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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wow, you look SO familiar...


14,700 words into the sequel to Stream Pirate! I finally got to a part that I have been DYING to get to since I started writing this book: the introduction of some super-fun, super-dangerous, super-AWESOME new characters. Seriously, guys, these characters are the type that make me all giggly late at night just thinking about their snarkiness. I find myself day-dreaming about the funny things they'll say next and the wicked places they'll go. I'm in love.

But alas, as I was day-dreaming last night (er, night-dreaming? But I was awake...) I realized something that made me rather sad for a moment. One of my beloved new characters is very similar in speech and role to Tia Dalma from Pirates of the Caribbean. This has happened a few other times before (not a character similar to Tia Dalma, just a character similar to an already-created character), and it always leaves me feeling rather -- unoriginal.

My fear is that someone reading my book will draw the connection. In drawing the connection, they will then throw the book down and groan about how utterly incapable I am of making my own characters, so incapable that I have to go stealing other people's characters. And me, being only the author, won't be there to go "But-- I didn't mean to! She's not Tia Dalma! Look, look, she doesn't-- I mean, she wouldn't say--"

Not that my bullet-proof argument would convince them otherwise, but still.

I guess my question is: do you worry about this too? Do you fear getting attached to a character only to find out that your character is really similar to another, already-made character? Or do you think it's not an issue worth worrying over?

PS: The ever-awesome Frankie linked me over to The First Novels Club, where it appears as though they find me "alluring, amusing, bewitching, impressive, and inspiring." Aw, shucks, guys, I'm blushing...

10 comments:

Carrie Harris said...

I don't really worry about things like that. I'm more limited to the generic I'm-quite-certain-that-I-suck category.

Natalie Whipple said...

We worry about it—but I promise your reader will probably not notice. At all. Especially if she's not the MC.

You'll make her different. I have no doubt.

Mariah Irvin said...

No character is ever exactly the same!

She's YOUR character, so make sure she represents!

Hayley said...

It's your character, your creation. In the long run there are millions of people out there, so the chances are you'll find someone with a similar passion, dialect, look etc. as you. It’s the same thing with characters; there are millions of traits so what if characters seem similar. It's not like you sat down in front of the movie and wrote down everything Tia Dalma said so you could intimidate her. It's you character, your creation and that's just the long and the short of it. Honestly it happens to me too, I'll do something or my character will say something that reminds me of another character. It's normal, always keep it in mind, and just don't dwell on it.

Hayley said...

Not intimidate, see look there's my spelling issues again. Imitate. Imitate was what I meant to say.

Lisa and Laura said...

I think we all interpret characters differently, so I'm sure that's the case here. Can't wait to read the sequel!

Kate said...

I'm sure you'd not make identical characters. As the story progresses there will probably be obvious differences in the way the character handles the situation.

Jade said...

I think as the creator of the character, the writer is more likely to over analyse these aspects--I know I do.

Don't let it stress you out. You should be revelling in your new character's awesomeness!

Donna Gambale said...

I'm terribly afraid that one day some book will come out that will be just like my book and all my work will be for nothing. It's ridiculous, but true.

And Frankie (one of my FNC co-bloggers) led me to your blog and I understood your awesomeness immediately. Totally deserving of the FNC's splash award!

sraasch said...

Carrie -- Hm, I quite often find myself in that category too. I wonder why I haven't bumped into you yet...

Natalie -- Thanks :) I am 75% certain this issue is something only writers worry about. Most normal people don't sit around trying to connect dots between characters. I think. I've never been a normal person.

Mariah -- When you said "Make sure she represents" I got a very clear image in my head of Lu bumping her fist against her chest and flashing the "peace" sign. Nice.

Hayley -- I guess the odds are kind of inevitable, aren't they? Never thought about it like that, lol

L&L -- I can't wait to have you read the sequel either! So nervous/anxious/excited to see what people think of it...

Kate -- That's very true. My character doesn't turn out to be a trapped sea goddess bent on revenge for the man she loves, so her actions might be a *tad* different...at least as far as revenged-love goes.

Donna -- I have that fear too. So, so much. Whenever I hear about a book that's even kind of like mine, I buy it and read it with this nervous need to prove myself wrong. It happens almost 100% of the time, thankfully. So nerve wracking, this business.