//identification, please

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a sketch of Jenny F.‘s character, Golden Lion Boy (that’s not really his name)

There’s a common type of character I like to refer to as the Shell, and the Shell is all too common. It doesn’t matter what genre the book is or who the target audience is, at least fifty percent of the time, the main character is said Shell. What is a Shell?

It’s an empty character designed specifically to insert the reader into the book, because they identify so much with the Shell. Take Bella from Twilight as a classic example. (I never thought I would write ‘Twilight’ and ‘classic’ in the same sentence, but here we are.)

Bella is a clumsy teenager with no distinguishing features and no distinguishing character traits. Any teenage girl picking up the novel will immediately identify with Bella because there is nothing to mark Bella as her own character. She’s designed specifically for readers to hop into, so they can wear the Shell and experience the novel through Bella’s own lukewarm personality.

I did this to a certain extent with Ginny in Paper Crowns, but that was more or less an accident and I’ve (hopefully) given her a personality that stands by itself during the revisions. The Shell annoys me, because it feels like lazy writing (even if it isn’t intentionally so).

However, the series became hugely popular – in large part because of the Shell that was Bella Swan. (I could make a few remarks about the intelligence of the Twilight fanbase in general, but I won’t. I’m personally a Jasper fan although I hate the series, so.)

But how important is it, really, to identify with the main character? Is it necessary to write a popular book?

I would say yes and no.

No: The Shell is not necessary.

Yes: Identifying with the main character is necessary….in a way.

One of my favorite book series is The Riddle-Master trilogy by Patricia McKillip. While I’m mostly there for Deth and Astrin, the main character – Morgan – is someone I love. I would follow him to the ends of the earth on his journey, but I have nothing in common with him. I don’t have mysterious stars on my forehead, I’m not the heir to anything, and I probably wouldn’t take myself on a miserable journey away from everything I knew just because I had an itch of curiosity.

But I do connect with Morgan, because he’s well-written. I don’t connect with his situation in life, but I connect with his emotions. He’s a very human character, despite the far-reaching, magical plot. I identify with his need to know, with his stubbornness, with his temper.

He’s very much his own person, but I identify him on a human level. I identify with his emotions.

This is where the vital connection point is. The emotions. My Musetwin Arielle and I have a code phrase – ‘feel what I feel’ – which we use when attempting to make the other person listen to a song, watch a drama, or read an article that made one of us feel strong emotions. This, I believe, is the most important point when writing a main character.

The main character of my Salvation series, Skata, does not have much in common with…well, most people I know. He’s bitter, revenge-driven, and single-minded. He’s not very friendly, he’s purpose-driven, and he’s hard to get along with.

And yet he had the largest response I’ve ever had from readers saying I identify with him so much. This surprised me, because – well, because I wasn’t writing him so the reader could identify with him. I was writing his story, not the reader’s. But when I asked about it, the readers didn’t identify with his aforementioned character traits – they identified with his pain, with his drive, with the soft heart and protective instincts he tries to bury.

They felt for him, and in doing so, they connected with him emotionally.

I don’t need to identify with what a character looks like. I don’t need to identify with their character traits. I don’t need to identify with the plot they’re starring in.

I need to connect with their emotions. I need them to make me feel things. If I can feel for a character, if I become emotionally invested in them personally, in their journey, then I will follow them to the ends of the earth to find out what happens because I care. Not because they’re a mirror.

Am I saying you shouldn’t write characters everyone can identify with? No, but I don’t think it’s possible. You can’t please everyone, and so I hold that you should write your character for your own character’s sake and not so he can reflect the reader. Still, this is personal opinion and you may disagree with me.

Tell me your thoughts!

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//standing room only

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Artwork from my amazing girlbro Lauren, a Christmas gift that made me cry many happy tears  

 Watching your writing style, abilities, and preferences change is a fascinating thing. As with art, I have to step back and compare a novel from a year ago to a novel I’m writing now to see where things have changed. Editing is an arduous process, and my least favorite part of the journey from writer to author. I’ve done it once before, but I had help. This time I have a commentary by a friend and my own wits, as well as actual rules (not guidelines, rules) regarding how it should be done. After all, this book will soon leave my hands and enter the wide, wide world of proofreading, formatting, and publishing, and it needs to be ready. I wrote Paper Crowns three years ago, and I wrote it in a month. You have to understand that I don’t usually write novels in a month unless it’s NaNo/JuNoWriMo. In fact, I never do – although the sequel, Paper Hearts, was also written in a short time.

