Sunday, October 5, 2014

We All Come From One

I have now completed two first drafts of novels, both with females staring as the main character and telling the story. Parts of me live in them, parts of them live in me. Now that I am on my third, with another female MC, I thought it might be time to reflect on el pasado.

Fanny is the teller of Whispers. Fanny came out of the MBTI test as an ISFJ. This means she shares the same personality as my mother, and the more I thought about it, the more I came to believe that they are very similar. Fanny has a troubled past that has been building up for 10 years, and as she comes to her last year of school, she is paralysed. She doesn't think she can move on past her safe school environment, and starts to stall for time as friends start pressuring her to pick a University and Courses.

Rather than make a choice, she starts thinking about continuing with her small horse training business, even though she isn't enjoying it anymore. The mother figure in her life notes this, and suggest that she loans her horse, Kizzy, to a family for a few weeks during the summer break while she goes half-way around the world to Europe where she can relax and think about life away from her stressful home.

The trip to Europe changes Fanny forever, and she is able to open up about her past and deal with some of the issues she has. I guess for me, Fanny was messy character to portray, because she was a mash of me, and the complete opposite of me, and it was a bit like 'oh my, is that really how I think/feel?' If Fanny and I met, I think I would find Fanny a little bit annoying.

Fanny has two songs, Amsterdam by Imagine Dragons, and I Lived by OneRepublic

Azar is the teller of Playing With Fire. Azar came out of the MBTI test as an ISTJ. I was confused by this, as I set out for her to share my personality (INTJ), but when I thought about it, I realised that she was a very 'concrete' thinker compared to me. Azar lost her parents in her early teens, and promptly took a vow to avenge their deaths, and she will balance on the edge of living and dying to do this.

Her whole life, Azar has been used by people. She is a pawn in her Uncle, the Kings game. She is a pawn in her maids game. She is a pawn in the Talented's game. She is a pawn to the kingdom. Azar's only chance at freedom is to take up her legacy, something that will make her Uncle very angry. Never one to listen to authority, Azar goes ahead with following her parents footsteps.

She joins up with three other teens, Ruwa, Seeta and Cre. She must learn to work in a team, trust others and make her own decisions. For the first time in her life, she realises the power she really holds, a power that means lives could be lost. Each new piece of knowledge leads her closer to finding out who killed her parents, but she has to remember that her actions affect her team.

When I was writing Azar, like with Fanny, there was a lot of me in her. I took out many of my journals to help me show her emotions, and remember what they felt like. If I meet Azar, I would be a lot more comfortable with her than Fanny because in many ways we are interchangeable.

Azar has two song, Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys and Battle Cry by Imagine Dragons

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The weird thing about the two of them is that they only difference between their MBTI in that Fanny is more about 'feeling' while Azar is a 'thinker', but if you put them together, they are two completely different people when it comes to making decisions. These decisions help drive the story, and Fanny bases it on how she feels, while Azar will think about it.

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And now, time for el futuro.

Amber is the teller of Paper Hearts & Other Miscellaneous Things. Amber came out of the MBTI test as an ISFJ. It would seem I am back to dealing with what bothers me, places in my mind I want explore where the S and F come from. Back to someone like Fanny. It is still early days, so her personality may change and evolve.

Amber is stuck in Coal Creek, and has no desire to leave. She likes the security she has there, friends, family, people and streets she knows. Amber pretends to have forgotten about the most painful event of her life, losing her best friend when he moved away. She says she has moved on, packed away the photographs.

When Ruben returns to Coal Creek, the past is dug up all over again, and Amber has to face it. She tries several methods, but eventually has to admit to Ruben how much he hurt her when he broke every one of his promises. Each chard of the past has to be picked up and carefully tapped to the matching piece, stretching Amber's nerves even further: to breaking point.

