by Marie Palmer
How I came to the idea to write Mercy.
Mercy is a story of brotherhood, friendship, and romance. It focuses mainly on the lives of three leading gay male characters, all of which work in the medical field. The first two characters worth mentioning are Andrew and Avery Pryce, a set of identical twin brothers with polar opposite personalities. The third leading character to mention is David Kurt. David is introduced to the story as Andrew Pryce’s best friend and Avery Pryce’s love interest.
When I sat down to write Mercy I had no clear intentions as to how the story would go. Normally the first few things that I plan out when I set to write a work of fiction are the character’s first names and what they do as a profession. This helps me set up what type of environment I’ll be placing the characters into. This is exactly the method I used for the characters of Mercy. This means that the only true things I had planned out before writing were the names of the characters and the type of setting that I wanted the story to take place in.
I knew right away after creating my character names that I wanted Andrew and Avery to be brothers, so I gave them the same last name. Next I decided that the two of them would be twins, because I wanted them to be the same age. What I didn’t realize with this decision was just how much conflict I could draw out of their relationship. As twins I wanted them to share a bond like no other set of characters in the entire story; however, the tie between Andrew and Avery had to be strong in the beginning and strengthen even more over the course of my writing. This is why many of the dramatic events that take place in my story revolve around these two characters.
As mentioned previously Andrew and Avery Pryce despite being twins are complete polar opposites in personality. They share the same looks and genetic makeup, but if you were to meet them individually with no prior indication of their genetic ties you would never guess that they were related. Between the two brothers Andrew is the crude party boy while Avery is the gentle hearted innocent.
Andrew has an ADHD personality. He’s spontaneous, constantly lives on the go, and gets bored with life at an extremely quick pace. His emotional state is seemingly that of a child, because he tends to express everything that he’s feeling through his actions. He also seems to have a quick temper, but in reality this is just a macho-headed defense tactic to make himself look tough. The truth is that Andrew’s character has the biggest heart and the most amount of empathy for others. This was why I decided that his character should have a career that puts him relentlessly into quick paced situations, but still gives him the sense of helping others.
Avery has a dull and snobby air to his demeanor. He likes to play things safe because it leads him to the least amount of trouble, which is why he overthinks and over analyzes every move he makes. Life for Avery is always neat and organized, there’s no room for messy. From a young age he has focused solely on his education and his medical career, which over time has left him no room for a social or romantic life. For these reasons I chose Avery’s career path to be something that required quite a bit of attention and left little room for social detail. Emotionally Avery seems to have everything held together, but in reality he’s inexperienced when it comes to matters of the heart. Unlike his brother Avery hides his feelings rather than acting them out. It’s much easier for him to continue playing it safe and hide his emotions than it is for him to take a chance on heart ache by thinking out loud.
The character of David Kurt developed a lot slower than the others. I wasn’t sure at first how I was going to intertwine his life with the other characters, but as I put more thought into his personality David’s role in the storyline came together beautifully. I decided at first that David would be the best friend to one of the brothers while being the romantic interest to the other. I hoped that in doing this it would create a flow of drama between the three characters that would remain constant. I got exactly what I was hoping for.
David is an easy going and laid back type of guy. He enjoys the party life and having fun, but he’s just as easily content with relaxing and appreciating his existence from a slower pace. Emotionally David is a lot more solid than my other characters. He doesn’t have the temper that Andrew has nor the naïve and shy persona that Avery does. He always thinks with a level head and even when the choices are less than desirable he still seems to make the right one. The only true flaw to his expressive state is that he internalizes everything until it boils over. One of my favorite features to David’s character is that he is extremely loyal to the people he cares about. He’ll show up in the middle of the night to help out a friend, he’ll keep a deep rooted secret even when it’s killing him to hold it in, and he’ll sacrifice his own heart to respect the wishes of a friend.
The friendship between Andrew and David was probably one of the most complicated pieces for me to plan out. They were originally supposed to have grown up together, which would have been the basis for a solid friendship. This plan didn’t work, because I realized that if David grew up with Andrew it would also mean that he had grown up with Avery as well. Not only did I not want David and Avery to be this well acquainted, but I also I wanted the friendship between David and Andrew to be based on something that none of the other characters would ever experience. I needed David and Avery to go through a series of events that would bring them to one another while interfering with the existing friendship between David and Andrew as well as the bond between Andrew and Avery.
The aspect of this story that I had the most fun with was watching the way that my characters grew as people. Each character takes on a different role in finding themselves and the relationships between them fuel what they learn as individuals. By the end of their saga each character has figured out their path in life, but not without staying true to the people that they were in the beginning.
Though I love all my characters and each one holds a spot in my heart, Andrew Pryce is by far my favorite. Perhaps this is because the mental picture that I have created for him is quite appealing or maybe it’s because he’s the character that endures the most suffering. Throughout the story Andrew finds himself in situations where life lessons are being learned and he has no choice but to suck it up and take it in stride.
Out of all my characters Avery Pryce is the one who changes the most from beginning to end. I think this is why Avery is the character that I am most proud of. His personality growth hinges on gaining the most life experience and it takes his character into many different directions. The obstacles he faces during his journey pull him apart until he no longer recognizes who he used to be, causing the conflicts that essentially make him vital to the plot.
My heart strings get pulled at the most with the character of David Kurt. I think it’s his loyalty of friendship that made me fall madly in love with this character. David seems to be the heart of the story. He’s the rock that all the other characters depend on, and every time one of his friends is in parcel he takes on most of the distress. While David is the character that shows the least amount of growth and change, he is by far the most necessary to the cast.
I surprised myself when I began writing this story. Though I didn’t know what my first intentions were, I do know that I never planned for this work to be so important to me. I had no idea how much I would come to love my characters by the end. After all the planning that it took to craft the characters and the storyline, I had this set path as to what I wanted to do. I knew which characters were gonna end up together and which ones were going to befall tragedy. What I didn’t know was that the story would eventually write itself and that it would morph into something that even I had not expected. While I shaped the relationships between the characters I found strengths and weaknesses that I never intended, which gave this tale its own personality all together.