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More character memeage

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 batch is much more random than the last, and is about evenly split between characters I've written quite a lot of, and characters I've either written very little about, or not for a long time. (Also, so far, all men, except for the OC. Interesting, considering that I feel as though I write about the women in my fandoms almost as often as the men.)

FF characters, in alphabetical order:

Auron, as requested by [personal profile] justira
1. Once upon a time, Auron was a true believer. He believed in Yevon, and in the teachings, and that his service was a higher calling. He was a staunch follower of the rules, and believed that if he followed them, he would be rewarded. By the time he learned the truth of the Final Summoning, he had been betrayed on this point so many times that it pretty much broke him.

2. Auron keeps his promises. I think this may be the fundamental aspect of his character in canon. In the end, the mission is everything. Whatever that mission might be -- serving Yevon, guarding Braska, taking care of Yuna and Tidus, guarding Yuna, ending the cycle of Sin -- Auron dedicates himself to it, fully. One might even say obsessively.

3. Because of the above, I have grown resistant to writing Auron in any kind of romantic relationship, during either pilgrimage. It would be a distraction from the mission, from his focus. But this is not to say that Auron doesn't care about people -- quite the opposite, in fact. His loyalty, to people as well as to ideals, is his defining characteristic.

4. Tidus is the closest thing to a son Auron has ever had, although he sees his role as more of an uncle, or perhaps a godfather. Still, there is an emotional connection there, probably stronger for him than to anyone else in the main party.

5. As a young man, Auron was a bit of a hot-head: easily angered, self-righteous, outspoken, although he kept his reaction within the rules. As an older, wiser unsent... he hasn't really changed. He's just learned when to temper his reactions with silence, and to care rather less about the rules.

Baralai, as requested by stardust808
1. I've seen people come up with various backstories for Baralai; the one constant is that he comes from the tradition of Yevon, raised to be a priest, and I agree with this viewpoint. My take is that he was a temple orphan who grew up in Bevelle, taken in to priesthood training as soon as he was old enough. Except for the brief time in the Crimson Squad, Bevelle is all he knows, all he has ever known. Inside Yevon or out of it, this colors his thinking. For one, this is why he went back and aligned himself with a Yevonite faction after the Crimson Squad disaster.

2. On the other hand, he did join the Crimson Squad. We never learn why, but I have the feeling it was out of a desire to prove himself in a new venue: moving out of the realm of the mental/spiritual and into the physical.

3. Baralai is a political creature. He wants power and he wants influence, but he's seen enough of how power corrupts -- in Seymour, in Kinoc, in Trema -- to be cautious of that desire.

4. Baralai has a temper, but it's the kind of slow burn temper that can take a long time, even years, to show itself. But when he finally gets angry, watch out! He might just blow your head off...

Rasler, as requested by stardust808
Rasler has only appeared (briefly, in flashback) in one story I've written, so I'm not sure that I have five useful things to say about him. My sense is that he is a younger son of a powerful family, conditioned by obedience to do as he as told and to serve, a man with strong love for family and country since his first reaction to Nabradia falling under attack was to jump out to the front lines. His marriage to Ashe was arranged, but he truly cared for her as well. Love? It would have come in time, but probably not yet.

If I ever write more of him, I'm sure his character will flesh out for me more.

Tidus, as requested by delladella
1. Tidus is not an idiot. He's young, he's impulsive, he's emotional, he can be immature -- I will grant all these things. It comes, I believe, from being a teenager in a world where there are no teenagers; in a land as hard as Spira, most people jump straight from childhood into adulthood, with no time to be a kid in between. In comparison, Tidus comes from the lap of luxury, so he has some catching up to do. But he's not stupid, and if you write him as though he is, you're committing one of my biggest pet peeves in FFX fandom.

2. As a professional athlete, and one who is very good at what he does, Tidus is always interested in winning. Outside the blitz sphere, this can lead to a casual disregard for rules and conventions, especially if he needs to sidestep them in order to win.

3. Tidus is gregarious and interested in people, always willing to listen to your life story. On the other hand, he tends to form snap judgements, especially about people who leave a bad first impression, and these judgements are hard for him to shake. Thing is? Those snap judgements very often turn out to be correct.

