Just thought I’d remind you that the deadline for the May Contest is quickly approaching!!! Hurry and get your submissions in! We’ve already got several entries, but there’s still time! See the original post and rules here.
Drumroll, please… Introducing Wilson Sykes, the final character to be interviewed for the five-book series I’ve been working on. I’d love feedback, and I’d especially love for you to vote on the poll at the end of this post and choose your favorite character of these five! Check out the interviews of the other four: Slade, Ellis, Iris, and Haven.
“Wilson Sykes is here for his interview,” Benedict tells me over the intercom.
I smile. The last of the five. Finally. “Send him in,” I tell Benedict over the intercom. I pull my laptop over in front of me. It’s been great getting to know these teenagers, and I’m a little sad that it’s going to be over. Of course, I’m going to keep in touch with them. And there will probably be more interviews with their friends and family members. And enemies, of course.
A very tall, muscular teenage boy walks into the room. His red hair is just long enough to fall onto his forehead, but only just long enough to reach a third of the way down that forehead. His blue eyes hold a spark of uncertainty, but his smile seems genuine. Part of a tattoo is showing from under the edge of his shirt sleeve, on his upper arm, but I can’t make out what it is.
“Please sit down,” I tell him with a smile. He obeys as I open up a new document. “Are you ready to get started?” I ask. He simply nods in reply. Iris says that he conserves words, but that he’s definitely not shy. Or quiet. “First question. What is your full name and your age?”
“I’m Wilson Sykes and I’m eighteen,” he states.
He’s apparently not one for interviews. “Can you tell me about your family?”
Wilson smiles. “I live on a farm wtih my parents, both of whom I’m pretty close to. I have two younger siblings: my nine-year-old brother, Aster, and my eight-year-old sister, Elili.”
I nod as I type. He’s opening up a little. “What is your Gift?”
“I can control the weather,” Wilson tells me. “I can’t control night and day, just the weather. Rain, snow, sleet, tornadoes… I’m still working on hurricanes.”
I raise an eyebrow. “Wow, that’s cool! Now, how would you honestly describe your personality?”
He frowns, thinking. “I guess I’d say that I’m thoughtful with a quick temper. I’m not exactly shy, I just think it’s a good idea to be quiet. Sometimes. I’m working on that.” He grins.
I laugh. “I get what you mean. What are some of your faults?”
Wilson frowns. “Well, I’m used to the outdoors. I hate being inside or in a bustling city for very long. I like the peace of the countryside. Oh,” he adds, laughing. “I’m horrible with people. I get very impatient with them mostly because they’re annoying, like Slade.”
I grin. “I certainly won’t deny that. Okay, what are your strengths?”
“I’d say my strength,” he says, smiling. “I do a lot of athletic work, both at our farm and on my own. And then I guess my passion, steadfastness, and determination. I throw myself into pretty much anything I set my mind to, whether revenge or good deeds,” Wilson finishes.
“Last one,” I tell him. “What is your Name?”
“The Stormkeeper,” Wilson tells me, smiling.
I type that into my document and turn to him with a smile. “Thanks so much for the interview. It was realy great to get to know you. Tell the gang we need to get together again soon.”
He nods. “Thanks for having me. Maybe we can take you on a tour of Lerali sometime.”
I’m sure my face lights up. “That would be awesome! We need to do that.”
Wilson grins. “I’ll arrange it. I’d better leave you to your work.”
I smile. “All right.” Maybe work will go quicker with a fun trip to another world in mind.
Don’t forget to vote for your favorite of these five below! 🙂
Ellis is another one of the five main characters from my Teen Warrior series (in progress), the same series Haven and Iris are in. He’s quite a boring character, but that’s one of the things that make his story special. Please note that all characters are subject to change. I hope you enjoy, and let me know what you think in the comments.
“Benedict,” I call over my intercom. “Is Ellis Reckle here for his interview yet?”
“Yes, I’m sending him in.”
I pull over my laptop and open up a new document. After my last interview, I thought it would be a good idea to use my computer for note taking instead of pen and paper. I’m getting tired of blisters.
A young teenage boy steps in. He’s pretty plain looking, with dusty brown hair and medium gray eyes. He looks like he’s around five and a half feet tall, but the short description Iris sent me said that he’s 5.563 feet tall. Haven and Iris warned me that he likes to be precise. He looks like the average geek: skinny, pale, and quiet. Although, from what I’ve heard, he’s a pretty special geek. Boring, but special.
