Chihiro, Lucas and Anna: character sketches

These days, I find that I’ve developed some sort of ADD and most of it surrounds one subject:
discussing my characters and novels.

I started reading my first issue of Writer’s Digest and got the urge to start writing. As soon as I get to my room, shut the door and fire up the blog, my mind goes blank. Interest is completely gone.
I honestly don’t know what’s worse, not having anything new to really write about or discussing my previous works with lack of interest.

The three characters I listed came from something I adapted from a fanfiction that really took on a life of its own. If anything, Chihiro’s story is one that I love going back to. Despite the fact she’s somewhat of a tragic figure in my works, I find ways to breathe life into her legacy. Out of curiosity, I scanned through the two later chapters I wrote about her world. Which could be seen as a deliberate rip-off of InuYasha’s feudal Japan where the world is overrun with demons, good and bad. Also humans and half-demons, but most of the demons have animalistic characteristics. Inuyasha is half human, half dog demon. My stories center around the tiger equivalent of that. If anything, I consider the white tiger as my own personal identifier. I was born the year of the tiger and naturally I love all felines in general, but white tigers are a rarity. They’re unique. I made Chihiro a white tiger primarily taking into account she’s also half-human.

The thing that really got me steamed enough to write this was that someone called me out, commenting on my fictionpress.com addition of the story. Their u/n signified her as an InuYasha fan, so I guess that’s where they kinda got the idea. I double-checked the beginning to make sure I didn’t make any reference to it at all. I think their comment was something about my not giving credit to the series.
Probably was right to do so, but part of me was still a little ticked off about it. Like to the point I can feel my forehead boiling under the pressure. Now if this were in contention for publication, okay, there might be some concern.

Yeah, so right now, I’m skimming through an article in the magazine to re-engage myself. Like I have to trick my mind into finding interest in continuing this entry.

I like to believe that I’m generally a character-driven writer. I start onto a new project simply because a certain person inspired me to do so. School crushes being among the first. Prince happened to be another.
Then I wrote a story that took place in Alaska and I think whatever sensuality I was getting while reading about Edward Cullen seeped into the character of Joey Stevens. I believe I called it “Hope in Alaska”… I had to think about that for second, simply because I couldn’t think of anything for the longest time. I wrote the majority of that long-hand simply because it was easier to write that way and I didn’t need to be in front of my computer 24/7 to write something down. My mind was reeling endlessly on the subject. I didn’t care so much for editing myself as writing whatever came to mind. It took a good 9-10 months to write from start to finish, but yeah, it certainly was a journey in itself.

Two of my latest short stories that I was able to finish were based off two specific people.
Jolienne Carine, I wrote in 3 months and was inspired purely on the physical appearance of Alexis Grace from last season’s American Idol. “Jolen” by Dolly Parton was her swan song and I think I was the only person who loved her performance of it. I thought she had a good chance at winning, and was let go too soon. I spent days afterwards reeling about it and put together a very weak plot. A little something about my narrator Casey doing a class assignment with her and several other students… then I go into this whole thing about Jolienne having leukemia and Casey volunteers at the hospital. The two get really close. Part of me is considering rewriting it, but making it that the two did go to school together, but they get close when they become roommates at the hospital. Jolienne for her leukemia and Casey for her scoliosis surgery… yeah, I figured it couldn’t hurt to put a little of that in there because I have real-life material that would do things very nicely. I didn’t necessarily become as close to my roommate for the first 3 days as Casey and Jolienne did, but there was a little something going on that was kinda nice and comforting during that difficult time.

Then of course, “Remember Me” inspired a short story on Tyler Hawkings. The story centers around three characters, Sam, Nash and Cameron. Sam has been in somewhat of a stupor/depression for a summer and goes to school in the fall in the same shape. Nash plays a role as narrator and her older brother. Cameron is brand new to the school and happens to be the only person paying attention to Sam, trying to help her even when he knows nothing about her.
The truth comes out later on that Sam’s boyfriend/fiancee was killed in the crossfire between soldiers and insurgents when he was touring Afganistan. Cameron bares a little resemblence to Tyler, so that’s part of the reason she’s able to open up to him. The story more or less runs on character “juice” alone and the plot occasionally makes appearances.

