The Character I Would Love to Be
My friend M.A. Church and I share lots of things, among them an undying love for science fiction and fantasy. We thought it would be fun to share some of that love. This week we’re talking about the kind of character we would like—okay, let’s make that love—to be, if we could be transported magically into fiction-land. So if you ever get an undeniable urge to write fan fic about either of us, go read her post along with this one.
The kinds of characters I most like to write aren’t necessarily the ones I would most want to be. In fact, I probably couldn’t be most of them. This is a good thing. I adore writing about men and women with great wealth and, often, greater power. A rich me would be generous and reclusive, though well-dressed, but a powerful me would serve no useful purpose. Powerful people make enemies and I really, really don’t handle enemies all that well. Me wielding a superpower is truly a scary thought.
That point about enemies aside, I think it would be fun to be an emperor—one of my favorite characters to write is Gaspar Leonnte, the Uttoran emperor in the Pride of Uttor series of books—or a powerful sorcerer or gifted demi-god. These show up a lot in my fiction. My favorite character of all my characters is an entitled, privileged young ass who needs a strong hand lest he turn into a monster. All well and good. But I don’t want to be any of those characters (though I might like to be the characters they sleep with).
No, the character I want to be is sure of who she or he is (I easily imagine myself as a man), and is good at surprising people—either readers or other characters. Samwise Gamgee in Lord of the Rings trilogy comes to mind. I might like to be Sam. He’s helpful—which I tend to be—and has the kind of attitude I most want to embody: if in a pickle, see the matter through whatever it takes. Another character I think it would be a hoot to be is Brienne of Tarth in the Song of Ice and Fire books. Large, awkward, a female and skilled… but no one quite knows what to make of her. She knows what she’s about and is incredibly principled and loyal. Persistent, too. She gets things done. As other characters get to know her, she wins their respect—and even love. My kind of gal.
Of my own characters, if given the chance to actually be one, I’d have to be Vorgell the barbarian from Thick as Thieves. He’s another physically imposing character whose size leads people to make assumptions about him that he later disproves. He’s a sensitive soul. He’s protective of those he loves. Plus he’s cheerful! And he’s smarter than people might think at first. He’s also immensely strong, and I would like to have his brute strength. Though Vorgell’s not a magic-user, he has a magical body. Who doesn’t want one of those? Not to mention he’s sex-crazed, which means he gets lots of sex…if he’s lucky.
So, if I could be any character in a science fiction or fantasy world, it would be any of those three. Or someone like them: helpful, cheerful, useful, robust, and occasionally wise.
Oh, and I would also like to be good-looking.
Tali Spencer delights in erotic fantasy and adventure, creating worlds where she can explore the heights and shadows of sexual passion. A hopeful romantic and lover of all things exotic, she also writes high fantasy and science fiction. If you would like to see inspiration pictures for her characters, or glimpse how she envisions her worlds, check out her Pinterest boards.
Thanks to a restless father, she grew up as a bit of a nomad and still loves to travel whenever she can. Her longest stint in one place was Milwaukee where she went to college, enjoyed a series of interesting careers, and raised three surprisingly well-adjusted sons. She later married her true love and put down new roots in Philadelphia, where she lives in an ongoing Italian American family sitcom. At least she’s learned how make good pasta. When not writing, Tali reads everything from sweet goofy romances to medical research, manages her fantasy football team—go Gekkos!—and takes long walks with her loving, if slightly neurotic, poodle.
Tali’s other books include the three preceding Uttor books: Captive Heart, Dangerous Beauty, and Adored, all with Resplendence. Her gay male high fantasy stories, Thick as Thieves, Sorcerer’s Knot, and The Prince of Winds, are published by Dreamspinner Press. She often publishes in anthologies, and puts up free stories and excerpts on her blog.