Red Lettering

Stories will not be written easily. A story without a heart is dead, and the only place it will get a heart is from the author.

Archive for the month “July, 2014”

Character Interview: Princess Lauraine Kodie

Happy Tuesday, readers! Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you Princess Lauraine Kodie, from Rayleigh Gray’s  novel-in-progress, A Queen is Knighted.


Princess Lauraine Kodie has a life of privilege, balls hosted in her honor, servants at her beck and call, and a family she loves with all her heart. But something mysterious begins to stir when her brother returns from her uncle’s kingdom and acts unlike himself. Then, on the eve of her 15th birthday, the castle is attacked and burned to the ground, her parents killed, and her brother disappears. 
She is taken against her will by a strange-handsome- man outside of Tunock and told what she never dreamt she would hear; she is the only one who can save Tunock from the danger her uncle brings, and she must to it as a man. 
Can Kodie save her kingdom? Or will she give up the kingdom, and everyone in it, to save her brother? 

Hello, Kodie! Welcome to Red Lettering. I’m honored that you would take the time to be here, especially with everything else going on over there. Could you tell us a bit about yourself? 

Lauraine Kodie: No problem! Honestly, I embrace the chance to get away from the stinky camp in Sundaland Canyon, only, Wilhelm and James both insisted on escorting me just in case of an ambush, but I don’t mind too much *sly grin*. As for telling you about myself, I suppose that I could tell you some things, but I don’t care to get too personal.*attempted nonchalance* First off you should know that I, Princess Lauraine, has a brother of whom I don’t know is even worthy of that title. Prince Zachary II is three years older than I and he has taught me everything I know, for we have always been close *heavy sigh and looks to the ground*, that is until now.

 Aah. Well, if we’re being completely honest, I wasn’t expecting you to tell who you really were. I knew, but I certainly wasn’t expecting it. Don’t worry, though; your secret will not get out to those who would see it used against you. What’s the first thing you can remember?

 Lauraine Kodie: Like ever? I don’t know….*deep thought* I have often had dreams of two young children sword fighting with wooden swords. Both children, a little boy and a little girl, wore huge smiles on their faces as they danced around a courtyard that looked very similar to our courtyard. I once told my mother about them *sad expression* when she was alive. *pause, then quickly regaining composure* She told me that my dream reminded her of the time my brother and I had received two wooden swords and played with them for weeks on-end. So, that might be a memory or that might be a vision of my future children, I know not which.

Dreams often carry old memories, though a lot of the time they’re mixed with odd things that never happened. Maybe it’s a memory, but maybe it’s something else.  I heard that your castle was attacked and burned to the ground. The King and Queen are known to be dead, but the Prince and you haven’t been heard from by the citizens. I know it might be difficult to answer this question, since it’s your home that’s under attack, but what do you think of the things going on in your country? 

Lauraine Kodie: *heavy sigh* I honestly do not know what I think. Some people say that it is my uncle we are to fear, but others say it is their beloved prince, my brother, Zachary who is behind the attacks. And still there are others who believe the two are conspiring for my uncle to be king and my brother to have the king’s daughter’s hand in marriage. My trainer, Tupac, believes the latter. I have always valued everything Tupac says, but I just don’t know about his theory, it seems so unlike Zach.

 I hardly know anything about what’s going on there, but… You know your brother. I can’t promise that he’s not against you, and really, I shouldn’t even suggest it, but if you know who he is, don’t jump to conclusions about what he may have done. Keep believing in him until you know for sure… After all, that’s what sisters do. I know this might be a bit of an awkward question, and a sticky one, but… When do you believe it would be okay to tell a lie, or do you think it would be wrong all the time? 

Lauraine Kodie: *startled expression* I…..I….I honestly never thought about it. I mean, I would think it to be okay if you lied to protect an innocent person from a punishment they didn’t deserve, or from a country who is getting attacked….*uncomfortable squirming*

I see. I don’t know what you would consider yourself—adult or child—but… When you were small, what did you think you would be when you grew up? What were your dreams?

 Lauraine Kodie: *smile* I still like to consider myself a child, for I have so many childish dreams, but after everything I have been through in the past six months, I believe I have grown up enough to be called an adult. As for my childish dreams; when I was but a young girl, I used to dream of becoming a real knight, which is why I was always with my brother when he trained. But after I met Wilhelm *dreamy expression* and he sought permission to court me, well I only dream of the future we have together. Now, I am a knight and there is still a small possibility that Wilhelm and I will have a happily-ever-after story, as long as I stay alive.

Happily-ever-afters are the best types of stories–especially when you put them together with knights. When you have spare time, what do you do with it? (Besides coming to answer awkward questions here, of course. Don’t worry; the rest will be normal. Normal enough, anyway.) 

Lauraine Kodie: Training with the sword takes up quite a lot of my time and honestly I don’t consider that a pleasantry now that my life depends on how well I can use a sword. But, on rare occasions, I enjoy riding the horse that my fellow knight, James, gave to me. He is the most beautiful horse you have ever seen and rides like a cloud!

I can certainly imagine how your life depending on it would change things. I would think a cloud would get you wet if you rode it… Just out of curiosity, does the horse do that? Actually, sorry. I should probably keep on track here… Do you have a favorite season? 

Lauraine Kodie: I would have said winter if I were answering as the spoiled Princess Lauraine, for skiing across the frozen lake is one of her favorite past-times. But now that I am Sir Cody, who lives in makeshift tents in the out-of-doors, I very much dread the upcoming winter months and I am miserable in these summer months. So, my favorite season is either Spring or Autumn, depending on which has more pleasant days. 

