Saturday, July 28, 2012

Making the Cut

In my last blog, both blog and comments mentioned the importance of characters. Characters you love, characters you love to hate, and basically, characters you just plain can't get enough of.  Snape from the Harry Potter series immediately comes to mind for me (as do most of the HP characters), and so do Aziraphale and Crowley from "Good Omens", Granny from Terry Pratchett's "Discworld" series, and Elizabeth Bennett - do I need to say where she's from? :)

Since I've been trying to pare down WIPs and ideas to ones that I can be truly excited about, I decided to take a long hard look at the over 100 characters currently residing in my Muse's employ (that is to say, those who are taking up cubicle space on my computer, not those who have simply put in their applications and are waiting for me to get back to them.)

I'm sad to say that I had to fire all but about 10 of them. Which means a good 90% got pink slips. Wow.  Oh, they cried, they begged, they lied about sick grannies they needed to take care of, but times are tough and the slackers had to go.  Granted, some of them weren't that bad (I'll still give them references and "Like" their Facebook pages) but they just didn't add enough benefit to justify the cost of keeping them around.

Yep, I'm a cold-hearted slavedriver. This writing stuff ain't for sissies. Now I just hope the ones who are left will pull their weight (glares as they hunker over their desks).

So, who are some of your favorite characters, and why?

And what advice would you give to an out of work character so he can find work again? :)


  1. Any character Alan Rickman plays is a favorite with me - whether the character is a villain, hero or ambiguous. One of my favorite characters from my book is Noah in Dragon Blues. He was based on Leonard Nimoy's Spock in the Star Trek TV series. Like Rickman, he has that great resonating voice. I can't resist a voice like that.

    1. Oh, I agree 100% with you on Alan Rickman, Edie! I loved his Sherrif of Nottingham! I even bought (and enjoyed) the book "The High Sheriff of Huntingdon" by Anne Stuart because she loosely based it on that character.

      Spock is another favorite - as is your book, Dragon Blues! That one is probably my favorite of your books so far. I didn't realize Noah was based on Leonard Nimoy. Maybe that's why I loved him. :)

  2. I'll give you four of my current favorite characters.

    Harry Dresden from Jim Butcher's Dresden Files
    Jack Fleming from PN Elrod's Vampire Files
    Sebastian St Cyr from CS Harris' St Cyr Mysteries
    Inspector Ian Rutledge from Charles Todd's Rutledge series

    A favorite of my own is called Clay McCord from a WIP. I suspect the reason that story is idle is because there are too many characters doing a lot of nothing.

    1. Oh, I like Harry Dresden and Sebastian St Cyr, too, Travis! I'll have to check out the other two you mentioned.

      As for your WIP, you may have to keep Clay and fire the rest. ;)

  3. Oooh, you ask a great question, Kate!
    I love (x 1,000) Elizabeth and Darcy, of course...but I also really loved Stephanie Plum in those first 7 or 8 Evanovich books and Harry, Ron and Hermione from the HP series, and Kit and Nathaniel from The Witch of Blackbird Pond...
    The thing all of them share, IMO, is that they have believable faults but we really like them in spite of that. The authors made those characters feel like real people to me :).

    1. I think you're right, Marilyn! Believable faults are important. I also like believable, funny quirks, and characters who come from "normal" or poor backgrounds (vs. ones who already start out rich, famous, powerful, etc.) - it makes them all seem more real to me.

      Hey - I saw that you'll be in Lake Forest in August. I'm putting it on my calendar now, so hopefully will be able to be there and get my copy of your book signed! :)

  4. You've got courage. I just let mine hang around and beg for handouts. Maybe my favorite of my characters right now is Ginn Hollis from Under the Ember Star. I may have to write more about her.

    1. LOL, Charles, about the handouts. Don't think it wasn't a wrench for me, too. But I figured if I wasn't really invested in them, the readers wouldn't be either.

      Cool that you are wanting more of Ginn Hollis. I hope it turns into a great series for you.

      Hugs and prayers for you and Lana right now.


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