Posts Tagged ‘sunday quickie

26
Apr
09

Rachel’s Sunday Quickie – fangirling

The challenge this week is to name your favorite recent fantasy character. Now, I’ve said before that this is an awesome time to read fantasy, and so this question was really hard for me! Who to choose? Of course, I love Sarah Monette’s deep, complex characters, but they’re a little intense and troubled for every day adoration.  I’m also crushing hardcore on Marla Mason right now (Poison Sleep is like, eating my life in delicious, awesome bites, and I’m not just saying that because Tim paid me).  What can I say, I love my kick ass ladies. 

All things considered, I think the character I love the most for themselves, and not just the world they live in, has got to be Len from China Mieville’s  Perdido Street Station. Len is a relatively minor character, but the force of her character shines out through the bit nature of her part. In a city full of weird creatures, outsiders, and freaks, she is a freak supreme, and yet, despite that, she lives her life with such ragged determination, you can’t help coming along. Len’s an artist, a sculpter, and her love of art, her need to express herself, is one of the most truthful, resounding emotions I’ve ever felt in a novel. In fact, I loved Len so much, I almost stopped reading when bad things happened and she stopped being a part of the narrative for awhile (no spoilers! read the book!). 

All the books I mentioned are awesome, and my favorite character is constantly in flux. Ask me next week and I’ll probably have a different answer. That’s the best part of being a reader! I get to have so many favorites!

22
Mar
09

Rachel’s sunday quickie: your momma don’t work here

So the topic for this Sunday is whether or not I agree with the following: “Authors are like parents to their characters.”

The short answer is no, yuck.

The long answer is a bit more complicated.  I can certainly see where the comparison comes from. Authors do give characters life. We give them eye colors and curly hair and a nose that’s not perhaps what they would like. But unlike biological motherhood, we also give them personalities, flaws, histories, bad love affairs, and secrets, which takes way more work than just handing over a chromosome.

Even beyond that, though I think Sarah Monette had it right when she said that her relationship with her characters was anything but motherly.  I’ve never been a mother, but I’m pretty sure if I treated (or even thought about) my children the way I treat my characters, defax would be knocking on my door. It’s a mother’s job to encourage her children, to support them and help them as they grow. A writer, however, must stomp on her characters mercilessly. I never let them take the easy way out, I never cut them any slack, and every night is off to bed without supper, that is if I let them sleep at all. (I have a really awful habit of never feeding my characters, or letting them sleep, or pee.)

If I did treat my characters as my children, I think it would kill my book. For me, at least, the author is less like a mother and more like an incompetent and mysterious God who keeps changing the past when things turn out wrong. She is also cruel, capricious, and prone to plucking people out of the world without notice. With a mother like her, who needs enemies?

01
Mar
09

Greg’s Sunday quickie – soundtrack to writing

Since I do a lot of writing in coffee joints, I get a soundtrack, whether I want one or not. And since I’m not going to necessarily like the soundtrack provided, headphones are a crucial component of my mobile writing kit. Usually I just set the playlist on my laptop to random, which means every other song is by Rush.