Coming back through it, one thing in particular has stood out to me –

The cast is extremely small, featuring Ginger, Halcyon, Salazar, Astryn, Azrael, and Maven. Side characters include Malgarel, Asterope, Badger, Cernunnos, and Bob the bookstore cashier. Out of this cast, only three are female. It’s a small cast to begin with, and the ratio of male to female is strangely unbalanced. While there’s nothing I can do about it now – this is the story, take it or leave it – I had not yet learned how to juggle large, colorful casts. I also hadn’t learned how to write more than two interesting female characters per novel.

Today, most of my casts are huge, with one or two ‘focal’ characters, ten+ main characters, and a plethora of minor characters who have their own roles to play. While I prefer writing male characters to female characters, I’ve learned to keep my female characters three-dimensional, interesting, and necessary. (And I love them.)

The Dying of the Light dramatis persona

  • Saizou (focal character)
  • Shi (focal character #2)
  • Haka (Shinsengumi Commander)
  • Kirikizu (The Prince-Regent’s assassin)
  • Tsuki (undercover rebel + Saizou’s childhood sweetheart)
  • Kiba (Tsuki’s lifelong bodyguard)
  • Shotgun (outlaw)
  • Winter (mercenary-turned-religious warrior)
  • Oscar Sleimann (scientist)
  • Hiro (Tokyo Yakuza)
  • Riza (hacker mastermind + rebel)
  • Honey (bar-owner + rebel sympathizer)
  • Kai (cyborg + rebel sympathizer)
  • Matahachi (redeemable antagonist)
  • Otter (Shinsengumi beast-tamer)
  • Alucard (bioengineered angel of death + tiny son)
  • Virgo (bounty hunter)
  • Shimo (bounty hunter)
  • The Prince-Regent (villain)
  • The Dog (The Prince-Regent’s feral ‘pet’)
  • Yuu (yakuza, minor character)
  • Kido (yakuza, minor character)
  • Yamaga (guard, minor character)
  • Matsu (guard, minor character)
  • Lt. Takuan (Shinsengumi Lieutenant + Haka’s babysitter)

Each of these twenty-five characters ties into the others, their stories inseparably interwoven, and it remains necessary to keep attention on each of them. I first experimented with a large cast in Dark is the Night, and it worked out so well I decided I loved it. I wanted to keep on writing large casts, because there’s endless fodder, endless connections, and endless potential. Balancing a cast this large without it becoming unwieldy isn’t easy, and comes with a large set of potential ways to flub it up.

There are several tricks I’ve learned for keeping a large cast manageable.

KEEP THEIR NAMES FROM SOUNDING TOO SIMILAR

You don’t want a cast where five of the characters are named John, Josh, Jerry, Jules, and Jane. You need to shake it up and give each name a distinct sound so they don’t end up shuffled together in the mind of the reader.

MAKE SURE EACH CHARACTER IS ACTUALLY NECESSARY TO THE PLOT

Sometimes I’ll get a great idea for a character, but when I move to place said character in a novel, I’ll realize they don’t belong. I’ll keep the character in my mind and place them in another novel when the time is right, but if you have a large cast, don’t clutter it unnecessarily with characters who do nothing to continue the plot and keep the story moving.

MINOR CHARACTERS ARE PEOPLE, TOO

I have a huge thing for minor characters. They’re underappreciated, underrated, and frequently cardboard cutouts stuck in a story so it feels less empty. Give minor characters quirks, identifiable signs that help them stand out. You want everything to be interesting, not just the main characters. If you can write a minor character that makes people go I wish I knew their story, you’ve done an excellent job.

ALLOW EACH CHARACTER TO STAND OUT IN THEIR OWN WAY

This novel is a futuristic Samurai version of Robin Hood, so obviously it already had a basic casting blueprint. We have Saizou (Robin Hood), who basically just wants everything to be all right. (It isn’t.) We have Shi (Much) whose face was destroyed in the war, and he now wears a mask to cover his disfigurement. He didn’t sign up for this. We have Tsuki (Maid Marian) who was given to Matahachi (Guy of Gisbourne) as a ‘housewarming gift’ from the Prince-Regent (Prince John), but at night Tsuki goes into the city to gamble money away from thugs and spread it throughout the daimyo. You want each character’s role to be not only necessary, but interesting to keep up with.

You don’t want to write a character the readers aren’t interested in. You don’t want to write that character that readers skip over because they want to ‘get back to the interesting part.’

