The Problem of Magnolia
Thought I'd post a few (or more than a few) thoughts on what's going to happen with Magnolia in the rewrite, to see if you guys like the new direction, etc.
A little bit of background first - I count Mags to be one of my newest characters in terms of the main cast, even if she does have a little edge on Merlin and the Parkers. The rest of the main cast had (for a value) a fairly solid grounding in the old fanfic series. They may have been a world away from who they turned into, but some spark of them was still there.
Magnolia...not so much. I created her to replace a character that had existed in the series (said character was a guy, and Jonesy's recruit, despite being a badass who wandered around with a katana). He belonged to another author, but I wanted a character to fill his shoes, so Mags was brought about, and I figured Taylor needed a recruit, to sort of even things out, so that's how she ended up with him. The old character had an online handle related to birds, so Mags became a bird girl, and because I figured I should include something Aussie, she became a magpie.
That's really all the grounding I had when I started, and I still feel like I never really gained much traction with her. I love chibi!Mags, about a hundred times more than grown-up Mags, and I've never really been able to get in to her head and make any significant advances - even Taylor let me in to his head, even if it's all "grr, grr, Magnolia <3, grr, I should clean a gun".
And then there's GE. Dear gods I hate that book. Someone said books are like kids and I shouldn't hate them, but consider GE the book I wish to lock under the stairs and starve. Nothing about it (other than the Angelpie sex scenes) really ended up being anything like what I wanted it to be, and it ended up being way too dark for really no reason.
That's the backstory, however, this is to talk about moving forward.
Part of the reason I have trouble with Mags is that she feels like half a character, that she has all of these disparate elements to her that make no sense when you add them all up. Some people are like that, and yeah, life experiences can massive change a person, but still, with how she's set up, it feels a little forced. So, I wanted to find a way to make everything fit, to change everything about her without really changing anything, if that makes sense.
[And please realise that due to this, the majority of GE will be scrapped, so don't worry about this new set up conflicting it.]
Point one that bugs me is the circumstances of her birth - with how Magpie ended up, it seems really out of character to fuck with Mags' dad like that, it was going to be part of something larger, didn't work, so her whole character starts with an OOC conception. And then there's her competing rebellious nature with how structured and ordered she likes things, how precise she is, how she memorises paperwork, etc.
And then there's the ongoing problem of how the Magpie Court doesn't really have any kind of steady income.
So then my brain went "hey idiot, cross the streams". In somewhat TL;DR fashion:
Magpie (dammit, I cannot stop typing magepie >_<) decided that her steady source of income will be from the manufacture and sale of slaves (perfectly legal, especially if you have someone like James write up all the lawyery stuff). Majority start off as eggs, so that they're hatched in their new owner's homes, and it's the only life they ever know. [And allows for those wanting to buy a child, rather than making one of their own, or adopting in any traditional way.]
The slaves aren't designed to be perfectly compliant, they're not mindless, just a little more...agreeable, they readily accept orders, etc. Mags is one of these slaves.
Where her dad comes in is that he was having a fling with a fairy woman (so he knows slightly more about the fae world than he currently does, but only slightly), and this woman was one of the couriers who would drive the trucks of waiting-to-hatch eggs to the slave markets. For some reason, her truck crashes, she dies, and Don finds out what she was smuggling. He finds the last unbroken egg and flees with Mags, then raises her when she hatches.
He gets some idea what she is, but not the extent of it. He basically spends all of her childhood teaching her how to argue back, and to make sure she's not being taken advantage of (people must act in accordance with rules, etc), which is why she lashes out at kids at school, when they try to bully her, because it's not something they're allowed to do. As in the current version, he keeps her away from the fae as much as possible, even when they move in to the Agency. Darren and Katie disagree, as they did in the current version, but accept tht it's his choice for his daughter.
Teenage rebellion comes because she wants/needs to know more about herself and the world, and she runs away, falling easily in to gangs and crappy jobs, because it's easier to operate when someone is giving her orders.
When Taylor recruits her, he figures out what she is pretty quickly positions himself as the only person she's to take orders from - as he can draw parallels with what she is, and his position at the Agency - not always having choice in what they do. In his own way, he basically points out that the idea of being a slave isn't as bad when you're being a slave to duty, as it's something worthwhile to dedicate yourself to.
Don't worry, I'm not really changing Taylor. Even in the current version, he believes that every bit of shit he's put her through was for her own good, making her stronger, etc, it's just highlighted a little more with this new situation.
So that's the basics...what do you think? I've had a couple of people tell me it's a little neat, too tidy, and explains too much of why she is the way she is, but to me it feels like a much stronger basis, and feels like she's finally rounded out as a character.