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3 Threats Character Development | CD5 | Meet Peter Bevins

Updated on February 25, 2015
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Dr. Bill's first passion is family history. His second is a passion for creating family saga, historical fiction stories that share it.

Peter gained a wife and son in this novel

The most recent novel in the series
The most recent novel in the series | Source

Introduction

Today we will meet Peter Bevins as we continue this series on character development for my fourth full novel (sixth book, if you count the earlier novella and the short story collection and don't count ebooks) in "The Homeplace Saga" series of family saga, historical fiction stores. I will use the "alternating person, third-person, omniscient" point of view with 6 characters taking the "alternating person" roles for this novel (“3 Threats to the Homeplace” - working title). Previously, in this (CDx) series, we have met Lori Winslow, Bart Bevins, Christopher Ogden, and Jennifer Bevins as 4 of these 6 characters. Peter Bevins is the 5th. Peter is already a richly developed character, in this series, as you well know, if you have read the first three novels (“Back to the Homeplace,” “The Homeplace Revisited,” “Christmas at the Homeplace”). Peter is the youngest of the four Bevins siblings, asked to come “Back to the Homeplace” by his mother’s will, in 1987. His older siblings were born in 1934, 1941 and 1942. Peter was not born until 1956. His life was much different than that of his siblings, of course, and that makes his character quite different to deal with for me, as the author of these stories. I will readily admit, that as a first-born, myself, I am most closely drawn to Karen, the oldest. I know how much “distance” there was between myself and my youngest brother. We literally grew up in “different eras” in our nation’s, as well as our family’s, history. How can I help but recognize these elements in sharing the story of this family?!

In each episode of this series my intention is to continue to share some of my thinking about one more of the characters. This will also provide the opportunity for my writer friends to jump in and make suggestions and ask questions about the process and each character, as we go along… I really appreciate your suggestions to date - keep them coming (from anyone and everyone!).

Normally, here, I review what each character has done in the stories to date, describe and discuss how much they have been developed already, and then begin to lay out their role or roles in the upcoming novel… how their character will begin, and then change, during the novel. At least, that is my intent. Call me on it, if you see a deviation! ;-)

Peter is a bit different. There are two key story elements that I have never written about outside of the novels, themselves, to encourage readers to actually read the books. Key elements related to Peter are at the heart of one of these. This will be continued. I’ll talk around them, here, as well. Please read, at least, the first book, “Back to the Homeplace,” to understand. One demon that Peter has lived with is his belief that he “killed his father” near the end of Peter’s days at the State University. Factually, the father died of a heart attack in a car accident returning home from a “visit” to Peter at his dorm room. Peter left immediately for Oregon, and did not return for ten years. He did not attend the funeral of either his father or his mother due to his feelings of guilt. Two themes that run through that first book are AIDS awareness (or lack there of, in 1987) and domestic violence, in several forms. Therefore, be forewarned, in these otherwise “very positive” stories.

Just in time for Christmas gifts and reading!

Video Book Trailer

We first met Peter, with his demons, here

The original novel in the series
The original novel in the series | Source

Peter will play a pivotal role in the upcoming "3 Threats" novel

In "Revisited" and “Christmas” we found Peter, now, in 1996, an active environmentalist, to be a driving force behind development of the McDonald Conservancy for the Bevins Trust and Trustees. In this continuing role, many of the pivotal actions of the “3 Threats” stories will “pass through” him in that position. The stranger is brought to town (one of the 3 threats), for example, because of the $800,000 state grant that Peter was instrumental in obtaining for the McDonald Conservancy. Peter does not want all his efforts on building the Conservancy to be undermined by this “threat” - in addition to his overall concerns for the well-being of himself and his extended family.

Peter is the youngest of the four Bevins siblings, the subjects of his mother’s will, in “Back to the Homeplace.” There, he had to come back from Oregon, where he had been for ten years, following college, to face some of the demons he perceived were directed at him if he did, indeed, return. By returning, he seemed to be facing his demons successfully. However, as might be expected, that didn’t last for long, and new problems arose around him, almost immediately… read the “rest of the story,” in the book.

Obviously, not all that happened with Peter was bad. With the unusual circumstances you would expect, by the end of “Christmas,” for example, he has a wife and a ten-year old son, is living and working in his hometown. How did that happen? They bring great joy to a life that had experienced many very troubled years. Peter also feels a great sense of accomplishment as the McDonald Conservancy continues to develop and meet one goal after another, as we enter our story in this new (“3 Threat”) novel, early in 1999.

Where "The Homeplace Saga" stories began...

Video Book Trailer

Peter returns to his family as well

Peter finds a new life among his family
Peter finds a new life among his family | Source

What will be next for Peter?

Peter plays two key roles, then: First, as one of the Bevins Siblings of the Bevins Trust, and, Second, as the prime mover behind the development of the McDonald Conservancy.

The remaining questions related to Peter: 1) How, exactly, will these two roles play out for him in the “3 Threats” story lines, specifically and in detail? 2) Will his health become an issue as the “3 Threats” befall the family and community? 3) What will be the impact on Peter, under these new stressors, regarding the “demons” that have haunted him, in his past? 4) What roles will his wife and son play, what will happen to them, and how will these impact Peter, at this story progresses?

A part of me wants to share more about Peter, because he is such an interesting character. However, I must hold to my pledge to myself, not to divulge the two story topics that I have promised to keep for my actual readers. I hope you are, or become, one. I think you will agree with me in this determination. Feedback on this issue will especially be appreciated - again, so long as the details are not disclosed “in public.”

Early 1996 novel in "The Homeplace Saga" series of stories

Video Book Trailer

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are as organized as I have ever seen a writer be. These character development articles are very helpful, and it's interesting to rummage around in your brain and see what your thinking is as the books unfold. Very effective.

    • Homeplace Series profile image
      Author

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      More fun than actually writing the book, perhaps... I'll keep at it until the time feels "right" to move ahead!! ;-) Thanks for the visit and the comment! ;-)

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