Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Favorite Screen Characters Tag

Thank you to the ever-lovely Christine over at Musings of an Elf for tagging me in this super-fun post!

If you can't guess from the title, the point of this tag is to select (if you possibly can) ten of your favorite on-screen fictional characters (yes, only ten). Then tag ten friends who can proceed to flail and shriek on their own blogs, tag their own friends, who can then flail and tag, and on and on it goes.

So, without further ado, my top ten favorite tv characters (in no particular order)!


Merlin, from BBC's Merlin. 
I....actually have nothing to add to what Christine has already said. This guy takes the cake for sweetest, most adorably awkward, most compassionate character who's ever feared for his life on a daily basis while at the same time having to put up with a really thankless job. Bravo Merlin, you cute little very-powerful wizard, you. ^.^


Shawn Spencer from USA Network's Psych. 
Psych is one of my all-time favorite shows, and Shawn is the utterly flamboyant star. Rules, laws, and normalcy are all meaningless. Self-consciousness is not a word in his vocabulary. Go big or go home, especially when giving up the ruse would mean jail time. Shawn is a one-man whirlwind, but he can't do without his best friend Gus. Their bromance is probably the most accurate portrayal of best friends that ever ran on television. Maybe, I haven't seen that many bromances. But anyway, the reason I love Shawn so much is that he's so RANDOM and HYPER, but still a very caring guy. And that speaks to me. 


Sherlock Holmes from...everywhere. 
The original books, newer books, the movies from the 40's (pictured above), Benedict Cumberbatch, RDJ, Jonny Lee Miller! I just love Sherlock Holmes, ok? He's just so dang CLEVER! I always appreciate characters who are much smarter than I am. And as much of a sociopathic jerk as he may seem to be in the recent adaptions, he was nicer than that in the original books, I swear. Although, in all the screen adaptions today, we do see his human side now and again. X) Oh, and just FYI, the movies from the 40's are my favorites. Granted, they give a very poor, bumbling interpretation of Watson, but even so, Basil Rathbone will always be my Sherlock. ^.^ 


Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings trilogy. 
Um, who doesn't love Aragorn? His heart, his bravery, his wise and gentle demeanor? So soft-spoken, yet so strong. How can you not appreciate his willingness to eat disgusting stew just so he wouldn't hurt Eowyn(the maker of that particular stew)'s feelings? Appreciate his tact in turning down her advances in the most compassionate way possible? Respect his unwavering determination to fight time and time again in the face of almost certain death? I don't care what way you slice it, I don't care if you don't like the fantasy genre, I don't care if you've never read or watched Lord of the Rings: Aragorn is a character worth your time.


The Doctor from BBC's Doctor Who.
Well, of course. I'm a nerd, thus the Doctor must make his way into my list. X) I put up all four of the Doctors that have starred in the rebooted series (even though I haven't seen any episodes with the 12th Doctor yet), because I can't choose between them. They're all so charming and emotionally scarred! But that's ok, because even though they have different faces, voices, and personalities, they're all technically the same person. They're all "The Doctor," and so that counts as one character. So there.


Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold from ABC's Once Upon a Time.
A villain, everyone! If you like Loki, you'll love Rumple. Charming, clever, impeccably dressed, powerful, observant, mischievous. But "all magic comes with a price!" He's still definitely evil. Violent little life-destroyer. And why does he need all those babies? However, if you choose to watch this show, he will become part of your OTP. It's actually adorable, even though he still kills people and stuff (whoops). There's nothing like watching a villain struggle to be a good guy. 


Patrick Jane from CBS's The Mentalist
Shawn Spencer, Sherlock Holmes, and Patrick Jane would either be best friends or mortal enemies, because they are all alike, in that they are all extremely observant and intuitive. Patrick is suave yet childish, refined in a rumpled way, he loves tea, and he has a tragic backstory. What's not to love?


Monroe from NBC's Grimm.
Monroe is technically a secondary character, but the main character, Nick, could do DIDDLY SQUAT without him. Monroe (one half of my ultimate OTP, btw) is quiet, cultured, appreciative of the beauty around him, smart, and can rip off a man's arm with little to no effort. We're not sure what his past looks like exactly (or what his last name is), but he's clearly made every effort to get away from it (his past, not his last name. Well, maybe his last name, we don't know). He was reluctant to help Nick at first, but now they're fast friends, and Monroe is more invaluable than ever. He's just--AH, I can't. I love him. He wears fluffy sweaters and button-up shirts, you guys. X)


John Reese from CBS's Person of Interest.
Meet the coolest customer on tv. You know how I said Patrick is suave? Reese is suave-r. He's the most talented assassin ever and I love it. Some might call is cheesy or boring or too unbelievable, but I love the way he can walk into a crowded room full of goons, take out every single one, and hardly break a sweat. I love his ever-present suit, his soft, quiet voice, how he can speak like ten languages, and how he's proficient in every weapon. I love how he takes care of and is taken care of by Harold, the other main character. So cute. X) 


Artie Nielsen from Syfy's Warehouse 13.
Artie is the agent in charge at the Warehouse, even though the other MC's rarely do what he says. He's gruff and grumpy and no-nonsense, which contrasts well to the other characters' childish antics. He's like a second father to all of them, he'd do anything for them, and they'd do anything for him (except listen). Don't let his prickly demeanor fool you. He's a big teddy bear inside.

