed by a terrible wrong he committed in the past." Sounds a bit like our Edward, doesn't he?

Currently I'm reading the third novel by Syrie James (author of The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen and The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte) entitled Dracula, My Love: The Secret Journals of Mina Harker which explores the Dracula story in a mixture of fictional story wrapped around established fact. I haven't read Stoker's Dracula since college, and I must confess to remembering little of it. Besides the enjoyment of getting lost in Syrie James' wonderful literary worlds, I'm intrigued by how the character of Count Dracula relates to Edward Cullen. We shall see, I suppose....

So why do I enjoy writing from Edward's point-of-view so much? I find his character infinitely fascinating. He's flawed, but beautifully so. He's alone in his own hell of self-loathing, but then he's slowly raised out of this hell to live, for the first time in his miserable existence, by the love of a pure woman. Edward's agonized struggle between loving Bella and protecting Bella places him in a nearly impossible situation, one that requires him to further develop his humanity while suppressing his vampiric nature.

Last night I published an EPOV Outtake for Pinned but Fluttering which begins with Edward storming out of the Cullen home after seeing Downton Abbey splayed across the widescreen, his own time period on display as Bella watches with fascination. He runs, and as he runs, he recalls his first encounter with Bella, and we gain a glimpse into Edward's mind and heart as he struggles with his intense feelings for Bella. Here's a short excerpt from the third outtake from Pinned but Fluttering:

As soon as I was out of human sight, I was running with a speed and energy that surprised even me. I didn't know where I was going, and I didn't know how long I'd be running. But the repetitious motion of the running brought me a the merest beginnings of peace...a peace I hadn't felt since first catching the irresistible scent of one Isabella Swan.
My demon.
My angel.
During the drive, I had not allowed my mind to think about her. But for all my decades of careful self-control of body and mind, she had somehow become the focus of my every thought. I knew, without a doubt, that this situation would have to stop. Or change somehow.
I could not think about her.
I could not allow her into my world.
My world was simply too dangerous for such a delicate girl.
I had to protect her. Somehow. Someway.
I had to protect her...from myself.
As the miles disappeared beneath my feet, I thought back to the television program that had startled me and prompted my dramatic exit. To see splayed across the widescreen the elements of my own human era, the halcyon days before the horrors of The Great War (the war which was later named World War I after another global war began in the 30s and 40s), gripped the earth, was unnerving to say the least. The clothing, the manners, the cadence of speech, even the gentility of that time was all too familiar to me.
I could not believe that Alice had exposed Bella to my own human time. It was dangerous...and unspeakably reckless. And worse, my sister had done it on purpose, and I was not sure that I would be forgiving her any time soon....
I suppose that my reaction was a bit much, but it was Alice's smug grin of satisfaction that sent me “over the top”--another phrase from the foxholes of The Great War.
I sighed as I ran, knowing that I'd have to apologize to Esme and Alice when I got home.
That is, if I ever went home....
As usually happened in this particular damp location in the US, it began to rain, slowly at first, then in an increasingly powerful downpour. Despite Spokane's overall drier weather than the Olympic Peninsula where Forks was located, high winds whipped my wet clothing against me as I ran and raindrops struck my eyes, peppered my face, and soaked my hair.
But I couldn't stop running.
If I continued, I would end up running all the way back to the Olympic Peninsula and then would have to return to fetch the Vanquish....
Shit. Usually I didn't allow myself to use foul language, first because it offended me that most people didn't take the time to choose the best word for a particular situation; they lazily resorted to four-letter words in a decided lack of creativity. Second, such words offended Esme, and the last thing I wanted to do was to give my mother pain.
But the agony within me wouldn't allow me to stop running—but whether I was running away from Isabella or toward her, I did not know. But those brown eyes, swimming with deep emotions and fragile strength, wouldn't leave my mind's eye for more than a moment, and only then when I forced them away.
But they never stayed away long, those incredible eyes.

So I'll be continuing the story of Pinned but Fluttering with next weekend's posting of Chapter 30, picking up with the Cullens' tense discussion with Bella in the living room....

Plus, Pinned but Fluttering just passed 300,000 reads on Wattpad this morning. See?

From the Wattpad.com Profile Page of Cassandra Lowery dated March 28, 2012

Thank you for reading my stories and for being such an amazing support and encouragement for me as a writer. Fiction writing still seems foreign and odd to me, and I certainly have a great deal to learn....

With a grateful heart,

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