Category Archives: Character Spotlight

Character Analysis: Jasper

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Jasper

This post features Jasper
from A Book Without Dragons
No Spoilers

Jasper has always been part of the plot, even when A Book Without Dragons was still a short story. While his functionality within the story went through a bunch of rewrites, his personality was pretty solid from the beginning.

From a plot standpoint, having him there allowed a good amount of the exposition to come out in dialog between him and Willow. Also, since the five main characters are all in unsteady places in their lives, Jasper served as a good offset to that. He loves his life, he’s happy with his job, he feels confidant in who he is. That kind of energy helps to bring awareness to what the others seem to be missing.

“I don’t think you’re the kind of guy to do anything rash. Let’s sort this out.”
“What are you, some kind of shrink?”
“I’m a crisis negotiator for the FBI,” Jasper said, and then shrugged. “It seems like you’re having a crisis.”

But from a more internal standpoint, it just made sense to me that Willow would need to be with a friend during the Unitime crisis. Willow’s always been the kind of person who really thrived on close relationships, even though he tends not to have many of them. Willow would probably claim that he prefers solitude so other people wouldn’t be endangered, but beneath all that, I know he’s profoundly grateful to have Jasper there with him.

I did struggle a bit with Jasper’s personal story arc and what sort of agency I wanted him to have within the story. In some of the earlier drafts he served an exclusively emotional purpose, and I knew pretty early on that I wanted more for him than that.

As I was outlining, I first started to feel like Jasper’s arc was working when I introduced the dynamic between him and Snowiks. Yes, he was still functioning in a primarily emotional context, but I just loved how much more dynamic Snowiks’s personal arc became once Jasper was involved.

Jasper dropped into a chair and looked around the room with a fond nostalgia that I almost couldn’t comprehend. If I’d actually gotten out of Chagrin Heights, as was always the plan, I would hate any reminders of where I started.

The way Jasper could come into a scene and guide it in the right direction was always fun for me to watch. It was effortless, really. And maybe that has something to do with how open and connected his is with other people. I always loved that about him.

So, once we’d established this extra connection with Snowiks, it became a lot easier to find other plot-positive things for Jasper to do. I was able to tap more into his skills as an FBI agent, and have him work either with or against Snowiks.

I particularly enjoyed playing with his training as a crisis negotiator. The scenes where we really get to see Jasper in his element were so much fun to write.

 

If you’re curious
about Jasper, you can
find the full book here.

Denise and her original role in the book

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Since I sent “The World That Forgot How to Dance” into the world, I’ve gotten some good feedback on Denise – one of the secondary characters in the story. People liked her passion. They commented on how a character can be brave in a quiet way. They enjoyed the juxtaposition between her methodical ways and Lester’s rashness.

What most people don’t know is that Denise originally had a much larger role in the story.

If fact, in one of the earliest drafts, Lester didn’t even exist and Denise was the only supporting character to Ellsie. (Hard to imagine now, but that sort of thing happens a lot.) I liked Denise from the start, and going back through my notes, it seems that I considered making her the POV character instead of Ellsie. I even had plans for her to be Officer Grove’s daughter – a fact that wouldn’t come out until the climax, at a moment where Denise’s intervention is what ultimately saves Ellsie. Read the rest of this entry

Character Reveal – Cider

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This is the fifth and final character reveal for A Book Without Dragons! I’ve even collected them all together in this nifty Characters Page, so lovely explorers of the Internet won’t need to go hunting for them.  

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Name: Cider

Appearance: He has amber-brown hair, dark brown eyes, a permanent smile, two left feet… Oh, did I mention yet that he’s a dog? 😉 He’s a mixed breed, a little smaller than a golden retriever and a little more energetic than a tornado. Read the rest of this entry

Character Reveal – Bethany

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We’re at # 4 of my character reveals for A Book Without Dragons! (If you want to get caught up, the other reveals are all Here.) This week we’ll be meeting the lady who gets the weirdest writing style in the book, so if you think I had a lot of fun writing her scenes then you obviously know me very well.

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Name: Bethany Gardner

Appearance: She is a heavy-set, middle-aged woman. She wouldn’t have much to say about her appearance that could be construed as positive, but that has more to do with her attitude than her looks. She has thick, dark hair (which she dyes to keep the grays away), kind eyes, and a soft voice perfectly suited for reading bedtime stories. Read the rest of this entry

Character Reveal – Snowiks

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Today we have the third of my character reveals for A Book Without Dragons!

The spotlighted character this week has actually been on my blog before for a crossover drabble back in September (Which you can read Here, if you missed it. It’s particularly worth a look if you’re a fan of Lester from The World That Forgot How to Dance.)

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Name: Harold Snowiks – I mostly refer to him by his last name

Appearance: He’s approaching retirement when the book opens (and he’s not at all excited about the prospect of being put out to pasture, by the way.) His hair is mostly gray, but was dark brown once. He’s tall, has smoky-brown eyes, and a focused expression that frequently comes off as ‘stern.’ Read the rest of this entry

Character Reveal – Zabby

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Here is the second of my character reveals for A Book Without Dragons!

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Name: Zabby (short for ‘Elizabeth’) Reynolds

Appearance: She is thin, blonde, blue-eyed, pretty, and doesn’t appreciate all of the stereotypes that come along with these things.

Occupation: Waitress at the small-town Diner. It’s not a ‘forever’ job, though. Read the rest of this entry

Character Reveal – Willow

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Welcome to my first of five character reveals for A Book Without Dragons (Coming May 21, 2016. I set a date! Exciting, yes??) Over the next couple months, I’ll be introducing you to my five main POV characters.