4. In other respects, though, Tidus is very flexible. He adapts to new situations with rapid ease, and we see him doing this again and again: when he appears in Spira in the first place, after being tossed from the Al-Bhed to Besaid, when he learns about Yuna's impending death and then the truth of his own existence. The common characterization of Tidus as "whiny" has always baffled me. Yes, he gets emotional when he's ripped from his world by violence and shows up in a new, unfamiliar place;, when he learns that his father has become a giant sea monster; when he discovers that the girl he likes is on a suicide mission. But it's a natural reaction, and he always bounces back. Most of the time, he's a cheerful and likable young man, always looking forward, never backward. Except...

5. Tidus has spent his entire life trying to impress Jecht, whether or not Jecht is there to notice.

And, now for something completely different...

Dev Donovan -- a Dungeons & Dragons character created first for an RPG, then used in an original story co-authored with oswulf, then revived and slightly reworked for a different D&D campaign -- last seen in 1995 when the latter campaign ended, as requested by above co-author.

1. Dev is independent and anti-social, to the point of actively disliking the company of others. Being a ranger suits her; she would far rather keep her own council than join in with a party.

2. Dev has a serious xenophobic streak, particularly in regards to humans. When she must be in company, she will always choose the company of other elves; dwarves and most other races are tolerable, but humans, especially human men, are to be avoided at all costs. She has been in parties with humans before, but she always keeps her distance from them, and woe betide the human male who tries to tell her what to do. People have lost an arm for less.

3. Woe betide anyone who tells Dev what to do, really. She is headstrong and likes to think that she can be completely self-sufficient. Not completely true, however, mostly because of the next point.

4. There is one exception to Dev's distaste for humans, although he is sort of the cause as well: her half-elven nephew Baltazar. She took to the adventuring life in the first place to help support him and her sister; she blames their outcast status on human prejudice and holds all of humanity responsible as a result. The irony in this position is usually lost on her, however, because...

5. Dev doesn't have much of a sense of humor, about herself or anyone else. She is blunt and straightforward, says what she thinks, and has very little patience for hijinks. As one might expect, working with a kender in one of her adventuring parties was not her favorite thing ever.

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

This entry is also posted at http://owlmoose.dreamwidth.org/515873.html. There are currently comment count unavailable comments on DW.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 9th, 2011 04:51 am (UTC)
I don't know if you have noticed, but Baralai is my obsessive muse. :P

Warning, I'm gonna go into this long-winded, intellectual response to Baralai's characterization. But I will only limit myself to the points you mentioned.

Although the first point of Baralai's vague origins has always frustrated me, at the same time it makes my imaginations go wild. I've read your character sketch of Baralai; I liked the reasoning behind his abnormal hair color, yet for some reason the orphan card irks me. However, everyone is entitled to their own perceptions.

I have reason to believe the way he carries himself through Crimson Spheres 1-3, Baralai has not been traumatized (perhaps wearing a poker face; doubt it, since he wears his heart on his sleeve before meeting Seymour...), yet exudes this quasi-innocence. Open-minded and curious about Al Bhed, at least towards one, shows he either questions things a lot to not be led blindly or has seen some truth behind the cruel persecution to know better. I also believe, similar to Auron, Baralai gave off the impression he bound his very soul to the Yevon doctrine; I can't picture Baralai ever betraying it; he's practically married to it. Everything he has done, he has done for the fabric of his ideals, either broken or not.

Even his goals in the Crimson Squad were vague. Gippal and Nooj, we know why; Paine, you know that answer best; Baralai, I can't deny he's suspicious. I do believe, like you, becoming a warrior monk must have been a childhood dream of his (thanks to an over-analytical friend, she pointed out the "G" insignia's on Baralai's robes that pretty much match the warrior monks...), and I also agree he must have aspired to be more than just a priest. Dare I say Baralai is even Maester material, yet it wouldn't be far-fetched to speculate he might have consulted a Maester for guidance on how to achieve his goals. (It could have been Kelk Ronso for all we know...)

