Michael Brown

The Paradise Wars and Clark Ransom Thrillers

Character Parameters Moving Battered Housewife to Spiritual Mentor

Defining Moira’s role in The Temptation of Moira Connery

Moira Connery Character Parameters

Moria at her best

Moira Connery serves two essential functions in The Temptation of Moira Connery. She is the Main Character, and therefore represents your position, the audience’s position, within the story. Moira Connery is the character with whom you the reader will empathize: her trip becomes your vicarious trip.

Her second function is to be the protagonist of the story. It is Moira’s responsiblity to pursue a solution to the novel’s main problem. I don’t want to give too much away, but that problem involves her wealthy husband, Evan Connery, a New Orleans scion and supporter of fascist causes.

Note Main Character and Protagonist do not have to be the same character. In The Great Gatsby we take the emotional ride along with Nick Carraway, while Gatsby himself is the obvious protagonist.

The Four Character Parameters of Moira Connery’s Psychological Skeleton1

Moira’s success as a main character and as a protagonist will depend on how well her psychological drives find fulfillment.

Those drives are:

  1. Purpose: How Moira discovers her desired and intended result? Her goal?
  2. Evaluation: How does she decide if the path she’s decided upon is effective? Is it working to fulfill her purpose?
  3. Motivation: What is missing inside of Moira? What makes her have to pursue the course she’s taken?
  4. Methodology: In day-to-day decisions and actions, what are Moira’s go-to methods? Is she an intuitive? Does she seek confirmation from others?

Purpose: Social Hostess to Something More

Moira was raised by the London Theosophical Society. The belief that knowledge, the expansion of the mind, can lead to happiness is central to how she sees herself.

Yet here she finds herself in the early 80s with her primary role being social hostess for one of New Orlean’s wealthy families. Somehow the knowledge she acquired as a girl has failed her. What more does she need to know? When new sources of information, or secret knowledge become available, how can she resist?

Yet, her life as Evan’s wife and New Orleans socialite is real, substantial. How can Moira even consider Rachel’s suggestion Moira become doyen of the new Voodoo Museum, given Rachel is Evan’s ex? How can she reject the actual for some fantasy, no matter the appeal?

Evaluation: Evan Is the Monster Moira Can’t See

Moira, focused on how her misery grows day by day, escapes to the plethora of esoterica which fills the Voodoo Museum. It’s like being lost in Tolkien’s, or The Game of Throne’s, or Harry Potter’s worlds, with the possibility it might all be true. Moira evaluates the effects of her actions to see if they make her happier, without asking what are the causes. Without seeking the causes of her unhappiness, she misses what is right in front of her face.

Moitivation: Haunted, Moira has to be Obsessive

Moira remembers little of her parents. She knows her mother was of Romany, gypsy, descent, and her father’s brother received the Nobel Prize in physics, and this combination gave both of them entrance into the intellectual and artistic salons of pre World War II Europe. But Moira knows this because of the few clues left to her in a small casket. The only memory she has of her parents is watching them drown as their car sank beneath The Great Salt lake.

Yet this one memory is a recurring, torturing nightmare, and the more she digs into the Voodoo Museum’s archives, the more she must find out about her past, who she is, knowing this is key to understanding where she now finds herself.

Methodology: Needing Certainty, Moira is Her Own Prisoner

As Moira tries to redefine herself from hostess to seer, she rejects any intuitive hint of a new path, a new piece of knoweldge, unless she is persuaded it is true. There must be objective proof, tangible evidence her situation has changed, before she’ll commit.

In spite, of the sallies into the wildest and most esoteric of theories, Moira Connery is not by nature a risk taker. Her salvation is she will never give up, never. The question is will her aversion to risk, to committing before being certain, give Evan time to stop her before she can become free?

Flesh to the Bones

Considering Purpose, Evaluation, Motivation, and Methodology I now have a character whom I understand well enough to let her fulfill various roles as she has and will appear in other novels in my Paradise Wars series. For example, in the first novel in the series The Consecration of Jacob Jordaens Moira, twenty years older than she is in The Temptation of Moira Connery, fulfills the function of Guardian to Protagonist Jake Jordaens, much like Obi Wan Kenobe does to Luke Skywalker. Even in the different role, however, Moira is the same woman, driven by the same demons, but with more experience and hence wisdom.

Welcome to Moira Connery:

Full of energy, red haired, crazy bright dress. Enjoys seeing herself as anything but conservative in conservative Garden District, yet would describe herself as a a housewife and hostess.

Had enjoyed making Evan look good, but now there is a deep dissatisfaction building and a return to memories of her life in London, to the occult aspects of New Orleans, and to not dismissing her friend Lexis’ prodding to be a feminist.


  1. Based on an understanding of Dramatica Theory

 

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4 Replies

  1. Lori

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  2. Michael Brown

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  4. Michael Brown

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