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Wishing For Greatness

I'm handing today's Blog Challenge question--"What is the thing you most wish you were great at?"--to Jaynes from Sword and Chant. He wishes, more than anything, that he could be a great leader rather than a feared warrior.

His father, Maradek, first earned his country's respect leading his tribe to repel the invasion of warriors known for their brutality and skill. Then, after he succeeded his mother as chieftain of the tribe and ruler of the country, he conquered a neighboring land, believing it the best way to protect his own people.

Thirty years after, Jaynes is facing the consequences of that conquering and occupation. But he doesn't know how to negotiate or compromise with the enemy chieftains. He doesn't know how to deal with people he doesn't like--enemy or ally--and he doesn't like to be wrong. He does a great job directing those who agree with him. He has no idea how to convince those who don't.

Worst of all, Jaynes knows he's failing, and he knows people are dying because of it. Since force seems to solve the problem in the short term, he falls back on it when his attempts to actually lead collapse. And that causes more problems.

And Jaynes knows that, too.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
queenoftheskies
Jun. 22nd, 2013 01:35 pm (UTC)
What great insights.
blairmacg
Jun. 22nd, 2013 01:40 pm (UTC)
From the outside, to those never privy to his internal dialog, Jaynes would look like a cocky asshole in the negotiating room. But the truth is, he falls back on force not because it's "easy," but because it gets immediate results even though it doesn't solve the problem.

It's like constantly bailing water from the rowboat. Bailing doesn't fix the leak, but it's all you know to do in those frantic moments.
queenoftheskies
Jun. 22nd, 2013 01:53 pm (UTC)
Good points!

It's always interesting to compare a character's internal dialogue to their actions, to how others' perceive them, and to the effects their actions have on both them and those surrounding them.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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