Sometimes that’s all a writer needs to get started: something that strikes them as something so powerful that it makes them a different person after having experienced it. If anything, the movie helped me appreciate 9/11 more than I ever had, and this year come September 11th, I’ll be obligated to take part in the national rememberance of it.
Yeah, Robert Pattinson is that great an influence on me

 

Chihiro’s story goes something like this:
The story begins in a flashback. Leader of the tiger clan, Kirakotsu takes her daughter (making Chihiro a princess) to a secluded meadow to tell her the story of how she came to be. Falling in love with a human, living in isolation to ensure her survival in her earliest days of life. She then reveals that the humans and tigers are at war and its time that she stepped in to stop the violence. This conversation is to tie up any loose ends and leave Chihiro with life lessons to keep in mind, should the two be forced to part ways because of the war.
To her knowledge, Chihiro’s entire clan had been slaughtered in the war and she leaves her forest and comes into another that happens to be wolf territory. She comes across another half-human creature, Lucas, who is part wolf and had been gravely injured. Immediately, she feels a connection with him and when the village elder gives them shelter, she gives Chihiro Lucas’s backstory. Unknowingly, Chihiro uses the right collection of herbs to heal Lucas’s wounds and listening to his heartbeat is something that would give her confidence and the strength to get through the hardships ahead of her.
After coming across other clans that shunned her for being half-human, she manages to find the one lead by her mother’s older brother Kohaku. He not only takes her in, but decides to make her the heir to the clan when his time is at an end.

Fastforward however many years later. I’m still kinda figuring out how the beasts age compared to humans. But the basic idea is that Chihiro is now 18, whereas the story begins when she’s about half that age. The distrust/fear of humans still remains with her after what they did to her family, but she still thinks about Lucas, hoping that he’s doing all right. In the elder’s storytelling, she really grows to admire him to the point she believes there’s nothing he can’t do because he’d overcome a lot of hardship in his life.
Naturally, the two meet in the most untimely of circumstances and while Chihiro still remembers him, it takes him a while to remember her. The time they had together in the flashback, he was unconscious and gravely injured, but something about her presence is still etched into his memory. More or less, the plot is about Chihiro traveling with Lucas and his friends, Anna and Bastian, during which he’ll train her how to fight. A lot of their conversations have a lot to do with her lack of self-confidence, which boils down to that fateful night where she couldn’t do a thing to help her people and her being half-human. I admit there is a lot of moping on this topic on her part.
Despite that, though, she is willing to go to ridiculous lengths in a couple of situations that put Lucas’s life at risk. Even though he may be powerful enough to defeat his own enemies, she barrels in without thinking and nearly gets herself killed because of it.

That theme develops to the point where it becomes predictable. She’s a tragic character because she more or less gives her life so Lucas is able to live. It’s along the lines of not being able to live in a world where he doesn’t exist. As much as I hate to do, I feels it needs to be done. It makes more sense for it to end up that way instead of her spending the rest of her days pining for Lucas. All the while, she believes Lucas and Anna belong together and would rather not get in the way of that.

Anna had been in Lucas’s life a long time, being the first human he was ever able to trust. Much like the relationship between Inuyasha and Kagome. Strangely enough, as jealous as Kagome is about Kikyo in the series, she’s unusually cool about the relationship that develops between these other two characters.
I’m either not good at writing about jealousy coming from a third-party or I just didn’t want to add anymore conflict. It’s very obvious to the reader that Chihiro is in love with Lucas to the point she’s sarcificing herself for him. He feels a little something for her, but in the bonds they share as being half-human. He hadn’t really spent much time around another half-breed before and he finds part of it intriguing and the other part is a whole mixture of feelings. He’s your typical tough guy with the gooey center, but he’s not really open about his feelings. Claims they get in the way.

Though I’d hate to end this spiel like this, that ADD is kicking in again.

I spent some of yesterday watching a couple Charlie Chaplin films, just as I promised myself I would. The Tramp and Vagabond were maybe 20 minutes long each, the first was a little better than the other. But Gold Rush was definitely my favorite so far. The edition posted on YouTube had some narration by Chaplin himself, which I believe he added later on. He always referred to his character as “the little fellow”… omg, its so funny to hear him call himself that

Right now, I’m watching “City Lights”… which I was under the impression won best picture, though it did not. Got a lot of critical acclaim as one of Chaplin’s absolute best.
So far, it’s been great 😀

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