How One of My Characters Grew: Old Uduqu

One of the delights of writing fiction is, when you introduce a character, you really don’t know where he’s going to wind up.

Uduqu, the old Abnak sub-chief with a scar from a stone axe on his forehead, walked onto the stage early in Book No. 2, The Cellar Beneath the Cellar, and is still here, seven books later. He was just a walk-on, but soon began to fill a major role in the stories.

Once or twice the story put him in such peril that both my wife and my editor were convinced I’d killed him off–and were they mad at me for that! But I’ve come to have such an affection for this hard-fisted old man that I don’t see how I can carry on the tale without him.

He befriends King Ryons and comes to look on him as a kind of grandson. He discovers God and comes to love Him, always striving to know Him better. He rescues Helki from a charging army, and wins a giant’s sword as a trophy, becoming the king’s personal champion. And as his overworked legs begin to fail him, Uduqu discovers reading and writing–the very first Abnak ever to make a serious go of literacy.

He has been within sight of the great sea in the West, crossed the mountains in the East, and marched all the way out to the Thunder King’s fortress in Kara Karram. Along the way he fights a desperate duel that avoids a bloody battle and makes peace between enemies.

What he’ll do next, I have no idea.

But I can hardly wait to find out!

Not bad for a walk-on character.

4 comments on “How One of My Characters Grew: Old Uduqu

  1. Very interesting insight into a fiction writer’s process. I only write non-fiction, so I know nothing about the process. It must be fun.

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