But what if I break?

Risk-taking, Strength, Weakness, and the development of character.

One of the things that I find hardest to deal with in both my writing and my life is the constant tension between safety and desire, the need to appear successful and together creates a level of fear that can be paralyzing. If you take a risk you may fail, if you fail you may be criticized, if you are criticized you will break.

This fear of risk is one of the things that I wanted to explore in my novel. The main character, Y’keta, represents one side of the risk spectrum. He steps into things without considering the consequences and often regrets decisions he never gave himself the chance to make. When his recklessness costs a life, he is exiled from his people and forced to seek shelter with strangers.

His counterbalance in this story is Siann, the shaman’s daughter. Raised with responsibility for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Siann fears risk in the same way that I fear high places. She doesn’t know what will happen if she takes a chance, so she chooses to never take them. But she is sure that she will be judged unfavourably if she ever takes a step off the road designed for her.

How these two come together, and finally, while facing an attack on the village, find a way to Walk between the what they want and what their fears demand is one of the key themes of the story.

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