Monday, July 28, 2014

30-Week Writing Survey: Week 17: Favorite Protagonist



Today's question: Favorite protagonist and why!

I don't have a favorite.

I could say something fantastic about all of them, though I guess if I had to give some semblance of an answer to this then I'd have to go with the ones I have a really long history with--the ones I've spent the most time loving. My oldest protagonists are Delia from Bad Fairy and Ivy from the webcomic/the books I wrote in college. 

To be perfectly honest, Delia turns me into a useless puddle of rage and feelings every time I write about her, so I kind of hate her as much as I love her. I adore her unapologetic confidence in her abilities and her straightforward refusal to back down when people are challenging her or lying to her. And I can't freaking stand her snotty attitude and her elitism. The size of this girl's ego, oh my god. It's tough to write about it sometimes without letting my annoyance come out in the narrative. But I think the thing I love most about her is her thirst for knowledge and how unabashedly curious she is about her world. She's driven, and takes her art seriously, and is truly and fully committed to and inspired by her purpose. It's such a pleasure to see it manifest for her.

Ivy's pretty similar when it comes to confidence, but her inside is a lot softer. She doesn't know what people think about her and she worries about it. She's insecure in a loud, sullen way. So even though she and Delia both alienate people sometimes, Ivy is probably a little more fun to actually be around. She's certainly not as infuriating to write.

I like her balancing act between the sky and the ground. I like the surprising vulnerability that comes with being the most powerful person in the room anywhere she goes. I like it that she gets all sulky when people make a big deal out of her, but also gets all sulky when nobody makes a big deal out of her at all. I like that she's a living contradiction sometimes. I like that she has a ton of flaws, some of which she considers strengths. I like that she basically likes herself, but isn't sure if she knows herself. I like that she can be wise despite not being particularly smart. I like that she can have her moments of tenderness just minutes after having her moments of intense, scary rage. I like that she's willing to use her special strength to protect people she loves.

It's interesting how well her Zodiac sign sums her up, even though I didn't intentionally invent her during the sign of Leo (and July 31, the day I actually created her in real life, is the birthday I gave her in the books). Traditionally, Leos are very loving, loyal people who are protective, dramatic, creative, and good at leading others, but their drawbacks are being a bit vain, easily upset by others upstaging or outsmarting them, more sensitive than they like to admit, easily tricked by flattery, and egotistical. That's my girl--typical fire sign. (Incidentally, I'm not a follower of Zodiac mythology, but it's way too tempting to use archetypes and symbols when you're analyzing a character. ^__^)

And ultimately I guess I like Ivy because she is an honest character who evolved over time and is complex like any real person. She doesn't always learn from her mistakes. She doesn't always make the right decisions. She sometimes regresses or does things for reasons she doesn't understand. And sometimes she does exactly what she ought to do and makes me proud.

No comments:

Post a Comment