I’m currently redrafting chapter 11 (closing in on the fourteen chapters + epilogue!) and read my work on one of the last characters I introduced, Aldar. Heinrich, Joseph and Emile had gone one way whilst Wilhelm had taken another route, so I needed companions for my many protagonist. This would be the miller’s daughter and her brother, the three brought together in a tidal wave when the mill is attacked.
In chapter 11 I really got my teeth into the relationship between Aldar and her brother Tom; very much the protective older brother to an innocent sister. But whereas Tom sees her has naïve, Aldar is more intelligent. She’s just been kept hidden from exposure to the horrors of life.
I immediately played on the idea that Aldar falls for the swooping, dark-haired stranger big time and that there may be a love triangle between Wilhelm, Aldar and Emile. However, this wasn’t to be as they went their separate ways and never met up again. Instead, the interaction between Wilhelm and Aldar would change. Its clear that Wilhelm is not interested in anything relationship-wise, be it Aldar or anyone else, but the two are closer by the end of the book and who knows what happens in the sequel (well I do).
The mill, in chapter 4, was the first zombie killing scene, bringing in the psychological horrors of this genre. When the dead flood into the house, Wilhelm, the miller, Tom, his other brother and Aldar trying to hold them back, there is hurt and pain as first the miller is bitten and turns (NB: its the first time we find out that you don’t have to die to turn into the undead) and then he bites his own son as the youngster mourns. Something that’s hard to take for Aldar and Tom, though the later remains strong for his sister.
Its certainly interesting to see the development of the characters and Aldar is another who I’ve been happy to see changing. Her reaction at this point, breaking down and virtually unable to function whilst her brother somehow manages to keep going, shows her weakness. However, ultimately she becomes a stronger character that will play a more important role in the sequel.
Picture taken from www.hollywood.com