Tags: character type rants


Beings of extreme power rant

I apologize for the simplicity of this rant. However, I think a large number of mistakes that people make in handling BOEP’s (Beings of Extreme Power—and no, do not ask me how to pronounce that acronym) happen not because the topic is so difficult, but because authors start out with a number of assumptions and attitudes that condition the background of their fantasy worlds, and thus their writing.

*Limyaael beats people about the head with fish*

When you write fantasy, there is no law that says any particular attitude needs to stay the same, and that includes attitudes about power. Sure, they can be the same if you want them to be, or if that will make for a better story. But don’t just assume they have to be. A great deal of “truth” about BOEP’s is cliché, not natural law.

So here we goCollapse )

This is not hard, not really. What makes it so is that damn network of assumptions that make people think previous authors have explored all possible ways of writing BOEP’s and that cliché is law, instead of both of them being a set of suggestions.

This is freedom. This is power. Both can be taken and used as wisely as any magic you give your characters.

Writing the duty-bound protagonist

There were two options with the same number of votes, so I chose the one I felt like working on more. I am so rebellious.

These people aren’tCollapse )

I’ve written several of these protagonists, and some of my very favorite moments come when they get between a rock and a hard place that a maverick hero never would, because a maverick hero would never think to honor or obey the principles that got the duty-bound one trapped there. There’s great characterization to be had there, and great story.

Writing nobility of spirit without being sappy

Wait. Did I use sappy or soppy in that original poll question?

Oh, well. It usually works out to the same thing in the endCollapse )

I will leave you with a Simon R. Green quote, from Winner Take All, and characters who never made a fuss about nobility one way or the other:

Hawk: “That was a nice punch of yours, Isobel.”
Fisher: “My strength is as the strength of ten, because my heart is pure.”
Hawk: “And because you wear a knuckle-duster under your glove.”

Making convincing loner characters

Ah, another character type I have a real weakness for and therefore study with extreme suspicion because I don’t know if my liking it means that I’m more likely to excuse its flaws.

There should probably be some commas in that sentence somewhere.

More long sentences, with commas and withoutCollapse )

Next we get character change as gradual process. Oooh.

*chokes temptation to write rant one day early*

Rant on sociopathic characters

I tried to prepare for this one by doing a lot of research. But a) a lot of the research contradicts itself, and b) the main point of this rant, as it is with all the ones on characterization, is not sociopathy. It’s writing characters whom the writer thinks of as sociopathic.

Well, okay thenCollapse )

There actually aren’t a lot of convincing sociopathic villains in fantasy books, I think. It’s much easier to find them in real life.

Rant on genius characters

The rant on genius characters, which has to do with ways of keeping them in check and having fun with them and using them in plots and…well, everything else I could think of, really.

Using your geniuses instead of letting them use the storyCollapse )

Geniuses are damn fun to write, and possibly wonderful fun to plot with, but too many become their intelligence or talent instead of intelligent and talented people.

Non-annoying stubborn characters

And the non-annoying stubborn characters rant it is. I just finished writing about an annoying one, and was glad to wash my hands of him, so this is informed by much groaning at the stupid plot twists the stubbornness forced experience.

Why stubbornness is, and should be, double-edgedCollapse )

Speaking of potentially annoying character types, the genius rant is next.