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the wanderer // SotC AU

"Hello again my good people. I hope you're keeping well, even in these troubled times."

Through torn nearly to shreds by the radio's scratchy speaker, the voice is smooth and warm as a mother's arms. A mother's, not necessarily his, as Wander hasn't thought of his own mother for a very long time, much less her relative warmth.

"I know things may seem bleak. The sun has a while yet to rise before the first rays peek over the dusty horizon, but I believe if we put our hearts into it, we can pull through."

The sun. He spent all day under the sun's glare as he wove around piles of abandoned cars on Agro, their husks brushed aside by the massive thing he now pursued. Agro. He put a hand to her smooth flank, now cool from the night air. The fire gleamed off her headlight even beneath the road grime coating her from days of travel. His only companion. He'd be lost without her.

"You know, you're a very special person, and that's why I make this broadcast every night. It's to let you know you are not alone out there, that we're all rooting for you. You are the only one who can do this, but if you succeed, it means a bright new future for us all. For you, your loved ones, for all the people around the world."

Beside the radio sat the GPS, a boxy old thing with a simple screen. A large dot moved slowly across it, tracking the current target through unknown means. Next to it was a matte black sheathe, containing the item he would destroy the target with. It wasn't his to use, but the radio said he was the only one who could do it. It would be useless, letting it sit there and collect dust while it could have saved them all in the right hands.

The broadcast faded into a muffled anthem, a familiar tune he'd heard hundreds of times. It played on, tinny and proud and so very, very small in the wasteland. He closed his eyes, humming along faintly.

Once the music had faded, the message played itself again, with all the love and warmth it ever had, and always would. Every day and every night.

"Hello again my good people. I hope you're keeping well, even in these troubled times..."

On Beloved Characters

As a writer and artist, I often can't help but create characters to inhabit the stories I invent, as well as stories that already exist, such as those in video games or movies. As I develop them, I come to care about them, often deeply, and I want to share them with people.

Naturally, because I love my characters and find them charming or cute or funny or sympathetic, I want other people to love them as well. Ideally you'd bring a character into a dressing room or other community and have people fawn over them instantly. Well, this just does not happen. You have to work at it a little.

Why do people like characters? Often because they can relate to and sympathize with them. For example, I have Mu, an Alpha Series Big Daddy character from the Bioshock universe. Now I'm under the impression that my RP buddies like Mu. It's perfectly possible that they're all just lying to me, but I like to think that they're better than that. Mu's had it fairly rough. Besides being framed and arrested for murder, he's also struggled with Autism and an inability to conduct himself in public. His life is not just a string of tragedies, though. Woe-is-me gets old quickly. As sad as the things that may happen to Mu are, he has people in his life that care about him, and he finds happiness through them. Even as a sick, half-mad diving suit mutant, he has happiness in his life, and somebody he loves. He's a human being, and I've worked hard at trying to make him one. He has his strengths and flaws, lots of flaws, but he manages to survive in spite of them, and people find this endearing.

Or let's look at another beloved character, this one belonging to a friend of mine. He comes from the same universe, though he's a regular human being rather than a Big Daddy like Mu. He's a man addicted to a genetics-twisting superdrug, and like any addict, he can get desperate at times. In spite of this, he tries to be a good person. He has a daughter he struggles to raise and mold into a better person than he is, and a husband he wants desperately not to disappoint. Like anybody he has moments of weakness and self-pity, but he does not wallow in his misery and instead allows himself to be helped through it by those he loves.

I think I've gotten off-track now. My point is: show, don't tell. Let us get to know your character through their actions. It's not enough to just sit them down and point to them and shout, "Look at my character! I like them! Don't you like them? Don't you?!"  That sort of thing will probably drive people away.

I don't believe anybody can ever love a character as much as the character's creator, and sometimes you just have to accept that. If your character fails to endear themselves, you can either work a little harder to make them appealing, or you can accept it and move on to something else.
I'm extremely glad the protesters didn't come back. To be honest I wasn't sure I could last another day without snapping and throwing something at them.

I've already ranted at length about this to too many people so I won't say any more.

On another note I recently recalled a story I'd written for a high school Creating Writing course, which featured some sort of odd doll people with interchangeable body parts. I wish I still had it saved somewhere, because it was an interesting concept albeit one I had no idea where I was going with. Thinking about it now, it really was trying too hard to be edgy and I do hope I've grown more subtle in my writing since.

There are too many things I think I just draw or write about and then completely forget. One of these days I'll pick apart my old sketchbooks and save anything I think has potential. I just have to remember to get around to it. Since I do have to concentrate more on my original work and not just fan things I've done, I may as well. There could be some really good stuff in there, and even my work from 2005 doesn't burn my eyes. Well, most of it. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and slap my younger self in the face shouting "WHY DID YOU THINK THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA?!" But alas, alas.





faublash moth says haaaay
Captain Sexy Bidoof Williams

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