March 18, 2010

Unusual Way to do a Character Study

I discussed how housework acts like meditation for me and often leads to bursts of creativity on Tuesday. Today I want to talk about an instance that helped me come to the conclusions I reached.

A couple weeks ago my grandparents asked to look after the girls for a while, so I had the afternoon to myself. As I often do on days like these, I decided to get ahead on my tasks for the next day. So since we sold our stereo along with some other things and furniture when we moved, I set up the computer to use for music. I found a Buffy, Angel, and Supernatural play list on YouTube, set it to playing and went about my work.

I went through the pantry, cleaned out the refrigerator, and tended to lots of other chores while the videos played. Finally it started playing this video. I'd seen it a few days before. It's set to "Animal I Have Become" by Three Day's Grace, and it's about Angel with and without his soul intact. The inkling of an idea niggled at the back of my mind since I'd seen the video the first time, and it came to the fore while I was cleaning that day. Then the following video came on, and I was struck by a connected idea. This one is set to "I Hate Everything About You" once again, by Three Day's Grace and is about Buffy and Angel's relationship.

Both ideas were for character study/promotional videos centering around Ralic Virchow from the Yekara Series. "Animal I Have Become" suits Ralic's life perfectly. I'd never thought that much about his fall from grace before this idea, and even if I never get the chance to put together the video I plotted simply to get the notion to leave me alone, I've gained a valuable insight into his character. (Yes, the idea stuck around, nagging at me with an obsessive passion until I had a storyboard written out and tentative cast made up of friends and family. Thankfully it's left me alone for the past week.)

The second idea looks at the relationship between Ralic and Chantal. The wording isn't exactly right for their story, but the line, "I hate everything about you, so why do I love you?" sums up Chantal's sentiments rather nicely.

Will the information I've come up with because of these ideas be included in the books? Some, I'm sure, but I doubt all of it will be. Will it influence my characterizations? Yes it will. Will I say exactly what all I came up with? No.

I said this when Rowling let slip about Dumbledore's sexuality, and I'll say it again. If it's not in the books, it's not important. Well, not really, but the beauty of art is its ability to mean different things to different people. I'll keep my Yekara world book to myself, and you can have your interpretations unsullied by unpublished "cannon."

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