Monday, May 24, 2021

Cookie Cutter Magic

 So the topic of the week is how to avoid making the same protagon9st in each book or series. 

Well, that's j=harder than you might think. Why do I say that? I've been accused of it, by a reviewer who really liked my stuff.

Apparently two characters from two different series were too similar for her.

Well, Hell, I could tell them apart. Lessee. One of the characters was an apprentice herbologist and the other was a blacksmith. One got his hands shattered. One was violently murdered. In the other circumstance, one was a soldier who became a general and one was a mercenary. They have absolutely nothing to do with each other except, apparently, they had similar personalities. 

I have nothing. There are entire stories with these characters that are RADICALLY different, so either the characters are reacting to situations in similar ways, or the reader is reading into this, or, maybe, I'm not so great at creating different characters. I mean, one is a career soldier who has never married. One is a husband with three kids. Did they have similarities/ Probably. the apprentice herbologist was shy. The blacksmith couldn't quite build u the nerve to talk to the girl he adored. The mercenary knew his way around a sword and so did the soldier. Did they look alike? Nope. Not even a little. Mercenary had red hair and worked a kilt. Soldier had dark hair going gray, and wore a uniform. 

The thing is, I write characters with backgrounds and histories and motivations. If they come across the same way I'm obviously doing something wrong, or the reader is listening to my voice and filling in gaps that I've not noticed. 

But you know what? I wnt back and read several passages from the books that pertained to those characters. Yeah, no, I can still see less similarities and more differences, so I didn't think it's me. 

Always try to approach these things with a critical eye, and always try to make certain you aren;t using cookie cutters to make your characters. y9our mileage may vary.

 I mean, they look different to me...

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