When I’m “fermenting” a new story idea, I try to imagine the main character’s likes and dislikes. One of the “likes” I’ve started thinking about is: favorite fictional character.
That’s right. I try to discover who MY fictional character’s favorite fictional character is.
Stay with me on this one. It’s not that convoluted. Really.
Dr. Katherine Riley in my book The Guardian Prophecy may like Jo in “Little Women”. (I know. That’s a given for a strong female character). Patrick Brendan in the same book may admire Hawkeye, not the M.A.S.H. one, The Last of the Mohicans’ one.
I did this little exercise with the short story I’m now writing.
I have a “heroine” who’s not very heroic.
She’s actually pretty nasty.
No, that’s not quite right.
She’s—well—she’s a murdering bitch.
But with good reason. Really.
So, who would her favorite fictional character be?
She actually told me as I was thinking about the story.
I was “writing” the scene in my head.
During English class, the teacher asks each student for their favorite literary character.
My main character eagerly says, “I love Carrie White.”
The teacher is confused. She obviously doesn’t remember any American or English “literature” classic with that character.
Many of the students are laughing. Some are not.
My main character has suffered at the hands of bullies for most of her life.
So did Stephen King’s Carrie White.
The students who aren’t laughing are wise.
Who is your favorite fictional character?