Like I said, these were in no particular order. I love all of them more or less equally. XD

And now:
TAG! YOU'RE IT!! Y'know, if you want. And anyone else who is interested can join, of course. 

P.S. Aren't you PROUD of me?? I actually tagged people instead of just throwing the tag out into the wind! Are you proud of me?....I'm proud of me. ^.^

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Understanding the Alert/On-Edge/Scared Character

So, something has happened/is happening/will happen/might happen to your character, and they're freaked out. How does their body react? How do you make their fear believable, especially since you've never been in that situation yourself?

Go Teen Writers had a great post about how to write what you've never experienced. It's about drawing from experiences you HAVE had, no matter how small, to start understanding the emotions that your character would be experiencing. The post has these examples for fear:

I've never been threatened at gunpoint. But as I search for a similar emotion—fear for my life—I've had a few moments on the road where I thought I'd crash. One time our tires hydroplaned on the freeway and we slid into the grassy median at 65 miles an hour. It was a good three seconds of horrifying fear. I recall the heat that flashed through me, how my breathing seemed to stop, how I screamed (I'm not a screamer), and how, once the tires got traction again, the amazing relief that this wasn't the end of my life.

Interesting. I could use that.

No one has ever broken into my home. But I heard a noise once. We all have. But this time I stopped moving, held my breath and listened. I was imagining it, of course, I always was. Until I heard the front screen door wheeze shut and slam.

I vaulted off my bed and sprinted to the kitchen, slowing just before the door to peek. No one. My heart felt like it was a pinball in my chest, desperate to get out of my body. I grabbed a knife from the kitchen, figuring that someone was either in the house or they'd just left. Either way, I wasn't going to torture myself by waiting around to find out. I glided into the living room on noiseless feet, holding my breath the whole way, praying God was watching and would keep me safe.

Then the screen door banged again, I lifted the knife, staring at the entrance way...

And my son came running inside the house. At midnight! He's eleven!

"Daddy's home!" he said, smiling.

"You scared me half to death," I told him. "Look, I have a knife in my hand to kill you with."

He laughed, thinking that was pretty funny. Little punk, anyway. :-)

So, clearly I could use that.
What else could you use?

Sometimes, I think I can handle horror. And I absolutely cannot. But I'll watch something scary anyway. And everything is fine while the sun's up and there's people moving around the house doing stuff. But everything becomes sinister when the lights go down. I'll sit in my bed with my back to the wall, my eyes wide open and constantly scanning the room. The lamp on the night table is on, and I only have one earbud in, the music turned down to 1. I can feel my heart beating hard in my chest, and every muscle in my body is stiff. I don't want to move at all, in case I draw attention to myself. Adrenaline shoots through me at every harmless little noise. My ears are physically perked up as I strain to listen for suspicious sounds. My mind is going a mile a minute, wondering how I might defend myself since I don't have any weapon-like thing near me. Since my body is fully focused my potential impending doom, it stopped caring about it's lesser functions, and now I'm very aware of that water I drank before. But no way am I leaving this bed, man. No way.

I've never been hunted by anyone (or anyTHING dun dun dunnn), but my brain has told me I was. I could use that.

Actually, that's not true. I have been hunted, during games of Manhunt at our youth group. [If you don't know how to play, it goes like this: You select a designated area to run around in (in our case, the church). If it's a building, turn out all the lights. If it's outdoors, wait until night. Designate a few hunters, depending on the size of the group. Hide an item somewhere in the area (usually a small flashlight that's well hidden, but on, so it's not 100% impossible to find). Set up a "jail" area and decide whether people who are caught will be out for the rest of the game, in jail for a certain amount of time, or if they have to do something (sing a song, make up a poem) to get out of jail. Then everyone scatters and tries to find the item without getting caught. Romans and Christians is a similar game, but much harder.

Running around in the dark, knowing people are trying to catch you, is FREAKY. Especially since a lot of the guys in our group liked to hide in dark doorways, then scream and leap out at you. Even if they weren't a hunter! And sometimes they'd stay totally quiet and just grab your ankles as you passed by. Anyway, you're sneaking through the halls, trying to breathe quietly even though you're out of breath from running, trying to listen for footsteps approaching or doors opening, trying to determine where they're coming from and how you can get away from where you are right now, hoping no one's hiding in those shadows. As with the above scenario, your heart is pounding, adrenaline is making you shaky, your neck and shoulder muscles are stiff, you're on high alert, and dangit, you have to go to the bathroom again. You're almost relieved when they finally (or quickly) catch you.

This too, can be used.

What about you? Have you had any scary experiences you could draw from for your writing? Do you have a favorite example of character fear from a book, one that you could really feel, and that got YOUR blood pumping? Did this post even make any sense, since I came up with it at like 2 in the morning? I have all the questions for you guys today. X)