Tag Archives: Jasper

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.

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Christmas Character Meme

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Merry Christmas, everyone! I put together a quick holiday character meme for anyone in need of some winter-themed chuckling. Just pick five characters (could be either your own, or from fandoms you like), write them down, and substitute their names into the following questions. Feel free to share your answers in the comments or post them on your own blog if you want!

Five Characters:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Of the characters on your list, who would most appreciate the following gifts?

– A high-end coffee maker

– A year’s supply of lollipops

– A tree planted in their honor in the rainforest

– A large bottle of whiskey

– A mason jar of fake blood

(5) is given the choice of wearing either antlers and a red nose, or a hideous sweater with blinking lights. Which does he/she pick and is he/she pleased with the situation?

Read the rest of this entry

Drabble: A Fear of Formality

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This post features Willow and Troy
from A Book Without Dragons
Drabble Type: Canon (Click Here if confused)
Timeline: Before the book, when the Unitime project was just getting started 

No Spoilers

Willow picked at his stiff collar and tie, wishing not for the first time that Troy would have agreed to apply for the grant alone. Troy was so much better at this sort of thing.

Troy was charismatic and had a kind of trustworthy voice that made people sure that he was smart enough to accomplish exactly what he said he wanted to do. Willow had the kind of voice that made people wonder how he had managed to graduate at all. If they didn’t get the grant, it would be Willow’s fault. He was sure of it.

Troy emerged from the washroom and joined Willow on the bench. “I have a great feeling about this, Will,” he said, leaning against the wall with both hands tucked behind his head. Willow wondered how he managed to still have such a range of movement available to him when dressed formally. Willow felt like he was in a body cast. Read the rest of this entry

Drabble: The Dorm Room at 4 AM

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This post features Willow and Jasper
from A Book Without Dragons
Drabble Type: Canon (Click Here if confused)
Timeline: Before the book, when Willow and Jasper were college roommates

No Spoilers

“I’ll tell you, dude, you missed an awesome party,” Jasper announced when he finally returned to the room that night. It happened that Willow was still awake, but he got the impression that Jasper would have delivered his statement whether or not anyone was alert enough to hear it.

“Yeah, I’ll cry about it later,” Willow grumbled, blinking rapidly and trying to refocus on the book he was holding.

“Seriously,” Jasper went on. “Crazy good.”

Willow looked up with suspicion-narrowed eyes. He was just noticing how much Jasper was using phrases like ‘awesome’ and ‘crazy good.’ It was an infrequent day that Jasper used words like that, and when he did, he normally reserved them for something a little more worthy than a dance party. “Something wrong?” Willow asked. Read the rest of this entry

Drabble: Snowiks and the Post Office

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This post features Snowiks from A Book Without Dragons.
No Spoilers

Drabble Type: Canon (aka – Events that really happened to the characters)
Timeline: After the events of the book 

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Snowiks opened his e-mail with the daily sense of defeat. He didn’t know why he still checked it, really. It was considered antiquated. (People these days were using voice-snaps, which Snowiks refused to send simply because the name sounded stupid.) This time, though, his routine wasn’t for the sake of warming up the keyboard – he had a message.

And what’s more: the message was from the post office. Paper mail hadn’t been delivered for the past decade, but the establishment still existed. The e-mail concisely informed him that he had something waiting for him and could he please pick it up before next Thursday?

No need to wait that long. After his shift ended, he didn’t even swing by his home before heading towards the local post branch. (‘Local’ takes on the meaning of ‘a two hour drive’ when one lives in a town as small as Chagrin Heights.) Read the rest of this entry

Drabble: Pumpkin Spice Day

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This post features Jasper and Snowiks from A Book Without Dragons.
No Spoilers

Drabble Type: Meta (aka – characters know they are characters)

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Chief Snowiks saw a brief shadow on the door only moments before it swung open—Jasper, apparently, didn’t feel the need to knock.

He also didn’t feel obliged to ask Snowiks if he was busy. “Chief! It’s Pumpkin Spice Day! Where were you?”

Snowiks flipped over the top paper on the pile, though it was purely a reflex. Jasper technically had security clearance to look at anything that might pass over his desk. “I was right here,” he said. “And what is…?”

“Pumpkin Spice Day,” Jasper repeated, holding out a to-go cup of coffee as if that explained everything. Read the rest of this entry