Friday, February 19, 2016

If They Were Real . . .

As a general rule, we writers love our characters, and tend to joke about how our characters hate us because of what we put them through, or how they're not cooperating with our plans, or such. (Though . . . it's not always a joke.) But what would they really think of us if they knew us as people, not authors? If we went to their worlds or they came to ours, and we met, how would we get along? That's the question I'm answering for five of my characters this Friday!
  1. Rachelle Firhirt (Berstru Tales) and I would probably get along famously, whether or not she knew I was her author . . . but, then again, Rachelle gets along with pretty much everyone. She loves to meet new people and learn about their lives (and share her own with them), and she's always ready with a smile and a helping hand. Of course, if she were real outside my head, my life would probably be a lot more exciting . . . not all of it by my choice! I'd be happy to get a dragon ride or two with her and Skyla, don't get me wrong. However, while Rachelle and I share an appreciation for adventure, I prefer to get my share of it through books, and Rachelle would rather live hers- and bring all her friends (me included, in this case) along for the ride!
  2. In theory, Prince Hayden of Aldurna (fairy tale retellings) should also get along well with me. The problem? We'd never actually talk. He's not unfriendly, but he'd rather observe than talk. And while I might say hello, I'm not great at, y'know, conversation. And since Hayden's one of my favorite characters, I'd either be getting really excited (and, unfortunately, making him doubly wary of me) or kind of just being in awe (which is not helpful for intelligent conversation). So . . . if we could actually, by some miracle, get a conversation going, we'd probably be good. But otherwise? Nope.
  3. Speaking of characters who I'd be kind of in awe of if I met them outside my head, Gwen Alyron would probably find me off-putting for the same reasons she does her sister Emma: Emma and I both view her, to some degree, as someone we wish we could be but know we never will. (I'm ok with that, for the record. Emma, not so much.) We see her as a hero and an adventurer and a leader and someone who knows what she's doing. And she is all those things . . . but she doesn't always feel like she is. And while neither Emma or I would say these things out loud, well, Gwen's a mindreader, and she'd know every word of it anyway. She'd also know that I know her failings, her weaknesses- and that would make things even more awkward. But, if we could work past that, I think Gwen and I could be friends- just not close ones.
  4. On the other hand, neither Jared Alyron (Berstru Tales) or Jason Silver (fairy tale retellings) would have a problem with me- but I might have one with them! In-story, I love these two. They're fun to write, they get strong reactions from other characters, they have the best banter . . . but in real life? They'd annoy me just as much as they annoy their fellow characters. And while I wouldn't go so far as Poppy does and actually slap either of them, I'd probably be tempted. (Jarek Gilleth (Between Two Worlds), though? He's the same character type, but much nicer- and so, while I might end up flustered a lot around him because I couldn't think of a good repartee to his teasing, we'd still get along.) 
  5. Finally, Ariana Nernathon and I already know each other, after a fashion . . . and since she's a bardess, there's no way she wouldn't know I'm her author. And so there's a chance she might have some pointed words for me . . . but once she'd had her say, and I'd defended my position, and we'd both stopped being annoyed, we'd chat over favorite books and legends, and I'd lend her The Lord of the Rings and she'd let me borrow some of her books and scrolls (which would either be useful, so I'd know what they'd say and could reference them in the story, or useless, as I'd have to make up everything on them). So, I think in the end, we'd end up being friends.
What about you? How do you think you and your characters would get along if you met in real life? Please tell me in the comments- or even in a blog post of your own!
Thanks for reading!
 -Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)   


  1. Nightshade? Queen du Karel? There were no antagonists on your list… :(

    I think Liel (MC of The Teller's Apprentice) and I would get along well together…once Liel gets over his initial reservations, that is. (Liel does not make friends well. He's kind of a social outcast even while being the Teller's apprentice. The friends he makes, though, he is completely loyal to.)

    Ronis the Teller…he'd probably talk me into a corner. I might be able to write witty things, but I don't think of them as fast as I can write them…and Ronis the Teller is never lost for words.

    I'd get along quite well with Rill Gaps, actually. He'd try to annoy me; I would respond much the same as Liel, with a mixture of annoyance/banter.

    I would definitely get along very well with Eryon. We're very similar people. We'd talk about many things. I'd love to pick his brain. And to think that my current antagonist (he won't be the antagonist in the second draft) is the most like me. What does that say about me, I wonder? :P

    Krall/Omar Mortis and I would not get on well together at all. Krall would try to kill me. He's a manipulator, very careful in his plotting and planning, and has lived a life of betrayal, betraying and being betrayed. Given that he's a good deal shorter than me, I think I'd have a size and strength advantage over him when it came to a fight…but if he's armed and I'm not, I'm not sure where this would go.

    I'm not sure how well I would get along with the rebellion…Bela Hwain, Tokar and Runan Pike. Bela would be very, very suspicious of me. Tokar wouldn't talk. (He doesn't like talking at all. He prefers to do things.) Runan is a bit too excitable for my tastes, and I doubt I could get him to talk about serious things…it takes a good bit more than a simple conversation to breach his wildness.

