Wasteland Wednesday #3

*Language and Content Warning*

skull and crossbones.jpgskull and crossbonesUnlike QE’s normal informational blog, Wasteland Wednesday is potentially full of foul language and post-apocalyptic nonsense.  I’m talking f-bombs, thrice-bosomed mutant women, and buckets of gore.

Wasteland Wednesday

Welcome to the third edition of Wasteland Wednesday!  Today I’m going to introduce you to an important and deadly lady.  Instead of applying epic creativity, I’m going to share my unedited original character concept with you.  Plus a couple author notes about the character from me at the end.

Full Name:  Alexandria [Last name unknown]

Nickname: Lex

Age: 30

Bio: Lex has only known the world as a wasteland.  She was born on the day the bombs decimated the United States.  Drake and her paths converged five years after the destruction.  Drake’s original party found Lex scavenging on the outskirts of Columbus.  She was dirty, alone, and starving.  Lex was also bordering on feral.

At this point in time, Drake’s group was starting to transition from deadly survivors into a disorganized band of raiders and slavers.  When a raiding group discovered Lex she was captured and brought back to central Columbus.

Conflict 101: Man vs ManThe general census was this young girl would be used by the group for morale (raped) and then traded to one of bands of slavers taking hold of the area.  When Drake saw the girl she reminding him of his dead son Jonathon who was roughly the same age as her when he was turned into radioactive dust.  This, combined with his depression and overall disillusionment with the group, caused Drake to attempt to free the girl and allow her to escape.

All of these events culminated with Drake getting blasted in the head.  In the confusion he generated, Lex did manage to escape.  Drakes presumably dead body was stripped of everything and left to rot.  Once they finished stripping Drake’s body and left the area, Lex returned to Drake.  He was still alive, but practically a vegetable.

Lex stayed with Drake bringing back whatever food and water she could find.  She also cauterized the holes in his head.  It took a while, but eventually Drake’s body recovered.  His mind never would.

Despite this, Lex knows that under the madness and insanity is a decent man.  Lex has stayed with Drake, often in the shadows, no matter how many half-hearted attempts Drake has made to rid himself of her.  They have traveled together for twenty-five years now.

Abilities:  Lex is perhaps more deadly than Drake.  Put another way, she is deadlier in different ways.  She thrives in the shadows and plays in the chaos Drake seems to endlessly generate. Drake has noticed that as she has matured her gun sounds before his sometimes, and that means she is perhaps faster.

While Drake is a master of chaos driven insanity and confusion, Lex prefers subtlety.  This natural inclination to shadow was fostered through her formative years with Drake.  Drake often told her to go and hide when trouble came, which eventually morphed into killing people from those hiding spots.

subliminalPersonality: Lex has an extreme aversion to being touched.  Especially being touched by men. For every settlement Drake has been chased out of for killing people, Lex has gotten them banished out of another for killing men who attempted to touch her.  Sexually, she will only pay for the companionship of females.  She only chooses to sleep with prostitutes because it ensures there will be no real emotional connection, just the promise of a needed release.

Many of Drake’s personality traits have been inherited by Lex.  With that being said, she is far more calculated with what she says and tends to think things through instead of speaking and acting on impulse.  Much like Drake, she has a soft spot for children.  Also like Drake, she has no problem killing someone if they say the wrong thing to her.  She’ll just wait until they are sleeping to deliver the blow.

Motivation:  Most people’s motivations in the wasteland are centered around survival.  This is true for Lex as well.  However, Lex also realizes the power of a story and a name.  Drake’s legend, while based on truth, has been largely fabricated and exaggerated due Lex’s influence.  Part of the reason she pays for female prostitutes is because she knows they like to talk and spread gossip.

rifle breakdownEquipment:  Lex learned a lot from Drake during their travels.  She adopted his, “one mind, any weapon,” philosophy and is proficient with most killing implements.  Her tools of choice are stealth weapons.  Knives, bows, and other projectiles are her bread and butter.  She does carry a rifle and pistol, but she normally uses them as a last resort.

Author’s Note:  Lex was a late addition to my book and required some sweeping rewrites (which I always advise against doing in a first draft).  I felt my book was a bit of a sausage fest and lacked the value of a female perspective.  But beyond just injecting a female character into the story to have one, I wanted a strong character that would add a level complexity to the story.

Alexis Final.jpg

My concept work for Lex.  I digitally painted this in Photoshop using a photograph I took as a blueprint.  It’s rough, but I’m getting better (slowly).  This image is owned and created my me.  If you would like to use it contact me.

Lex also allowed me to reveal more of Drake’s personality and backstory.  What is also solid about her character is it enabled me to do this through dialogue and action, instead of info-dumping or weird internal dialogue mechanics.

I have grown fond of Lex because she is like Drake in many ways, but better than him in others.  I also like Lex’s character because she isn’t a victim.  She is a capable predator.  She doesn’t play the damsel and she doesn’t pretend to be in distress, she simply kicks ass and collects heads (mutant inbreeder heads).

Additionally, she makes Drake’s survival and legend in the wasteland a little more believable.  Especially in regards to it being coherent in the story world.  When I first wrote the story, I made the assumption his legend would spread by word-of-mouth.  But there were issues with that assumption.

Did a slaver go to random settlement and tell a story about the man who came back from the dead and starting killing them?  Why is a slaver in a settlement chilling out and not trying to enslave people?  A raider certainly wouldn’t be telling this story in a settlement, he/she would be killing people.  Is Drake the kind of character I want to portray as someone who would blather on about his own legend?  These were the issues I was dealing with in making the legend of Drake believable.

