Character Analysis

Okay so I told Adriana that I was going to write up a post about the Eric I wrote for the Fire Diaries series. This post may contain some spoilery material for that series so read on only if you want to be spoiled for upcoming events. I promise that I won’t get too detailed and once the series is complete I will post about him again because I’m sure there will be more thoughts on this version of Eric. The rest of this is under the cut for those that don’t want spoilery bits.

Right, so by now you’re aware that Missy and I operate under the policy of:

fuckshitup

You should also be aware, if you read the comments and my responses to them, that I was nowhere near in love with this Eric when the story started. The way we approached this story was to throw in every fucked up thing we could possibly think of for Eric and Sookie to do. We wanted them to be raunchy and heartless in their actions because even though it’s not fanfic normal, it’s real life normal.

As I’ve said several times in my review responses, this story was about good people doing bad things for no reason other than they could. Does that make them sociopathic? Perhaps. Personally, I think it’s more about exercising poor judgment. Of course that’s easy for me to say because I know how this story ends.

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That said, let me start by talking about Eric’s background because that’s something we don’t really go into with this story. First of all, I didn’t see the point in digging too deep into it. There is mention of relationships previous to Michele that talk about his experience with the D/s lifestyle. I didn’t bother to include much of a family history for him because it didn’t seem prudent to the story.

So, I’ll give you one here. I see this Eric as being an only child, the product of a married couple that were probably upper-middle class. I see him as having a strict, bordering on domineering father which would explain his tendencies to drift that way. He learned it from somewhere. I see his parents divorcing after Eric was out of the nest and on his own, so perhaps while he was in college. Being an only child from a generally well-to-do family meant Eric was used to getting his way and having whatever he wanted.

He works hard, however, as he’s building his own ‘practice’ with the real estate firm that he’s co-running. If I had to guess, I think both of his parents are deceased by the time the story starts, which means Eric is essentially alone in the world. Rasul is the only family he has but they aren’t blood related.

Now when it comes to Michele, I believe that he loved her. Eric speaks about that later on in the second part of the story. He’s had time to analyze his decisions and the things he’s done. He realizes that while he loved her, it wasn’t enough.

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Right, I know, that’s obviously an understatement. When he married Michele, his intentions were pure. He believed that she was the one he wanted for the rest of his life. Sookie wasn’t on his radar as a potential love interest. It was pointed out in reviews that Sookie bordered on being a child. Yes, emotionally and maybe a little bit mentally, that’s true. She obviously wasn’t an independent adult that was fully supporting herself. Part of me thinks that this wouldn’t have happened had she left the house to go away to college, but one can never know for certain about that.

I don’t see Eric’s actions here as being ones of a pederist, although he’s definitely walking a fine line with Sookie. Now had he pursued her I would concede that the relationship is completely toxic and twisted. However, Sookie was the pursuer. This idea sprang from me watching Lolita. If you’re familiar with that book then you’re already a little familiar with this Eric’s psychology. Clear thinking isn’t the order of the day.

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As it has been suggested, yes, I think it’s safe to say that Eric was blinded by lust and his attraction to Sookie. For him it came out of left field and surprised him. Until Sookie flaunted herself like she did, it never occurred to him that he might be interested in her, or that she might interested in him.

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A lot of people have asked how Eric and Sookie could do what they did to Michele. I’m not so in tune with Sookie’s thought process since I didn’t write her. You’ll have to talk to Missy about that. For Eric… I think initially it was something that happened purely by impulse. He didn’t even think; he just acted. After that I think it was a combination of arrogance and selfishness. Like any other person that behaves badly, Eric got away with it. He wasn’t caught by his wife or by Preston, so there weren’t any consequences for his actions.

All of the consequences were there in the ether and he knew that it was a huge risk to keep going. Obviously, he was either arrogant enough to think that he could keep going without getting caught or that he just wouldn’t get caught. To this day, I’m not sure which of the two options it was.

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Ultimately, I think what it comes down to is that he feels a pull toward Sookie. There is something about her that he can’t explain that keeps him coming back, even when he knows that he shouldn’t. Yes, in the beginning, their relationship is obsessive. It’s thoughtless and reckless. The collateral damage for both of them is significant. Sookie absolutely loses more than he does because she not only loses her boyfriend, but also her mother, her lover and her home.

She also knew going in that those things were hanging in the balance, and yet she chose to pursue a relationship with Eric that was completely inappropriate. Should Eric have known better and walked away from her? Yes, probably. But that leads us back to the notion that sometimes good people do bad things for no reason other than they can. It’s possible that this affair with Sookie was a mistake.

It ruined a lot of lives and relationships by being brought out into the relative open. It also put both of them in a position to be able to start over. The way they chose to handle the changes in their lives couldn’t be more different.

