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On writing different characters

holde_maide and I were having an interesting discussion on which characters we feel most comfortable writing.

Holde_Maide finds Methos like coming home. I'll resist the urge to quote her on why, since I don't have her permission to broadcast what she said.

Writing Joe Dawson feels like coming home to me, and Methos, much as I love him, is rather intimidating for me. Holde_Maide asked why I thought that might be.

To me, Mortals are always easier because, to a certain extent, we share the same background and perspective. Joe certainly is very American, which also helps. I know, for example, that to Joe the color red probably symbolizes stop, danger, sex. Duncan I'd have to do some historical research to be sure.

Methos? Maybe it makes him think of blood, or his time as a cranberry picker, or that century he spent as a priest of Horus. There is no way of knowing. None.

Methos has these different aspects of himself, which we see at different times in the show. Then there's the fact that, at least in my mind, he lies all the time. As protective coloration. As a competitive sport. As entertainment. There's no telling if anything that comes out of his mouth is true. Now, that leaves a lot of room for authors to create their own visions, hence the many and delightful Methoi of fanfiction. But it's sort of like working without a net.

"The Price of Interference" was the first fanfiction I ever wrote. A Joe Muse just showed up in my head, pulled up a chair, and started telling me what's what. So writing Joe is very familiar and comforting to me.

So, which character(s) are easiest, most comfortable, for all of you to write, and why?


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 16th, 2007 10:23 pm (UTC)
It depends on what mood I'm in that day. Darius, LaCroix (Forever Knight), Sean Burns, Matthew McCormick, Cory. Sean in particular is a pleasure, just for the ways he thinks: calm, and centered, and appraising, and ruthless under all that. LaCroix and Darius, in different ways, are always ruthless, and I like watching Darius observe details. Cory's all mischief, and I enjoy watching the flashes of himself that Matthew lets out through his more public persona.

Joe's *fun*, because he's such a distinct voice and once he's talking, I can almost hear him. So's Reverend Bell. Derek would drive me crazy -- a little young, and naive in odd ways.

And of course, Connor's always a blast. A pain in the ass, at times, but still a blast. Suspicious old buzzard...
Jan. 16th, 2007 10:30 pm (UTC)
LaCroix is always 'on' for me. He's ruthless, family is of the utmost importnance, he's still a Roman general. You can take the boy from Rome, but you can't take Rome from the boy... or something like that :)
Jan. 16th, 2007 10:26 pm (UTC)
I'm never very good at this sort of thing, but I'll give it a whirl.

I tend to have the most trouble writing characters I don't like very much. I second and third guess myself: am I being fair? Would this character really behave this way or am I biased against them? Cassandra is a good example. I never liked her from the first episode she appeared in, so when it came time to write her, I angsted over every word. And really, really tried to be fair and even handed.

Methos is his own special problem. He would be, huh? Sometimes, he just flows onto the page, and other times it's a wrestling match. A mixture of my mood and his, perhaps? It's almost impossible to say for certain, "Methos wouldn't act that way", or "He wouldn't do that". Over the long term, writing him in a series of interrelated stories, my goal is to at least try and keep him consistent within the framework of the universe I'm writing in.

Duncan I find fairly easy -- no wrestling with him. I know more about him, I've been exposed to more of his life, and he's a fairly straightforward kinda guy. Makes for a pleasant change of pace :)

Joe, I haven't written a whole lot of, but his muse has been rattling around in my brain the last few weeks, so that may change.

Okay, not such a great explanation, but I tried!
Jan. 17th, 2007 12:52 am (UTC)
The only Highlander character I find really easy to write is Amanda. I can't say how many times I wanted to kiss that woman when I was beating my head against Darkest Hour, because invariably, if I was really struggling, I'd get her into the room and suddenly everything became so much easier. Nick Wolfe's not too bad, either. He's very... mundane, I guess, and also very consistent in canon, so I don't find him too difficult.

Next is Duncan, who's usually not too far away from my thoughts, and whom I've spent a lot of time thinking about. Methos, I find intimidating. I can deal with writing him in direct relation to canon events, but stray outside of that, and I'm never entirely sure what he'd do or how he'd react to things. Joe, I find difficult just because I don't have that much to say about him. He seems to have been explored pretty thoroughly in canon, and I feel like we all pretty much know what makes him tick, so I just don't really know what I can add.
Jan. 17th, 2007 01:41 am (UTC)
hhmmm. Great question. For me, hands down, Duncan is the hardest character to write. I've very little of Duncan in my (posted) stories for that reason. The unposted stuff has more of him but I'm always nervous. I just don't identify with Duncan. At all. I admire the heck out of the guy, but I find it difficult to get into his headspace.

Joe - I love writing Joe, though I think I use him as an observer of the action a bit too much and neglect Joe as a character of his own.

Amanda - I'm really developing an Amanda fetish. Hmmm. She's just... fun. And with a hidden caring side I like to dabble in.

Methos - Yeah, obviously, he's the one HL character I feel pretty confident with. Maybe because I love ambiguity. I have an inner Methos, who cracks wise (especially while watching tv) which is ironic, because that Methos never comes out in my writing - I almost always write angsty Methos. When I write Methos, I tend to take him in the present - because I think that's where he lives. I don't think he spends alot of time dwelling on the 5,000 years. Yeah, it probably does influence him (and boy do I love reading stories by people who can get that ancient flavor right) but in my mind Methos thinks of himself as not much different from Joe.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )