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Character Warmth - Laura Wise

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February 2nd, 2014


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10:34 am - Character Warmth
Thanks to a change in the subtropical weather pattern, after three-plus days of rain (two of which were CHILLY rain) we are now enjoying cloud-filtered sunlight and unseasonable warmth. In fact, Master Danger and I all but swam through soupy warm fog this morning on our walk.

As we walked underneath the dripping trees and rain-sodden Spanish moss, I started thinking about warmth -- and since I'm still slightly buzzing from the NT Live Coriolanus, I started thinking about character warmth and how my tastes have altered.

When I was a young lass, I often liked cold characters. Now that I am long past that youth, I like warmth under cool exteriors.

Back then, a character like Valmont in Les Liaisons Dangereuses fascinated me. (Malkovich is still my Valmont, but then, I didn't see Rickman onstage.) Rakehells fascinated me -- and not just the reformed ones like Mirabell in Congreve's The Way of the World, who is still and forever my Sekrit Restoration Boyfriend. And I often found heartless cold female characters compelling too. Villains were so interesting.

Now, I need a little something different in characters who fascinate me. I still respond to the kind of control a cold character might have, but for me to connect with that character, I need a hidden warmth, a softness and goodness somewhere. Exhibit A: Mark Gatiss's Mycroft in Sherlock: Master of the Universe but with one great loving weakness. (Gosh, "great" is doing a lot of work in that sentence.) It means, too, that I like actors who infuse characters who could be cold with warmth. Exhibit A Prime: Tom Hiddleston's Shakespeare work as Prince Hal, wherein his detachment often is fighting with his heart, and as Coriolanus, wherein he plays all the possible sweetness an often cold war-machine & rage-monster role allows.

I tend to write characters who are warm-hearted under surface cool, too, like Tom and Liliana/Lily in Traveller and Wish-Queen.


I don't think a reader would find Tom Grey cold, much as Tom tries to hide behind barriers (magic and otherwise) of his own making. I'm not sure people think of him as I do, with this inspiration picture of my fantasy casting grinning**, but anyway, Tom's more obviously warm than Liliana, a Wish-Queen who is very very good at being regal and wielding rather a lot of power, but I do think of her as warm too, loving and care-taking and passionate in quite a few different ways. ;) My inspiration and fantasy casting for her as I revised the manuscript were two very different pictures, merged into one in my head: this English actress and this photograph of a great French actress in her younger days. Warm, in other words. :)

**Don't click if you prefer to cast in your own head! A friend has already told me that she is thinking of someone else as she reads Tom, which seems perfectly awesome. :)


Where do your favorite characters fall on the cold-to-warm continuum?

May you find the perfect blend of coolness and warmth today, both real and fictional! :)

[One more round of links to Traveller and Wish-Queen: Amazon US, Amazon UK, and Smashwords for EPUB. Also available at Amazon Canada and Barnes and Noble.)

(12 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:paratti
Date:February 2nd, 2014 05:37 pm (UTC)
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Tom and Lily's warmth comes through:)
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From:laurawise
Date:February 2nd, 2014 06:18 pm (UTC)
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Thank you, mate. :)

And I'm guessing you prefer warm characters, even though you like Bad Boys?

[User Picture]
From:paratti
Date:February 2nd, 2014 06:48 pm (UTC)
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Pretty much but I'm also a sucker for hidden vulnerability in a surfacely cold character.
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From:laurawise
Date:February 2nd, 2014 10:58 pm (UTC)
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Hurrah! :)
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From:anne_d
Date:February 2nd, 2014 05:51 pm (UTC)
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I (finally) bought my Christmas tablet yesterday, and I'm reading Traveller and Wish-Queen on it. I can't read more than a couple chapters without eyestrain, but I'm enjoying it very much, even in installments.
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From:laurawise
Date:February 2nd, 2014 06:19 pm (UTC)
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Cheers for your Christmas tablet, and thank you so much for buying T&W-Q! :)

Hugs and gratitude.
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From:stateless82
Date:February 2nd, 2014 09:10 pm (UTC)
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I probably lean more toward colder characters, but not if they're cold behind a facade of warm.

(We've got cold wet here, not at all pleasant.)
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From:laurawise
Date:February 2nd, 2014 10:58 pm (UTC)
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"Cold behind a facade of warm" = EVIL. Really, those are the worst.

Hugs and a great Sunday, despite cold wet!
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From:gwynnega
Date:February 3rd, 2014 03:47 am (UTC)
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I like cool characters with hidden warmth as well. Actually Sherlock Holmes fits that description too.

::hugs::
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From:laurawise
Date:February 3rd, 2014 11:42 am (UTC)
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Yes, I think you're right about Sherlock.

Hugs and a great Monday, Gwynne!
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From:stevie_carroll
Date:February 3rd, 2014 10:27 am (UTC)
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I much prefer warm characters even when they're morally rather grey.
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From:laurawise
Date:February 3rd, 2014 11:44 am (UTC)
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An interesting distinction, Stevie! Cold and morally grey makes an anti-hero at best, doesn't it...

Cheers! Happy Monday!

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