July 28th, 2010

Marquise

Once more unto the metrics (and meme), dear friends...

New words: 1089. And today book is being easy. Nice book.
First new line: Four men had gone in search of Gwgan by this route in the early morning.
Owain is drawing conclusions and wondering who is safe to question. Cadog is feeling helpful. Gif has sore paws.

Writing meme day 9. How do you get ideas for your characters? Describe the process of creating them.

Oh. That's a big one. The short answer is everywhere. I wrote before about how Joyain is partly inspired by the French tennis player Thierry Champion, who has such an interesting face. A character can arise from something or someone I've seen, something I've read or heard, or mis-read/heard. Valdarrien was an attempt to understand Aramis that took off in an entirely unexpected direction. Gracielis was a second attempt at the same thing, and went in another direction. Thiercelin began as a 'best friend' character, but he slowly revealed more and more about himself and became more and more engaging and interesting in himself. A lot of characters start as a 'what if': what if the clans-person is illegitimate (Iareth Yscoithi); what if the sister is prime minister (Yvelliane), what if the heiress is bored (Aude, and also Miraude, but in a different way), what if the captain is a radical (Jehan). Some characters just walk into the story -- Quenfrida is one of those, and so is Owain's friend Idwal. Some arise from me playing games while I walk or drive -- inventing a set of characters to be played by particular people led to the Cadre (Hsirei, Lienye, Sujhien and Qiaqia) in Grass King. Owain was a designed character -- I needed a main character who had the status and rank to have access to kings and bishops as well as ordinary people, who could travel relatively freely and who didn't have too many duties tying him to a particular place. That meant young, noble-born and male. The second sight was to give him a reason to engage with mysteries -- it's turned out to be a useful way of making him interesting to his king, too. Gaheris isn't mine (I really must do something with those stories) but while working on something else years ago, I came to the conclusion that Gareth and Gaheris may originally have been duplicates of one character. I also found that the common thing about Gareth being the nice one, Gawain's favourite and so on is mostly down to Mallory -- Gareth/Guerret is very minor until Mallory came along and wrote his tale; the one who is always with Gawain and is his favourite is Gaheris/Gaheriet. Plus I came across the imcomplete Gaheris tale that's part of the 2nd Continuation of Chretien de Troyes' Perceval and thought it was interesting, and then I do love an underdog, so...

Skirt of the day: panelled blue cotton.