Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Game of Trife: The Lost Chapters Part One

For the record, I always write my novels more than once. The beginning and end are usually the same, however the middle sections tend to be drastically different from one another. I like to experiment with my characters until I find a story that seems to flow smoothly from beginning to end, and also see if I am captivated as a reader when I take off my "author's hat". With The Game of Trife, I had actually planned on sharing the entire alternate edition with readers, but then I realized that it would only cause confusion. The journey that characters such as Jada, Divine, Tony and Darius take are drastically different in each version. However, there were pieces of The Game of Trife that were edited out of the final version as well (well over 100 pages). Within those 100 pages of lost chapters, there are some things that I would like to share with you as an added bonus for taking the time to travel along with Nan on his journey. There are some things I can't share, because it will give away secrets that will be revealed in Trifecta. However, I would like you to at least gain an increased understanding of what went into the development of some of the key characters in the book, and insight from me as well. Don't read any further if you haven't finished Nan: The Game of Trife...

Who was Jada Dupri?

When I was developing Jada’s character, the challenge I faced was making the reader care about her plight. After all, the name of the book is Nan: The Game of Trife, so I didn’t want her to become the focal point. I also had other new characters that were equally as important, and an ongoing storyline that needed to be pieced together. However, I felt that if I structured the story correctly, the reader would want to read about Jada as much as they would want to see what was going to happen next with Nan.

Jada’s character was based on a teenage boy and a girl that I actually knew when I was growing up. The female came from a family of underachievers that had no desire to see anyone in their bloodline progress further than the prior generation. She had an opportunity to escape to a better life, but she was slipped some type of drug at a party and her mind was never right from that point forward. Within the course of a year she was dead.

The male that inspired Jada had a football scholarship but was put on to drugs weeks before he was about to leave to go away to school. He too was close to achieving something never done in his family. He would have been the first individual to go to college.
Besides those two individuals that helped with her development, I also speak to our youth quite often. Even though it's quite depressing, the truth is that I've spoken to teenagers whose reality is even worse than the trials and tribulations experienced by Jada. I was hoping that a young parent reading the book would look at Ronnie as an example of how not to treat your child. Sometimes it's easier to find fault in others, than to see it in yourself.

Did Jada’s father rape her?

I’ll leave that to the reader’s interpretation. I believe that some things are better off that way. I will say this though. The darkness mentioned throughout the book is a direct reference to the violation she experienced earlier in her life. For example, when she was thrashing away at her white teeth with her toothbrush, the darkness she was trying to get rid of wasn’t plaque.

Derek Grimes (aka Divine) was raped as a child by his uncle and he had also raped other individuals while he was in jail. He was a career criminal that was institutionalized for most of his life. Within the editing process, part of Derek’s upbringing was omitted. In the next installment, I'll include pieces from his background that were deleted, and my rationale behind why I didn't include the section in the finished product.

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