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David Hines [userpic]

meme: character traits

June 10th, 2007 (11:27 pm)
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From various folks:

1. Comment to this post with the name of a character that I have written in fic. Or geeked out about.

2. I will comment telling you the following:
a. What initially prompted me to like the character enough to write about him/her.
b. One of his/her best traits.
c. One of his/her worst traits.
d. How easy/difficult I find it to write the character.
e. The story/chapter/paragraph/phrase where I feel that I truly captured the character (if, you know, I've ever written him/her).
f. My plans (if any) to write the character in the near future.

Comments

Posted by: beatrice_otter (beatrice_otter)
Posted at: June 11th, 2007 03:34 am (UTC)

Jim Gordon

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: June 11th, 2007 03:43 pm (UTC)
jim with pipe

a. What initially prompted me to like the character enough to write about him.

Frank Miller's YEAR ONE. Seriously, lots of folks dump on Frank Miller, but YEAR ONE gave us the modern Jim Gordon (and Alfred). His characterization of Jim Gordon as a warm, sensitive man, old-school but with deep reserves of feeling really made me care for the guy. And it's always struck me as unfortunate that as important as Jim Gordon is, there's not a lot of fic out there about him. But he is a wonderful character, and there are lots of storytelling opportunities for him.

B. One of his best traits.

Determination. Jim is not an action hero, though he can scrap if he has to. He's not a cerebral hero; he's smart, but doesn't have lots of book learning. He's not a politician, though his job is more political than police-oriented. What Jim is, is doggedly determined. I see Jim as a beat cop made good; he knows that the next interview may break the case.

c. One of his worst traits.

Jim has canonically had two major problems: his temper and his libido. Both have lessened as he's aged. When he gets angry these days, it's with himself, and he doesn't show it by yelling and pounding, the way he did when he was younger. He's prone to more introspection these days, and that's not without its dangers. He tries to avoid it as best he can.

d. How easy/difficult I find it to write the character.

I find Jim fairly easy to write. This is because his outlook on the world is the most like mine of anybody in the DCU, probably. I'm also drawn to the character's emotion -- he feels it, but doesn't talk about his feelings much, because he was raised not to (and also because his feelings have caused trouble for him). So the trick is to bring it out through the eyes, as Kazan would say.

e. The story/chapter/paragraph/phrase where I feel that I truly captured the character (if, you know, I've ever written him/her).

I think my best Jim bit is in a WiP. In published fic: "Minute of Angle," the bit where Jim smashes the mug. In "Fathers and Daughters," Jim's reluctance to look at Cass's face, and empathy for David Cain.

f. My plans (if any) to write the character in the near future.

I'm not sure how near, but I definitely want to write more Jim. There's one idea I've had for a while, where he goes on a cruise ship vacation and has to solve a mystery with help from Leslie Thompkins and interference from Double Dare. Also, I have a WiP that's Jim coldcasefic -- AU from his retirement days, I guess.

Posted by: lyndseas (lyndseas)
Posted at: June 11th, 2007 05:00 am (UTC)

Alfred

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: June 12th, 2007 02:46 pm (UTC)
solace

A. What initially prompted me to like the character enough to write about him.

Combination of things; Miller's characterization, combined with the seventies Alfred of BATMAN FAMILY, and Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.'s characterization in the Dini/Timm animated series.

B. One of his best traits.

Adaptability. Alfred has been an actor, a soldier, a spy, and a servant. He's raised children, bandaged wounds, and solved crimes, all of it with the same unflappable air. You need that if you never know when your employer might decide to go out and fight crime dressed as a giant bat.

d. How easy/difficult I find it to write the character.

Alfred isn't that hard to write in dialogue terms. I think I've got a good sense of him there. I think he'd be harder if I tried to write him taking action, making serious decisions. Not sure I could really do that from his perspective well. I wrote his perspective once, but that was one of my early stories and it was a humorous take. Not sure what he'd be like in a drama; I don't know if I have a very good sense of the inside of his head.

e. The story/chapter/paragraph/phrase where I feel that I truly captured the character (if, you know, I've ever written him/her).

From here: "Good morning, sir. I have brought your breakfast. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and you are tasked with running a multinational corporation on only two and a half hours' sleep. I don't mean to cast aspersions on your job performance, but I have instructed my broker to sell Wayne Enterprises short."

f. My plans (if any) to write the character in the near future.

No Alfred plans right now. Maybe a small supporting role here and there, but no Alfred-centered fic planned.

Posted by: Persephone (persephone_kore)
Posted at: June 11th, 2007 05:32 am (UTC)

Sherlock Holmes?

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: June 12th, 2007 05:09 pm (UTC)

A. What initially prompted me to like the character enough to write about him.

I started reading the stories again. They're really quite interesting to reconsider from a writerly viewpoint, even a fannish-writer one.

B. One of his best traits.

Genius. With Holmes, that's really all you need to say. (He is dreadfully fond of Watson, too.)

C. One of his worst traits.

He's a colossal prick and a show-off who sees people as factors in a problem, not as human beings.

D. How easy/difficult I find it to write the character.

Only wrote him once so far, so it's hard to say.

e. The story/chapter/paragraph/phrase where I feel that I truly captured the character (if, you know, I've ever written him/her).

Again, only the once. My favorite line is the next-to-last enquiry in the letter, before the postscript.

f. My plans (if any) to write the character in the near future.

Not at the moment. But you never know. Leaning more toward commentary than fic.

Posted by: Persephone (persephone_kore)
Posted at: June 12th, 2007 05:12 pm (UTC)

Commentary is also great. :) May I ask for another or is it one per?

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: June 12th, 2007 06:38 pm (UTC)

Sure. Might be another day or so before I can get to it, though. :)

Posted by: Persephone (persephone_kore)
Posted at: June 12th, 2007 06:43 pm (UTC)

Wonder Woman.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: July 5th, 2007 11:50 pm (UTC)

a. What initially prompted me to like the character enough to write about him/her.

The JUSTICE LEAGUE cartoon. Wonder Woman remains one of the trickiest characters in DC's arsenal. Certainly the trickiest of the big three; she's been interpreted any number of ways, and I think that a lot of them haven't been all that accessible. Her JL characterization made her really click for me.

b. One of his/her best traits.

Her warmth. Wonder Woman is like Superman in that she combines strength with accessibility, but she's maybe a little more accessible than Superman, and there's something about the way she relates to people that's really quite nice.

c. One of his/her worst traits.

Inconsistency, but it's not her fault. She's been revised a lot of times; people agree she's an icon, but really can't agree on why.

d. How easy/difficult I find it to write the character.

Diana's not all that difficult, especially when there's somebody different from her to bounce her off of in the story. That's why the Batman/Wonder Woman dynamic worked so well on the series: they were different enough to be fun to watch.</i>

e. The story/chapter/paragraph/phrase where I feel that I truly captured the character (if, you know, I've ever written him/her).

I think I handled her pretty well in Escape Artistry. One bit that sticks with me:

Bruce closed his eyes. "I can't change the way I am, Diana," he said.

"I know," she said. "I wouldn't want you to."

"You're not tempted to give me any further orders?" he said.

"Only one," she said, then wished she hadn't.

He waited. She didn't want to say it. She couldn't say it. She *shouldn't* --

"More than anything else in the world," Diana said quietly, "I wish I could wrap my lasso around you and tell you to be happy."


f. My plans (if any) to write the character in the near future.

None at the moment. I did have thoughts about a story involving her bodyguarding Jim Gordon, but I don't think that'll ever turn into anything.

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