He nods. “They told me in deep detail.”
I grin. “Well, then you’re probably well prepared. First off, what is your name and age?”
“Ellis Reckle. I’m sixteen, the youngest in our group.”
“Can you tell me about your family?”
“I live with my dad in our cottage a little ways inside the city limits. He’s the one I inherited my brain and technological fascination from. My mom and my only brother died when I was eight, so it’s just me and my dad now.”
“Tell me about your Gift and its limitations,” I ask.
“Well, my Gift isn’t exactly anything too special,” he tells m. “Basically, I’m just really good with technology, and I have a photographic memory.”
I’m starting a new page in my document. “How would you honestly describe your personality?”
“Quiet and nerdy,” he states. “I’m not necessarily shy, just quiet. I like to think instead of talk. Sometimes it makes people think I’m rude, but I’m just quiet. If someone’s loyal to me, I’m loyal to them. I’m not easily angered. But, all in all, I’ve got a pretty dull personality.”
I blink, surprised. “Is that all?”
Ellis shrugs. “Yeah, I guess so.”
“What are some of your faults or bad characteristics?”
“I’m a total chicken. Bravery is certainly not one of the characteristic I possess. I’m boring, plain, and dull. My brain tends to get me in trouble, and I’m pretty much a bully magnet. There are plenty more, but, hey, I’m sure you have plenty more questions.” He grins.
I laugh. “You’re right. What are some of your strengths and good points?”
“Well, I’m smart, loyal, and trusting, I can fix virtually anything, and I’m good at planning things. I have a heart for doing good, and I’m a quick thinker. I’m cool and collected, too. Most of the time,” he finishes.
This may be my shortest interview yet. “Last question. What is the Name the King gave you?” I ask.
“I’m the inventor,” Ellis announces.
I nod, typing the last few words into my document. “Thank you so much for coming, Ellis. It was a pleasure to meet you.”
Ellis grins. “It’s not often I hear that, and thank you.” He gives me one last smile before heading out the door.
So, what is it that makes those characters so lovable
and huggable? Really?
The truth is, I don’t know.
Let’s just get one thing out of the way. For one thing, I am not an expert. For another, I don’t think I’ve created a single character ever that stuck in people’s heads and was just… amazing. So most of this is conjecture, thinking onto a screen, and… ramblings. So, be forewarned, and don’t sue me if this doesn’t make your characters any better. That said, on with it.
I asked several questions in Part One, and I’m going to be building a little bit off of that, and some other random thoughts.
Today’s question is… Why not perfect?
See, most of the characters that we love are flawed. Some in small ways, and some in much, much bigger ways. Why can’t your characters just be perfect?
Because there’s only one perfect Person, and His story is so awesome that no other perfect person could beat it.
Well, that and the fact that nobody (but Jesus) is perfect. We always seem to dislike “goody-two-shoes” in real life, so of course we’ll dislike the perfect people in stories. That’s because we don’t identify with their perfection. We have flaws, so we expect the characters to have flaws.
We look for ourselves in characters to identify with them. That’s why we like characters that are flawed and remind us of ourselves.
So, make ’em imperfect. Give them problems. Insecurities. Hatred. Secrets. Sin.
Do you like perfect characters? Are there any exceptions to this? Do you have trouble flawing your characters? What are your favorite characters’ flaws, both in your writing and others’?
This is another of the characters from my Teen Warriors series that I’m working on, which is the same series that Haven Agnelli is in. Please note that all characters are subject to change. 😉 Enjoy, and please let me know what you think in the comments below.
I press the intercom button on my desk. “Benedict? Do you have the schedule for today?”
The device crackles. “Yes, Bri. Do you want me to come in?”
“Yes, please,” I reply.
Benedict enters my office, a sheet of paper in his hand. I raise an eyebrow at my secretary. “Is that all of the schedule?” I ask.
He nods. “Just some paperwork and the interview with Iris O’Gara.”
I sigh. Another boring day. At least I’ll have time to work on more stories. As long as I don’t start playing Solitaire on my laptop. “Do you know when she’ll be here?”
“She’s outside waiting right now,” he tells me.
