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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After reading and posting on Edward's thread on Snippets, and after looking at the other threads, I see that authors seem to have one thing in common: They love their characters. I thought maybe that we should have a thread that we use to talk about our characters, you know, tell everyone about our favorite characters, the ones that make us tick and talk about how they evolved, or where they came from. I have had a number of readers ask me how I came up with so and so or such and such and I'm always just overflowing with the answers, overjoyed at the chance to talk about my knights and their ladies and my villains and other characters, especially the fairies, sorcerers (esses) and such. So what do you think? Want to say something about your leading ladies, guys, creatures or whatever? I'd say we should try to keep them sized to about the size of the posting window if possible so we don't get carried away. I can't wait to see what comes up. Happy Reading! Happy Writing! And Happy whatever else you might be doing! ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
OK, so I guess I should go first and see what happens and if no one responds then we'll let it go. :(
One of my favorite characters, who comes in along in one of the later books is Sam (nickname), an elven chieftain.  He is a very wordy little fellow who always assumes that everyone knows what he is talking about.  He outs everything on everyone in general and then blinks at them in consternation when they react to his revelations negatively.  He loves using descriptive words, stringing them together like popcorn tinsel until someone, usually someone impatient like the Knight of Death makes him stop.  He is short as are most elven creatures, has long, silvery blonde hair in which he attaches all manner of things, including smaller fairy creatures, feathers, flowers, bugs, crystals, silver and gold,etc.  He wears soft, leather clothes green in color and carries a variety of weapons including spears, swords, bows and arrows and knives.  He is very nimble, can hide in trees and knows how to manipulate humans to get what he wants from them.  He can sleep almost anywhere and he, of course, has pointed ears as tradition requires. 
 

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Brendan,

My characters are often born out of an emotional curiosity. I have always been interested in the concept of "The Messiah" and thought about how interesting it would be to revisit the Biblical account of the life of Jesus and give it an alternate ending. This was the germ that led to the creation of one of my most important and interesting characters.

In the case of my character Laris Goddaya, who is half-human and half-fairy, I wondered what it would be like if a character was born with the greatest power imaginable, but had never been shown any love. Laris is a teenager who is shunned by her mother's people because she has human blood. But humans hold her in contempt as well because she is part fairy. Unbeknown to anyone, Laris is really of divine origin and has been sent by the gods to save the world. But the cruelty shown Laris affects her deeply and makes her feel reviled and alone.

Laris possesses the most beautiful soul and is fiercely loyal. But the scorn she feels when she is around others begins to awaken the darker feelings within her, setting the stage for her to be corrupted by those who would seek to control her.

In the case of Laris I wondered, What if the world turned its back on its savior? What kind of repercussions would that have for the "chosen one" and the people who allowed her to become the unwilling victim of evil? What would happen if the world's "Messiah" was never given the opportunity to fulfill her destiny? What if the cruelty and bigotry of the world transformed the Messiah into the Antichrist?

That was the thinking behind the creation of Laris and the vehicle for one of the major story arcs in my fantasy book The Legend of Witch Bane (The Witch Bane Saga).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Kevis said "In the case of Laris I wondered, What if the world turned its back on its savior? What kind of repercussions would that have for the "chosen one" and the people who allowed her to become the unwilling victim of evil?"

That's a very interesting question, Kevis. Gives us something to ponder. What if? Thanks for posting.
 

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Brendan Carroll said:
OK, so I guess I should go first and see what happens and if no one responds then we'll let it go. :(
One of my favorite characters, who comes in along in one of the later books is Sam (nickname), an elven chieftain. He is a very wordy little fellow who always assumes that everyone knows what he is talking about. He outs everything on everyone in general and then blinks at them in consternation when they react to his revelations negatively. He loves using descriptive words, stringing them together like popcorn tinsel until someone, usually someone impatient like the Knight of Death makes him stop. He is short as are most elven creatures, has long, silvery blonde hair in which he attaches all manner of things, including smaller fairy creatures, feathers, flowers, bugs, crystals, silver and gold,etc. He wears soft, leather clothes green in color and carries a variety of weapons including spears, swords, bows and arrows and knives. He is very nimble, can hide in trees and knows how to manipulate humans to get what he wants from them. He can sleep almost anywhere and he, of course, has pointed ears as tradition requires.

