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Of all the characters in Awakening, Kingston’s isolation is perhaps the saddest to write about. Whereas Barsch spent his childhood at his father’s side, and Alza has no memories of any previous companions, Kingston had grown used to isolation prior to the arrival of Barsch and Alza.

And then I took them away from him. An old man, wounded and alone, lost in a desert.

I am a terrible person.

However, I do not torment him without good reason. Kingston, as a character, fascinates me. Unlike Barsch and Alza, he has been alive for decades. He has seen and done more than both of them combined, and that checkered history has helped shape the hermit for better and for worse. Speaking as a writer, he is a goldmine. His past, which ranges from innocent child to weary soldier, provides an ample amount of scenes and themes to explore.

He has fought, he has loved, he has lost. And even now, in his twilight years, he is experiencing new things.

And when I isolate him, I am able to focus more clearly on that junction point of past and present. He is able to lower his guard, and allow his thoughts to drift backwards in time, to a dark part of his life. This, in turn, leads to character development that would be much harder to do if he was constantly surrounded by other, more energetic characters.

Do not mourn the elderly, for they have lived lives that you could only dream of.

In the next Behind the Scenes, we reconnect with Maloch, the last member of our quartet, in “Kindred Spirits”. Look forward to it.

And remember, even if life beats you down, Never Lose Your Stride!