When I write, I often think about my life, experiences, or things I would have liked to have done, seen, or meddled in. I also find the waves of my brain swelling over and under fictional characters who have influenced me, whether in reality or in my imagination.
I can remember as a kid so wanting to be one of Peter Pan's hoard. How cool. Or Benji; although he was a 'live' dog, he played a fictitious character. I so wanted that character in my house. And what about ET. Man, I think I sat outside on our flat-roofed garage, staring up at the stars just knowing there was an alien out there just for me. *cheesy, but that's me*
One of my favorites was Scooby Doo. Aw, come on, didn't every girl want Velma's brain in Daphne's body? I know I did.
Somehow subconsciously, all these past characters and the elements that made them drift over those waves in my head and eventually I'll find myself stopping. And I begin to tread there. Whether I know it or not, I do. And they influence me.
So today, we're highlighting those characters that we are thankful to have known.
Jessie: This probably going to sound cheesy, but I'm thankful for Bella Swan. When I started writing, I had read some YA of course, but hadn't really clicked with a character yet. Turns out I wasn't reading what was right for me. The Twilight phenomenon really turned me on to YA paranormal romance and I have read so many great books in that genre since then. Bella also helped me understand better what I did and did not want from my own female MC. While there will always be people who criticize Stephanie Meyer's writing style, she definitely taught me a thing or two about building romance and tension.
A.E.:I am thankful for each heroine I read. FromTwilight'sBella Swan toStrange Angels'Dru Anderson, there are lessons to be learned. What I don't like in a lead female... What I do like. I love characters with a solid sense of growth through the story arc, like Chloe Saunders inThe Darkest Powerstrilogy. My favorites are the girls who start out strong and grow from there. I've found I hate whiners, I dislike the wishy-washy, the clingy, and the needy characters who seem defined by their significant others.
Nikki: I’m going to have to go with Hermione Granger. Originally I was going to pick Harry Potter, because I can’t imagine living my life having not read the series (over and over again) - but I can relate much more to Hermione! As the brainiac with frizzy hair (yes my hair is actually naturally curly) growing up, I could empathize with her being the class know-it-all and finding herself ostracized for it. I could immerse myself into her pain when Ron drooled over other girls, and her exasperation when those around wouldn’t take heed to her advice. But mostly, I loved reading of (and watching) Hermione’s faithful devotion to Harry and Ron, and following her growth into a heroic young woman.
JA: I'm going to have to say Laura Templeton from the Dream trilogy by Nora Roberts. I know it isn't a YA book, but when I was reading this book I was going through a difficult time with things in my life and she reminded me it's better to grab onto the things that make you happy, then to obsess about what doesn't. It's still something I struggle with, but when I'm feeling down and out I think about her and her happy ending. :D
And for me, I'm going with my ultimate girl, Lizzy Bennet. I totally relate to her feistiness, but also her stubborn flare. She helped me see things within myself at a young age that I was unwilling to see. Now, changing those ornery qualities took a tad longer. But that's another subject, probably for my parents and my hubby.