Throwback Thursday: The Characters Who Raised Me

Hey there everyone! How are you doing today? The week’s almost over, can you believe it? I got a request from one of my loyal readers recently: a post about fictional characters, whether mine or someone elses, and how they’ve helped me grow into who I am now. Honestly, I find this topic super interesting, and the fact I can use any number of characters is pretty awesome. So, shall we jump right in?

When I was young, Cardcaptor Sakura was a big part of my life. It inspired me to let my imagination go wild, sure, but that’s not why I’m noting it here. No, I’m here to note a specific line I always heard Syaoran Li say: Expect the Unexpected.

This quote has lived in my heart for over a decade. I try my best to prepare for all situations, and am never as shocked when something goes awry as others might be. I’m certainly not patient, but I did learn to take a look at the bigger picture to see what things are unlikely, but could happen. To Syaoran, I send my thanks. This was a really good life lesson.

Another character that really inspired me was a game character- namely Linear Cannon from Evolution Worlds. Her gentility and gentle mannerisms intrigued me greatly, but what it really boosted was my love for music. See, Linear’s got two primary skill sets- one with a frying pan she can hit you with, the other being her ocarina. The music from her ocarina was always beautiful, and it even made me want my own. I do have one, but I can’t play. Still, Linear warmed my heart- and she opened me up to just how music can affect the world in different ways.

Those are just characters that affected me early in my life, however. There’s some that in recent years have helped teach me a variety of lessons and inspired me in a variety of ways. I’d like to give them some time in the spotlight too!

First, Natsume Yuujinchou’s title character, Natsume Takashi. To me, Natsume’s usually soft tone and gentle demeanor are quite nice- but what I really like about him is that he’s learned to balance life dealing with yokai and dealing with people. It takes time for him to adjust to this lifestyle- but that he’s always trying to help people and yokai alike is really moving, and the fact that he can balance those two worlds he lives in is remarkable. It makes me want to work hard to balance my life too. God knows I need it!

Another character that inspired me is Uru from Shiawase Kissa Sanchoume. Uru, the heroine, is a very strong girl- physically and mentally. She causes a lot of ruckus in life, but she tries hard to be helpful to anyone she can. I consider Uru a great role model- she’s creative, she sees the best in people (which I try to, and try harder now that I’ve seen Uru in action)… And she always makes up for her blunders, which I still need to learn to do more.

The fifth character from other fiction that’s helped me grow as a person is Hades-sensei from Hokenshitsu no Shinigami. What lesson did I learn from someone named after a death god, you might be asking. The answer is quite simple: Hades-sensei is an amazingly hard worker, and will do his best to take care of people even if they’ve harmed him, physically or mentally, or just in general are rude. He’s patient and hard working, things I most certainly am not. He knows his face is a bit scary, but he tries his best to ignore that factor, because it’s all just superficial anyway. To me, this is all a great lesson in personal growth. His determination is truly admirable.

I’ve talked about five characters from fiction of others- but now, I think it’d be fun to tell you about the lessons my own characters have given me over time. So who’s going to be first? To my surprise, it’s Alien Irony’s Lily Hawkins!

Lily has taught me more about the beauty of being honest than anything or anyone else in the world. She’s a lesbian, and she doesn’t hide it, nor does she try to hide who she likes. No matter how many times Sakura rejects her, Lily continues to cling on and believe in a future together. I find her determination and ability to be as bold as she is quite admirable, and want to better learn how to be a bit bolder.

Another character of mine from Alien Irony that really speaks to me and teaches me things is none-other than the head of covert operations, Walter Graile. Walter is an interesting person. He goes with the flow and acts as if he doesn’t think things through, when really he’s calculating any information remotely related to what he’s working on at a given time. In a way, he reminds me of that old line to ‘expect the unexpected’, but the way he does it and the way it’s worked out for him is remarkable. He found a place to belong even if he didn’t get into acting quite the way he wanted. He reminds me to be less laser-focused, and to accept alternatives.

Next up is Kana Carina, an old roleplay character I had for a while that turned into the heroine of one of my WIPs, Luna Blue. Kana is a strong-willed girl wit her priorities pretty straight in her head. She’s not weak against change, and in fact thrives in it- something I am still learning to do. She may have a few bad habits, but what shines through the most when I write her is her devotion to those around her, as well as her need to keep promises even if they were made only to herself. I think it’s really admirable, and I think I’d like to be half the woman she is considering those traits. Maybe not her tendency to work until she collapses, though.

Speaking of Luna Blue, I can’t help thinking Kieran fits the topic of characters that teach me. Kieran is from a species similar but not akin to humans- and, for the most part, his kind hate humans! Kieran, however, tries to find the good in them, and lives among them to make an educated decision about how he thinks of them. His optimism and idealism rival my own in a way I can’t explain- but the fact that he works so hard to come up with his own decisions is quite nice. It’s a skill I have a lot of work to do with!

And finally, the fifth of my own characters that raised me sends us back to Alien Irony. Should I be worried only two series of mine got included in this post? Anyway, the fifth character to inspire me, raise me, and motivate me is Sayaku. Sayaku is an alien that’s come to my version of Earth to be near his sister, who moved there due to health reasons. Sayaku has been hurt many times by women he loved (and by hurt I mean beaten up)… But he never once blamed them for his wounds, and he still tried to be there for them even if the love went stale from the pain. Sayaku teaches me the importance of family, but his biggest lesson for me is to move on from painful things. To be honest, I never really realized until now that Sayaku did this for me. I always say it’s my dad’s phrase, “this too shall pass”… But I think Sayaku growing past the blame game and trying to show empathy to the people who’ve hurt him… It’s amazingly beautiful, and I want to be able to do that someday.