SWITCH UP THE FOCUS REGULARLY

Some chapters will focus completely on Saizou, and some chapters I’ll split between Virgo and Shimo, Saizou, Tsuki and Kiba, Kirikizu and Haka, etc. Personally, I think it’s a mistake to change POV when you’re juggling a cast like this. I wouldn’t write Saizou in third person and then write Riza in deep first person. That just adds to confusion. When writing a cast this large, keep it simple and stick to one point of view.

What are your thoughts on handling large casts?

 

//in defense of kylo ren (spoilers)

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I actually sketched this before I saw the movie. LOL @ me.

 For at least a week now I’ve had friends telling me, “You’re going to be the worst Kylo Ren trash.” “Oh, man, Kylo is really gonna do you in.” “You need to see Kylo, okay.” “Seriously, it’s like Kylo was designed for you.” “Yes, you do need that Kylo Funko Pop.”

Needless to say, I was predisposed to feel something for Kylo – with people who know me this well telling me constantly how much he was going to wreck me, it would have been a bizarre anomaly if I felt nothing at all.

Kylo is intriguing right off the bat. Obviously powerful – he stops a blaster shot in mid-air and keeps it there – he’s made doubly mysterious by the fact we can’t see his face. He’s keenly observant, noticing Finn’s struggle on the battlefield – one storm trooper out of dozens. He’s extremely strong, but also surprisingly uncontrolled. As opposed to Darth Vader, who never let emotion get in his way until the end of Return of the Jedi, Kylo is an absolute drama queen. He wears a helmet because #DRAMA. He throws temper tantrums. Even the storm troopers are used to this by now, and they know it’s better to just walk away and let the Drama Queen have his moment.

Then we get the most interesting fact about him – it’s remarked more than once that he struggles with the light. The big, scary Sith, the First Order mascot, is not completely dark. Not even after all this time spent with the dark side, spent as an apprentice under Master Snoke. Kylo’s ability to function as an actual villain is constantly questioned by the other, worse villains.

‘I can handle this.’ ‘Dude, are you sure?’ ‘Yeah, totally.’ ‘Because you can, like, take a break or something. Like, you don’t have to do this. We can cover for you.’ [insert temper tantrum here]

Then we have the moment after he has captured Rey (and carried her bridal-style into his ship as per Villainy 101 regulations) when she wakes up and he’s simply crouched on the other side of the room, watching her. “Don’t be afraid,” he says.

(Because that’s also straight out of Villainy 101.)

Rey calls him a monster, and then asks him to take off his mask, which he does – because he doesn’t want her to see him as a monster. He takes it off as if to say see me. I’m not a monster. This is my real face. He And while many people were probably expecting someone older, or someone scarred, underneath the helmet is just…a human. A very young and strangely innocent-looking human; soft-spoken  and with the galaxy’s best hair.

He enters Rey’s mind, and out of everything he finds there, he chooses to tell her not to bother thinking of Han Solo as a surrogate father figure, because he will only disappoint her. The feelings behind this remark are very much a driving force for Kylo, as we find out that he’s Han Solo and Leia Organa’s son. There was ‘too much Vader in him,’ and so Leia ‘sent him away,’ and consequently ‘lost him.’ Kylo was abandoned by his parents, and those who feel abandoned or unwanted are very susceptible to seduction by the Dark Side. His parents literally sent him away because they were scared of him, and if you think a kid isn’t going to know this, you’re wrong.

Kylo wants to be powerful. He wants to be strong, as strong as his grandfather (because Kylo is the world’s biggest Darth Vader fanboy) – but there’s more to this. There is a reason we don’t know. We understand that he was seduced toward the Dark Side by Snoke, and we know that whatever happened during his training went so terribly wrong that Luke went into exile over the guilt. This is open for many theories – what happened? How did someone as light-filled as Kylo get seduced to the Dark Side? How did Snoke get ahold of him? Was it under Luke’s nose? What went wrong?

The novelization provides more insight.

He had trouble believing what he was hearing. “So Snoke was watching our son.”

“Always,” she told him. “From the shadows, in the beginning, even before I realized what was happening, he was manipulating everything, pulling our son toward the dark side.”

Ben’s transformation into Kylo was not a sudden overnight change of heart. It was a planned manipulation from the beginning. The Jedi order is very rarely compatible with extremely emotional people – Jedi are supposed to be passive, and Kylo is an extremely passionate, emotional person. Passivity would not sit well, it would be a bad fit. Even now, in present-day, Kylo is basically a tiny ball of light who really, really wants to be bad and is honestly so unconvincing that even his Master gives him the side-eye. A lot.

