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Archive for June 6th, 2012

Half-Pint to a clumsy Brit to a green witch … my favorites run the gamut

For the next 24 days, we’ll be taking a little detour from the traditional marketing posts you’ve come to know and love on the Marcie Brock blog as I lead by example and follow my own writing prompts for the Author Blog Challenge. There’s still time to register. Join today and qualify for drawings for daily giveaways for every day that you post.

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Day 5 writing prompt:

Who is your favorite literary character? With which literary character do you most relate?

Of course I had to write this question – so now I’ve got to answer it. I mentioned yesterday that I’m basically a lazy reader. I guess I should qualify that by saying I’m a whimsical (or ADD, depending on your perspective) reader who always has a number of books going at any one time. One in the car. One I carry in my backpack. One I read while my computer’s booting up. One on my bedside table. One in the potty, of course. Reading this way sates my “don’t want to get bored” sensitivity – but, admittedly, doesn’t make for the best overall retention.

Thing is, I’ve never been the most careful of readers or one of those people who re-reads books again and again. I’m much more likely to give away fiction once I’ve read it than I am to let a nonfiction book go out the door. I always used the “I’m  not a lit major” excuse for being less-well read than I felt I could or should have been. That might have worked back in college; now I think I just need to own that I usually just read what I like. Even in school, I rarely read all the works we were assigned. I still got A’s because I’d spend the first half of the class listening to the discussions of the assigned readings, and only pipe in toward the end, my comments based on what the others had said rather than my actual reading of the text. I’ve probably read 40 to 50% of the books on any of those classic book lists that we all were “supposed” to have read to be well educated, well rounded, and well read.

To that end, I’m woefully ignorant about famous characters. That might seem counter to my comment yesterday that I like stories with well-defined characters – but I don’t see it that way. It’s the story I remember, but I can only get into a story that has characters I care about. I’m reminded of my sister who often jokes that she doesn’t remember the unimportant stuff. I suppose (movie and literary) characters fall into that category for me. I mean, I even had to look up the name of Drew Barrymore’s famous ET character (GERTIE!) for a mock pitch I did in my recent screenwriting class.

That doesn’t mean I’m wholly without recall of powerful characters. Who can ever forget Harper Lee’s Scout or Half-Pint in the Laura Ingalls tales? I suppose the little girl in me always related to those two – particularly Laura because we share the name. I loved the strong-willed writer, Jo, in Little Women and could relate, in part, to clumsy, endearing Bridget Jones – although I like to think I’d gotten myself a bit more together than she did by that point in my life.

Perhaps my favorite character of old or new fiction is Elphaba Thropp of Gregory Maguire’s Wicked series. I loved how he turned the classic story on its ear by giving a moving backstory to the character we were all trained to abhor. (At the risk of offending the entire world, I have to say that I was unbelievably let down by the musical when I finally saw it in March. Gorgeous spectacle – but it did a dismal job of portraying Elphaba’s story.) Activist, lover, outcast … Elphaba is one of the few characters I not only remember, but can say I would have loved to meet.

Who are your favorite literary characters? What makes them so special to you?

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

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In honor of our 1-year anniversary (May 2, 2012), we’re hosting the Author Blog Challenge! It starts June 2 and is open to published authors, authors-in-progress, and would-be authors. Come check us out and register today!

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