Sunday, December 8, 2013

D is for Dancer

A bit of a letdown from Nanowrimo, the start of the Christmas season and summer as well as Test cricket kind of conspired to keep me from posting over the last week and a bit, but now I'm free and clear and thought I'd go back to the Realmspace dictionary.

Now D could stand for nothing else other than Dancer, as he is the hero, central character and narrator of Realmspace.

He's not actually the oldest character in terms of when he was created. I think that honour still goes to Aleanaes and that's kind of fitting really, when you consider her role as a Benefactress and as Dancer's mentor in many ways.

Dancer made his first appearance as a rather generic elf as the central character in a short story I wrote as a teenager, when I was still marshalling ideas and getting up the courage to try another novel.

He was a very different sort of character then. He looked much the same, short, slight, dark hair, although he did have the pointed ears of an elf, something that the current model doesn't have. He was also mute, preferring to express himself through the medium of dance, which is of course what gave him the name.

Over the years I refined him and added the dark spirit Sneak into the mix. Sneak lives within Dancer and generally only comes out when needed, mostly when the host is under threat. Other refinements were the power of speech. In fact the new Dancer was actually quite mouthy and generally ready with a wisecrack or a snarky rejoinder. He also became a thief of no mean ability.

The alter ego of the bullied teen Darren is a fairly new addition. Darren really only came into being because I needed to anchor the story to a contemporary earthbound setting for a number of reasons and Darren allowed me to do that. This also gives the reader the advantage of looking at the two, comparing them and seeing the differences between the two in both how they act and their contrasting lifestyles.

The character has probably endured for as long as he has because I like him. I think you need to like your main characters on some level. I have to admit I do some awful things to him and I seem to delight in breaking his heart, but I do like him and he's a good person to have in your corner when things get tight and you need an escape plan. Besides if he weren't on the right side there's no way the Gleems would hang out with him.

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