    1. That's because . . . well, mostly because I didn't think of putting them on there. But, since you asked . . .

      Queen du Karel and I would not get along. Or, rather, I wouldn't get along with her. She'd pretend to get along with me, at least when we first met, because that's what she does with everyone: she does her best to convince them that she's a friend or ally so she can manipulate them. Even if she doesn't think she can use you, she'll act nice for two reasons: to try to catch you off-guard (or at least put you on edge), and to present a good public image (powerful and cunning, but at the same time admirable, likable, and a good leader- contrary to the portrayal of Unmen in history and legends). That way, she doesn't have to take over a country by force- she just arranges things so that the people think that putting her in charge is their own idea. (Un)fortunately, I'd know exactly what she's up to, so her act would just be exhausting for me to deal with . . . and that's the best possible outcome. Worst-case scenario, she decides I'm an enemy, but one who can be useful, and so decides to mind-control me. (Which raises the question: if a character tries to mind-control their author, can it succeed?)

      Nightshade and I . . . we wouldn't be friends, I don't think. But if she didn't know I was her author, and if I was careful about what I said, we also wouldn't be enemies. She might appreciate having someone interested in her life and someone who she doesn't feel she has to impress or terrify or manipulate; I'd appreciate being able to find out more about her. So . . . we'd get on, I suppose, once we got to talking.

      Your problem with Ronis the Teller is exactly the same problem I'd have with Jared and company. :P Though I expect he'd still be interesting to meet, just not fun to talk to for a long time?

      What your similarity to Eryon says about you . . . possibly that we should all be grateful you're using your powers for good? Or possibly that you're aware of what you could be, and therefore you can make sure you don't become that person? (BTW, if he's not going to be your antagonist in your second draft, what will he be?)

      Thanks for commenting- I enjoyed reading your answers to the question!

    2. Did you use Nightshade in a roleplay once? The name seems familiar to me...

      Interesting post, Sarah! I always like thinking about what our characters might think of us (assuming they didn't hate us because of the way we've unwittingly manipulated their lives).

      From my books, I think that Nayram'e Arrowflight and I would get along quite well. We are similar in many ways, though she is significantly more motivated and physcally-minded than I. But despite our different backgrounds, we would find a lot of common ground.

      Alan Channing, (from a story I haven't talked about yet), is quite a bit older than me, and his main interests are in advanced science, but personality-wise I think we would click. His good friend, Quinn Sullivan, is very eccentric, and we would get along well just for the fun of it. XD

      As for an antagonist... let me think. Andelph, from Quest for the Ivory Sword, would greet me cordially, but he probably wouldn't think me important enough to have a real conversation with. But if he did, he might try to recruit me to his rebellion so that he could use my writing to inspire people to join him.

    3. I did- she was one of the antagonists in the Battle! thread for a while. :) Though it's more of I invented Nightshade for the Battle! thread and then used her in my novel . . .

      Interesting answers! I'm rather amused by your prediction about Andelph.

      Thanks for reading!

  2. Oh my gosh I love this idea. I guess I never really thought about interacting with my characters before?? Now I must go sit in the corner and dwell about this for a little while.

    *comes back from the corner*

    I think I'd get along with most of my characters, actually. I don't think any of them would turn out to be my BEST FRIEND, but I think I could get along with them well and invite them to pizza parties. :P

    1. Danke! I'm glad you and your characters would get along . . . that's always a good thing. :)
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. Aydel and I would get along okay, but we might argue about whether or not my life is boring and she would secretly annoy me a bit. I have a friend with a similar personality.

    Leisa and I would get a wonderfully, if we could get started talking. That could be a problem though. Conversation could fizzle out into nothing.

    If I met Joane I'd be a little afraid of her and probably try to avoid her or at least feel really uncomfortable and she wouldn't think much of me.

    Wil doesn't really talk to girl and I don't talk to guys much, so nothing would happen there most likely. But if circumstances were right we could get into a deep conversation.

    Mim is really friendly to everyone, but we don't have much in common.

    1. Thanks for answering! I sympathize about Leisa and Wil . . .

  4. This is an absolutely awesome idea for a post!! XD I LOVE IT. And I love that you have some characters you would get on well with...honestly?! I WOULDN'T GET ON WITH ANY OF MINE. XD They are all antisocial snarky melons and I am an anxious grape so I'd just hide from them. And try and avoid dying, also. OMg WHY DO I WRITE SUCH MEAN PEOPLE?! I need to rethink...just in case book characters come to life someday...XD

    1. Thank you! :D And I have some characters like that . . . but I write fewer of them than I used to because if all my characters are grumpy, I don't want to write. :P

  5. Such a cool post! I want to meet your characters. XD

    I think I'd get along with most of mine, bar the villains, who would either treat me like a dust bunny or want to kill/maim me. XP

    I'd have a hard time talking to them (protags and antags) as people instead of as an Author, though. As an Author, I love figuring out where their stories go and learning everything I can about them. As a person, I'd be the type to nod to them during a party and, if forced, attempt small talk (that would probably come out in an awkward mess). :P

    1. Danke! I have the Berstru stories up online, if you want to read those? The others . . . who knows?

      Heh. Yeah, villains are trouble most of the time . . . though, is it better if they want to kill you or if they want to manipulate you?

      I do know what you mean there . . . but I'm semi-comfortable in conversation if I know the person? So since I know the characters, I could probably talk to them ok.


I'd love to hear your thoughts! But remember: it pays to be polite to dragons.