What I Learned from a Pooka

Pookas. Pookas are British, mythical creatures, shape-shifters, usually looking either like a black horse or a black goat. They are not typically malevolent unless you really get under their skin. Now, mythical creatures, particularly shape-shifters, are by nature slippery, annoying creatures, and what possessed me to incorporate one into Adamantine still confounds me. I surprise myself sometimes. But nevertheless, the pooka got in, and finding it an interesting character, I decided to work it to my advantage.

At first I was concerned. I already had a chief antagonist for my main character, and I thought a fickle, capricious pooka might be too much. I did not want to detract from the oppressive power of my antagonist nor steal his limelight. In a smaller story, it might have been disastrous; but Adamantine is somewhere over 200,000 words (and still growing a little), so that gave me plenty of elbow room. And in the end, the pooka turned out to be an excellent asset for the plot. It could hound my protagonist in ways my antagonist could not, and both the pooka and my antagonist could have their agendas loosely woven together so that, while they still remained separate with two entirely different goals, they could work together to a common...evil.

In the end, the pooka gave me the unpredictable, changeable evil influence that I needed to keep my protagonist on her toes, while my main antagonist lent the constant undertow of evil to the story. Factoring in the size of the story, I had enough time to pull it off without either character being too shallow.

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