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Name: Willow Ayers

Appearance: He’s a little shorter than average, and slightly chubby—a very huggable man, I think. He has curly, blonde hair (though it’s not super curly. Or super blonde.), blue eyes, and is rather pale, though not sickly. He has a few scars from a car accident. Don’t ask him about his scars, though. He doesn’t like to talk about it. Read the rest of this entry

Character Focus: Ellsie

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This post features Ellsie
from The World That Forgot How to Dance
No Spoilers

Hey, Everyone! I have another Character Survey for you. This one features Ellsie from my fantasy web serial, The World That Forgot How to Dance.  

ELLSIE

  • Gender: Female
  • Age: 22
  • Hair Color: Light brown
  • Eye Color: Dark brown
  • Hair Style: Curly, cut very short, doesn’t cover the ears, no accessories
  • Body Type: Medium height, thin, like a ballet dancer, carries herself confidently but modestly
  • Favorite color: Baby Blue
  • Typical Outfit: Skirt that comes down to just below the knees, flowing but not like the gypsy skirts, plain white tank top, flats, one bracelet, stud earrings

 

What is your ‘senior standout’ title? Best Dancer. But that’s really obvious, isn’t it? So, besides that, how about Most Likely to Come to a Class Reunion.

 

Name one thing you have no talent for: Styling my hair. I actually used to have much longer hair, but it was so curly and frizzy and I had no idea how to do anything with it. All of my attempts ended in hopeless disaster, so eventually I decided to cut it short enough that I wouldn’t need to mess with it any more. Read the rest of this entry

Character Focus: Lisa

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This post features Lisa from Ball Girl 
No Spoilers 

Here is the Character Survey for my very first published story 🙂 

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 LISA

  • Gender: Female
  • Age: 19
  • Hair Color: Sandy-blonde
  • Eye Color: Blue
  • Hair Style: Shoulder length and normally loose, though she pulls it back when working soccer games.
  • Body Type: Average height, slightly muscled but focuses more on cardio
  • Favorite color: Blue
  • Typical Outfit: Jeans, sneakers, T-shirt, sunglasses which she puts on top of her head when she’s inside.

 

  • In a nutshell: Dedicated and perceptive, loyal to causes and people, passionate, driven by a need to feel included but indifferent as to whether she gets noticed for her contributions.

 
Read the rest of this entry

Character Focus: Rodney

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This post features Rodney from School Spirit
No Spoilers 

Another character survey of mine 🙂 For anyone who wants to learn more about an extremely optimistic dragon. 

RODNEY

 

  • Gender: Male
  • Species: Dragon
  • Appearance: Predominantly green, approximately eight feet long, wispy spikes on head and tail, wings, young by dragon standards, bright blue eyes.
  • Favorite color: Orange
  • Typical Outfit: School-themed decorations, mostly   

 

  • In a nutshell: Fun-loving and excitable, does not conform to the normal dragon stereotypes of being powerful and dignified and important, enjoys life, refuses to feel embarrassed, genuinely cares about the students at the school. 

Read the rest of this entry

Character Blog Hop: Zen

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This post discusses Zen from Dove Without Wings (No More Heroes)
Spoilers have been “whited out”

So, in my Often Clueless way, I just noticed that Raeven tagged me in the character blog hop. (You can read her post here, which I strongly suggest if you are, like myself, a Seth fan.)

I decided to go with Zen for this one. I’ve drabbled about him a couple times, and also I recently ordered 30 copies of his book, so the guy’s been on my mind. 🙂 Incidentally, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m sort of paranoid about spoilers. So, any answers that give away important plot points are ‘whited out’ and between (( these )). If you’ve already read his story, or aren’t bothered by insider knowledge, you can highlight them to read them.

1) What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

His full name is Dr. Zenaida Macroura Dove. He prefers being called Zen, but will generally answer to “Dr. Dove.” His is, at the present moment, one of only three characters I’ve given middle names. (Four if you count my alter ego,  Hannah). Zen is quite fictional. Read the rest of this entry

Character Focus: Samantha

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This post features Samantha from Waiting Room
Warning: Spoilers!

Here’s another of my Character Surveys 🙂 (The first was Trevor’s a few weeks ago.) Samantha was just so much fun to work with. Even though I finished her story a long time ago, I end up thinking about her every time I go to the doctor’s, and I remember, “Aw, yeah… Samantha… You were weird and I miss you.”

SAMANTHA

 

  • Gender: Female
  • Age: 27
  • Hair Color: Brown
  • Eye Color: Dark Brown
  • Hair Style: Long, worn many different ways depending on her persona of the day
  • Body Type: Slightly taller than average, curvy
  • Favorite color: Burgundy
  • Typical Outfit: Haha… there definitely isn’t one…   

Read the rest of this entry

Character Focus: Trevor

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This post features Trevor from School Spirit
No spoilers

This is a technique I’ve been using for many years to help develop my characters. I created a survey of 100 questions, and randomly choose 20. Additionally there are the bullet point questions which everyone fills out. I give the survey to the character (Yes, my characters frequently get homework from me. And they can get over it and stop grumbling.) They fill out the survey, and then the dialog section gives my trusty alter-ego a chance to delve into whatever strikes her curiosity at the moment.

Feel free to ask your own questions in the comments, and I’d be happy to pass them along to Trevor 😉 Read the rest of this entry