Monday, March 1, 2010
Blog Chain - Are You Writing Large?
Normally you wouldn't be seeing two blog chain posts in a row. But for the first time, I am the lucky individual who gets to start things off. Let me tell you, I put in the time on this one. I went through every question my fellow chainers have asked over the past year, just to make sure I didn't repeat a topic. That was probably a mistake too, because there have been some really awesome questions. I have to say, it's a little daunting to be in the company of such fine individuals.
In any event, I racked my brains for a while and came up with the following question:
Do you create characters that are larger-than-life or are your characters more like the average Joe?
First off, when I think larger-than-life, I think of people who are exceptionally talented. The hunky knight who's 6'5", 250 lbs of muscle, saves the damsel without getting his armor smudged, and brings about the sunrise just by staring at the horizon. Okay, that's a little overdone, but hopefully you get the idea.
With regards to my own writing, I generally choose characters that are average Joes. This is probably because I really enjoy exploring the capability of people, their ability to adjust to unexpected circumstances, and how average people can come out on top even when things look impossible. Despite how dark some of my writing gets, I'm probably the eternal optimist.
The other aspect I like about the average person is how realistic they can be. This depends on the genre of course, but if you put an average person into any circumstances, there is a story waiting to be told. How does this person deal with conflict? Do they fall in love with someone who is unattainable? Do they have the quirks that can impede their success as much as further their progress? Add to this the fact that the average Joe needs to struggle to overcome larger-than-life problems and you have a tale really worth telling.
The problem with larger-than-life characters is that sometimes it's too easy for them. Their abilities allow them to do things that others can't. While this might be more exciting, it lacks the drama of the average Joe trying to succeed similarly. All of this is not to say that I don't enjoy larger-than-life characters when I read or watch a movie. But with my own characters, it's rare that they are anything other than average (at least when the tale begins).
Finally, it needs to be said that I don't always choose my characters. More often, they choose me. There are a whole host of average characters out there looking for me, waiting for me to tell their tale. Almost like stalkers. Kind of creepy, when you think about it. Anyway, all I know is that I will be more likely to tell Gulliver's Travels than Rambo.
What type of characters do you create?
Now that I've given my take on it, I'll pass the virtual torch to Kat. Stop by her page and see how she answers this one.