16 April 2009

Embracing the Ideas of Others

In the Twitterverse, it's called re-tweeting (RT). In the "real" world it's called plagiarism, or borrowing if you're being generous. 

For the sake of argument, I'm going to call it "guest blogging" (someone else's idea, by the way).

Over at Words, Words, Words, blogger Litgirl01 posed a very interesting question. One I thought worth repeating here at Wuthering Life.

"If you could bring to life a character from one of your stories and hang out with him or her for the day, which one would it be? Why? What advice would you give them? (Include name, personality traits, etc.)"

I commented that I would like to hang out with Kobos, the kind-hearted, intelligent gryphon prince from ANJIDIA. But, in many ways I feel that picking Kobos was a cop-out. Not because he wouldn't be interesting to hang out with, and not because he's not human.

I picked him, because when I started imagining spending 24 hours with the main main characters of my stories, it wasn't pretty. 

Though it's hard to think with the indignant shouts of protestation coming from the now offended characters in my head, I'll try to explain. 

Most of the central characters in my stories exist for me like children exist for mothers (or so I hear) — as precious newborn babies running around in the world before they've evolved and learned lessons. Spending an extended period of time with them (Sight-seeing? Touring the monuments and museums? Playing Rock Band 2 and eating take-out?) would be a bit...unfun.

No offense to my beloved characters, but really?

If I chose Aryli, the protag of ANJIDIA (an amnesiac would-be ruler), I'd have to spend all day explaining things to her and helping her figure out who she is. Not. Fun.

If I chose Gabrien, the indecisive Captain of the Honor Guard (henchmen of the usurper of Aryli's throne), all he'd care about would be the technology of Earth. It'd be like hanging around with a smart, but very ignorant tech nerd. Not. Fun. (Though, the eye-candy would be nice!)

Draven, rebel-leader extraordinaire, is another great candidate for eye-candy. But, he'd be the worst wet-blanket EVER, and I'd have to resist being very spoilerific.

Miqqal, Aryli's drunken hobo of a father... enough said. Really, Miqqal would be high on the list, because he's a very fascinating man. I feel like he'd be the best conversationalist, were it not for the aforementioned drunkenness and poor hygiene. But, something tells me he wouldn't like me very much. I kind of destroyed his life for the sake of "story". Whoops.

Last, but not least, there's Arybin. Oh Arybin. You are a truly psychotic person. I'm way too scared to ever wish to meet you for reals. Not. Fun. To the extreme.

There are, of course, a plethora of other viable candidates, but I feel that dragons might stick out a little in D.C. (hey, I said might!), and all of my characters from other stories are a little too nebulous for me to trust meeting them right now.

Now, if we're talking about other people's characters... Someone sign me up quick!

DeanWinchesterDeanWinchesterDeanWinchesterDeanWinchesterDeanWinchester. Talk about "fun".

What about you all? Which of your characters could you stand for a day? Etc., etc.


Marty said...

This is a fun post, thanks to you (and LitGirl01) for getting me thinking.

Icy Roses said...

Hahaha. This is a great post. I will be sure to mull this over, and I completely agree with you. Most of my characters would drive me to tears in an hour. I know a lot of advice says, "If you can't stand living with your character, it's not a good character," but honestly, they have so much stuff to figure out, it would be...unfun (to use your word, lol) to just chillax.

I have one in mind I could hang out with though. Maybe two. Neither of them are main characters, haha.

Ian said...

This deserves a blog post from me. Go look...

E. Van Lowe said...

I am a little late to the party, but GREAT POST! Not only did it get me thinking, but it opened up the interesting and complex world of ANJIDIA to me. So, first things first... Get to work on your rewrite! We are all waiting for this book. And as for characters, all I can say is, there are lots of zombies in my first novel. I do not want to spend any time with them ;) I need to give it more thought.

KLo said...

I got thinking about my own characters after I read your post, and I realized that your right. I'm not sure if that really bothers me or that I'm glad that my characters have enough ... I don't know, personality, that I wouldn't want to really spend time with them. Much food for thought ... thank you : )

Samantha Elliott said...

I'm glad I got you all thinking. It was a pretty fruitful exercise for me as well. Although, for the sake of not spoiling things I did boil my poor characters down to their basest parts. Oh well, they'll live (figuratively speaking).