The Oddness of the Outsider

Here in the #ChroniclesOfEnoch , we do not believe there is any such thing as a minor or inconsequential character. As in life, everyone has a story, even if we don't know what it is.


The person that anonymously cleans the toilets and kitchens at work has no direct influence in your life most of the time but they keep your surroundings clean. The same applies for those who make the food we buy in supermarkets, remove the trash we throw away, and generally make our lives comfortable. Each one of them will have a history, a family, loves, and aspirations. We may never know what those are, of course, but that is not to mean that they do not exist.


Obviously, when writing a story, we need to be selective.


If one were to tell the story of every single person we encounter in the world of the Chronicles of Enoch, a world as detailed and complex as the one you're reading this from, we would both never finish and also never get the story told...


It has been quite the challenge balancing those who actually do matter, though.


When one is telling a truly epic tale, one cannot be sparse on the details or one's epic ends up being a little short and, of course, a little unepic and disappointing.


How much detail is too much detail, though? Sable encounters and, in his usual efficient and exciting style, dispatches them to wherever it is that they go to next. Do we need to know their stories? Not really, they're essentially sword fodder. We've given some of them names and characteristics but not much else.


They served a purpose and, upon fulfilling it, have no further purpose and do nothing to drive the story.


Rebellious Character Syndrome


The sharper among you will know that this is not the first time that this type of thing has been discussed here. We have Asmodeus, the minor 'boss villain' character who flatly refused to be that, instead morphing into what people are calling the Shadow MC (British politics joke, the Shadow Cabinet the Opposition Party's leader and prominent ministers. Also, of course, Asmodeus is the shadow to Sable's light) and most popular series character to date.


He has, to use another dry term, set the precident, and is probably rather amused by all the discussions about him.


One must, of course, try to rein in such rebelliousness from personages who are, in fact, simply figments of your imagination. The fact that said nonexistent individual is 'taking over' is an event which may well be of great interest to mental health professionals if it becomes too common, obviously.


In itself, that might be a more than adequate reason to curtail such behaviour from characters, narrative necessities and book length notwithstanding.


I sense that this topic needs an entire post of its own so get ready for that one.


Lorasta, Lilith, and the Wolf Pack


You might notice that The Chronicles of Enoch : Preludes exclusively features a band of these so-called minor characters in search of that elusive promotion to the big-time. Some of you that have read this volume in its previous incarnations, will notice that this book deals exclusively with a band of these minor and disposable characters.


Some of them get a whole chapter almost to themselves. Others are much alluded to or 'featured' although most of these are already 'important' characters in their own right.


Yet some of them have "done an Asmodeus" as some fans call it, and, even more strangely, they're closely associated with him...


The Wolf Pack are quite important, to some degree, because they ground the Chronicles in our modern age as most of them are no more than 100 years old, they are not ancients like Sable and Asmodeus are. They are, to be simplistic about it, teenagers or children yet, like teenagers they should not be dismissed out of hand just because they're young by non-human standards.


Yes, we have Charles, Marguelisa, and company but it's nice to connect or have a bridge between the two worlds, don't you think?


Lorasta is the backbone of that bridge.


She represents the "feel" of the age; the sense of being lost and unhappy with what she is, of trying to find her real self. She's confused, she enjoys the strength and power her golden helix gift to her but not with the way she keeps her youth and vigour. She does not, though, want to surrender it. In first obtaining alpha status in the Wolf Pack and then her encounter with Lilith, she finds a sense of purpose and belonging. She is valued and important as herself. She discovers what it means to have friends.


She also helps Lilith - and later other members of the 'cast' - understand our world and adapt to it.


Lorasta is quite the intriguing character and we're very excited to see where her character goes in future books. She's been through an awful lot but, for now at least, has appeared to have found some happiness and peace. It might be nice to allow her to enjoy that for a while.


Without spoiling anything, study Asmodeus' interactions with her and Julian and ask yourself, is the little demon really lying when he makes his promise to her?


The Evolution and the Development


Minor characters come into their own when their effect on the "more important" characters is very important. Lorasta is one of these as she is actually responsible not only for bringing a large section of the cast together, she also (spoilers avoided) is going to be very much the fulcrum on which several storylines turn.


So much for an unimportant, minor character then.


Life is like that too, don't you think? At times a casual, throwaway comment from somebody you hardly know can completely turn your life around. That person might never know how much of a difference they made to your future and you may never see that person again.


Somebody who's always sat comfortably in the background might blossom and become not only part of the foreground but that person that influences it.


Life is never simple and nothing happens in isolation. The simple, inconsequential decisions of a multitude can change your life forever. The thought a person gave almost no space in their brain to could have untold of consequences.


With a long enough lever, one person CAN move the world.


Asmodeus' character, as well as that of Julian, are what they are today because of the Wolf Pack and, in a way, because of Lorasta. She's taught Asmodeus a few things and, for a change, they are positive and decent things.


Julian joined Asmodeus in stepping away from the background entirely and becoming central to the plot, again thanks to our good friend Lorasta. She's quite the busy woman as it turns out and far from stereotypical.


This brings us to Lilith. She is probably the most powerful single being in the whole series, if you look at it properly. She is human but also immortal, she has a whole horde of offspring of unknown capability and a realm nobody (almost) can enter without her express permission. She can bewitch and entrance any man, be he mortal or immortal yet she started out as making an more comedic appearance or two.


An ancient being who has not been outside of her realm for thousands of years makes a hilarious faux-pas or several in trying to flirt with Sable, having resorted to the wrong sources of information on what constitutes coquettish behaviour from the female. That scene might well remain in an edited form because it will, ultimately, show her strength in how quickly she adapts to the reality of our time and idiocy of the internet.


Lilith is know to and rightly feared by almost everyone in the series (the immortals at least, the humans may have heard of her but probably not the real her) though very few of them actually know her. Her story is also an intriguing one as she comes to terms with having been wrong about a great number of things for a great deal of time. Her mixture of intense vulnerability and shocking strength serves as a strong example to Lorasta, among others. Her interactions with Mrs. Leibwicz are also quite amusing.


One her central themes is a that feminism is hardly a new idea; it's been around since day one.


One might be inclined to say that, as in real life, it is the women that are making things happen while the men appear to be in charge? Anyone who's been married knows the accuracy of that observation.


You might also find it curious that the characters I highlighted as transitioning from minor to influencers here are both female. You might want to ask yourself why that is so easy for us to accept in this current society...


Let's open this one up for debate in the comments, please, I want to hear what you think about that...

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Alan J. Fisher; Writer and Poet

chronicles@chroniclesofenoch.com