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Sunday, April 3, 2011

How I chose my characters

If you've seen the youtube video, you already know this stuff.
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Well, you all know by now that the story in my book was derived from a series of dreams I had, but I still had to come up with characters I thought people would want to read about. The character that is most derived directly from my dream is Giovanni, because he goes through a transformation, just like in my dream.

In my dream, the gray man struggles throughout his life angry and sad all the time, but then he falls into a deep sleep and wakes up as an angel. Knowing this, I had to figure out a way to explain why the gray man was so angry and why he turned into an angel; just as Giovanni turns into whatever it is that he turns into. It was then that I decided to bring rise to character Bletsian.

Let me take this opportunity to go ahead and clear one thing up. Giovanni and Bletsian are the same person, but not at the same time. I decided to create two different personalities, and even physical beings, to express the duality of this entity, thus providing a need for the transformation. To understand how Giovanni and Bletsian are the same and different, you could ask  yourself, what’s a caterpillar if it never turns into a butterfly? Can there by a Mr. Hyde without there first being a Dr. Jekyll?

Next, I had to think of characters that would interact with Giovanni, to help come to terms with his transformation. Coming up with Abraham was easy. I guess you could say that I’ve seen way too many movies, because I know you can never go wrong with a wise old man to lead the hero down the straight and narrow.

I had trouble trying to figure out what the nature of the relationship between Abraham and Giovanni would be. I had to come up with a way for Giovanni to be an outcast, but still form a close bond with this older character. That’s when I figured that Abraham could be his father or an older relative, but then that left open too many questions as to why Giovanni goes through a transformation, but this guys doesn’t. I settled on the idea of making him a father figure. He had to be someone who’d loved Giovanni unconditional, just like a father, without being a blood relative.

Finally, I thought that the story needed a woman’s touch, another type of logic and reasoning to complement the masculinity of the other two male characters. It took me a long time to finally, settle on the idea that my female character could possibly be a love interest. At first, I thought that my story didn’t need that kind of drama in it, but then I realized that drama, of all types, is part of being human. Since being human is one of Giovanni’s toughest issues, dealing with a possible romance seemed inevitable.

Once I decided to add the female character and chose a name for her, I just modeled her after an idealistic image I have of myself combined with some characteristics of my older sister. Lastly, making her a doctor was a way to give her more purpose, as she is the one who takes on the challenge of keeping Giovanni and Abraham as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Even without the possible love angle, Mira is crucial to the development of Giovanni’s character as he goes through his transformation.  -Day 15 complete.

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