Hey! That's a SHOCK! I just knew you would talk about somebody else. SAM! Yep I like him, you are right, VERY wordy...I wish I could meet him and Paddy Puffingtowne (sorry if I spelled that wrong???) I surely thought if you weren't going to mention one of the main characters, it would be Paddy or Lemarik. I like both of them.

WHERE are all the authors today... out enjoying BBQ and such I suppose. I have been lurking for hours. Still no answer to one of my questions about the Nchildren's Vampire book... anybody???
 

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Kevis Hendrickson said:
Brendan,

My characters are often born out of an emotional curiosity. I have always been interested in the concept of "The Messiah" and thought about how interesting it would be to revisit the Biblical account of the life of Jesus and give it an alternate ending. This was the germ that led to the creation of one of my most important and interesting characters.

In the case of my character Laris Goddaya, who is half-human and half-fairy, I wondered what it would be like if a character was born with the greatest power imaginable, but had never been shown any love. Laris is a teenager who is shunned by her mother's people because she has human blood. But humans hold her in contempt as well because she is part fairy. Unbeknown to anyone, Laris is really of divine origin and has been sent by the gods to save the world. But the cruelty shown Laris affects her deeply and makes her feel reviled and alone.

Laris possesses the most beautiful soul and is fiercely loyal. But the scorn she feels when she is around others begins to awaken the darker feelings within her, setting the stage for her to be corrupted by those who would seek to control her.

In the case of Laris I wondered, What if the world turned its back on its savior? What kind of repercussions would that have for the "chosen one" and the people who allowed her to become the unwilling victim of evil? What would happen if the world's "Messiah" was never given the opportunity to fulfill her destiny? What if the cruelty and bigotry of the world transformed the Messiah into the Antichrist?

That was the thinking behind the creation of Laris and the vehicle for one of the major story arcs in my fantasy book The Legend of Witch Bane (The Witch Bane Saga).
She seems pretty interesting too, you authors could enjoy each others books it seems! Do you have a series of books with her? I get sooo attached to characters that I don't want to finish the book, because I feel I will have abandonment issues! Like the ones that go on in at least one other book. But, I still love AnY good fantasy type.
Anybody know how to prevent this page from jumping while you type?
 

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Brendan Carroll said:
I thought maybe that we should have a thread that we use to talk about our characters, you know, tell everyone about our favorite characters, the ones that make us tick and talk about how they evolved, or where they came from.
This could become a most awesome thread :)

One of my favorite characters has been Steven, the dead guy from It's Not About The Cookies. While I don't sit around carrying on conversations with dead people, Steven is based on someone who most certainly was real, and writing for the character forced me to take a long hard look at myself and how I was using things in my past as an excuse for things I should be doing in there here and now. Like Sam, the main character in the book, I hadn't been home to see family in nearly 15 years; if not for listening to Steven's voice, trying to understand him a little better, I might not have gone back when I did (my mother had a heart attack and a stroke at the same time...yet still, without that literary kick in the butt, I might not have gone.)
 

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Kevis Hendrickson said:
In the case of Laris I wondered, What if the world turned its back on its savior? What kind of repercussions would that have for the "chosen one" and the people who allowed her to become the unwilling victim of evil? What would happen if the world's "Messiah" was never given the opportunity to fulfill her destiny? What if the cruelty and bigotry of the world transformed the Messiah into the Antichrist?
All righty...this was enough to get me to click on Buy It Now. Those are giant What If questions... I've had the fleeting thought of a story that posed the question What if the weight of the world crushed the person intended to save it, but I've never had the answer...
 

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Brendan Carroll said:
I see that authors seem to have one thing in common: They love their characters ... Want to say something about your leading ladies, guys, creatures or whatever?
Hm. Quite a few of my characters wouldn't enjoy being talked about. :D

I can't say I 'love' them, because if I did I'd probably spoil them. My best creations are conflicted souls who go against their own inner nature because of forces beyond their control. A particular reader favorite is Lord Michael Essern, my hero Ryel's nemesis, whose powerful wysardry is enhanced by a demonic heritage he wants no part of; his brother, general of a queen's army, is likewise afflicted and driven to terrible acts that give him great anguish. I really enjoy writing those two.