Kylo’s outbursts are also interestingly timed – the first being after Finn escapes, and the second being after Rey escapes. Both times, he was at fault. Unlike Vader, who destroyed others when they failed, Kylo’s anger is directed inwardly, toward himself and his own failures.

Han Solo’s death was hardly surprising to anyone, but the scene was emotionally painful. You can see the tragedy on Han’s face as he looks at his son and the person he has become, and in that moment Han makes the decision to try and win his son back one last time. This scene was the best scene in the movie visually, emotionally, and symbolically. The sun is fading, the energy from it shooting toward the destruction of another planet, but the light is still shining onto Kylo’s face as he speaks with his father for the first time in years.

Han urges his son to come home. He offers him another chance, and in that moment, we see Kylo’s struggle. He wants to come home. “I’m being torn apart,” he whispers. “I just want to be free of this pain.” ‘This pain,’ of course, being the struggle between light and dark; the thing ripping him in two. He says he knows what needs to be done, and he hands Han Solo his lightsaber.

This was an interesting gesture, because I truly believe that Kylo was about to change his mind. That the light inside him was going to win, that he was going to turn his back on the name Kylo Ren and perhaps become Ben again, because the parent who had abandoned him was offering to take him back. But ‘can you help me,’ as he hands his father a weapon, indicates that he didn’t believe he truly could come back, and if that’s true, then there is only one reason why he would be handing his father the saber. I think there is a good chance he wanted his father to kill him. Because what Kylo has been afraid of the whole movie isn’t death – it’s been his own weakness.

But then, in the most powerfully symbolic scene in the movie, the light fades as the sun goes dark and in that moment, so does Kylo. He transforms, and in the darkness, he finds the supposed ‘strength’ to do the one thing every Sith must – kill someone they love. And he does. But even as his father is dying, his last gesture is to reach out and touch not Kylo’s face, but Ben’s face. The face of his son.

Killing someone you love is supposed to symbolize your fearlessness. It’s supposed to be proof that you are truly transformed, that you are now in control, and no doubt that’s what Snoke wanted – but unlike what happens with other Sith, it has the opposite effect on Kylo. He doesn’t gain more control, he loses it. He doesn’t become fearless, he becomes more afraid. In his fight with Finn and Rey, his skill and power are obvious, but so is his desperation.

A brief note on Kylo’s actual strength: We’ve seen storm troopers get shot with the crossbow-blaster before, and upon being shot, they were thrown fifty feet in the other direction. Kylo, also a human, is shot with the same weapon and it barely phases him. He shakes it off and keeps fighting, and this itself shows enormous physical strength and strength of will, even in his uncontrolled state. His training has not yet been completed, and yet he is this powerful already. It’s interesting to consider how powerful he could be once his training is completed – if it ever is.

Kylo Ren has so much light still left in him that he has to physically cause himself pain in order to keep fighting, because the Dark Side feeds off pain. He is the antagonist, the protagonist, and the battleground of his own story. One thing about true Sith is the fact they are ruthless when harming others to further their own ends. They don’t care if they’re hurting someone else, and this is obviously not Kylo’s case. Kylo isn’t fighting Rey with mere anger or a heartless, stoic demeanor – Kylo is on the verge of breaking down, he’s holding back tears, he is fighting with himself as much as he is with Rey, if not more.

I find it hard to believe that the franchise would present us with such an emotional, sympathetic character if they weren’t planning to give him a redemption arc or, at the very least, giving us an even larger conflict to follow in the coming movies. There’s much about Kylo that we as viewers don’t know and can only theorize about, but they have given us the most emotionally conflicted Sith in cinema history. There is more potential for light and goodness, for redemption, than ever before and that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I am so invested in Ben Solo.

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also look at the newest addition to the family

 

//meet the menagerie

The Dying of the Light

Justice, loyalty, betrayal, and insane fashion.

This morning was #thatawkwardmomentwhen you roll out of bed, take your first sip of coffee, and realize NaNo is in three days. Not only is NaNo in three days, but there are large gaps in your plot, the middle is saggy, and you haven’t properly introduced your characters to your blog readers yet. This is a drastic shame, since this is not only one of my favorite casts, but also (definitely) my weirdest-looking one as well. Seeing as how much of the cast is composed of Jrock members (and not just the normal kind, we’re talking the insane visual kei, makes-David-Bowie-look-unimaginative kind), I’ve decided that apparently in futuristic, feudal Japan every samurai has his or her own stylist.

