Wednesday, October 23, 2013

K: Kansas Whitman

Kansas Whitman is a prime example of how my original idea is nothing like the finished product. First things first. She is a dream character. I don't know why the girl in my dream was named Kansas, though people in my dreams have had even stranger names. (One dream had young men named Vladimir and Foy, a boy named Atkinson, and a little girl named Rohlie.)

I originally thought Kansas would play a much larger role in the story than she did. Back then, though, it was completely separate from the Rubins' story and was under the working title Stand Fast (which I desperately wanted to change). I was going to have a bunch of characters with state names in that book, but in The Experiment there are only four: Indiana (Ian), Virginia (Ginnie), York, and Kansas. Kansas was also going to be the granddaughter of the Donahoes. She and her parents were to be rather estranged from the Donahoes, because of political differences, but that did not end up coming into The Experiment at all. I doubt now she is any relation to them, even in the first draft.

There are a lot of things from the idea of Stand Fast that I still would like to work into a story. I am working occasionally on a side project that is another dystopian type story, only with grownups as the main characters, so maybe some of it will get in there.

Kansas in the final version is a minor character, someone the Raingolds meet on their travels. She is basically in the same boat as them, taken from home, forced to work as a slave, etc. She seems like a rather spunky little girl. I know she was in my original ideas, but she didn't really get elaborated on much. She's there, though, and I'm sure she could have a very interesting backstory if only I had bothered to make it up.

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