But Korra has proven to be an enjoyable series thus far, not least because of the concept it presents of "bending" - the innate ability in certain people to manipulate an element. Some are fire-benders; some water-benders; some earth-benders; and a very few, for reasons explained in a previous show, air-benders. The Avatar, in this case Korra, is the only one able to manipulate all four elements. Of course this means the Avatar is called upon to save the world, defeat the bad guys, etc., but that's beside the point for this blog post.
What started me thinking was the influence a character's personality has on his or her element, or vice versa, or whatever. Because of course my mind naturally went from there to, "What element would my characters be?" Running through the lists of my characters, I had, in general, an easy job pegging each with the element that best fitted their personality. I think we all associate certain traits with each element right off the cuff. For instance:
fire: impulsiveness; quick temper; passion; magnetism; ambition
earth: stability; strength; stubbornness; dignity; pessimism
water: constancy; loyalty; sensitivity; idealism; discretion
air: imagination; humor; optimism; spontaneity; enthusiasm
As I am doing some rewriting of Wordcrafter at the moment, the characters I first started thinking about were from this cast. Here's the run down.
Ethan Prince - fire, through and through. He's got all of the things mentioned, and a manipulative streak thrown in besides. He has a charisma lacking in others; hence his natural magnetism.
Justin King - water, although I considered earth as well. But Justin has the constancy and loyalty that springs to mind when I think of "water," plus discretion and sensitivity. Idealism, I'm not so sure. Like earth, however, Justin is stable, often stubborn, and given to pessimism.
Jamie Fairbairn - fire. This is part of what makes her clash so horribly with Ethan, and what attracts Justin to her. (Jenny and I were discussing the other day how "water" characters seem to gravitate toward "fire" characters. Seems a risky combination for the fire, to me...)
Copper, the Jackal's daughter - water again. You could hardly get more constant than Copper, and she is certainly idealistic.
So there's the major cast of Wordcrafter. What about that of White Sail's, which is even fresher in my mind? Off the topmost part of my head, this is how I would categorize these people.
Tip Brighton - earth. I don't know about the dignity, but Tip has strength of character and of body, he's a pessimist, and he is both stable and stubborn. He can be summed up in the image of a brick wall.
Marta Rais - water, I think, though she's a bit hard to pin down (as water generally is). She is sensitive and constant, and perhaps a little too discrete.
Charlie Bent - fire. When I picture him I think of water, but his character tends more toward the explosive and impressive qualities of fire. He's passionate, ambitious, and competitive, as well as arrogant. He does not, however, have the magnetism of an Ethan.
Jo Darkwood - water. Quiet, constant Jo, always there to put out Charlie's fire when necessary - no other element fits him so well.
William Lewis - fire. He combines a quick temper with ambition and a calculating mind, but unfortunately for himself, he has none of the hard-working tendencies of earth to make him succeed.
Here are a few of my characters, then, as summed up by an element. I never seem to have any air characters, at least not at the forefront; one background character in Wordcrafter definitely has all the characteristics of air, however.
What elements summarize your characters? Do tell!