No favorite weather; just lack-of-weather being your favorite? Certainly makes sense, that. Who would you die for? 

Lauraine Kodie: *stunned* Well, my brother would have been the answer before all of these disastrous things happened, but there is still that possibility that he was the one who killed my parents and burned our castle. And Tupac believes he is going to attempt to kill me so…*tears swelling up in eyes, looks up at the pause, then begins sobbing* I don’t know, I just don’t know. I have never had anyone as close to me as my brother and now he is my enemy? *buries face in hands and continues to cry*

Ah. That makes sense. Be strong, Kodie. Don’t give up. I should probably let you get back so… last question—Did you like fairytales when you were growing up? What would make a fairytale, or whatever your favorite type of story was, a favorite?

 Lauraine Kodie: I have never truly liked fairy-tales, because they were never real. A story that is my favorite will always have really happened. 

That makes sense. Thank you for being here, Kodie… It was an honor to get to speak to you. I hope that the rest of your journey is well.
You can read the first 1000 words of Princess Lauraine Kodie’s story here.

Rayleigh Gray is a 16 year old blogger that absolutely loves to read, write, research, and car-watch! She has a passion to proclaim the Creation of this world and do so with my writing. She hopes to become a journalist when she graduates high school and would also like to write a few books. She is home-schooled, the eldest of 6, a country-girl that likes to ride four-wheelers, and loves to sew. She blogs at


Writing Prompt: 07-04-2014

I know, I know–it’s Saturday. I scheduled this to post automatically, but for some reason, it didn’t. I’m sorry, everyone. I should have double-checked everything.

Origin: “Learning to Fly”, by C. W. Sun (Hakubaikou on DeviantArt.) I’m sure most of you have it down by now, but just in case: I don’t know the artist. So, beware if you look the artist up. (That, and the picture might just take over your mind if you look at it– who knows?)

Feeling inspired? If you’d like to write a prompt snippet, I’d love to read it! You can post it in the shiny little comment box, or move it to your blog, and post a link in the comments.

[I really look forward to being able to read anything you write from this prompt, and I expect to enjoy it very much and for my readers to also enjoy it. That said, please keep everything as clean as it gets because otherwise I will delete the comment or link to your blog.”Only what is good for building up…” If in doubt, ask. My contact information is on the About page.] 

Secondary Characters Have Rights, Too

Dear Secondary Characters,

I’m sure you must know by now. The way people write articles, speak, or write about you, it’s like you’re not important. Authors ignore you, or pull you into the story and then throw you out again as soon as they’re done with you. I know some among you have tried to stop these acts, and some have succeeded.

But some have not.

I admit, two years ago, I would have done the same thing. I didn’t care for any secondary characters; you all only served your purposes, and then left the novel, presumably to go back to your lives and be forgotten. I cared naught for your plights, your stories, even who you were. You were tools.

Then I met a young man named Swithin.

Perhaps it was the calm, cool way he gave orders, or the way that he was in the antagonist’s forces, but he did not follow the antagonist’s orders. Perhaps it was the way he treated his men, like they were more than he, or the way he stepped in and did the right thing when it needed to be done, and then, even when I tried to have him fade back out of the story, he refused. I decided to look into him. The deeper I dug into him, his character and his past, the more I found.

From that moment on, I realized (though there have been times when I have relapsed), you secondary characters are not tools. You are people. You are characters. You are the responsibility of the writers.

And we, most of the authors of this world, had failed in representing you correctly.

When you receive this letter, I don’t know what you’ll think–I’m sure that, some of you, will be glad and joyfully tell each other, “Finally! This is what we’ve been waiting for!”

Some of you, though, will look at it and shake your heads. “How will they manage that?” You’ll say, amusement evident on your faces. “No more secondary characters? They’ll be busy. How do you suppose they’ll find time to write the full stories of every character they come across?”

Truth be told, secondary characters, we won’t. I know the look you’ll be giving me, so, before you write back and say so, I’m not betraying you. I’m not going back on what I just said, nor do I suggest that any other authors go back to using you as only “minor characters.” Yet while some of us, as authors, would be able to write all of your stories, or show all of your personality, those are the super-heroes, the best of the best. Unfortunately, there’s not many of those, so we must come up with a compromise.

“A compromise?” You might say, so before you stop reading, let me continue. You might not be too pleased with what you see, but you might not hate the idea, either.

What if we stopped using you as tools? What if we stopped using you as the people to support the ideas of our main characters, or be those with their arguments shot down? What if we, as the authors, stopped treating you as nothing, and started treating you as characters?

Your stories are just as important as the stories we’re writing. Even though you star as supporting characters, you aren’t worthless, you aren’t simply there as a brief person we’ll use, and then throw away.

We’ll write you as characters. We’ll write you as people, as deep and real as our main characters; we just won’t be able to tell your story. We can’t show you as everything you are, but we can put work into you, because you’re worth it.

In return, you’ll be good to our stories. You won’t take over (not without permission, anyway), but you will be our main character’s support. You will play your part, willingly now, for from now on it will be your part. You won’t be portrayed as a cardboard cut-out. You’ll be there to add to the story and to assist or hinder the main character, but, whether we tell our readers or not, or whether you tell us or not, you’ll be people.

You’re characters.

Don’t ever let your authors tell you that you aren’t.


Athelas Hale

(Writer and President of The Association for Protection of Character’s Rights. (AfPoCR))

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