Monday, September 19, 2011

Where's the Reset Button?

*Warning: Strange authorly references to characters ahead. This may include conversations, talk as if characters were alive, and strange parallels to a schizophrenic condition.

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Robin doesn't like me to read Robin Hood books.

I've always found it amusing, because he, of course, came from Robin Hood books. They're kind of like his heritage or ancestors. I've told him: "oh, you're just jealous." He's said: "I don't know how you got me from them."

How indeed.

I bring this up now, because as I've re-entered the world of Robin Hood-ly goodness, I've noticed a twinge of regret. This was strongest while reading Rowan Hood. Granted, not a huge fan of that book, but to see that capering, fun-loving Robin Hood (as he usually is) I remember how when I started on the Robin Hood journey, that's who I expected my Robin to be.

I like that Robin. I didn't write mine in defiance of him, I just...wrote him. Now, almost five years later, it's obvious that there is no going back.

People who know me well are probably shocked to discover that I have any desire, however small, to go back. I've had countless people tell me that they loved how Robin was done, how much more human he seemed and I've always liked to show off his strangeness.

I didn't expect, though, that in writing Robin Hood I would get a character who I can't seem to give up. Who seems to be most of the reason I keep going back to Forest of Lies, trying to figure out how to make it better. Who sometimes gets into my dreams. Who always demands my attention.

Robin just kind of popped up in the early drafts of my writing, refusing to be normal. I've never really done intensive "developing" of's been more of a discovery process. In the early days, he always had a seemingly unmediated upon response to situations and characters, though it took me a long time to discover the why behind what he did. I've often wondered if God gave him to me, like I needed him or something.

I think, however that is, that Robin comes from someplace deep inside of me, that I'm not necessarily aware of. He's interesting,  he's different, he's almost a little frightening.

And even though I began to ponder that reset button, even if it did exist, I don't think I would press it. There's too much solemn, scarred character to give him up for the idealized giant, even if he does pull good jokes.

Though I still ask...Robin, what am I going to do with you?

Robin: Hug me, probably.


MirandaH said...

First off, I am perfectly fine with talk as if characters were alive. It suits me just fine.

I love it when a character comes to life that way. That's what happened to me with my mentor character, Torrson. I just can't get away from him. And whereas with Gracie (my protagonist) I had to do a bit of digging, Torrson just.../i/happened/i//.

Torrson: Do you mean to indicate that I am merely a fluke, mademoiselle?

No, Torrson. To do so would be a terribly grievous sin.

Nairam said...

Well...I think a few people read my blog who *aren't* writers, so I figured I should warn them. Fellow writers are generally cool with the idea.

Robin: What's so bad about being a fluke?

MirandaH said...

People do generally appreciate warnings, though I don't see anything wrong with acting as though your characters are alive. I know I didn't make Torrson. He didn't come from my mind - he just escaped from it.

Torrson: Nothing, my good sir. I was merely asking her to clarify. No need to get sensitive, now.

Nairam said...

Good way to descibe it, that.

Robin: I wasn't getting sensitive. Just wondering.

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