Eric opted to go out on his own for a while, clear his head and try to make some sort of sense of all the things that happened. He moved on with Isabel, and yes, he did love her. Once again, he believed there was a future with her. His daughter being born changed the way he looks at life, and the way he looks at Sookie. I also believe there’s some denial mixed in there.

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It’s a case of having to move on because the person he wants is unavailable to him. Plus, frankly, it’s a really bad idea to get involved with her again. Any progress she’s made with her mother in the last two years could potentially be wiped out. This time around he’s aware of the consequences. Despite his callousness and how cold he is toward Michele sometimes, the one thing he regrets is that this affair fucked up Sookie’s relationship with her mother. That is a forever deal and because of him, it’s shot to shit.

There’s more I want to say but it would completely spoil Light My Fire and it would definitely ruin Eternal Flame so I’m going to stop here. I will, however, offer you the opportunity to ask Eric a question, so feel free to leave one for him in the comments and he’ll get you an answer ASAP.

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26 thoughts on “Character Analysis

  1. I like the backstory. I like that we don’t get in too deep but have some clear sense of who he is now. In I’m on Fire he was a wild card. I constantly called him a sociopath but i think I agree with you that it was more a case of arrogance and some reaaally bad decisions. I am thinking that this next arc we will see him transition out of denial and more accountability. Honestly, right now, he and Sookie are another giant mistake waiting to happen but, based on chapter 1, he’s much more aware of what he’s lost and what he’s in danger of losing if he goes down this road again.

    You did a wonderful job with Eric’s voice this story. Even though you and Missy threw everything but the kitchen sink of badness into it, I am ASSUMING that this new story is dealing with the fall out and, hopefully, Sookie will grow the eff up!! 🙂

    Thank you for posting this, Megs. I really appreciate it! YAY!

    • Yes, yes they did throw everything but the kitchen sink and I’m still a little pissed off about Eternal Flame because I never thought I would ch– *covers Eric’s big mouth*

      That’s enough out of him… Thank you for the very lovely compliment. Your assumption is correct 😉

  2. 1st off, you are damn good, you & Missy. I love the stories, but was sort of hoping that he would have sorted his shit out in the end, but hey, what you wrote was much better and led in to a sequel which is damn good. Hope i make sense. I think all i am saying is, that if this had different characters that you made up yourselves, then it would be a damn hit, no worries, if it got published.

    I am only going to ask that 1 question which i am sure others would ask.

    ‘If you had it to do over, what would you do different?’

    • First of all, the ending of I’m On Fire was always going to be an unhappy one. We had no plans for a sequel when we started out, and frankly, we didn’t think they deserved a happy ending. Like both Missy and I have said, we HATED these two for the longest time. But then my anst baby Wifey got her mitts on the story and pouted for a magical happy ended. (There is an alternative ending for this story that will most likely never see the light of day that we wrote purely to make kjwrit smile.) A few weeks went by and Missy and I realized we missed writing these two fuckwits, so we decided to spend a little more time in their world. That’s how Missy ended up writing her first ever sequel and I ended up feeling a special sense of accomplishment lol

      • Damn skippy I pouted for a magical happy alternative ending and because you and Missy are The. Best! I got it! Unicorn farts and all. Woot!

    • *clears throat* Thanks for hogging the space there, Meg.

      To answer your question there is one thing I would do differently but I’m not at liberty to discuss it based on future events in this story. Suffice it to say that I’m human and I do dumb things (as Meg has already illustrated). I make mistakes. I suppose if we’re talking in the realm of I’m On Fire only, I think I would take back that threeway with Rasul. I know it fucked up Sookie’s head afterward. It might seem like it was just sex back then but I knew it was more, and I didn’t like seeing her so confused and emotionally… lost.

      Feel free to ask me this question again after the trilogy is all posted and I will be happy to answer it again for you.

    • If you don’t mind, Meg, I’ll take this one. Hello, Kim. To answer your question, no, I don’t feel like having her first means what I did wasn’t a betrayal. It was. It’s another thing on a long, long list of things that probably shouldn’t have happened with Sookie. Yet, I don’t regret it either. There are very few things I regret when it comes to this woman.

      I don’t believe in making excuses for my mistakes. I don’t put the blame on someone else. When I fuck up, I own it. I fucked up there. My previous relationship with Sookie left me with no claim on her. I let her go. I betrayed my friend in a moment of weakness and I deserved whatever came along with him finding out about it.

