Being in the mind of a writer is like living in the middle of an orchestra pit during Verdi’s Aida. Music, beautiful despite all the shades of color, constantly swirls around you, sounding in your ears and lifting you to an entirely different plane, one where anything is possible.
Good luck staying in reality.
Ideas for stories constantly bombard me, scrabbling for my attention, pulling at my hair and clutching my arms. And many times, these ideas are in the form of people, characters who need their stories told.
See, when I meet a character, it’s not an option for me to disregard them. They deserve to live and breathe through the words I put together. To me, they are real. How could I deny a friend, someone I understand as if I’d known them my whole life, the chance to come alive?
So I collect them. I have so many stories — and each story has many characters — that surround me, but I can only work on so many things at a time. But that doesn’t stop me from loving my patient — or not — babies and getting to know them better.
One that’s been stuck in my head recently doesn’t yet have a name. He needs one that isn’t from here, but I’m not that great at coming up with them. So, here’s what he looks like:
He’s from a novel I’ve got under the working title, “What Unfamiliarity Does,” but it’s a lame name and it needs fixing. It’s about three young adults who are brought by a man who’s a little mentally unbalanced to another world in deep political turmoil, and they are expected to fulfil the prophecy of peace returning to the land. There are two divisions — those still loyal to the princess and the portion of people who have followed her corrupt uncle.
This little man right up there is basically the usurping uncle’s right-hand man.
Oh, and before I continue, I’m gonna be honest here: Ruki from the GazettE totally inspired him. I needed a bitty person who was bad. Ruki’s height and stage/media persona fit so well, and I love his little face. He’s just Ruki, you know? But while Ruki inspired my person, he has fleshed out until he has become whole. The role he fills also was a huge factor in how he came to be. He is needed in the story, and I think he’s a character who will constantly be full of surprises. You never know what’s up his sleeve.
So, for all of us to get to know him better and because I am dying to spend more time with him, we’re going to have a Q&A.
Why does he not have a name?
Because he needs something exotic — preferably imagined, but nothing’s come yet. The naming of a character is a huge process, and you have to make sure you’ve got it exactly right. Mira.
Well, now you see how my writing/naming/inspiration process works. I have to have something spark it, and writing about him just did. I wanted to name him after my friend Mirriam Neal, since she’s the one who introduced me to a lot of things that helped him come to be, and she loves Ruki as much as I do. And jotting down random letter combinations inspires me, too.
Not exactly exotic or abnormal, but this is a guy we’re talking about, so yes, in a sense it is. And now there’s no going back — he has claimed his name.
Sorry for the interruption — inspiration called.
What would be our first impression of him?
Mira has an air about him that is distant and mysterious, yet there is a certain laziness. Perhaps ‘lazy’ isn’t the right word … languid? While he never gives much more than a passing glance, he takes in everything about you, and somehow, you know it. You feel the danger of this man and know he cannot be trusted.
What does he think of himself?
He tries not to. He does his duties, he shrewdly watches over everything around him, but he knows his shortcomings — and outright failures and mistakes — all too well to be comfortable with himself. It’s one reason why insults hurt him much more than he shows. For most people, the story is about them. Each character, supporting or principal, is of the opinion that the story is theirs, and they’re right. It wouldn’t be the same without them. But Mira’s idea is that he is very much a supporting character in a play so grandoise the sets, the script, and even the actors will fall apart at the slightest touch. He is a master of intrigue and manipulation, and he knows how dangerous this game is.
How does he treat others?
He seems very passive towards others. He puts on a facade that is very apathetic, one that leaves the word problems to others and simply does the equation. It’s a protection. No one is able to get near him that way — his heart, his soul, everything is guarded by a silken film impossible to see through.
What are his goals?
The principal one is just to live another day. He plays a very dangerous game and his desire to avoid losing is very strong.
What is his spirit animal?
Probably something like a jaguar. Hidden in the trees, but a powerful predator. You don’t know he’s there until he attacks.
Does he fight using words or weapons?
Mira? Fight? Yeah, right. He stays out of every confrontation he can. He’s one that likes to skirt issues, always taking the back-door approach. If he had to choose one, it would be words. He can talk his way out of pretty much anything, somehow pinning the blame elsewhere.
Is there anyone in the world he’s close to?
No. He tries his best to protect others from himself and those that would hurt them. And love would be a weakness — if anything went wrong, that person would be the prime target for his enemies. He doesn’t want to make that choice between someone he cares for and his mission and beliefs. In truth, he also doesn’t think himself worthy of love. Friends, family … for their own welfare, he cannot have them.
How does he dress?
He lives in the desert, but actually wears quite a few layers that he will take off or put on according to his mood and temperature. He usually wears things in either black or red, but he does love fashion and color is certainly a part of that for him. He loves accessorizing. Necklaces, bracelets … rings are a favorite. It rather makes him feel powerful. And his hair always has volume, and he is quite partial to red lipstick.
What is his role in the story?
I want him to be a very prominent character, but so far logic and Mira himself are telling me that isn’t possible. But while he may or may not be prominent in person (we’ll see who wins this war), his effect on the novel will be immeasurable.
Because … he’s a double agent.
Ha, ha. That was your teaser. And goodness knows I won’t be able to get to the novel for real anytime soon, so I’m kind of harming us all in this process.
So that was Mira. He’s my baby and I love him.