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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?


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!