Last week, just for some fun I decided to follow the post I had written about Characters with a little gallery of images portraying my personal favorite characters. I thought I would focus a little bit more on these white haired heroes (and anti-heroes) of mine.
Not just so I could google more images of them, that was just a pleasant distraction from my lunch, I wondered why we connect to characters? Why do we hold imaginary literacy and films and games and cartoons and TV shows (etc…) in our hearts? Why do we cry when they suffer, even though they appear as nothing more than words on a page? Why do fangirls get jealous if the writer introduces a love interest?
Truth is, I honestly don’t know, I’m no analyst or psychologist, I do not know how the human mind works or why (or how) we form relationships with make believe people, creatures or aliens. I only know that we do and I have.
There are many popular examples in literature and movies… heroes, rogues, scoundrels, The cocky gunslinger with attitude, I don’t need to name examples. Everyone has their own personal favorites and their own stories of discovery and passion.
I can trace my passion for Fantasy Role Playing Games right back to two very dodgy old ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ books from around 1988. ‘Darian – Master Magician’ & ‘Issel – Warrior King’… I was hooked … With the introduction of HeroQuest from Games Workshop I started to develop my own characters and write my own stories… Although my love for all things Fantasy and Sci-Fi predates this time period, to the very essence of my childhood, with Star Wars, Flash Gordon and a whole host of Gerry Anderson puppets. I even designed and wrote adventures for my own cartoon character as a child, called ‘Bug’ … I suppose I could still draw him if I tried… It was my introduction to HeroQuest which really flared my creative soul into action, my characters took on a life of their own as I carefully penned adventures which I ran with my friends after school.
Yet my characters were also inspired from existing characters from well established authors. I was a totally addicted and to this day, my characters still haunt my dreams from time to time. I painted miniature figures, rolled dice, read books, completely disregarded the rules and created my own gaming system, which was crap! But I thought it was decent enough to work a whole A-Level Design project around (I got a Grade C).
I think you get the impression, how my love developed into an obsessive passion, how my characters took on a life of their own, even (or especially) those ‘loosely’ based on existing literacy characters. Yet I still can not answer ‘Why?’ they resonate so deeply with me. However, I’m nearly out of lunch break and I haven’t even began to explore the five characters I picked out as my personal favorites in the previous post…
… That will give me something to do tomorrow then!
Anne Harrison 13.01.16