Monday, May 5, 2014

30-Week Writing Survey: Week 5: Youngest and Oldest Characters



Today's question: By age, who is your youngest character? Oldest? How about “youngest” and “oldest” in terms of when you created them?

Another difficult question since my stories usually follow people long enough that they change ages. :/

Negative One, my webcomic, featured baby Amanda literally from the time before she was born, so since the webcomic actually showed her on the ultrasound machine while her mom was telling the story, she probably counts as my "youngest" character. I gotta say I adored writing about the baby. :) 

The story didn't actually enter her head as a relay point for narration until she was two years old, though, so protagonist-wise actually my "youngest" character is someone else. . . .

And that would be Delia of Bad Fairy. She remembers being born (erm, that's kind of one of the quirks of being a fairy; they don't take a couple years to learn how to make memories like humans do, so a lot of them remember being born), and her birth is the beginning of Chapter 1 of her story.

As for oldest, that's tough 'cause again what do you use as the reference point? Obviously if you're talking about protagonists and you're measuring in years on the planet then Delia wins hands down (again). Any given century she probably wouldn't be able to tell you how old she is without doing some research. Being aligned with the archetypal goddess of death and rebirth has some advantages, y'all. If we're not considering nigh-immortal fantasy characters, though, my oldest character is probably Kamber's grandmother in my novella Bloom. She's pretty awesome and doesn't have a name.

However, if I'm not restricted to talking about protagonists, I have a character who's older than Delia. In my short story "The Curse," a character known only as The Keeper of the Sight is approximately forty thousand years old. ("Give or take a few thousand," he jokes in the story.) Holy crap!

My most recently created characters are Hope and the unnamed narrator in my latest short story "Hope Came Out." If I'm restricted to novels, the characters of my novel Stupid Questions win--Brian is the "newest" notable novel character from that book.

The oldest character I can remember creating for fiction writing was a girl named Michelle in a book I tried to write when I was in elementary school. I didn't finish it and the manuscript didn't survive; I threw it away (though actually I DO still have a couple drawings of her). I don't know what got into me. I almost always keep everything. 

A couple short story characters popped up, like Wendy West from a short story I wrote in fifth grade (the short story is adorable, you should read it), and then my earliest novel character from a novel I actually finished was Cristabel from Double Vision of course.

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