Been getting some good writing done lately, and some bad writing as well. I don't care, I love it all. Ive also been thinking about characters alot lately and not just my own. When someone asked Robert E Howard back in the day how he d come up with the idea of Conan, Howard said, I didn't, he just came in one night and sat down at the kitchen table and it went from there. Thats strictly a paraphrase, but close enough to be nearly an exact quote.
The point is tho, I started really thinking about my characters and where they'd come from. Ive never built a character, I just interpret their stories, and through the interpretations I learn who they are, their goals, passions, hatreds, and their fears. And while I get some insight into their futures (ie, based on their lifestyles and experiences I can pretty much guess when they will die or if they'll be forever immortalized within the pages of the story) there are things that I still dont know, and may never know about them.
Take Sir Odon for instance. The first time I met him was when he was riding south through a snow storm across the southern baronies. I knew he was old and I knew he was sick--I even knew he d been a great Knight of Vorcikia! But I knew little else besides that. I wont say anything more to prevent spoilers for those who haven't yet read Hero of Twilight but I was surprised by much of his past.
Bathmal is another good example and his story is still ongoing. I actually knew alot about him before I met him, but Im learning more and more about him everyday.
And what about Arthur and his trolls? When I saw them marching across the Wherrta desert, you know I had to find out what was up with that...and boy did I find out!
And the list could go on, from the nameless, desperate king I chronicled in Lost in Shadow to Jalok, who s the oldest and most well known to me of all my characters, and whose story has been told, and still yet to be told all at the same time.
I'm rambling here a bit, but I guess what I'm trying to say is that my procedure for character creations resembles that of the late , great Mr. Howard. They're real, my characters, because I make them real, and I can end their existences anytime I want, but they grow till such a time on their own.
The stories they exist within are another matter entirely, but thats a topic for another day.
And speaking of Bathmal, I need to pay a visit to his world right now. Someones been late on their rent.