(Not really. But considering the hair and clothing I’m granting these people, it would make sense. Either that, or they’re anime characters in novel format, which I am also okay with.)

Since I almost always post exclusively about NaNo during the month of November (it’s what happens when you undertake something all-consuming each year, I’m sorry) I thought it a good idea to make character introductions so you at least have a vague, slippery idea of who’s who.

I’ll be introducing the characters top to bottom, left to right (I almost said ‘left to write.’ My friend Eli did that this morning, too. Real-life foreshadowing, people) with brief bios that I hope are helpful. Although I have the feeling they might just confuse everyone further. Oh, well.

TDODLcast

Saizou (Robin Hood)

Saizou has a strong sense of justice and a kind heart. Haunted by the war, he is thoughtful, with a random sense of humor and severe PTSD. 33 years old.

Tsuki (Marian)

Proud and high-born, Tsuki will act enthusiastically on her beliefs, no matter the danger. She tends to get wrapped up in her own endeavors and forgets those around her. With the help of her bodyguard, Kiba, she works against the oppressive system. 23 years old.

Kiba

Assigned to protect Marian when she was three and he was twenty, he has lived the better half of his life attempting to keep her alive and relatively safe. He has a grim sense of humor and a realistic outlook. 40 years old.

Matahachi (Guy of Gisbourne)

His father and family were dishonored when he was a child. He has risen through the ranks, and his entire focus is to bring honor back to his family. He does the wrong things for what could be considered the right reason. Polite, focused, and restrained. 31 years old.

Shi, sometimes called Deaths-Head (Much)

Disfigured in the war when he saved Saizou’s life, he is Saizou’s self-proclaimed bodyguard, and the under-appreciated voice of reason. Patient and clever, he’s the glue that holds the outlaws together. 30 years old.

Haka (The Sheriff of Nottingham)

The head of the Tokyo Shinsengumi (police force), he is addicted to hoshihokori (‘stardust’), a powerful opiate. Unhinged, paranoid, ruthless, and maybe not actually as bad as he seems, he proves to be a huge nuisance for Saizou and the outlaws. 35 years old.

Kirikizu, sometimes called the Broken Siren (Alan a’Dale)

An assassin for Prince-Regent Mamushi, he wears an elaborate custom-made muzzle that filters his voice into robotic tones. The sound of his real voice kills those who hear it. Expressive and soft-spoken. 26 years old.

Honey

A bartender-slash-mechanic, she’s trying to live without drawing attention to herself, as gaijin (foreigners) are unwelcome in the current climate. She has a brotp with the cyborg she put together, and she may or may not have a thing for Kirikizu. 23 years old.

Shotgun (Little John)

Known for winning a ten-against-one fight with a shotgun (which he never fired), Shotgun is an outspoken troublemaker who speaks before he thinks. Kindhearted but not overly brainy, much of his life is spent trying to fix the messes he accidentally creates. 29 years old.

Winter (Friar Tuck)

A former mercenary turned hardcore priest, Winter is unsociable and usually in a bad mood. He is fiercely protective of those he loves and tries to do the right thing, even if it kills him. He has CIP, rendering him unable to feel pain. 37 years old.

Hiro (Will Scarlet)

An albino whose condition caused him to be ostracized and experimented on as a child (futuristic Japan is extremely superstitious, in case you wondered), he tries to live as quietly as possible and stay out of everyone’s way. He has perfected the art of stealth and blending in, but is also quite deadly. 34 years old.

Riza

A technological genius and lunatic asylum escapee, she has been a havoc-wreaking outlaw long before Saizou and the others band together. She pretends to believe in aliens to watch their reactions. 25 years old.

Sweater Girl

I literally know nothing about her yet except she isn’t fond of technology, and she’s one of the rare people who actually listens to Shi. Also, she’s adorable. 22 years old.

Virgo, sometimes called the Raptor

A bounty hunter with more issues than Vogue, he was born with a rare eye disease rendering his pupils brilliant blue and giving him the ability to see clearly in the dark. He should be kept on a leash at all times. He loves his younger twin brother more than life. 30 years old.

Alucard, also known as the Creepy Goth Germophobe

A Frankensteinian assassin created by the royal family, he believes he has a higher calling – and that higher calling happens to be killing those he’s ordered to kill. He has a two-headed hound, and he refuses to touch anything alive with his bare skin, believing it would ‘taint’ him. Delusional and elegant. 2 months old, give or take a few weeks.