Lex allowed me to propagate Drake’s legend and backstory in a realistic way.  She also has the ability to be a stand-alone character with a powerful backstory.  The book could be rewritten from her point of view and likely be just as interesting.  For me, that’s a good thing.

That’s it for today’s wasteland news!  I hope you all stop by next Wednesday for more information about Wastelander: The Drake Legacy.  I’d love to know what you think about Lex’s character. (I’m sure Drake will be jealous she got a full-page character breakdown before him.)  Until then, keep hiding, keep hoarding, and as always – stay alive.

Copyright Info (final)

31 responses

  1. Blimey, Corey. Do you have one of those for every character? Lex sounds fascinating. And seems perfect as a counterbalance to what I’ve seen of Drake so far. I mean, a counterbalance like the final scene in the Italian Job, but still a counterbalance.
    Good to see you back. Hope you had a nice break!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. While I like how you have worked out the relationship between these two, what actually caught my attention is your picture of Lex. Despite her history, you haven’t shown her as a “hardened” woman, even though she is. I think that can be difficult to

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know exactly what you mean…this really was just my way of creating an image to play from (eyes, hair, gear, etc…).

      If I wanted a good artistic rendition that is full of those emotional elements, I would have to go to a pro like Michail. If I ever get around to having Michail bust out some more sketches, I’ll likely swap them out.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. …sorry. ..hit Send by mistake. It can be hard to not be tempted to portray a character a certain way. Lex could be drawn as angry and rough, but this look is more of a reflection of the type of woman who is Drake’s partner. Am I making any sense?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lex doesn’t sound like the kind of person I’d like to have coffee with…

    In all seriousness, you’ve got a real bleak setting in the works, the kind of bleak that sounds like it’s worth reading. You also made a good choice in adding her, since she can play the role of Drake’s main “apostle” and the like. Good on you!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I’m looking forward to seeing Lex in action. (Although I agree with questingauthor above–yeah, not going sit down and have coffee with her!)

    I’m also curious to learn more about her motivation–what she ultimately wants out of life beyond survival. She seems to be loyal to Drake, and keen on enhancing his reputation. What does that accomplish for them? What kind of power is involved? Does that badass rep open up doors for them? Does Lex like it when people are afraid of her? Or is she looking for a measure of respect?

    Can’t wait to find out . . . .

    Liked by 2 people

    • I want to answer a couple of these questions, but don’t want to wander into spoiler land.

      Reputation in the wasteland is a double-edged sword. There is the pucker factor (people don’t want to bother trying to mess with you) and the tumble factor (people want to knock you down and claim your laurels). Regardless, it’s often better to have name then be nameless.

      I say this because in the wasteland you own very few things, especially if you move around as much as Lex and Drake. One thing that is yours is your name and your reputation. In a world where everything needs to be literally worth it’s weight in worth, a name is a weightless weapon that is always by your side. The BA rep both helps and hinders them, and you’ll see this unfold throughout the book.

      As for some of the more personal aspects of Lex, those questions you are asking are addressed in the book over time. I just hope when it’s all finally spit-polished they are able to satisfy your curiosity in a fulfilling way.

      Thanks for taking the time to leave some thoughts and ask some questions. I wish I could speed up time and just release the book right now (or spill all of my secrets!), but I shall resist the urge to ruin everything and rush.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m absolutely LOVING Wasteland Wednesday! I am also super stoked about the book! Keep us updated as I really am looking forward to this! Lex sounds even more intriguing than Drake and I love how you portrayed Drake already!

    I like how you give us enough info without spoiling anything. I can’t wait to read this! ^_^

    Cheers! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Well…I am a female character and have been for some time. From your description of Lex, I do not perceive her as a sister. I find this somewhat perplexing because your stated purpose in creating the Lex character was to add the value of a female perspective. Perhaps I need more information because I am not seeing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well I would encourage you to keep in mind this is an unedited, and very brief, snapshot of a character. I’m not sure what you meant by sister in your comment. I never meant to infer she was Drake’s sister. Unless you mean this in a categorical sense? (Sometimes the jargon is lost on-screen.)

      Perspective is a funny thing in that we all have a different one. In short, they are very individual. In the wasteland I have worked to create, I weave in the concepts of universal right and wrong, as well as virtues. All of these things, at their core, are based on individual perspective.

      In the wasteland, a woman is more precious than a male. For one, the population in this isolated region of middle America has been decimated. Due to this, slavers and raiders see women as precious commodities for both breeding and sex trafficking. For me, I wanted to have a gender specific character in the book to address these concerns and conflicts. How Drake perceives a slaver is different than how Lex would because they both see a different kind of threat.

      Lex is also modeled around a few of the outstanding women who I had the pleasure of serving with in the military. She is a merging of personalities, traits, and abilities I found to be admirable. Women who didn’t allow gender to box them into a category and worked to ensure those around them judged them on their merits/abilities and not their gender.

      I don’t know if my ramblings addressed any of your concerns or not. I hope so! Regardless, I really do appreciate you reading and leaving some thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love her. She is a bad ass that don’t take no shit. I kinda know someone like that. But she has a soft side. That you let us see. And that she is strong for Drake. Drake needed someone strong by his side. Perfect fit

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Pingback: Wasteland Wednesday #4 « Quintessential Editor

    • I hope you do steal the idea 🙂 For me, I think of it as a place to compile non-spoiler tidbits prior to book release and as a way to market. Not that I have anything against people who do this, but I didn’t want my marketing strategy to be me simply spamming an add for my books over all the social media posts. I wanted each “ad” to be unique and offer something new that also built on the story.

      The goal is to have a boatload of these done by the time the books come out next year and if readers like the books, they can come to blog and already find lots of pregenerated insider info.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Wasteland Wednesday #5 « Quintessential Editor

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