Writing 101, Day Six: A Character-Building Experience
Who’s the most interesting person (or people) you’ve met this year?
Today’s twist: Turn your post into a character study.
In displaying the psychology of your characters, minute particulars are essential. God save us from vague generalizations!
– Anton Chekhov, Letter to Alexander Chekhov; May 10, 1886
If you go by a rolling 12-month period, I suppose I could say I’ve written several interesting characters. Those have all been introduced or been written about before. Besides, some of my favorite novel characters are too long-standing to qualify for this exercise. If you go from January until now, I can still say I’ve met some pretty “interesting” people, but more in the sense that they drove me up the wall. Really, the most interesting person I’ve had the honor of meeting is one that is at once a new person, one that I have not met before, and one that I created–quite literally. I like making people… the worst thing about trying to create a new person is when the process does not go well. If you want to create a new character for a story, you can edit them however you like, and you can even removed them from the story if you want. You can kill off that character, if it serves the plot. But creating real people isn’t so easy. Sometimes the process doesn’t go so well… that’s the worst.
This time, however, all went well. It was hard to believe, after so many misfortunes, that this one worked out. This special project took a lot out of me, and (along with my job) kept me from writing. In the end, I met the most interesting new person this year. She is warm and tiny and loves hugs, and it’s amazing how much she intends on thriving. As little as she is, she is still full of character. She hates to be cold, and she will protest very openly about anything that bothers her (a bit of Klingon or dragon, perhaps?). I have to wonder whether she will live up to her namesake and defy her father by refusing to go to the Undying Lands and instead finding a prince of sorts to marry. We shall see. The world is a strange and difficult world to live in, but as Men do say, “The road goes ever onward.”
I am glad, at least, to have little Arwen along for the adventure.