Friday, January 22, 2010

Dragon War Relic characters

I've started this post several times at night when my brain was functioning like Jello. Actually, Jello probably would have been able to think more clearly than I. Anyway, I'm trying it in the morning this time before my brain becomes another gelatinous mess.

I've had several questions from people about how I created my characters. The short answer is: I don't know. It comes down to the fact that I'm a discovery writer and I just sit down and improvise. The characters, like Athena from Zeus, seem to pop out of my head fully formed. I don't do any long work sheets to figure out where they were born or what their favorite food is. Details just come to me as I write. I've said this before, but I feel like I access the same part of my brain when I write as when I improvise jazz.

Okay, now for the long answer. I still had to make some decisions about the characters, so here's a break down on some of those decisions:
Jared: He's a lot like I was as a teenager, except he's smarter, more motivated, and a lot less messy. I wanted someone who was kind of an anti-Harry Potter. Not that he's the opposite, but I wanted him to be a good student who could figure things out on his own, unlike good ol' HP who needed Hermoine's help. I also used the color code theory on personality, so I made Jared a blue.
Doug: Color code: yellow. He was pattered after some guys I knew in California and in college. He might be a little dated, since he would have fit right in with California culture in the 80's. He's also a little like I wanted to be as a teenager but was afraid to be.
Gar: Gar is a blue-red. He's also a little like I am now as an adult. I wanted someone who was serious and fun. My kids first compared him to Hagrid, but in my mind he's a little more like Ford Prefect from Hitchhiker's Guide.
Kayla: She is the hardest character for me to relate to. Naturally, I kept unconsciously making her docile like an angel, but I wanted her to be contrary to the stereo-typical angel, to be kind of a snot. What finally helped was that I cast an actress to play her part in my mind, but I won't say who. Of course, I'm still having this struggle with her in The Scepter of the Ancients. She's a red. Maybe that's why I struggle with her since I'm a white.
Sprock: Of course, he's a big fan of Mr. Spock from Star Trek. But where Spock is outspoken and unemotional, Sprock is shy and very emotional. He's an extreme white.
Kerk, Sprock, and Bob: These three were originally just supposed to do comic relief cameos, but somehow they inserted themselves into the story. So between them and Doug (and Gar, to some extent) I have a cast of comedians and one very, ultra-serious person for them to make fun of.
Tyke: Of course, you don't know who Tyke is. He was a character who was cut from one of my failed drafts for book 2. My daughter, though, said he was one of her favorites, so I need to figure a way to get him back in. He's a former Angel fighter pilot (from the Angel-Demon wars) who now drives an air taxi on Angelon. He's also not your typical Angel: unshaven, sloppy robes, and dare-devil.

Let me know if you have any more questions.

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