Wednesday, October 21, 2009

You Owe it to Yourself #10: Favourite Characters

We all have them, the characters in books or movies or even video games that just stand out, that we relate to, and I think it might be interesting to take a closer look at the ones that you like best. Unfortunately, you aren't writing this post, so instead we'll look at the ones I like best and you can tell my your favourties in the comments.

When analysing why your favourite characters are your favourites, you should follow these steps: (I'll give an example)

1. Gush - Begin by explaining everything you love about the character.
For me, one of my favourite characters in SF is Miles Vorkosigan, who features in more than a dozen books by Lois McMaster-Bujold. This guy starts out as a trainee, becomes a mercenary, then the leader of an army of space mercenaries, a spy, a diplomat, and has a LOT of character development, dealing with his parents expectations, growing up, growing older, falling in love, changing careers, and lost of other stuff - but with Laser guns and spaceships!

2. Relate - Try to figure out things you and the character have in common.
All right, I'll admit it, I'm not the head of a band of mercenaries, or a super-spy, or even the next in line of a royal family in a military world, but Miles and I do have a lot in common, we both come from a mixed marriage, we both have a significant health problems we had to overcome (Miles' health problem, an issue with his bones which makes them very fragile, definitely trumps my asthma and vision problems, but I can relate), and we both married women we are crazy about.

3. Role Model - What attributes does the character have that you want?
Miles' two greatest strengths are thinking outside the box and working through a problem until it is finished. I love how regardless of the danger he is put in (these are Action-Adventure SF stories) that he can overcome it in unusual ways (Check out the short story Labyrinth for my personal favourite) and actually thrives in most any environment. Miles ability to see a job to completion, whether a murder investigation, or a difficult mercenary mission, is also really admirable to me as I like to think I'm pretty good at finishing what I've started, too.

So there you have it, three simple steps to getting a handle on why you love the characters you do, as well as a look at one of my personal favourites, you know, I might actually make a "Favourite Characters" post a regular thing here.

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