Well, that’s a wrap for today, guys! I really hope you enjoyed reading this, because I enjoyed writing it quite a bit! Tell me, though: what characters have been role models for you throughout your life. Are any ones you made yourself? This topic is of peak interest to me- I might have to write more on this subject another time. I’m sure I’m missing a thousand characters or two! I already know some of them, but that’s not until next time. Take care, guys!

Soulful Saturday – My Dark Inspiration

Hihi! Welcome back everyone. Has anyone noticed a lot of my posts aren’t really related to writing? I certainly have over the weeks. I know this is a personal blog, but I originally intended to use it as a writing blog. That said, today’s going to change things up a bit by combining writing and me myself. This Soulful Saturday, I’m going to talk about the projects I’m working on for CampNaNo, and more importantly, the things in my life that led to their creation and the things that shaped them as they are so far.

Before I get into things, I should probably share the basics of each one. Treasure of Eternity is my magical girl tragedy, following a group of four girls brought into a deadly treasure hunt along with other teams of magic users. Ur URL is a horroresque fantasy about a man cursed to be able to see curses, and works with the police to solve curse related crimes.

Both stories were actually inspired by nightmares I had within a few weeks of each other. As both were black and white, I used a lot of other things to inspire the full appearances of the characters. I couldn’t really hear much in them, either. They were like a pair of silent movies.

Now, I know I’m not the first to be inspired by their nightmares. My father always tells me to write about my nightmares because he knows greats such as Stephen King often did/do that. What he didn’t tell me was how to make a story out of those that have no real understandable timeline. That was something I had to work on myself.

So, how did I go about making the characters when I had no way of knowing their ways of speaking, their names, or anything else?

In Treasure of Eternity, I made two sets of the same characters. I mostly did this because of the main heroine, a young girl named Elsie. Elsie was the primary girl in that nightmare, and I didn’t feel like she was inherently bad, even though she showed many evil moments in my nightmares. I decided to make each character have a secondary personality when in their magical girl form because of that.

Elsie’s personality when a magical girl reminds me a lot of the character Satou from the manga Happy Sugar Life by Tomiyaki Kagisora. Satou looks cute and fluffy much of the time, but she has a dark side that just somehow screams “Elsie” now to me. So, I opted to give her the same hair color as Satou. However, why is Elsie so crazy in the first place?

Matsuzaka Satou, Happy Sugar Life.
She looks so sane in this image…

I think Elsie represents my dark side. You see, I’m often told I’m too nice. The fact is, that’s not true at all. I’m often plagued by dangerous and unkind thoughts. I just know better than to voice them, because I honestly fear them more than anything when it comes to me myself. Like Satou, I have a very broken concept of trust, and also can be extremely possessive. I relate to her, so I am inspired by her… I just hope Elsie doesn’t mimic her completely. I don’t feel like kidnapping and murder are quite her thing… torture though, she’d be all in.

Now, although this is getting long, let’s look a bit at Ur URL. This one had a bit more context to it in the dream. I could tell in the dream, somehow, that it was focused on the curse. The curse I saw in the dream was actually what created the title. But that’s the only spoiler you get with that. Now… Let’s continue to the more deep side of it.

I’ve since named the man in the mask ‘Nuru’. Nuru never shows his face to anyone, even his sister. He wears it to bed, he wears it to eat (though I have no idea how he manages that)… That mask is everything to him, and I think I know why.

This is the closest I could find to Nuru’s mask. It’s a blank drama mask.

You see, I think Nuru represents a few of my fears. My fear of change, the fact I can’t trust if people are wearing a mask and lying to me… I think he encompasses that greatly. And, in the story, he also has my agoraphobia, and for a similar reason.

Nuru sees curses without trying. He gets no choice in the matter. For me, it’s like my hearing or my hallucinations. I didn’t choose to hear louder than normal people, making noises frighten me. And, I didn’t ask for psychosis either: I can never trust a person I’m talking to is really there without asking my father, and I can’t tell what noises are just loud in the distance or in my head. Nuru, to me, encompasses those fears completely. But it doesn’t end there.

By wearing a mask, Nuru hides from the world. I think I often do that too. I hide physically when there’s people around sometimes, but more than that, I work hard to hide my fear of people and not knowing if they’re real. Sometimes I use sarcasm, sometimes I just sit shuddering in my shoes hoping no one will see. I may thrive on blunt honesty, but even I want to be accepted and not judged. I don’t want to be seen as ‘some crazy girl who can’t tell fact from fiction’. It may be true sometimes, but I don’t want people to focus on that aspect of me, you know?

And so, that’s that. That’s how the main characters of my two stories were inspired and brought to life for the stories that lie ahead of my fingertips. If you’re also a writer reading this, I highly recommend thinking hard about how deep below the surface the characters relay from. I’d also love to hear what you think inspired you the most to make your characters as they are.

If you’re not a writer, still don’t forget to look into the depths of your heart. You never know what will be lurking there, and it can be scary, but it’s better to know than to hide from yourself.