Writing process: meet the Protagonist -Isaias

This is a note  from the protagonist of my novel in progress, Book I of my historical fantasy series: Who By Fire.  He is answering my question about who his parents are:

(The image above is from W. Commons, as a hover-over should note: Lucy…)

       I am the escaped body servant of a man who is still legally in possession of my person, and of my life.  He may also be in the process of purchasing my wife Lucy, a quadroon.   She is more a parent to me than any person on this earth ever has been.

I never knew my parents , because I was raised by a speculator who, I am told, purchased me as an infant from a “pleasure house” where my mother was a fancy maid.  As it is told, the speculator bought me with the intention of grooming me, as the Fancy Maids are groomed and trained, in order to be sold to a gentleman of quality as his Fancy Boy, some men leaning in that direction.  My current putative owner purchased me and trained me to become his body servant, never once calling me a Fancy.  Nevertheless.  Things are not always what they seem, are they?

Thank you for this response, Isaias.  May you fully win and keep your freedom, and that of your family.

Thoughtful Readers, more will come shortly about the story of Isaias, his wife Lucy, and their son J.


Action Prompts:

1.) Share your thoughts on how one is affected by being raised without affection, and how historical fiction, and story in general, may encourage empathy-building cooperation, and might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking.

2.) Write a book, story, post or tweet that uses those thoughts, and share it with us, please.


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Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones’ work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


25 thoughts on “Writing process: meet the Protagonist -Isaias

  1. Excellent backstory. You’ve laid the groundwork for this to go in many different directions including how Isaiah may or may not respond to homosexual advances. Would an enslaved person be given the same leeway either sympathy or repugnance repugnance that a white person might expect?

    Liked by 5 people

    1. No.

      No slave had the right to withhold consent at any time. I thought I had made that clear both in the early part of Ann & Anna, where she feels guilt at not killing herself to keep his hands off of her, and then in this more recent part about the bacon, where she reveals his torture of her for not pretending to enjoy his violatory attentions (is that a word in English, from ‘to violate a woman’ or violated??).

      I’ll have to work on making this more evident, but I also don’t want to put my readers off too much, since a serial is much more delicate than a book.

      Liked by 5 people

    1. When something such a controversial nature is used in a story, it may at least be relevant enough to make us think more open-mindedly about what the people went through both physically and mentally. Speaking as someone who could be easily affected by that kind of storytelling at an early age, it’s relevant enough for me if it opens my heart.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Shira,

    I simply could not imagine being purchased and raised without being shown some type of “love and affection,” yet we know this horrifically occurred throughout the ages. You have to empathize with Isaias, and your heart breaks as he explains how he never knew his parents and was being groomed as a valet for his master. Such occurrences have happened more often than we suspect or have known.

    Now, in your last segment, Isaias escapes, but dreams of buying his wife’s freedom, so he can take her, and their son to a better way of life. But now that his master is purchasing wife, this presents another problem. Is this slave owner using Lucy as leverage by holding her hostage in a way, in order to make Isaias return? Plus, if he did come back, he would be relentlessly punished. This is so heartbreaking, yet a compelling read! 🤗

    Thanks for sharing my dear! Keep writing! ✍🏽📖✒

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Well, my dear Kym, Isaias only *suspects* that the guy plans to buy her -he heard it through the grape vine. And yes, that owner will certainly use Lucy as leverage if he possibly can. And all slaves faced horrific punishments if they were caught or even returned voluntarily. One reason that Harriet Tubman prohibited those with her from turning back. This is a backstory excerpt from my WiP, but you can read Anna and Willow’s story right now, at Ann&Anna: https://shiradest.wordpress.com/my-historical-fiction-published-and-in-progress-ann-anna-vs-who-by-fire/

      Liked by 6 people

      1. You’re doing a fantastic job Shira! 👍🏼 Yep, Harriet carried a big gun! LOL But your references to historical occurrences woven into your storyline gives your novel flavor, even if it is painful to face. 😥 Keep going girl, 🏃🏽‍♀️ and thanks for the link! 💖🙏🏼💝

        Liked by 3 people

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