Here’s today’s inktober. Tonight was Jack-o-lantern night, so I’ve been running around like crazy. It’s a quick sketch of a nerdy T-rex having an asthma attack. The short arm joke has been done to death, but this image popped into my head and made me giggle. Must be my asthma cutting off my air again. (heh) Laters!
If I haven’t let my geek flag fly enough lately *snort* let me amend that by confessing that I love my MMORPGs. I’m not a gamer by any stretch of the imagination. I only play a few games, namely Lord of the Rings Online, DC Universe Online, Dungeons & Dragons Neverwinter, and Star Wars Old Republic. My first real video game was LOTRO back in ’10. There was something about it that caught and hooked me and it wasn’t just visiting all the people and places in Middle Earth that I’d always dreamed of seeing. I made a few of my characters, Linus and Deirdre chiefly, because they lent themselves well to the fantasy genre and I already liked them.
I wanted to make an Elf character, and someone else was using “Morfindel,” so I made Vilori Reagan. He was only a little tertiary character in my book, nothing special, but then something astonishing happened. As I played with Vilori and made more decisions, I began to learn things about him! I learned his likes, his dislikes, his point of view, his motivations and pursuits and dreams!
That’s what gave rise to the Vilori Reagan as he exists in Runs in Good Condition and not just a crotchety one-liner guy.
It didn’t stop there, either. I got to know Linus and Deirdre better too, as well as some of my upcoming characters. Now if I don’t know what a character’s about, I create a character for them and pay very close attention to how they work. What tasks do they like, what don’t they like. Do they like fights or avoid them? Are they abrupt or surreptitious? Do they help people for money or because they feel altruistic? What hobbies do they have? These are all things most writers like to explore to make a fleshed out character.
And maybe, if you’re lucky, some really hilarious incidents will make it into a book, (Like the fact that in Halfling Towns, all of the lamp posts hang their lights at just the right height to conk Linus on the head.)
So just thought I’d toss that out there. MMORPGs are a great way to unwind and kill things when the world looks stupid, but it’s also an enjoyable way to get inside your characters’ heads and get your hands dirty.
Picture courtesy of Lord of the Rings Online and belongs to Turbine Entertainment and Warnr Brothers Home Entertainment
So if you see a Character on the Landroval server that has a name like one of my characters, say hi! it might be me. 🙂
A while ago I had this conversation on Facebook:
It was funny enough at first, and I got something like an unprecedented 65 responses, all in the vein of silly names. It was a lot of fun, but in the end it made me very depressed. I kept thinking about what might of happened if I HAD been a male writing Fantasy instead of a woman.
First of all, this discussion popped up after a fellow writer Emma Newman had done a large initiative towards Waterstones books after they published a sort of “Dummy’s Guide to Fantasy Authors” which featured predominately white male authors. I’m usually pretty much in the dark about this kind of bias. I grew up with brothers, most of my friends growing up were guys, and so on, so I usually think of myself as “one of the guys.” I’d toyed with the idea of a pen name or doing the ‘initial thing’ early on, but decided not to because I naively thought that it wouldn’t matter. “No one is going to care, right?”
It’s only when I see the surprise on people’s face when I tell them I’m an author and the genre is NOT romance or erotica that it hits home. It hits home further when I see people stop at my table to look at my books or comics, only to see that I’m the author/artist and then put it down with a sneer (ouch).
It’s disheartening and annoying to think that people aren’t judging my books by what I wrote in them. Instead they’re judging me and something I can’t control.
I know, I know. Total pity-party time. “Cry me river. Ever think it’s because you just suck and it’s nothing to do with your gender?”
It’s possible. But thanks to the common myth that “women can’t/don’t write Fantasy,” I’m not sure I’ll ever know for sure which it is. I have no “control group.” Unless I were to engage in some rom-com worthy gender-bending disguise antic that would fool the world into thinking I’m a male writer only to have it backfire on me with hilarious results and teaching the world a lesson about gender equality. And then we all have pie and coffee.
Seriously, though, I’m half considering showing up at my next con looking like this:
I’m out. Peace.