3 Threats Character Development - CD6 - Meet Beverly Bevins Gates Threshold
Threats form over the future of the Homeplace
[Has it really been 2 months since CD5!??!?! This has felt like the biggest challenge, I suppose!]
Today we will meet Beverly 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. As noted previously, 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, Jennifer Bevins, and Peter Bevins as the first 5 of these 6 characters. Beverly is the 6th and final.
Beverly has been the most complex character, so far, in the entire “The Homeplace Sage” series of stories. She was at the heart of much of the early conflict in the first novel, “Back to the Homeplace.” As the second oldest of the four Bevins siblings, she was the most opposed to her mother’s ‘bizarre’ video will, wanting to fight to overturn it. Bart could not believe his sister could act that way toward their mother. Their reactions could not have been more opposite. Bart no longer trusts Beverly, in any way. He is very skeptical of her every move.
Even when, for sake of the inheritance of her children, she attempted to make a go of it, in Oak Springs, it didn’t work. After a few weeks, she reverted to her earlier ‘true self’ and took flight, back to Jackson, Mississippi… where she had first run off to right out of high school, many years earlier.
With her husband and siblings showing great patience with her, a divorce and inheritance settlement was worked out. She got nothing, but her children were allowed to continue there full participation, under the guidance of their father. Her former husband and their children stayed in Oak Springs, Missouri, and she stayed in jackson. Her few return visits were contentious. Until, that is, she married again, this time to a rich, older man, ‘Winston T. Threshold III,’ no less, but, fortunately, he went by Winnie, among friends and family. In “Christmas at the Homeplace,” where Winnie seemed to be working behind the scenes to change her relationships with her family in Missouri, did we see changes in her behavior? They were only brief return visits, but there seemed to be some differences. As we open ‘3 Threats,’ in early 1999, Beverly’s younger child, Heather is in her senior year of high school. Her son, Scott, has married Rachel Nixon, as expected, and they recently had a baby, a girl, named Faith. Will these changes in the family bring new changes to Beverly? Or, will she run away, again. What factors will be the deciding ones?
A Concept Discussion of "3 Threats" novel
- Three Threats: Can the Homeplace Survive? A Writer’s Working Title
Author seeks comments of working title of next novel and on the concept on which it is based. Special tribute to a special author, as well. Thanks, in advance, for your consideration.
Video Book Trailer
Where all the stories began
From the beginning - with a new twist
As a youngster, Beverly had trouble dealing with being the second child in the family, it seemed. Her older sister, Karen, was tall, attractive, smart, and well liked by everyone, including their parents, her teachers, everyone, as far as Beverly could perceive. Nothing she did seemed to be good enough. She seemed to pale in comparison, on every front. Her reaction to her perceived situation was to ‘run away.’ As soon as she finished high school, she moved to Jackson, Mississippi, to start a new life. That worked out for her, but coming back didn’t. Each return visit had brought back old memories.
In the 3 Threats story, it seems perhaps that Beverly will have finally overcome her phobia. But will she, really? That is the story of the first threat. This includes how others react to her, as well, of course.
The twist comes in the 2nd threat. Here we find there was an earlier ‘run away’ in the family, but it was 70 years earlier. Mildred (Beverly’s mother) had an older sister, that no one had talked about for those 70 years. Ethel had ‘run away’ to the clarion call of Broadway and an acting career in 1929, straight out of high school, as well. We later learn that she had a son, in 1939. Now, that son (of Ethel) has come back to Missouri to ‘claim his birthright’ upon seeing that the McDonald Conservancy has obtained an $800,000 grant. What position will Beverly take? Will she be sympathetic? Will she become upset, again? Will she take a ‘none of my business’ approach?
As the author of this story, my challenge is how to show the similarities in these two experiences in the context of the continuing story without destroying either part of the story in the process. I think I have it figured out, but any recommendations from my writer friends, or interested others, will be appreciated.
Video Book Trailer
What will be next for Beverly?
This is the key question I am waiting for, right along with you. As I write this, I have already begun to write the first seven chapters of the novel. Beverly has been bringing some surprises with her from Jackson. What will they be? What will they not be? Will her family be surprised? In a good way, or a bad way? Will the fact that Beverly now has not only a granddaughter, Faith, living in the Oak Creek valley, but a daughter, a son, a daughter-in-law, a stepdaughter, a step son-in-law (who is also her brother), and a step-grandson (who is also a nephew) - oh, and also an ex-husband - make a difference in how she now feels to live among them, again? How about new personal, independent wealth, now, as she returns (from the estate of her deceased husband)?
In her opening chapter, Beverly seems to be thinking about changing her name. It is now Beverly Bevins Gates Threshold. It is cumbersome. Should she change it back to Beverly Bevins? or Beverly Gates? or leave it at Beverly Threshold? Would the perception of her by people in the community be different in each case? How? Comments welcomed.
Beverly will be 58 years old in 1999, the year of this novel. Are these changes in her life normal for her age? Will that make it easier or harder to change?
Remaining questions related to Beverly include: 1) How will Beverly change on this return ‘back to the homeplace’ - both from her own viewpoint as well as from that of her family? 2) Will life be easier or harder for her immediate family members with her living among them full-time? 3) Will a new romantic relationship develop in Oak Springs for Beverly? There are single men, around her age, available. Will either her natural charms, or her newly gained wealth make a difference? 4) What kind of grandmother will she develop into, assuming she stays around to find out?
Direct links to earlier posts in this series
- 3 Threats Character Development | CD5 | Meet Peter Bevins
Peter Bevins, with his demons and troubled past, is introduced as one of the 6 "alternating persons" through whom we will see "3 Threats" in the next novel of this series of historical fiction stories
- 3 Threats Character Development | CD4 | Meet Jennifer Bevins
Today we meet Jennifer Bevins, a central figure in "The Homeplace Saga" series of family saga, historical fiction stories. We discuss what role or roles she is likely to play in the "3 Threats" novel.
- 3 Threats Character Development | CD2 | Meet Bart Bevins
In this character development discussion in preparation for the novel, "3 Threats to the Homeplace," we look at the history of character Bart Bevins in prior books and stories in "The Homeplace Saga."
- 3 Threats Character Development | CD1| Meet Lori Winslow
This begins a series of Character Development articles for the novel "3 Threats to the Homeplace" upcoming in "The Homeplace Saga" series of family saga historical fiction stories by the author.