Thursday, September 8, 2011

Character Conversation: Sir Anders Bockmann

If you're a recent follower, Character Conversations are little interviews with characters from my WIPs. When it comes to character development, those questionnaire-style character creation forms don't help me much. When I look at them, my brain just spits out run-of-the-mill answers. I get better results, especially for abstract questions like "What parts of you don't fit the hunky hero mold?" by chatting with my characters.

Now, I know this character well enough that I instantly got a smirky, X-rated response to the above question. And that response is, in itself, part of his less-heroic makeover-in-progress. My WIP is a massive re-write of a previous work, you see, and one of the problems tagged for fixing was that my hero boys (both of them) were too nice. To idealized. A little too tame.

In this character conversation with Sir Anders Bockmann, I wanted to address how the makeover is going now that we're halfway through part one (of three parts) of For Want of a Piglet (volume one of... I'm hoping three, not five? why am I doing this, again?) Like all conversations, it wanders off topic a bit. My side of the conversation is in italics.

Some character reference photos are for attitude, some for appearance.
This manages to be both. This is the delicious Alex Skarsgard.

I noticed you've picked up a bit of Jason Stackhouse (from True Blood, I haven't read the books) in the makeover. I could've lived without that. That boy is dumb as a sack of hammers and I won't have that in my heroes.

Did you not cast me as a 'horndog' without considering the why, when we last told this story? And then expected the leopard to change his spots overnight?

I'd be more the fool if it wasn't willful. Rather than a fool, I'm one who choose a dangerous game.

How willful? 

They've gone to such lengths to brand me the bad boy, should I not oblige them?

Your prey didn't do the branding, it seems to me. 

No. They put their wives and daughters in my sights, and me in theirs. If anyone wishes to call for a duel on it, they're welcome to. I didn't win the jousting tournament twice on my looks.

But what happens after five or ten years of being a bad boy? Do you think a thirty-year-old knight will still be winning jousts and sleeping in a friend's hayloft? (Anders is barely twenty, at this point in the story.)

Thirty? He shrugs. The cavalry will work knights till they drop, they won't turn me away. There's always the Order and training squires, if I'm not fit for duty.

Think those who branded you will trust you with their sons? Not make bad boys of them? 

Even I couldn't teach pigs to dance. The one who will dance aren't likely to be stopped.

So why can't you just be, as Kate said, the kind knight who untangled her from the stirrup when she fell off her horse?

He takes a minute to come up with an answer. Kate has no part in any of this. I've no quarrel with any outside the city walls, and she was peasant-born.

She knocked herself right out of your sights when she said that to you. 

The flirting was force of habit, no more. Ladies have their maids, and maids are a sure way to get close to the lady.

You thought she was easy meat. 

He shrugs again. And was mistaken. She's a disciple of Saint Qadeem and they're known to be odd ducks.

Denying interest, yes, that always works. How does Anders not fit the hunky hero mold? He's made a "game" of seducing girls and young wives (and maybe branching out into cougars) as a way to get back at those who have dismissed him as a bad seed. He's not thinking about his future or what consequences there might be for the women (unwanted pregnancies, domestic violence, STDs?) I think it's safe to say there's a self-destructive streak buried in him, as well as deep insecurities.

I think that's a good place to end on for now. How does your hero not fit the mold?


Bluestocking said...

What a fun exercise! I've also had just so-so luck with character worksheets. Happy writing!

AveryMarsh said...

There are only parts of character worksheets that work for me, the boring facts I'm forced to nail down just in case I need them like DOB, parent's names, etc.

Interviews trump worksheets because not only are you creating back story, but you're capturing the voice of your characters, and your voice as well. And I have to say... I'm really falling for your characters. ;) I can't wait till the next installation.

Liz said...

I will take a bad boy over the stereotypical hunky hero any time... I like that you've given him an edge.

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