CK
 

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just want to say this is a fun read -- more authors come on in and tell us about your favorite character...
 

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Meredith Sinclair said:
She seems pretty interesting too, you authors could enjoy each others books it seems! Do you have a series of books with her? I get sooo attached to characters that I don't want to finish the book, because I feel I will have abandonment issues! Like the ones that go on in at least one other book. But, I still love AnY good fantasy type.
Meredith,

I totally intend to feature Laris in other books. Since she is my creation, I am biased. But I absolutely adore Laris! She has a rich storyline and so much built-in inner conflict that I want to find out as much about her as possible. With that said, I agree with you. When we create characters who we strongly identify with, it's really tough to simply turn the page and forget about them. Even so, I am an author who believes that sometimes too much of a good thing is a bad thing. The last thing any author wants to do is to create a character or story that gets tiresome. All things should be done in moderation, even when it comes to writing stories about our favorite characters. Hopefully, I, like all my wonderful fellow authors out there, can find the right balance between nurturing an ongoing love affair with my characters, and the need to tell a story with a clear beginning, middle, and end.

Thumper,

I agree those are really big questions. I'm still wracking my brain over the answer as well! Considering you flirted with the same epic themes, I hope you find Witch Bane worthy of the questions it dares to ask!
 

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Thumper said:
This could become a most awesome thread :)

One of my favorite characters has been Steven, the dead guy from It's Not About The Cookies. While I don't sit around carrying on conversations with dead people, Steven is based on someone who most certainly was real, and writing for the character forced me to take a long hard look at myself and how I was using things in my past as an excuse for things I should be doing in there here and now. Like Sam, the main character in the book, I hadn't been home to see family in nearly 15 years; if not for listening to Steven's voice, trying to understand him a little better, I might not have gone back when I did (my mother had a heart attack and a stroke at the same time...yet still, without that literary kick in the butt, I might not have gone.)
I agree. :) But where are the rest of you authors? ::) Getting to know all these guys/characters makes me want to read more! Maybe I could call in sick tomorrow. No that would not work I am the BOSS ::)
 

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My reader's favorite character, hands down, is Simone DeFleurry, the unflappable drag-queen from The Jade Owl. Now we all know about drag queens, or do we? When I decided that one of the China sleuths would be a drag queen, I didn't want him to be just another stereotype, so I sat down with several drag queens of my acquaintance. I soon learned that being a drag queen had less to do with transvestism and more with "style." So Simone (Simon Geldfarb) is "just as much a man as any other, only packaged a little differently." Of course, he's coupled to the protagonist, Nick Battle and also provides most of the practical solutions to the mysteries encountered. However, Simone's character arcs, never remaining static. He learns, reacts and punctuates the novel with life lessons and a crystal clear view of a world that exists because it needs to exist. From the first time we meet Simone singing his keynote song at The Painted Lips to her trudge up the hills of San Francisco at night after a show (some 1,500 pages later in The Dragon's Pool), Simone anchors the series and gives it a unique flare. Now my favorite character is in Turning Idolater, but more of that later. The clock on the wall has just struck midnight and this gal need to go to work in the morning.

Edward C. Patterson
 

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edwpat said:
My reader's favorite character, hands down, is Simone DeFleurry, the unflappable drag-queen from The Jade Owl. Now we all know about drag queens, or do we? When I decided that one of the China sleuths would be a drag queen, I didn't want him to be just another stereotype, so I sat down with several drag queens of my acquaintance. I soon learned that being a drag queen had less to do with transvestism and more with "style." So Simone (Simon Geldfarb) is "just as much a man as any other, only packaged a little differently." Of course, he's coupled to the protagonist, Nick Battle and also provides most of the practical solutions to the mysteries encountered. However, Simone's character arcs, never remaining static. He learns, reacts and punctuates the novel with life lessons and a crystal clear view of a world that exists because it needs to exist. From the first time we meet Simone singing his keynote song at The Painted Lips to her trudge up the hills of San Francisco at night after a show (some 1,500 pages later in The Dragon's Pool), Simone anchors the series and gives it a unique flare. Now my favorite character is in Turning Idolater, but more of that later. The clock on the wall has just struck midnight and this gal need to go to work in the morning.

Edward C. Patterson
Just wondering... do you guys/gals "identify" with any of your characters as maybe being like an alter-ego type thing?

