My writer’s group has decided that this week is character’s week. Enjoy a character interview or the author musings! Links at the bottom, or in the main side bar under Fellow Authors.
Character Creation: The Evolution of Pony from Through Rain and Missing Mantaurs, and the Early Concepts of a Female Centaur
One often hears write what you know. That is usually my starting point. I use pieces of myself or my own experiences. New encounters are the most fun. From these puzzle pieces, I allow the plots, characters, and setting to find their own way.
Off the top of my head, there are three characters in my writing universe that are the most like myself. Two of them exhibit portions of my own personality. Acanthus Breese from the Seasons of the Phoenix saga, and Louise Darrow from the Infinity 8 urban fantasy series. Whether these traits just crept into Acanthus when I wasn’t looking, or if they were deliberate, I can’t provide a concrete answer. His character has been around for far too long. Louise I can say for a fact that she was an avatar for me to rid myself of the out of body (astral projection) torments I experienced as a child. Louise is also one of the original constructs of the Infinity 8 idea/storyline.
The third character is Pony. Pony is from the dark fantasy novel Through Rain and Missing Mantaurs (TRAMM). I talk about her in my Hammering Out a Second Edition blog series.
Pony is a bipedal half-centaur mail carrier. Who can barely read. She’s been raised by two foul-mouthed human men who barely tolerate her. When one guardian dies, she inherits his job–at the tender age of eight. Yet the skills and wisdom he drummed into her head before his death guides her through many of the tough spots she finds herself in when dealing with the rest of the world. He taught her to survive–mentally and physically.
She lives and works in a gritty, almost steampunk-like fantasy realm full of elves, humans, gods, priests, and of course, centaurs. She has the body of a human, with a horse’s tail growing out of her lower back. Keeping that albatross of an appendage braided, wrapped, and hidden around her waist like a belt allows her to pass as human most of the time. A centaur’s crest sprouts atop her head that she also often keeps bound up. Her human legs have a light coat of short horse-hair, and her toenails are striped like some horse hooves.
Pony matches the characters I mentioned above in the opposite way. Her personality is a chaotic blend of traits I’d be tickled to have. Her humor is dark; her wit can be quick and snappy. And for the most part, she’s comfortable in her own skin, even if she resents her centaur’s tail from time to time.
How Pony Came To Be
Before Pony, there was a full-blooded female centaur named Penelope Danae. Penelope’s character did not manifest beyond 500 words/two pages. And half of that was just scattered notes and character lists.
Penelope was the building block to Pony. While they were never the same character, they do share some similarities. Striped hooves became striped toenails. And while Penelope was an ambassador delivering official documents, Pony became a mail courier who had to deal with the dregs of society, and the everyday reminder that she’s a half breed. Pony even notes that may be why her sense of humor is so colorful.
Digging through archive files specifically for this blog post, I find Penelope is dated back to at least 2009. I also see that Pony might have surfaced around 2010.
It was also fun to discover that Tobias (a male centaur in TRAMM) was created alongside Penelope. While Penelope was just the springboard of an idea, I’m pleased that Tobias survived the years and ended up in Pony’s novel. Because of this, I feel a renewed urgency to make his presence in TRAMM really work.
Note: The name Penelope may be recycled in TRAMM and in the end, may or may not end up the same 2009 character mentioned here.
I hope you found Pony as fascinating and complex as I have. But we’re not done yet. Grab another cup of coffee, put your feet up, and check out posts from these creative and talented authors.
Amelia Bishop offers a character chat with Alex and Theron! Night Vision is a paranormal gay romance that subtly reminds you Theron is not human. Amelia does not take short cuts with the relationships here. She respects them and provides wonderful layers of character depth and maturity.
Hector Kopczynski delves into the epic fantasy romance, The Piety of Others. Set in a realm rich with detail and characterization, we meet the mysterious Lord General.
Sarah Kay Moll gives us a look into her contemporary dark fiction novel about Ras, the most dangerous man in the whole fucking city, and Nate, a broken drug dealer.
If you’ve enjoyed this hop, let us know in the comments below. Feel free to say hello to the authors, and sign up with their mailing lists if they have one. Also, follow their blogs for general updates, and characters that catch your eye just might pop up again.