Wednesday, July 9, 2014

My Favourite Character

Since I wrote my first book, I've created a lot of characters. Aside from the ensemble of a dozen or so characters in What Lurks Through the Mirror, I've had characters from a sequel, and several planned sequels, the cast of Meet Sam, of Geneticide, or Bliss, and of the Modern Irish Myth books to add to the list, with over a hundred different characters in all of that. (Caveat: Geneticide had dozens of characters in written or planned stories, to its detriment. It's part of the reason I abandoned the project after completing the first draft.)

Those are just the books I've finished. There were many started-and-failed books over the years, and some I haven't written or, as is the case of my Operation Overdrive novel, are still being written. There are too many characters to keep track of, at this point.

I like to think of my earlier writing as necessary failures. Through the first books I wrote, I was able to focus on creating many (too many) unique and entirely human characters. I didn't have the time to tell most of their stories, or the inclination, focusing too much on plot. However, there have been some favourites.

Of them all, Ogma from the Modern Irish Myth series stands out. He's a poet, from Old Gods Returned, and with planned appearances in the later books in the series, as well as being the star of a few flash stories, who guides the dead to Otherworld. He struggles with the new language of Ireland - that is, English - and with the customs of the twenty-first century, and he's every bit a hero and a warrior, despite facing anxiety and panic at every corner. Ogma is an old hero, one of the last to disappear from the world of magic, and a prophet for the people.

While Bliss has some really fun characters in it, and while I like the other characters in the Modern Irish Myth books, I think Ogma presents an exciting opportunity. He's a god, with power over the dead, and his greatest power is limited by his lack of understanding of the language he's forced to speak.

(For the record: I love the protagonist of my Operation Overdrive novel. She's sarcastic and empathetic; she has to deal with trauma and anxiety; she's uncertain, and she doesn't realise she's intelligent and beautiful, and she doesn't treat people like she's better than them. She's not unnecessarily witty, and she doesn't want anything special from life. She makes writing the book a lot of fun.)

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