a wrinkle in time, baroness emma orczy, bbc merlin, bbc sherlock, c.s. forester, characters, doctor who, dreamworks, horatio hornblower, how to train your dragon, j.r.r. tolkien, john flanagan, kung fu panda, kung fu panda 2, long rants, lord of the rings, madeleine l'engle, oh my what a long post, ranger's apprentice, rise of the guardians, star wars, teens can write too blog chain, the clone wars, the scarlet pimpernel, time quintet, villains, writer, writing
Hello, everyone! I’m taking part in the Teens Can Write, Too! Blog Chain once again. Why? Because it’s fun to connect with other bloggers, that’s why!
This month’s prompt is, “Which characters are you most like?” Well, that’s easy. The calculating, logical ones who don’t really “get” emotions. (Yes, really.) It’s seriously freaky, because people like Obi-Wan and Sherlock could be my alter egos. For some reason, though, girls like this are rare… it’s almost like there’s a stereotype that keeps people from writing girls like this. Unequal representation, I say!
More and more, though, I keep finding that the people I’m really most like (at least in my own work) are the villains. Don’t get me wrong, my own personal goals could not be farther from the villains I love to write. I don’t go around in my spare time planning world domination, or plotting how to turn my friends to the Dark Side (nope, no Palpatine for me, thanks!), or just randomly bumping people off. That’s not me.
I think it’s easiest to identify with people like us, which is why there is such variety in character types (put the Doctor, Obi-Wan, Jack Frost, Sherlock, Anakin, and Doctor Watson in a room together and what do you see?). But more and more, I find that my heroes tend to share only facets of my personality and develop minds and personalities all their own. I think that there must be something of the actor in a writer, something that allows them to take on the role of these characters and play them to the best advantage. It’s a rare ability–and perhaps, becoming rarer–to step into somebody else’s shoes, know how they think and act, and then walk a mile in those shoes. But I believe it can be developed–in the interest of compassion, people should take up creative writing as a hobby!
Villains, though, though painful to write, can be frighteningly easy to portray… basically, all you have to do for a villain is to summon up your selfish side, think of the times you hurt someone, and then transfer your self-hate to the villain on your paper. Though villains are characters too, they are mostly characters who slip where the heroes hold firm, and though we hate them for it, it makes them so horribly, frighteningly human, that sometimes it’s hard not to try to make your villain too sympathetic… (Forgive the rambling. I have the flu at the moment.)
I think that we can write because we are both the heroes and the villains of our own stories. It depends on the point of view of the outsider watching, really.
But as to the prompt itself (sorry for the long ramble that you didn’t ask for and probably didn’t want to read), the characters I think I’m most like (apart from the villains), would have to be the ones whom no one sees or can quite understand without some kind of shared intuition, also the ones who are unusually intelligent (though I don’t think I am myself; my IQ test came back as just “gifted”, nothing more. I just know better ways of thought, I guess?) Thus, I identify very closely with characters who tend to be more intelligent, or think differently than the people around them. Characters like Charles Wallace Murry…
(For those who do not know Mr. Hornblower [and I pity thee!], he’s a British naval officer during the Napoleonic Wars and later, and is known for risky but brilliant strategies. I also identify with him because he consistently self-depreciates in his own mind, and I know just how that feels.)
And last but not least, Obi-Wan (and not just because he’s a misunderstood intellectual–I think I posted about that here… but because of the amount of grief he had to put up with from Anakin and other people besides. He’s sort of the older brother character in Star Wars, and I’m the oldest sibling, and I certainly can relate to all the nonsense he had to put up with.)
But there are other characters, too… Merlin, because, well, social awkwardness… need I say more?
Will from Ranger’s Apprentice!
I think I identify with Will because his coming of age story is very much one that we all understand… And I think I have the same sense of humor… Anyone else getting the feeling of deja vu?
No, I couldn’t pick just one. This is awesome fan art. Seriously. (And it doesn’t look like it’s copycatted from Lord of the Rings… wheeeee! ;-P)
Speaking of Lord of the Rings…
Sam is down-to-earth and loyal, and though I’m not really like Sam when it’s the down-to-earth bit, but I try to support my friends the same way he supports Frodo.
The main reason I’m putting this here is because I love the relationship development between Hiccup and his father, but the other reason is because I share Hiccup’s curiosity and eagerness to learn. Maybe not so much his inventiveness and willingness to accept and create new traditions, but still.
Okay, I know I should probably include some girls in here… grrr…
Because! (Actually, this is probably the one female character whom I am most like. She’s bright and intelligent and clever and tries to fix her mistakes and she gets to work with her husband saving lives!!! Okay, I’ll admit it. Percy and Marguerite is my real OTP.)
“Snips” is the queen of sarcasm, and she’s a teenager who’s a Jedi and growing up in a war and totally gets teenager problems! Seriously. If Marguerite is my grown-up side, then Ahsoka is my teenaged, sassy, warrior-maiden side.
Like Obi-Wan, she had to put up with a ridiculous amount of grief, because Anakin is an idiot. (I don’t actually blame her for thinking that she might be able to change that… Whoopsie, unintentional Merlin quote…) I admire Padme because she’s courageous and willing to stand up for things other people don’t stand up for. But like the rest of us, she’s human and makes wrong decisions. And she’s actually a mature person. (Anyone else feel like something was missing from Revenge of the Sith?)
Mary Morstan Watson!!!!
Talk about strong female characters! Mrs. Watson could quite literally wipe the floor with several of the guys in Sherlock. (I’m not specifying who, though…) Former CIA, assassin… And a lady who makes mistakes, but still tries to rectify them. (Noticing a pattern here?)
And last but not least, Tigress!
Kung Fu Panda and Kung Fu Panda II (deliberately taking them as one piece here) was a boon. Not only did it have a better plot than a bunch of other recent movies, it also had female leads (Viper, as well as Tigress) who were strong without overwhelming the male characters (which is a problem, in my opinion, equal to the lack of strong female leads in the first place!), funny without making racy jokes (TAKE THAT, SEXISM!), and, especially in Tigress’ case, had a strong character arc and were good at giving relationship advice, besides! (Added to that, the sequel actually lived up to–and even surpassed–the first movie. Will DreamWorks’ next KFP movie live up to its predecessors? Only time will tell…)
Anyway, thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post!
12th – http://miriamjoywrites.com/
and http://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com/ (We’ll announce the topic for next month’s chain)