“Oh! Well, then, send her in,” I say. Benedict nods and leaves the office. I begin preparing for the interview. The door opens again and I look up, expecting to see Iris, but instead, Benedict is standing in the doorway. He walks over and sits down in the chair in front of my desk, normally reserved for interviews.
“Benedict?” I ask, confused. “Where’s Iris?”
“Unfortunately, I can only do optical illusions,” Benedict says in a laughing female voice. “Otherwise I would enjoy this longer”
The next instant, Benedict transforms into a pretty teenage girl. Her long, wavy dark brown hair, creamy brown skin, and sparkling green eyes give her a somewhat exotic look. She smiles at me, her eyes twinkling. “I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist.”
I grin. “That’s okay. You must be Iris.” I start taking notes on her appearance. Unlike her friend and partner, Haven, she’s not very tall; a little less than average height, I’d say. “Are you ready for our interview?”
Iris smiles. “You bet I am. Haven told me some of the questions you asked her, so I’ve given them some thought.”
“Good,” I tell her. “I’ll probably use most of the same questions, although I may add in some others.” She nods. “Okay, first question. How old are you?”
“Eighteen,” she says, grinning.
“Can you tell me about your family?”
“I’m tied for the second youngest in my family. I have two older brothers, a twin brother, and a younger brother. All of us are at least two years apart, except me and my twin. And, yes, I grew up in a house full of noisy boys. My oldest brother, Calo, is twenty-three, five years older than me, and my other older brother, Lory, is twenty, two years older than me. Then there’s Ozel, my twin, who’s younger than me by two minutes, and Yemo, the youngest at fifteen. Yemo’s the quietest, while all the others are really rowdy. WE grew up roughhousing together, so that’s what I blame my competitive spirit and troublesomeness on. My mom died while giving birth to Yemo, so my dad raised us. He worked a lot, but he always found time to take care of us and spend time with us. Our aunt came to the house whenever we needed a babysitter, so she was a lot like a replacement mom.” Iris smiled as she finished. “Sorry. My family’s so big that I can talk about them for ages.”
I smile. “That’s perfectly fine.” I check my question list. “Any more to your back story I should know.”
She shakes her head. “Not really.”
“Okay, then, what is your Gift and its limitations?” I grin. “Although I already know some of it.”
She laughs. “I can create optical illusions. They can be as simple as a shadow on a while or a spot on the floor, or as big as a whole army of soldiers, with the occasional unicorn or giant mixed in. I can change my appearance, and other people’s, and I can make things invisible, too. My only limits are that anything I create isn’t solid, it’s just an illusion. So if I make a sword, yes, I can “hold” it, but it certainly won’t hurt anybody. Same with that mythical army. And, like I mentioned earlier, I can only do optical illusions.”
I nod, finishing my notes. “How would you honestly describe your personality?”
Iris purses her lips thoughtfully. “I guess I could say that I’m kind of… reckless, I guess. I’ve never done anything horrible, but I find it hard to turn down a dare. Danger kind of excites me, and sometimes I’m accused of not thinking very much before I do something. I’m always up for an adventure or a practical joke, and I have a good sense of humor. I’m definitely –” she laughs “ –outgoing, and cheerful, and I’m pretty good at being friendly and nice. My dad always says I’m the perfect hostess.”
“What are some of your faults or bad characteristics?” I ask.
Iris smirks. “Well, I definitely don’t think things through very much before I act sometimes. Like I said, I’m pretty reckless, and I’m often over-confident. Sometimes I’m so curious I become a pest, and many, many people have described me as overbearing, annoying, and thoughtless. I can be loud, too, and sometimes my outgoing-ness bothers others, although I try to balance that out by being friendly.”
“What are your strengths?” I ask her, grabbing another sheet of paper. I’m getting plenty of good notes.
“Well,” she begins, “I guess I’m brave, and I always try to be friendly and meet new people and make them feel comfortable. I always finish what I start, and put my whole heart into what I do. I’m crafty, sneaky, and sly, which is useful when I need to spy.”
“Last one,” I announced. “What is the Name the King gave you?”
Iris nods, grinning. “The Illusion.”
I grin back at her. “Thanks so much for this interview. It was great to meet you.”
She smiles. “You’re welcome. And sorry about the Benedict thing. I’m a bit of a practical joker.”
I laugh. “No apology needed. I enjoyed that.”
Time to get back to work on the boring stuff.