Posted by: codecalla | March 3, 2013

Casting Characters

Casting characters…

It’s sometimes scary.  I’m constantly wondering if I’m on the right track with the character.  If I’m lucky they’ll start talking to me and tell me off if I get them wrong.

Mai is the new main character in the new book I’m writing, or I should say series, if I can clarify a few things first.  There are distinctive things that are going to happen to Mai and the others in the book.  If you’ve heard of Mary Sues, you may be aware of fan fictions where sometimes characters are all powerful problem solvers and a conduit of the author’s wish fulfillment.  This is the careful balance one must strike when developing a character.  Is she all-powerful?  Does she have flaws or limitations?  I’m still working out Mai’s flaws.

In reality, Mai would be idealistic, a crusader, and someone who sticks up for others based on principle and empathy.  It’s her attitude that gets her in trouble in the alternate world she travels to unwillingly.  Mai’s temperament is one that she leaps before thinking.  It’s not that she is incapable of thinking or planning, but when certain things happen, her emotions take over and she reacts.  Her reactions start a few trials that she will have to face in the new world.  Her flaws would include the above, but her reality is that she is going to have very specific abilities in this new world.  These abilities will be limited in some way, but I’m still deciding how, and to what extent.  She is not going to be all powerful.

Her companions for the quest she will undertake are not completely fleshed out either.  Llewellyn is a bard-type, who has a magical quality to his music (inspired by Greek mythology, Orpheus).  By coincidence, I recently discovered there is a bard named Llewellyn in Skyrim, which made me laugh.  The name itself is very musical, and sounds beautiful.  I love the name too much to not use it for this character, but this similarity was entirely unintentional.  Llewellyn is a guide for Mai, who is supposed to keep her out of trouble.  He’s not always successful.  Mai has caused significant problems for him.

Llewellyn has an attendant named Tobias, who is continually looking out for his master’s interests.  Tobias can take the form of an owl, among other abilities.  He is not happy with Mai and longs to drive her out of their lives.  The sooner the quest is over, the happier Tobias will be.


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