This is a Ward; he is part of Mythic’s army ruled by a Queen that was born of cold stone and searing fire. He is but one in the cast of characters brought to life within the pages of Theo’s Mythic.
My favorite part of writing is coming up with these fantastical characters, seeing how they develop and how they interact. What if I mixed this animal with that one? What if I created one that didn’t exist at all? What are their personalities? How do they act and speak?
It is great fun to imagine a creature based on what my target audience, children, would be able to relate to; then take that creature to another level by fusing the ordinary with the extraordinary. Many elements go into a good book, and many more into a great book. But nothing surpasses the importance of the characters. They need to be identifiable, fun, cool, good, wicked, sad, happy, committed, distraught, pensive, ominous and so much more.
I often describe my characters in great detail throughout the book. Some readers enjoy that form of writing, some don’t. As a writer, you have to weigh the pros and cons of crafting a distinct image of a character in someone else’s mind with letting the reader form the visual for themselves. I prefer the former approach as I’ve been to one too many movie book adaptations and said to myself, “This isn’t how I envisioned it at all.”
There is nothing more magical to me than when I’m reading a book and am transported into the world in which the author has created, and oftentimes don’t want to come back out! I know that sounds so cliché, but it truly determines the power of a book. “Transitioning” plays a big role in Theo’s Mythic and for my characters. Whether physically, emotionally or a little bit of both, my character “peeps” (how funny is that?) were meant to be dynamic in so many ways. Pushing them to be well rounded individuals is exciting. Like raising children on a condensed schedule. And as I’ve often written, I firmly believe that if I push hard enough, my characters just might break through to reality. After all, Santa Claus DOES exist, to me.
Who are some of your favorite literary characters? Tops on my list right now are:
1. Aslan from The Chronicles of Narnia – you can’t beat exploring Jesus as an alternative form.
2. Paul Edgecomb and John Coffey from The Green Mile – the way they interact is priceless. What should be an extremely adversarial relationship becomes the inmate teaching the jailer to look closer within for the truth.
3. Frodo Baggins from The Lord of the Rings – he has enough pluck balanced with doubt to keep you wondering if he is going to take down a mountain or hide in a cave indefinitely.
4. ANY character from Dr. Suess! – illustration, rhyme, whimsy and moral married to perfection.