I worked with a guy who "performed" at night... well, that is what he called it back then, and he was this really awesome guy that no one really knew, except the Regional Director and myself, he was very discreet and he did not want anyone else to really know him. I actually felt like he may have been depriving the rest of the crew, because he really was just a really unique guy to be around. I think he probably would have "wrote" himself as the guy he was at night... strange how some people just stick in your brain... I heard years later that he passed away in the 90's. I think of him from time to time and this post brought him back to mind. :(
 

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There's a part of me in every one of my characters. I mean in the Jade Owl there's a character (Griffen Jones), who is a one-eyed Cherokee, and here I am, a half-blinded Native American - can't get closer than that. However, any one of us, for the most part would be a boring read. Part of me is interesting, and that part is infused with traits from both research and other people I know or don't know (celebrities drift into my characterizations more often than not). The reason. Tolkien once said that fantasy (he called it faerie) is a one off reality. In this way the reader is anchored to something established, and yet set off kilter by the shadowy differences. So too with characterizations. My traits bleed inside a character, and that blood is recognizable, by me and the reader - a self-realization, but then the character is shunted to some shadowing subtext that can only be guessed at - never fully stated. This makes them more real, and yet less so, but indeed more interesting and engaging. Likeability is important in character development (even with villains). I don't think readers would like a straight line depiction of "me." But that part of me - the God-part — that, on the other hand, can be brought to the heart and nurtured.

Edward C. Patterson
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
edwpat said:
My reader's favorite character, hands down, is Simone DeFleurry, the unflappable drag-queen from The Jade Owl. Now we all know about drag queens, or do we? Now my favorite character is in Turning Idolater, but more of that later. The clock on the wall has just struck midnight and this gal need to go to work in the morning.

Edward C. Patterson
I believe that everyone has to have anchor characters if not main heroes and/or villains (esses). Personally, I like villainesses better and probably have more female villains in my stories because I think that women villains are much more appealing, more threatening and more 'villainous' than the typical bad guy (unless it's Johnny Depp!) Personally, I don't know any drag queens, but would be honored to meet a few. They have to be interesting people with great stories to tell. I've always loved it when some of my favorite movie actors play those parts like Dustin Hoffman (Ms. Doubtfire), Chris Tucker (Fifth Element). Flamboyant and very entertaining characters. Don't get me wrong. I know that real people are not actors... er, actors are not real people... er... well, shut up, Brendan! :)
 

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edwpat said:
There's a part of me in every one of my characters...My traits bleed inside a character, and that blood is recognizable, by me and the reader - a self-realization, but then the character is shunted to some shadowing subtext that can only be guessed at - never fully stated. This makes them more real, and yet less so, but indeed more interesting and engaging.
Edward C. Patterson
Too true. I am still waiting to meet the character in one of my stories that doesn't share a semblence of sorts with me. Even the diabolical ones. He, he!
 

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Brendan Carroll said:
I believe that everyone has to have anchor characters if not main heroes and/or villains (esses). Personally, I like villainesses better and probably have more female villains in my stories because I think that women villains are much more appealing, more threatening and more 'villainous' than the typical bad guy (unless it's Johnny Depp!) Personally, I don't know any drag queens, but would be honored to meet a few. They have to be interesting people with great stories to tell. I've always loved it when some of my favorite movie actors play those parts like Dustin Hoffman (Ms. Doubtfire), Chris Tucker (Fifth Element). Flamboyant and very entertaining characters. Don't get me wrong. I know that real people are not actors... er, actors are not real people... er... well, shut up, Brendan! :)
I Love, LoVe, LOVE, this place you guys are very entertaining, I have been lurking here and there... and I like to see how your brains are working... ;D
 

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MichaelS said:
Just wondering... do you guys/gals "identify" with any of your characters as maybe being like an alter-ego type thing?
I very much identify with my protagonist, Ryel Mirai. He grew up as a nomad, then left everything he knew to devote his life to learning, then returned to the world to make it better if he could. Naturally, lots of things get in his way regarding the latter. :D

One of my favorite reviews notes that all my men act and sound like men, and that it's difficult to tell my gender from my writing.

As for my villains...no. Nothing at all in common with those egregious rotters.

CK
 
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