On loving characters

One of the things on my to-do list is to write up a bunch of blog posts on specific topics is to write a few posts that have been brewing in my head. Before I forget why ‘Batgal/Buffy/Serenity-loving characters’ is scrawled on my to do list, I thought I’d fire off a couple of posts.

Arvind’s written about the hero mythos before (as have others…), but I’ve noticed of late that all my favourite television is massively character driven. Buffy and then Firefly/Serenity, Stargate SG-1, LoTR, the Bartimaeus trilogy, the Peter Hamilton novels (ok, all my recent sci/fi & fantasy) – but also books like Catch 22 (still on there as one of my favoure books ever), and Chabon’s brilliant Adventures of Kavalier and Clay — all really focussed on character development, and making people come to life that you really care about. The Sci/Fi / fantasy element is only necessary for the additional enjoyable escapism, I think – its the character led fiction that I love.

Thinking about my own writing, I want to try to go down this route. Every time I’ve set pen to paper in the past I’ve always led with something pathetically post-modern or puerilely philosophical. The next challenge has got to be working the philosophy and plot around characters my readers will like. Which is why I plan to make use of the A3 pad my sister bought me yesterday to sketch out some ideas and characteristics I’d like to see…

It’s so exciting! Feels like I’m actually getting somewhere. At least I now have a new list of thank yous to write in the acknowledgements of the book – when its eventually written – “Buffy Summers, Earl Hickey, Bill Adama, DEATH, Arthur Dent, &c’ – characters and heroes, one and all.”