As a part of the preparations for my next novel I’m writing a flash-fiction series about the character Alene. Alene will be one of two main characters in the novel, but I don’t yet have a clear picture of who she is.
I know she’s a woman in her mid-twenties and that she’s a therianthrope. I also know that she’s economically independent and that she’s traveling through the world. She probably works at International Rail, but there’s a chance she may be unfit for that. I also know that as a therianthrope her animal aspect is that of the rainbow coyote (that’s really bad)
Other than that I don’t actually know her. I don’t know her on a personal level and I don’t know how she reacts in various situations. That’s why I’m writing this flash-fiction series. It lets me put her up against people and events and find out how she reacts. I’m basically creating her personality be writing a story about her.
So far, it’s been pretty slow going. I had to start over just recently as her personality became to violent and unpredictable and that felt a bit like a setback. I did make some great progress today though, and that definitely made up for the earlier failure.
While writing, I realized that as Alene grows older, her animal aspect, the rainbow coyote, will grow stronger and stronger within her. Eventually the personality of her animal aspect will overpower the human part of her and she will lose control of herself and her body. The beast within will take over. This is a long process and will probably take several decades, but the beast will eventually, and inevitably, win.
This will driver her mad and kill her.
Alene knows this and it’s something that she will have to carry that knowledge with her for the rest of her life. In the flash-fiction, Alene was afflicted by therianthropy quite recently – within the last year or so – and she’s still coming to terms with what’s happened and how to deal with. The novel will take place a few years later, and by then she’ll have gotten more used to dealing with her affliction.
This is of course a terrible thing for Alene to have to deal with, but as a writer I feel it’s a great step forward for the character. I’ve now got something solid for her characterization to fall back on and that will help shape her further.
The Rainbow Coyote
Throughout history, the elves of Aua have dabbled in animal breeding as a kind of hobby – a long-term project to keep them occupied through the centuries. One of the most infamous species to emerge from such breeding is the rainbow coyote. At some point in the breeding process, the species animal instincts (survival, breeding, self-preservation etc.) disappeared.
The consequence of this was that the breeding project got shut down, but not before the entire collection of specimen “accidentally” escaped. The original animals of the species died out within the year, but not before a therianthropic version of the species had appeared.
In it’s animal form, the rainbow coyote is a medium sized dog-like creature, entirely covered in shimmering fish scales. It’s completely mad, highly unpredictable, and was never suitable for domestication. It’s unclear what the original breeders were going for when creating a creature like that, but they’re generally considered to have been extremely unethical in their approach to animal cultivation.