Flash, you’re my hero!

blog-hop-for-writers

Day 3 of Ruth Snyder’s Blog Hop for Writers, and today we’re asked to do a character sketch of our hero.

Sorry, I am temporarily distracted by squeeing.

I currently have about a million stories on the go, and none of them has a standard hero. Some of them are very heroic people, like the WW2 RCAF pilot and Captain Jack Harkness and Ianto Jones, seen left…

There was a point here somewhere, but I seem to have dropped it in my fangirl moment. Characters, that was it.

I definitely have a type. Male or female, I like them a little bit broken – ripe for healing – organised, and slightly anachronistic. There’s always something about them that doesn’t quite fit. My current heroine, Elsa, is a totally modern girl who wears a bonnet. The object of her frustrations and, eventually, desires, is a Gen X photography genius who tries to photograph the past. I’ve also got stories in the works about a time traveller, and about a new money family and what happens to them when their money gets them entry to high society.

They’re always fish out of water, but many of the best characters are. Frodo and Sam wouldn’t have been nearly as interesting if they’d felt comfortable on their travels, and for all Sam Vimes is Ankh Morpork personified, he very quickly gets dragged up to levels of society he is uncomfortable with. For me, it’s those tiny little things that are really interesting, the slight shift that makes everything completely alien.

Because in my experience, a country where you don’t speak the language is actually easier to cope with than one where everything is merely almost as you expect it. To this day I remember Chinese food with delight and Australian food with vague dismay at the wrongness of the bacon and putting eggs on pizza.

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3 thoughts on “Flash, you’re my hero!

  1. “a country where you don’t speak the language is actually easier to cope with than one where everything is merely almost as you expect it.” — what an insight — you’re so right, and I need to remember this.

  2. I’m curious now about your totally modern girl who wears a bonnet. Hmm. Including something that doesn’t quite fit about your character is (obviously) a great way to pique the curiosity of your reader, always a good thing. Good post!

  3. I like the way you can see a trend in your characters. I can think of three of my characters who probably have a lot in common with each other too – which may mean that I need to rewrite some of them to make sure that they’re not the same character in different novels! I agree that discomfort is what makes the story. We want comfort in our real lives, but in our reading, we want to be pushed, to enjoy someone else’s problems. Happy writing!

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