Day Five {Least Favourites}

I left the kettle open this morning. I was wondering why on earth it was taking such a long time for the water to boil and the kettle to start screaming. Derp.

day five: your least favourite character you've written

All right, all right, I thought picking out my favourite male author was difficult. And it was. There were a lot of gentlemen to chose from. But on today's topic I suddenly find myself at a loss. I thought about it and thought about it: who is my least favourite character I have ever written? And what does "least favourite" mean? Does it mean, the character I was least satisfied with, or the character who gave me the most trouble, or the character whose personality I dislike the most? And regardless of the specificity of the answer, I haven't been able to find one. This means that I am either extremely vain or adept in avoiding writing those characters I know will irk me. They say the mind forgets pain. It's possible that I am just adroitly avoiding the memory of such characters and that's why I can't think of them. But I have to settle on someone. I must be normal enough to have a character I don't like as much as my others.


Lady Vivian, an antagonist in my pending story Not Raymond, has never been easy to write. Not only is she a woman (I find women rather hard to write, myself), she is a rich, ambitious woman. Her story has the potential to be very intriguing, and I really am looking forward to writing it. She is one of those high society persons who move close to royalty - close enough to take aim at a spot near the throne. She has everything she needs: good looks, cunning, drive, and an appalling lack of scruples. Unfortunately, her character has never been one that came easily to me: it is like trying to get a good look at a cockroach by shining a light on it: every time, it slips away. Additionally, antagonistic women are a lot harder for me to write than their male counterparts. The sly, cunning, sinister woman is difficult to get right. Lady Vivian, more than any of my other female antagonists, continues to elude my uneasy, decorous efforts to write her. She simply won't conform. She insists on charging with feminine indelicacy into the plot, down the rabbit-hole, down the hell-hole, and I'm left whimpering, "But I don't wanna..." When it comes to Vivian, like my protagonist, I am crippled by a sense of propriety which, as the writer, I can't afford to have. It's all very vexing.

"Lady Vivian is one to play with fire, and she played with a fire which cast too deep a shadow."

8 ripostes:

  1. Such tragedy, a kettle without a voice...

    Yes; I too am unsure what least favourite is meant to indicate. I shall probably go a similar route to yours and take it to mean my least favourite to write... Trouble is, I can remember very few people I dislike writing, even if I didn't like them... Being a scribbler does skew things terribly, doesn't it? "If I met you in real life, I'd hate you - but as it is, you're loads of fun to write about, and we get on tol'rably!" (Insertbaffledfacehere...)

  2. I know! I know. It's a wretched business, it really is. Sometimes one's worst characters are the most fun to write about. Everything skewed wildly, I'm sure. Bad form. If I had a little more backbone, and weren't in this for the selfish purpose of having fun, I might get up and say, "See here! Is this a fair question, or what?" But I don't and I didn't, so I made the best of it. Vivian is the best I could do.

    So many stories, not enough time...!

  3. I should have known your least favorite would be female. ;-)

    Sometimes you are almost too hard on our sex, I think. Almost. But I admit that Vivian seems to deserve anything one could say about her.
    What worries me is that, to /me/, she sounds like a fun character to write and write perhaps a bit too easily...


    *totters off to tend the poor kettle*

  4. I wonder that you think so. Perhaps it is merely my own preference which creates such a hardness. I am aware that there are lots of girl-centred books out there: many of them I spurn, some of them I'm sure would be decent but I have otherwise no inclination to read them. I couldn't narrow down without going into great length the sort of female character I like to read and write - there are several types. Perhaps I find the woman difficult to write merely because I am one. Perhaps I find her difficult because it is so rare that one discovers such a character in day-to-day living that one can use as a model. There are too many silly women, and silly women are not conducive to making key characters in serious plots. I wish you would not think me hard on women in general. I certainly don't mean to be. But it is true that there is a lack of Abigails and Eowyns in the world (to make excellent models) and a lack of Agrippinas and Eleanores of Aquitaine (to make ambitious examples).

    The simple truth is that fiction must be more plausible than history has ever been and my Achilles heel is the woman: to make a good one (or a disreputable one) worthy of the greats and gruesomes of history requires a strain on my part.

  5. Hear, hear! I also find writing women very difficult (I'm looking at you, Marta) and prefer to write men. Maybe it is because it's the men who are the ones supposed to be having adventures in the first place.

    I get a lump in my throat if I think too long about Not Raymond. I don't know how I'll manage to read it once you get it all written. I want you to know what agonies I will be suffering.

  6. "Hear what?"

    "Erm...what I have to say!"

    I will be in agonies. I was going to mention that thing about men and adventures, but then I didn't, and you did, so there.

  7. Dear me, that's no fun. A character that will not conform.


  8. I never did finish reading through the section of Not Raymond you posted a long time back. I should really go back and try to find it.

    And the main reason of this comment is to inform you that my most recent post involves you and four others, and I'm supposed to let you know.