But first some news: I've gotten back to work on Defying Gravity (944 words plus lots of notes on Saturday, 1363 words plus a few more notes on Sunday) and if I don't keep up with it, someone please send a pack of rabid gophers after me. Except that makes it seem like I'm counting on others to motivate me, which I am not -- so maybe I should go find some rabid rodents myself. Hah. I'm excited to be working on the story again and always get very into writing; the problem is that I just can not focus, like so many in my generation. I close the e-mail program and even the web browser and just try to write, but I'm very good at going off on tangents in my head without anyone giving me outside stimulus; they're usually about my story (hence writing lots of notes) but I do get through individual scenes more slowly that way. I want to boost my speed and my focus. (How long has THAT been a goal? But maybe I'm taking more effective measures this time?)
One of the things I've decided is that time that would otherwise be spent writing should not be spent talking about writing, which is bad for this journal. That said, right now is lunch time and I wouldn't be working on the novel anyway, and I also do want to finish the writing meme! So here it is!
17. Who is your favorite protagonist and why?
I'm assuming this means of my own protagonists, but Day 11 asked me which character I liked to write about the most. These are pretty similar questions, but I'll try to emphasize the difference there by saying that Celeste (whom I had said was difficult to write about) is actually one of my favorite protagonists, because I sympathize with her dilemmas so readily. But I have to say that Azilie is also a current favorite. (I started on her novel when I had just arrived in Japan and therefore bought a lot of things I would use for the whole trip, like a bag and a bike, in orange, a color I previously didn't like that much. I'm also wearing a bright orange shirt today. Hahaha.)
But hmm, favorite protagonist is kind of "the central question," so much so that it's already been asked once and I feel I have nothing new to say about this. So let's do another question.
18. Who is your favorite antagonist and why?
This is a much more interesting question, if primarily because I'm realizing that most of my stories seem to be person vs. society or person vs. self. I'm thinking through my characters and having trouble finding anyone who's really an antagonist. The ones I do have are not all bad, and tend to be representatives of society more than actual negative individuals. Wow...yeah...the more I think about this this more I see that's the case. I mean, I wouldn't say Melissa Carlson was an antagonist as she was one of the title characters of my Carlson Septs stories, but she was the easiest way for society to get its nefarious claws into the story, haha. (And she also suffered the most with person vs. self for that reason!)
I'm trying now to think of ANY antagonists in my story at all. Huh. Liely in Azilie's story might be, but she's really just another Personification of Society, and she's one of Azilie's "friends" (in the way that word is used in middle school). Ummm...well, there's the guy who was most commonly referred to as Vergeros who threw Celeste out of a skyscraper. Yeah, I'm pretty sure he counts as an antagonist.
And now that I think about it, I should write more antagonists, because it is interesting and worthwhile to see how someone could go bad, or what motivates them to do what they may see as good even though it's against society's interest. (I suppose there are also antagonists who are just plain against your main character, but not against society or some Greater Good. Just a Person 1 vs. Person 2. As I think about it now, I have close to 0 interest in that kind of story. Who cares which of them wins if I as a read have no reason to sympathize with either side? It's like cheering for Spain or the Netherlands. I looked for a reason to pick one side or the other, but I just had no particular connection to either side. Now, cheering for my home team is different because that stands for something.)
But yeah, on writing antagonists -- I mean, I'm ready to make people who ARE evil into sympathetic characters in order to figure out what makes them evil. (I put the school shooting story down for a while; I could only sustain that story for so long before I needed something cheerful, but I still think there's an important story there.) So in a story like that, the evil person isn't even an antagonist. I guess that counts as an antihero of sorts -- a protagonist who does something terrible and who you're not supposed to like and want to succeed, but whose head you get into nevertheless.
I'm on a roll so I'm gonna do another question!
19. Who's your favorite minor character who decided to shove himself into the spotlight and why?
Hmmmmmm. This hasn't happened to me that much; or at least, they do so at such early stages that I realize they're important characters before delegating them to "minor" status. But let's see. Cozoqui, in Altitude*, is a minor character with a significant past, who I like to write about, and who I want to give more time in the story if possible. In Defying Gravity, Solar is one of my favorite characters; he's not very complex, I'm afraid (he doesn't need to be) but I haven't written that many boys as characters so he's fun to write. I want to give him more time, but at this point that would seem forced. Wedge Bowden and Mena the Aviatrix are two other characters I really want to be important in my story, but I'm finding they might not be. So I guess you could call that "shoving themselves into the spotlight," even though they don't belong there. But they do have really interesting characters. Mena, frankly, is not very nice. But because of her, I get to use the word "aviatrix." That's enough of a reason to shove anyone into the spotlight.
And now I'm just rambling about characters most people here don't even know, so I shall stop.
Time to finish my lunch.
* My mom commented when we were at Borders the other day that a certain popular and terrible series ruined the previous name of that series. She is right. Oh well, I had decided to call it Altitude even before that really awful book was published.