Browsing Tag

character sketches

Mirror's Gate, Research

Tired tonight

But I did throw about 200 words into Chapter 2 of Mirror’s Gate, and therefore have done something writing-related! Thus, I can go to bed with a clear conscience.

Thanks by the way to everybody who has made such encouraging comments about the appearance of Oscar on my character radar! Props to userinfosticckler in particular for finding me fiction that stars tuba-playing protagonists (although I note that in all cases, they’re all general fiction and not fantasy, mystery, or romance, so I’d be REAL interested to see if anybody could find me genre novels that fit the bill). She’ll be getting that copy of Faerie Blood I promised!

And I’ve already watched a few of the YouTube video links userinfokathrynt and userinfowrog provided, just to get a feel of how classical tuba music should sound. Some good stuff there, and it begins to give me an idea of what I want Oscar’s own music to sound like, but I need to listen to more. I’ve found an album called “British Tuba Concertos” on iTunes, which includes the Vaughn one in F minor, and I do believe I’ll be buying that; there’s a really nice-sounding Gregson on here too if the preview I’m listening to is any indication. I hear some nice smooth playing here.

It’ll be a while yet before Oscar gets an actual story, I think; I am still mulling that. I can add though that this boy has absolutely no magical talent inherent to himself whatsoever. He’s bog-standard human, and as previously mentioned, his music is his one awesome skill. Now, in the usual Instrumental Duel With the Fey type of story, the mortal always wins the day because the music of humanity is supposed to be Just as Awesome as Magic–but I don’t think I’ll quite play it that way, since that’s the Expected Way, and the whole point of this is to screw around with the trope.

But it’s all good. I’ll listen to the music and let myself randomly brainstorm and see what it tells me! Woo, buying iTunes music in the name of character research! 😉

And ha. I need a suitable tuba playing icon for posts about Oscar, I think!


New character in my brain!

Today my muse decided that it has a mad, mad desire to write an Instrumental Duel with the Fey story–starring a tuba player.

Because here’s the thing, y’all. You pick up a novel where the lead character is a musician, that musician is probably going to be playing one of a set of “sexy” instruments. This isn’t just a fantasy novel thing, though god knows fantasy has its share of fiddle players and guitarists and flautists and harpists–mystery and romance are guilty of this, too! (And yes, I say this fully cognizant of the fact that I’ve got four, count ’em, four musicians in Faerie Blood–a violinist and a bouzouki player as the lead characters, as well as a guitarist and a whistle player in the supporting cast.)

But you know what you don’t get? Books that show love to the less sexy instruments, and do so in a non-comedic fashion. Anybody out there EVER read a serious story about an accordion player? How about the French horn? And I say right now that I will hand over a free copy of Faerie Blood to anybody who can find me a serious novel about a tuba player. Until that happens, I am totally going to write one.

And this will be a serious, actual fantasy novel in which the tuba player gets to save the day. I don’t know yet what the plot will be, other than that I wish to screw around with the Instrumental Duel With the Fey trope–only this time, the guy that’s going to be bringing it is going to bringing it with a tuba.

Once I decided I was going to do this, this guy immediately started taking shape in my brain. Tonight’s writing-related thing was opening a character file about him, to jot down all the thoughts bouncing around about him.

I know this much: his name is Oscar Beck, he is a prototypical gawky nerd type, and the one thing in life he is awesome at is that he can pull music out of a tuba to make an audience weep. He reads like a crazy reading thing as well because music and books are way less scary than interacting with actual people, and so he’s a big, big fan of Lord Peter Wimsey, as an example of a hero who is a) awesomely brilliant, b) a musician, and c) not handsome in the slightest, yet possessed of thermonuclear charisma! He would rather die than admit it to anybody as well, but he has totally nicknamed his tuba the Horn of Helm Hammerhand, because he is an utter Tolkien geek and he loves him some Battle of Helm’s Deep.

Oscar, it’s delightful to meet you. And boy, are YOU going to be surprised when you find out that girl in the last chair of the oboe section is way, WAY more unusual than she seems. Not to mention that you and the Horn are going to have to save the city. And possibly the world.

Props to userinfokathrynt for suggesting some examples of tuba-oriented classical music–because to get a better idea of what Oscar is like, I’m going to want to listen to examples of what an incredibly well played tuba should actually sound like. Anybody out there have recommendations, fling ’em at me! Props as well to userinfotechnoshaman for giving Oscar his last name!


A character in the making

I don’t know who this character is yet, but she’s been lurking in my brain for a while now as I’ve thought about how to do an urban fantasy with an overweight woman as the heroine. I don’t even have a name for her, or any real idea yet of what her story is. But these words wanted out of my brain tonight nonetheless.

Right off the bat, the first thought that pops into someone’s head when they see me is oh god, a fat psychic. Not that anybody ever actually says that, but they don’t need to. I can see it in the way eyes go wide and then flick a glance up and down my frame, as if expecting that a woman of what we shall charitably refer to as “size”, a woman who also claims paranormal abilities, isn’t dressed more outrageously–as if perhaps I should be swathed in a leopard-print caftan, with an artfully arranged fruit basket on my head.

Also, hello? Psychic. In my case, that packs a double whammy. I get visions, but I get people’s thoughts too. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, those I meet don’t need to say a word to convey their doubts about me. I can pick them fresh and piping hot right out of their brains. I swear, it’s enough to drive a girl into the warm, loving company of the nearest chocolate cake.

All of which is why, when a man came into my shop on a Thursday afternoon and broadcast not the slightest hint of disdain for either my body type or what the colorfully painted sign by the door proclaimed I could do, I was absolutely thunderstruck.

I’ll see what else I can figure out about her later.