Your Favorite Characters

It even has a lesson! How adorably cheesy.

I’ve been writing ever since I could pick up a pencil. This says nothing about the quality of my work, but it does demonstrate that I had a rather powerful affinity for writing from an early age. I remember writing a novella series when I was about eight called Broomfield Bridge, where a young boy notices a mysterious bridge that appears perfectly normal by day, but vanishes completely at night. I also remember writing a short story about a magical chair that could do anyone’s homework for them. I wrote so many stories of so many kinds, it was a wonder I was able to focus on anything else  in life.

Now that I’m a bit older and writing full-length novels with more detailed plots and deeper characters, I’m still having a lot of fun. The characters are actually some of the best parts of each book. I’ve completed one standalone book, working on two other standalone books, and I’m in the middle of two book series as well — that’s a lot of characters to deal with. As I’m getting close to finishing the second book in The Dream Sanctum series, I thought about all my characters and how much I’ve come to love all of them over the years.

Below is a list of some of my favorite characters, but I also want you to tell me about yours! If you’re not a writer, tell me about some of the best characters you’ve read.

I: David Daystorm: David is a character from the Worlds series, and is one of my favorites to write. He is the type of character who constantly, but subtly, breaks the fourth wall in an attempt to get his friends to see reason; he has a type of lucidity the other characters do not, and tries to prevent his world from turning into “one of those cheesy fantasy novels.” He is a source of comic relief, but also rather intelligent and talented. As a member of the most powerful magicians group in his world, he combines his skills with being an annoying goofball. David also makes a cameo appearance in every single book I’ve ever written.

Bethany Windfire, the dark magician. It certainly shows in her attitude. Fan art by Anne Teensma.

II. Bethany Windfire: Another character from the Worlds series, Beth is fiercely loyal, compassionate and hot-tempered, making her someone who is great to have as a friend, and unfortunate to have as an enemy. She is on the same team as David, and the two clash very, very often (primarily because she is one of David’s favorite targets). She is one of the characters who has a certain wisdom about her, and often serves as the advice giver to her closest friends. I honestly greatly enjoy writing her character because it matches who she is in real life so well: a good friend who values loyalty and common sense. (It should be noted that the vast majority of characters in the Worlds series are based on people in real life.)

III: Ali Beck: This character comes from Petals of Intrigue, and is one of the sort-of-main-characters. She’s energetic, social, ambitious and blunt, and is mostly responsible for bringing the reclusive main character out of her shell. She was fun to write mostly because she stuck out of the crowd. Everyone else is quiet, calm and placid, but Ali is more on the hyper side. Everything from her style of speech to her bright red hair just draws attention to the fact that she definitely does not come from the community she currently lives in. It was a nice change from the norm, and the main character was able to get along with her quite well. I will take a guess and say that if it weren’t for Ali’s presence, the book would have ended very differently.

IV: Alastor: Alastor is a character from The Dream Sanctum who is one of the most famous people in his world, but doesn’t really appear to know how to deal with it. He’s friendly, eccentric, somewhat awkward and kind of reclusive, but also serves as a mentor to the main character. In his world, he is known for his excellent control of his imagination, which has led him to be the champion of one of the world’s most challenging tournaments many years in a row. One of the things that makes him the most famous is his companion, Elvia, a girl with a flaming sword and few words, but who also does not exist. (Elvia is a creation of Alastor’s imagination, not a real person.)

V: Kwin: If I had to choose my number one favorite character out of every one I’ve ever written, Kwin would be it. She also comes from The Dream Sanctum, and was unusually fun to write. Originally she was supposed to be a side character, but she turned into one of the most popular main characters in the series (in various polls, she was voted the most popular character in every one). She is a ten-year-old prodigy with a very obvious dark and sadistic side, but while the face she puts on is stoic and controlled, she has an interesting past that largely influences who she is today. She is one of the deepest characters I’ve ever written, and I look forward to the next few books largely because she’s in them.

“Between Kwin and I we’re both pretty good, but she’s got the evil side. Not many ten-year-olds can give you shivers down your spine just by smiling at you.” –Alastor

So tell me about your favorite characters, whether you’ve written them or simply read them. What makes them so great, what made them your favorites?

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3 thoughts on “Your Favorite Characters

  1. This was an interesting question you posed, Daniel. Upon looking at my eight favorites I found a common thread .. characteristics that they all share in part. Thank you for asking.
    Theses are my favorite characters.

    Erin: Within a span of two days Erin’s parents are murdered and she discovers she has emerging psychic talents. She is shaky for a week then pulls herself together, faces her danger works out a disguise, finds allies and sets about tracking down the killers all the while she is in peril. You’ve got to love a gutsy young woman. I really enjoyed the strength and courage of this character. She is in two of my books and will be in a third.

    Tempo: This character is a little skunk (yes, the animal). He becomes one of Erin’s companions in her quest and is himself in danger a few times. He has depth, loyalty, appeal and also provides some comic relief with the ways he says things. Tempo is the best kind of friend and has charmed the readers as well.

    Harry Potter: I love watching Harry grow up, find the strength and courage to face down a mortal enemy.

    Mara: Was my favorite character when I was in middle school. She grew up as a slave and was chosen to be a pawn in a very dangerous political game between rulers in ancient Egypt. She almost dies as she is forced to play both sides yet survives due to luck in alliances she has forged.

    Lessa was an intelligent young woman who had endured life-threatening danger by disguising herself and surviving by her wits.

    The uniquely talented Menolly was very unappreciated. She escaped the pigeon hole she was being forced into and with the help of some devoted fire lizards found her niche in her world.

    When Killashandra’s dreams were shattered she grasped what opportunity she was given and reinvented herself with outstanding success an d happiness.

    Morgan is a humble farmer king and finds himself at the center of a magical war that has been centuries in the making. He has no guidelines and must find his own way to sort out the truth and answers in an ever shifting reality.

      • I haven’t read Redwall but from what I understand of the book my answer would be..no. The ScienceFantasy I write are YA or older though I have been told that they could be read to older children. They aren’t designed that way. There are some people in my books that can communicate with animals. Those animals tend to be weaker secondary characters…except for Tempo. He became ..a real character.

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