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Writing characters meme: Responses

Pick a character I write, and I will give you the top five ideas/concepts/other I keep in mind while writing that character that I believe are essential to depicting them accurately.

This is an interesting batch of characters for me to consider in this light: three different canons (sort of -- one of the X/X-2 characters appears only in FFX and the other only in FFX-2), all men, all secondary characters, all with few specifics from canon, all characters I have written more about, I think, than most writers in the fandom. In each case, I've had to take the tidbits canon gives us and run with them (although we know somewhat more about Nooj than the other two). Fortunately, that's one of my favorite things to do with a character. Writing minor characters is fun, for just this reason.

With all that in mind, and in alphabetical order (and with spoilers for all three games):

Al-Cid, as requested by [personal profile] justira

1. Ivalice is a world dominated by political intrigue. Having the right piece of information at the right time, forming the proper alliances, can mean the difference between success and disaster. This truth affects anyone with power or position in Ivalice, and Al-Cid has a small measure of both.

2. As a younger son in a house of many, Al-Cid is not particularly important at home. A man with another sort of tempermant would chafe at this, but it's a role Al-Cid is content with, because...

3. Al-Cid is not interested in personal power, or in expanding Rozarria's influence in Ivalice. In the game, he passes up a couple of opportunities to solidify his own position, and Ashe's rejection of his offer of shelter is taken with no fuss. I always write him as a man who is most interested in peace, stability, balance. If that means Rozarria has less power in the wider world, so be it.

4. Al-Cid is a collector of information. I see him as the kind of person who likes to know more than anyone else in the room, and who doesn't take well to being surprised by the passage of events.

5. Al-Cid is an incorrigible flirt who loves women. We see hints of this in the game, and I gather that it becomes an even more aspect of his personality during his guest stint in Tactics Advance 2. These are his "birds", referenced obliquely in canon, who provide him with information and, most likely, companionship. This is, to me, one of Al-Cid's most defining characteristics, and also one of the hardest to pull off: making him flirtatious without being skeezy requires some careful balancing. In particular, I need to be careful that he treats his women, and every woman he meets, with the utmost respect.

Kinoc, as requested by muggy_mountain

1. Kinoc doesn't think that he's the bad guy. This is true, I suppose, for any villain, but I especially feel like I have to keep it in mind for Kinoc. He truly believes that the Crusaders need to be reigned in, that rule by the dead and the leadership of Yevon is what's best for Spira.

2. Auron and Kinoc were truly friends, once upon a time. I have written before about the puzzle of Kinoc and Auron: Auron makes it clear that he thinks very little of the man Kinoc is now, and yet one of his strongest shows of emotion is in the battle with Seymour, when he vows to avenge Kinoc's apparent murder. My desire to explore this apparent contradictions was one of the driving forces behind the writing of A Guardian's Legacy. Kinoc cannot be worthless, or rotten to the core. There has to have been something more there, even if it's not much in evidence by the time of the game.

3. The above two points notwithstanding, Kinoc is driven by personal ambition above all else. If that means stepping on the people that get in his way, so be it. This is more of a gut feeling than anything specific from canon, but it seems to fit. There is a ruthless streak in him, evident during Operation Mi'ihen and his appearances in Bevelle.

4. Yevon is both a religious order and a political one. Somehow, it has always seemed to me that the politics are more important to Kinoc than the religion.

Nooj, as requested by [personal profile] lescafenix

1. For much of the time we know him, Nooj is not entirely himself. How much of what we see is driven by Shuyin? The question of how much is Nooj and how much is Shuyin is endlessly fascinating to me.

2. Nooj is (or has been, depending on the timeframe of the story) suicidally depressed. That's something that will color one's outlook on life. I try not to let it overwhelm his character, but I can't forget it, either.

3. Similarly, Nooj has physical disabilities; these both limit what he can do and frustrate him. No fast running, no walking around without the cane, no two-handed weapons.

4. Nooj is a natural leader even though he doesn't particularly want to be. One of the NPCs at Mushroom Rock mentions that the day-to-day running of the Youth League is mostly left to Lucil's hands; that doesn't quite make Nooj a figurehead, but it's close.

5. Paine is a significant factor in his life. Whether they were together before the game or not, whether or not they get (back) together afterwards, there is strong emotion there, and it's important to him. I can't write him any other way.

Original meme post here (DW) and here (LJ). More requests are definitely welcome.

This entry is also posted at http://owlmoose.dreamwidth.org/514538.html. There are currently comment count unavailable comments on DW.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
muggy_mountain
Jan. 27th, 2011 05:52 am (UTC)
Agreed, on all points.

Kinoc doesn't think that he's the bad guy.

That's one of my favorite aspects of Final Fantasy X - the game makes it clear there's no real villains, at lease not in the present-day Spira. It's all a bunch of people mixed up in a system and in their minds.

This makes me want to write more of my Auron-as-maester interpretation.


Did you forget one for Kinoc?
owlmoose
Jan. 27th, 2011 11:53 am (UTC)
I did not forget. I literally could not think of a fifth. :\ It was late and I wracked my brains but nothing came to mind. When one comes to mind, I will update and tell you!

I so want to see a good Maester Auron AU.
(Deleted comment)
owlmoose
Jan. 28th, 2011 10:34 pm (UTC)
I don't think people realize what a disservice they do to the character they purport to like by excising that love interest or denigrating him/her.

Yes, very much agreed. If this love interest is so terrible, awful, all around worthless, why does this character you like care for them at all? It's mark of characterization fail, on both sides of the relationship.

To be fair, my initial interest in Nooj came from my fandom of Paine, but I've grown almost equally found of Nooj over so many years of writing him, with Paine and on his own. But still, I thank you for the compliment. :)

Regarding your request, I don't often write Tidus as a POV or even main character, but I enjoy writing about him and have strong thoughts on his characterization, so I am happy to add him to the list!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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