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.
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.
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?