If Amber and I meet, it would be awkward. I don't think I would find her annoying exactly, but I wouldn't be comfortable either. Much of what Amber is going through I only have a basic grasp on, however her observations of the world are mine, and I have been collecting them for a while now, so I would get the way she sees the world.

Amber's songs are Everybody Hurts by R.E.M and Burning Bridges by OneRepublic

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In your WIP, or finished drafts/novels, are your characters like you? Or are you complete opposites? Do you find them challenging to write? Would you get along with them if you met? 

11 comments:

  1. I am actually an ISTJ, and even when I try, it is much too hard for me to write characters who are like me. ISTJs are a little bit boring, if we're completely honest, and I always take the time to liven them up—and then they are not like me anymore!

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    1. Hmm. The interesting thing about personalities I guess, is that while a person knows what they would like to do (because it's in their personality), they won't necessarily do it- and this can cause guilt and other side issues in the story that become part of the character.
      I love ISTJ's because you guys are good at being honest and tend to make careful choices that you think through first. Boring in the sense that you follow all the rules, but very knowledgeable and loyal people - I think you are great :)
      I keep trying to follow your blog, but it comes up with an error message each time :/

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    2. I agree, a character has a lot more options to become something else than a regular person... The author has a lot of freedoms that life doesn't always give, and so that's kind of what makes our characters interesting.

      :) Yeah, in real life ISTJs can be great, and I like being one myself. Perhaps what I didn't make clear is that in books we're sort of boring. I mean, if our characters made careful choices all the time, they wouldn't be in half the messes they get into! Characters who are a little more careless and emotionally unstable are a little more interesting for readers—or at least that's what I've noticed.

      Yeah, sometimes people have complained about that, and I don't even know why it happens. My best advice would be to give it a few hours (sometimes the Internet just needs to give itself a time out) and then try again. And I would try both the follow button in the gadgets bar or actually plug in the URL on your dashboard. *shrugs* Good luck.

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    3. Thats the beauty of being the author :)

      You're so right! I can remember a book I read where one of the characters was distinctively ISTJ, and she was getting into trouble because of her friends, not because it was something she liked doing. Careless and emotionally unstable are defiantly are more interesting read for me!

      Ok, I will try that then :)

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    4. What book was it, if I may ask? The only book I know of with a distinct ISTJ (though I've exposed to myself to at least five or six movie/stage productions) is Les Mis by Victor Hugo, with the character Javert.

      And it would be nice to read a story with an ISTJ who did not commit suicide at the end. XD

      :) Thanks for the follow.

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    5. I can't remember sorry :/ She just stuck out in my mind because it was different. If I remember I will defiantly let you know!

      I can assure you Azar has no plans of committing suicide :)

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    6. Cool, thanks. And good—some of us have to have healthy world perspectives. XD

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  2. Sounds super duper interesting :) Personally, I'm an ESTP, which as far as I read only makes up 4% of the population, so I try not to make all my characters jumping of the walls, and some to be more sober. hehe, well.... Loved the little paragraphs on each character though, because it helps to know more about them =D

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    1. The twins in Paper Hearts & Other Miscellaneous Things are ESTP & ESFP - they are so fun to write! Sometimes I have to groan, but then you just laugh it off because its just a fun personality to be around :)

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  3. I took the test a little while ago and turned out to be an ENFP. It's surprising how accurate the descriptions of the tests are. O.o
    A few weeks ago I took the test as my characters. It was really interesting to see their results, and one of the MC turned out to be the same as me. That really helped me in a way so I can put more of "me" in when editing her character.

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    1. I know!! When I did the test and it came out as INTJ, I was like 'ok', and I read the descriptions. I was shocked that there were people who thought like me! It was like a second family :) I did the test several times over a few weeks, coming out with INTJ each time, and that satisfied me that the test was right.

      Putting aside 10 minutes to do the test on my characters has been some of the best character development I have ever done, and it really helps me to understand basic behaviour patterns and how they are likely to interact with the world. It also means that I can cheek that I have a range of characters.

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