  3. Thanks for a great backstory for Eric! I am definitely looking forward to him growing more and being more stable and responsible regarding Sookie. It’s certainly going to pit a completely different spin on things, so i can understand why you would describe this story as different from the first 🙂
    I didn’t think I would have a question, but I just thought of one.. I’ll put it in the format as a Question ‘to’ Eric. I think that is what you suggested, and it sounds like fun 😉

    Eric, if you could redo the drunken night of Rasul and Sookie’s engagement announcement, would you? And whether yes or no, could you please explain the reasoning behind your answer?

    Oh and btw Eric, now that you’re single again, feel like meeting up and going on a date???

    =D Sorry Meg, couldn’t resist a direct plea to Eric 😉

    • Hello Gwyn.

      Would I redo the night of the engagement differently? No. It set a whole series of events in motion that needed to happen. My Sookie was unhappy and I knew it. That night was a wakeup call for us both.

      As for me being single… who says that I currently am? 😉

  4. Loved the background, Meg. I had similar thoughts of the character in my head (usually how imagine his background anyway), trying to decipher Eric’s sense of entitlement, and you put them to all to words perfectly – since that’s what you do! You & Missy are doing such excellent writing with these stories. Just stellar! I do think you’ve shown there’s been growth on Eric’s part, at least as far restraint toward Sookie, except for the one night. Clearly it was a mistake & Eric has set his boundaries and won’t be crossing them, so far. He’s at least trying to be the good, honorable person. Perhaps the best way would be to bow out their lives completely, but then there wouldn’t be much of a story, would there? No fun in that! Hmm…a question for Eric. So many! I’ll format it as gwyn did above:

    Eric, now that you have your own daughter, has this altered your perception of the affair with Sookie, including the night of the birthday party? If so, are you able to explain how or why?

    • Hello MsBuffy.

      Having Karin did change the way I see what happened with Sookie, but maybe not in the way you would expect. It actually changed the way I see Michele. None of what happened was her fault, let me be clear about that. However, in the aftermath, her behavior toward Sookie was… I’m not sure what the word is. Unsavory, perhaps? I’ve tried to put myself in her shoes but all I can think is that someday my daughter is going to grow up and become involved with some little shit I don’t approve of. I’ll probably hate the kid and hope she has the good sense to dump his ass before I have to bury him in the desert, but if that doesn’t happen, I won’t hate her for it. My love for my daughter is unconditional, no matter how badly she screws up or how much I disapprove of her choices.

      I can sympathize with Michele to some extent, but I can honestly say that even though it caused everyone involved a lot of stress, anger and disappointment, I wouldn’t take a minute of it back. Everything happens for a reason, right? The way Sookie and I met is less than ideal, but I believe she’s the one for me so I can make peace with the way things worked out because of that one thing.

      • A very interesting answer, and I respect the honesty. I get exactly where you (Meg as Eric) are coming from and the way in which you see the effect it had on Michelle was far worse for her than any of the other involved parties. Everything does happen for a reason, and admitting you wouldn’t take back any of it is somewhat disconcerting though admirable. You’re owning your part in the debacle & this is real growth. Sookie is the one for you? Oh my. I don’t have a response to this comment that wouldn’t come out as condescending. Thanks for the answer and we’ll just go from there! (Thanks, Meg! That was pretty cool !)

    • Hello Jane.

      I believe that love is something that can’t be given at gunpoint. If Sookie loves me, that’s up to her. Do I want her to love me? Yes, I do. Very much. Do I deserve it? Depends on the day haha. Some days I deserve it more than others.

  5. Great post, thank you! The background you filled in for Eric made some of his actions make more sense to me. The idea that this was about good people doing bad things because they could is very true to life & also very common; this must be the basis for so many betrayals. My husband’s father destroyed his first marriage in a similar way without ever really meaning to but he is an essentially good man – he just gave in to temptation without being realistic about the consequences. I certainly feel that Eric has changed in the two years that passed between IOF & LMF; I’m hoping he had grown & learnt from his mistakes – we shall see!
    Now for the main man! Eric – Meg has told us that in the beginning your affair with Sookie was obsessive but in one of your replies above you say that you knew it was more than just sex. At what point did you realise that Sookie meant more to you than the other women that you loved, that she was the one – was it during the original affair or did you realise after things had blown up?

  6. From what I have read, it seems that Eric has a bit of a, I don’t deserve to be loved mentality. So I guess my question to Eric is: “Why do you seem so hell bent on ruining every close relationship you have? The only think I can think of is you saw this from your father.”

  7. Pingback: Light My Fire 2 | Dirty Lemons

  8. Their relationship is nearly as bad as my friend’s; her husband & her mother lived together for many years & raised the two daughters from the marriage as their own. They thought their mother was their sister & didn’t find out the truth till they were 16 & 17 yrs old when that relationship fell apart. Yes real life can be that messed up. Ugly!

    You have built an excellent background for Eric. Though I do have one question. What happened to his daughter with Isabel?

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