Shimo, sometimes called the Bloodhound

Virgo’s younger twin brother, he was born with an unnaturally keen sense of smell. Practical, sensible, and constantly trying to keep a check on his brother’s outrageous behavior, he would like to live quietly once they’ve made enough money to settle down somewhere peacefully. He has a dormant disease he is unaware of. 30 years old.

Prince Regent Mamushi (Prince John)

The Emperor’s loathsome, scheming younger brother. He’s unspeakably horrid and I hate him a lot. Also, he rides a mechanical dragon. 36 years old.

The Dog

A pitiful but dangerous figure, the Dog is a man raised as an animal in the royal court. He dislikes Haka greatly. The feeling is mutual. 29 years old.

Not Pictured Because There Wasn’t Enough Room

Otter

The chief mutt (mutant animal) handler who reports to Haka. She is tiny and fierce and quite brilliant. 22 years old.

Kai Ningyu

The cybernetic bouncer-slash-jack-of-all-trades who works at Honey’s bar. He’s very useful and unintentionally sarcastic. 30-odd years old.

I TOLD YOU THIS CAST WAS WEIRD.

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//the four times I was a fictional character

Several weeks ago my friend Izzy asked me if I’d ever done a blog post about characters who were me. I asked exactly what she meant, and she said ‘you know, characters who reminded you exactly of you.’ [I’m paraphrasing there; we’ve had many conversations since then and I didn’t try to sift back for the phrase ver batum.] I said I hadn’t, but the idea sounded like a kick and so I probably would.

Today has been an odd week for me mentally – my brain feels scattered between every writing project I have and as a result, I’ve written one chapter and drawn a picture and a half, and frequently ditched both to read or talk with friends. So I thought, what better time to put up a random post about fictional personality doppelgangers?

The first and most obvious is Penelope Garcia from Criminal Minds. I’ve lost track of how many times people – both friends and random strangers – tell me, “You really are Garcia!” In fact, it’s because of these remarks that I ever started the show and realized wow, they weren’t kidding. Penelope and I have the same sarcastic, frequently inappropriate sense of humor, an off-beat sense of style, a love of people but a need for solitude. We’re both extremely protective of our private space and hate to have it invaded, but we’re outgoing and friendly around people we love and care about. Plus, we both share the INFP personality type – so basically we’re both wisecracking manic pixie dream girls. It is, in a word, fabulous. [Also, Babygirl is a nickname of mine thanks to this.]

The second is Shigure from the anime Fruits Basket. A few months ago, a group of friends (we call ourselves the F5 – both as a play on the F4 from Boys Over Flowers, and because the ‘F’ stands for fudge and there are five of us) and we were talking about which characters we were from various animes. I cast us as characters from Fruits Basket, but everyone else agreed I was, without a doubt, Shigure. An easy-going, sometimes ridiculous but always well-meaning writer who takes delight in tormenting his editor and attempting to keep his younger relatives from killing each other, I connected instantly with Shigure (which, given some of his characteristics, might be a little worrisome) and the way he reacts to everyone around him is identical to the way I react to people around me. [Plus, we were both born in the Chinese year of the dog – which I thought was hilarious.]

The third is Radagast the Brown. A few days ago my friends Pepper and Sarah were discussing personality types in the Hobbit movies, and we agreed that while Frodo is often cast as an INFP, that’s definitely wrong. Half-jokingly I said, “If anyone’s an INFP in Middle-Earth, it’s probably Radagast,” and immediately Sarah replied, “THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT I THOUGHT.” The more we thought about it, the funnier it became, because it was so accurate. My soul is, in fact, a solitary wizard who talks to animals and keeps to himself until trouble arises, when he’ll gladly lead enemies on a merry chase. He’s really a very great wizard…he just hides the fact very well.

The fourth was supplied by Izzy. “R2D2,” she said. At first I thought she was joking but she assured me no, she can’t watch Star Wars without thinking of me every time R2D2 has a part. When I asked exactly what her reasoning for this was (I couldn’t decide whether I was totally flattered or totally confused) she said, “Because you’re both sassy and bad***.” I decided I could live with that. [Besides, now I have an excuse to watch Star Wars for the umpteenth time and see exactly what she’s talking about.]

This may seem like a pretty short list, considering how many things I read and watch, but I’m not good at noticing myself and usually need other people to do it for me – so if you’ve ever thought I was a fictional character, go right ahead and let me know! What about you? Have you ever had people compare you exactly to a fictional character? Was it flattering or a grievous error on said person’s part?