First Among Favorites   8 comments

From all the characters you’ve created, which is your favorite and why?

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Wow, this could be a hard one simply because I’ve been writing since I was 12 and a lot of characters have been my “favorite” at one time or another. How to choose a favorite among favorites? That’s like asking the parent of a large brood of children to choose their favorite. You love them all and a good parent would love them equally. But some of them, you might like a little bit more than everyone else. You might want to spend time with them slightly more than you want to spend time with others. Or, if you’re like me, and you have had different best friends over the course of a lifetime, it’s a similar situation. I had a best friend when I was a child and we still know one another, though we aren’t really close friends now. I had a best friend in high school and into college and we are still Facebook friends and I will go out of my way to see her if we’re in the same geographic area, but we don’t talk every day. I had a best friend when I was in my 20s (she’s was the matron of honor at my wedding), but she moved away just prior to the Internet getting underway and I haven’t been able to track her down, so that friendship has withered. I have a best friend now and I’m married to him. I like spending time with him, but if I were to be honest I can think of some other people I’d rather spend more time with. His “best friend” status has to do with how long and how well we’ve known each other, not necessarily about shared interests. We share some, but not all. Trust me – when I start talking quilting or writing, his eye lids droop and I only pretend to want here about his technical endeavors.

So, clearly this “favorite” thing is complicated.

Who is my favorite character among the hundreds that have traipsed through my mind in my writing career and why?

It’s a tossup between Shane Delaney of Transformation Project and Peter of (the yet-unpublished) What If Wasn’t? Since readers can’t go out and get to know Peter (yet), I’m going to focus on Shane Delaney. These are two very different characters and I like them for different reasons. Shane gets the “favorite” label because he’s published, but it was a hard decision to make.

Why do I like Shane? He’s someone I could sit down with over coffee and interview and enjoy spending an evening getting to know. Not that he would talk to me or tell me his secrets, because Shane doesn’t do that. He’s dark and complex, which is also sometimes why I don’t want to write him. He’s a mercenary who was forced to work for the government, which in turn forced him to work as a mercenary, and he doesn’t like either of his two masters. He’s loyal, but he’ll cut his losses in a heartbeat if he needs to — and mourn later, if he has time. He’s got PTSD from the things he’s had to do that haunt him. He’s the ultimate realist who will make the pragmatic decisions no one around him wants to make. He’s the non-believer in a devout family, but he’s not angry at his family. He still loves them and (mostly) respects their beliefs, even though he has rejected them. He’s the serial monogamous in a family of faithful men. He’s totally male and yet he enjoys the female mind (and body, but this is largely a PG series). He’s 26 going on 96, but he wasn’t born mature. He is still a work in progress. He’s stubborn, but he can learn from his mistakes and the mistakes of others. He is tough and can take physical and emotional pain, but he has a breaking point and he came home to avoid shattering, only to have circumstances force him to keep going and resist shattering. Shane is brutally honest about his failings and does not indulge often in denial, though he does often tell those who want to help him that his inner life is none of their business.

A third factor in why I like Shane so much is that I don’t absolutely know where he is headed. I do know he’s coming to a crisis and that several of the big questions of his life will need to be answered … if he survives. I can’t see beyond that crisis, so I don’t know his outcome. The character has surprised me a few times, so I’m not at all certain what choices he’ll make.

As a discovery writer, I love when my character’s hijack their plot and take it in an interesting direction. Not all characters will do that and that’s okay, but when I have a character like Shane who is very much his own man — that’s golden, and that’s what makes him my favorite — for now.

Posted May 20, 2019 by aurorawatcherak in Blog Hop

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8 responses to “First Among Favorites

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  1. Your analysis of friends and relationships above is interesting and true. I like the sound of Shane.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Like you, I sometimes have no idea where my characters are heading until I sit down to write…

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    • And isn’t that wonderful? I do sometimes need to remind them that they can’t keep doing mundane things, however. This book I’m writing currently – Cai just got back from more-or-less slavery in another town and Shane had to kill someone in the earliest sequence of the book and neither of them wants to leave the sort-of safe confines of the town, but the story requires them to. For a while there, I would sit down to write and they’d want to tell me about helping their neighbors and I’m like — no, Shane, you don’t do well with quiet and boring. You need to go knock over a medical warehouse. Seriously! Do it now!

      I’ve got them moving in the right direction now. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this blog hop, it’s so good to see so many answers to the prompt. My characters are forever surprising me; having adventures that I never expected and merely leaving me to write it all down. I’m constantly amazed at the way they construct the story with little obvious help from me.

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    • It’s like they’re telling me the story of their lives and I just mostly write it down – though occasionally I have to tell them they need to go save the world now. They can’t just sit around enjoying themselves.

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  4. I’m with you on my characters telling me their stories. I’ve been known to argue with them about the way the plot is going!

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    • Me too. This latest book – Shane and Cai are both tired and depressed. I knew what their story was supposed to be as I was finishing the last book in the series, but they both sat down and went “naw, we really prefer just hanging out here not doing anything”. I’ve written 30,000 words just trying to get them to do what they SAID was the next part of their story. They’re finally moving in the right direction, and I’ll eliminate about 10,000 words on rewrite that were just trying to motivate them. It’s just really amazing to have that happen. I get that Shane especially doesn’t want to go where this book ends, but my heavens, he’s a fictional character. Shouldn’t he do what I want him to do?

      Like

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