Characters wanted

Every writer wants to create memorable characters. Sometimes the character becomes more famous that the writer who created him (or her). Quick, now: Can you name the authors who created Sherlock Holmes, Tarzan, and Captain Nemo? (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jules Verne.) More modern literary heroes include James Bond, Batman, and my wife’s favorite, Temperance Brennan. (Ian Fleming, Bob Kane, and Kathy Reichs.) The author who can give us such memorable characters certainly doesn’t mind being less famous than his or her creation, at least when they cash their royalty checks.

Emily Deschanel as Temperance “Bones” Brennan
Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes

 

Daniel Craig as James Bond

 

As an aficionado (that’s my big word for the day) of thriller novels, sometimes known as action/adventure, I’m partial to a strong character. An author who creates one of these can use him or her over and over again in a series, and sometimes it will take on a life of its own. Conan Doyle got so tired of Holmes that he actually killed him off in “The Final Problem,” with Holmes plunging to his death at the Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland as he struggles with his arch-enemy, Professor James Moriarty. As Holmes fans well know, Conan Doyle brought the detective back to life after an uproar from his readers. The struggle at the Reichenbach was recently recreated on the big screen in Downey’s Sherlock Holmes 2: Game of Shadows, and on the small screen in the excellent PBS/BBC miniseries Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as a cleverly-done modern-day version of the sleuth.

Several months ago I picked up a paperback in my local bookstore by the author David Poyer, a graduate of the Naval Academy and a long-time Navy officer. It was The Crisis, and I quickly discovered this was the 12th novel in Poyer’s series starring Dan Lenson, an idealistic Annapolis grad who becomes an officer on a destroyer in the post-Vietnam Navy. Rather than start at #12, I looked up the series and started at the beginning, with The Circle. The story begins with Lenson, newly commissioned after graduating the Academy, reporting for duty aboard his first ship, an old destroyer that is soon off to the Arctic on a mission to test a new sonar device. Lenson soon has to deal with violent weather, devious shipmates, a seemingly indecisive captain and a rogue Soviet submarine.       Dan Lenson's latest adventure.

Very few writers are fortunate enough to create a character that resonates like Holmes or Bond. It takes talent, certainly, but luck plays a big part. If President Kennedy had not mentioned one time that he was reading a Fleming novel, Bond might never have made such a big impact. Similarly, a favorable comment by President Reagan about The Hunt for Red October helped launch the career of insurance salesman-turned-thriller novelist Tom Clancy.

Perhaps President Obama will have time on the campaign trail this fall to read The White Vixen, when it’s e-published. I’ll send him the link, and make sure you get one, too. Even if the president doesn’t get around to it, I hope you’ll find Jo Ann Geary to be a compelling character.

If The White Vixen makes it to the screen, my pick to play Jo is Maggie Q.
Advertisements

31 thoughts on “Characters wanted

  1. Hi there, i read your blog occasionally and i own a
    similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam feedback?
    If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you can recommend?

    I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so any support is very much appreciated.

    1. A lot of the comments are first listed as spam, so I have to go through each one. Most are legit but some are not. I don’t think there are any easy answers to this one. Just like the writing itself, managing the blog is work, there’s no getting around it.

  2. Greetings I am so excited I found your weblog, I really found you by error, while I was browsing on Askjeeve for something else. Regardless I am here now and would just like to say thanks for a tremendous post and a all round entertaining blog. (I also love the theme/design!) I don’t have time to read through it all at the moment but I have book-marked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more. Please do keep up the great job.

  3. Do you have a spam problem on this blog; I also am a blogger, and
    I was curious about your situation; we have developed some
    nice procedures and we are looking to trade solutions with other folks, why
    not shoot me an e-mail if interested.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Charlyn. Haven’t had problems with spam, I have a pretty good filter on this one. You can contact me directly via the contact form on the blog. Happy to exchange ideas.

  4. I was suggested this website by my cousin. I
    am not sure whether this post is written by him
    as no one else know such detailed about my difficulty.
    You’re wonderful! Thanks!

  5. Great blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere?

    A design like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my
    blog jump out. Please let me know where you got your theme.

    Appreciate it

    1. Hello, Katlyn, the theme I use is “Capoverso” from WordPress. I looked at a number of their themes and this one impressed me. It’s simple, easy to work with, not too busy and overall it does the job for me. The main page, showing the lake, is custom-made; that’s a photo of the lake we live on, taken from our house.

  6. Hi there i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting
    anywhere, when i read this article i thought i could also make comment due to this brilliant piece of writing.

  7. Your style is really unique compared to other people
    I have read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I’ll just bookmark this
    site.

  8. You are so interesting! I don’t think I’ve truly read a single thing like that before.
    So good to discover somebody with some genuine thoughts on this issue.
    Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This web site is something that’s needed on the web, someone with some originality!

  9. magnificent put up, very informative. I wonder why
    the opposite experts of this sector don’t understand this.
    You should proceed your writing. I am confident, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

  10. Excellent post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and I am impressed!

    Very helpful info particularly the last section 🙂 I take care of such information a lot.
    I was looking for this particular info for a long time.
    Thanks and good luck.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s