I was reading Brandon Sanderson’s take on the Wheel of Time books just now, and also this zombie story: http://deadtoorights.blogspot.com/ (which is fantastic, by the way). Somehow that led me back to thinking about Heiye, one of the quieter (who am I kidding, the quietest) main characters in Tapestry. He’s a slave. He’s 12-13 when the book starts, and I’m currently writing him 13-14 and hormonal. When the books start, he’s docile, facile. He figures out what people want and gives it to them. That doesn’t mean I’m writing a happy slavery story. He was/is a kid, and as he has entered early adolescence he’s starting to think about life outside of ‘this is just the way things are.’
Tangent time. I’m not entirely sure how to include appearance descriptions in the books. Roughly speaking, all the main character’s coloring is within the same general ballpark, but just as I can say ‘that fellow looks like he’s got French/English/Russian/Italian ancestors,’ so my characters can say ‘that is a nose from Xcountry, with Ycountry cheekbones.’ Heiye’s hair is a softer black, a bit more like coal dust, while she and Sev’s and the twins are all variations on raven-wing black hair, dark eyes, sortof something noses- well, there’s my problem.
At this point I lost my train of thought because my cats had a hissing, clawing fight at my feet.
Ah, yes. I blame their relative sameness on a small genetic pool – the number of high class military families simply isn’t that large. And the best match for a member of one of those families is a daughter from one of the other families. Sev and our lady are probably fourth or fifth cousins or something equally obscure. Can one be half-cousins? Dear old great-great-great-great grandfather so-and-so.