Agree with point 3 completely. I'd also like to add Baralai has a benevolent ego. From believing he could take 3 fighters on all by himself, from shouldering the secret of Vegnagun as *his* responsibility, from enjoying friendly competition in Sanubia Sands. I believe Seymour has taught Baralai many things, as a silver-tongue politician; Kinoc has ingrained the heart of a warrior in him (have to greedy Kinoc some credit, he was a human being, too...); Trema, I've recently come to believe, has implored Baralai to take priority of the future in lieu of obsessing over the past (after all, Baralai prioritized his role as Praetor over his secret vendettas, and I believe Trema is that transition...)

Point 4, old history. Nothing to elaborate on that.

Thank you for fulfilling my request. I enjoyed reading your points, and I hope I didn't annoy you with this. Just felt like putting it out there.

Although a little saddened you didn't have much to say about Rasler, I also understand. He is a minor character, which we know of very little. I'm ashamed to admit I know even less, because I'm not an avid fan of FFXII. Heck, I disliked the gameplay and character development and storyline so much, I couldn't get passed the prologue before dropping the controller multiple times. But, I simply excuse that as FFXII not being my brand of tea. It is yours, so I will not insult it.
Feb. 10th, 2011 04:53 am (UTC)
No worries; meta ramblings are always welcome in this journal. :)

I agree with you that Baralai comes off as being confident, but I don't think that this is necessarily a result of having no trauma in his early life. Some people go through traumas and come out stronger, and perhaps his temper is how it manifests in him. Still, it's a fair point.

I like your expansion on my #3: part of the reason Baralai wants to lead is his confidence that he would be good at it.

And I just now realized that I didn't write a #5 for him! That was definitely not intentional, oops. I think it would be something about how, despite his easygoing demeanor, he doesn't trust other people easily, even before Nooj turned on him. It sure didn't help, though....
Feb. 10th, 2011 05:07 pm (UTC)
There is no denying there are many interpretations to Baralai's past, and they are all fascinating. :3 Maybe he did experience trauma, but not necessarily his own... Heh. His temper is scary; could even rival a Spiran version of Satan. :P

Another reason why I believe why he wants to lead is because, in contrast to FFX-2's lazy, selfish Yuna (sure, she saved the world twice, but do we see her being involved in anything post-game?), busybody Baralai wants to govern the world to a better future; once he's experienced the taste of people relying on him, it's difficult for him to step out of that "pillar of support" mindset. How can he possibly step out of that role or dissolve New Yevon when he knows too much?

Ooh, no wonder. I made a sad face when I didn't see it. :P Didn't trust people easily before the Nooj incident? How so? Where in canon does that clue you in?
Feb. 9th, 2011 02:07 pm (UTC)
Hmmm...I really liked reading what you have to say about Tidus. I agree, and keep many of these ideas in my own mind when considering him.

This reminds me to respond to my own meme, though!
Feb. 9th, 2011 02:18 pm (UTC)
Also, have you ever seen a fic where Auron *wasn't* completely dedicated to Yevon when he was younger? I don't think I have, though it'd be interesting to see a fic like this -- provided it wasn't simply due to some romance.
Feb. 10th, 2011 04:54 am (UTC)
have you ever seen a fic where Auron *wasn't* completely dedicated to Yevon when he was younger?

You know, I don't think I have, and I agree: if it was well done, it could be fascinating. I don't know if I could do it, though; as above, it's such a deeply ingrained aspect of his character for me.
Feb. 10th, 2011 05:14 pm (UTC)
Hmm, in concern to Auron's "lofty" dedication to Yevon, perhaps in childhood, he was a warrior monk first and foremost, not necessarily a believer of Yevon (at first).

Perhaps if he were a child/teenager, the first year of his enlistment, a mere recruit... and when he engages in missions outside Bevelle, where the welfare of people's lives are his duty, he sees the profound effect of the Yevon doctrine, how faith can calm even the most delirious of hearts and Sin-intoxicated minds...

That's how I can see it work. An Auron who wasn't completely dedicated to Yevon. The idea above can even explore how Auron establishes his belief in Yu Yevon, actually.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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