August 12, 2011

Day One {Favorite Character}

I am really and truly belated on Lerowen's challenge, I know, for which I have the excuse that my blog was booked for the first two weeks of August. However, I have been reading other people's replies and waiting eagerly for a chance to join in the fun, and since I have some free time, I'm now hustling to catch up with everyone else.

For those of you who are not aware of the 15 Day Challenge being hosted by Lerowen over at "Eat...Sleep...Write," the point is to post an answer to the question assigned to that day. This was supposed to begin on August 1 and go to August 15, but you could always be like me and pretend to have an excuse to join really late. So here is my answer to day one's question.

your favorite character you have written

This, like many of the others on the list, is a hard question. If asked several months ago the answer would have been simple enough: Justin King, my main character from Wordcrafter. But as I have progressed in The White Sail's Shaking I have grown more in love with the characters of that story, even Tip, who used to be so ornery that all I wanted to do was shake him and box his ears. I've fallen under the spell of my work in progress - and the spell was a long time in the making! - and so the answer is no longer cut and dry. Therefore, instead of being able to give the definitive answer that I'm sure the question is meant to have, I am forced to dawdle around and do a great deal of hemming and hahing before I come round to the point.

Justin

I love Justin. I think that despite my growing affection for Tip and Charlie and the rest of the White Sail's cast, Justin King will always be first simply because he is a dear. Oh, I certainly had some trouble with him; I couldn't even figure out his name in the first scene I wrote. But it wasn't the trouble that Tip gave me; Justin never sat in a corner and sulked. It was just that Justin wasn't like either Ethan Prince (Wordcrafter) or Charlie Bent (The White Sail's Shaking) and so he didn't come ambling into the story and ask if I had any tea to give him. Justin's shy, and so he took coaxing - but the coaxing paid off, and I now have a character who is, as perhaps only fellow writers will understand, a friend.

Tip

There could not be two characters more different than Justin King and Tip Brighton, which is probably what caused me so much trouble with Tip in the first place. Tip came to me with an occupation and a Christian name. Tip was a midshipman. Tip was a midshipman on the USS Constitution. Tip was a bully.

Tip did not want to be a bully. Tip did not want to be on the Constitution. Tip did not even want to tell me his last name. If you simply boil it down, Tip did not want to cooperate. And he continued to not want to cooperate all throughout November and NaNoWriMo, and, consequently, the first 50,000 words of my novel. I hated him with a passion; I wanted to hit him upside the head and then shake him and demand that he answer my questions and be a good, self-respecting character like Justin.

I don't really know when he started to shape up, but we sorted out our differences in the - well, the middle, not the end. He got his way on a few points: he is no longer a bully and I switched him to the Enterprize instead of the Constitution. And I managed to figure out his last name and get him to cooperate, or myself to cooperate with him. The more I write, the more attached to him I become.

So the result of the examination is that amid the large cast of characters I love, these main ones stand out as two of my favorites because of how juxtaposed they are to each other. They are different in background (Justin is an only child and now an orphan; Tip has a large family in which he feels unaccepted), temperament (Justin is shy and reclusive; Tip is volatile and intrusive), and friends (Justin's best friend is his polar opposite; Tip's is so close to him in temperament that sparks fly on a regular basis), and so I have poured energy into them both in different ways. I love 'em both, and I love Ethan and Charlie and Pierre and Jamie and Darkwood... Nearly all of my characters could have been in this post, really, but I have already stretched this question much farther than it ought to have gone, so I will save them for another time.

2 comments:

  1. Justin sounds like a doll, and Tip sounds like fun...to read about, anyway. Writing him seems like a lot of work. I love how different these two characters are -- and how you said Justin became your friend. I can totally relate to that.

    Nice post! Better late than never, right?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well, I thought it was better to come in late than not at all; hopefully Lerowen will agree!

    It's amazing that two such different characters can come from the same writer's brain, don't you think? And that a writer can have such a wide variety of friends, even if they are "imaginary."

    ReplyDelete

 
meet the authoress
I am a writer of historical fiction and fantasy, scribbling from my home in the United States. More importantly, I am a Christian, which flavors everything I write. My debut novel, "The Soldier's Cross," was published by Ambassador Intl. in 2010.
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published writings






The Soldier's Cross: Set in the early 15th Century, this is the story of an English girl's journey to find her brother's cross pendant, lost at the Battle of Agincourt, and of her search for peace in the chaotic world of the Middle Ages.
finished writings






Tempus Regina:Hurled back in time and caught in the worlds of ages past, a Victorian woman finds herself called out with the title of the time queen. The death of one legend and the birth of another rest on her shoulders - but far weightier than both is her duty to the brother she left alone in her own era. Querying.
currently writing



Wordcrafter: "One man in a thousand, Solomon says / will stick more close than a brother. / And it's worthwhile seeking him half your days / if you find him before the other." Justin King unwittingly plunges into one such friendship the day he lets a stranger come in from the cold. Wordcount: 124,000 words

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