Question of the Day 2-11-2018

Please feel free to answer these questions on your blog or in the responses. If you leave me a link to your post, I will re-post it on my blog. You can also feel free to forward these questions to anybody who might be interested. Thank you to those who have already shared their thoughts.

Who are your three favorite characters in a book?

While this question seems easy, it is hard to think back over all the books I’ve read and pick out my three favorite characters. So here goes…..

  1. Strider/Aragorn
  2. Vlad Taltos
  3. Matt Scrudder

Quite a range of characters there, but as different as they may be, they also have characteristics in common. Male for instance (obviously).

I expect everyone knows who Strider/Aragon is. He is one of the first characters with whom I ever fell in love. I read the books in sixth grade and never looked back. He is, in many ways, my ideal character. Strong, mysterious, loyal, courageous with a side-dish of destiny to make him a king. In fact, as a writer, my favorite part of all the books is the opening of The Two Towers.

Aragorn sped on up the hill. Every now and again he bent to the ground. Hobbits go light, and their footprints are not easy even for a Ranger to read, but not far from the top a spring crossed the path, and in the wet earth he saw what he was seeking.”

Thees ares the lines I read when I feel my writing is rubbish, because reading them reminds me of how great writing can be.

How many of you know Vlad Taltos? If you don’t, and you love fantasy, you might want to make his acquaintance. He stars in the Jhereg series by Steven Brust. Smart, wily, sardonic, wise-cracking, ruthless, heroic and I’d love to be his friend. He is a human who has risen fairly high up in a society where humans are the ‘dregs of the earth.’ He is an assassin. I wanted to say ‘with a heart of gold,’ but I didn’t want to be redundant.

“There was a sergeant at a desk. I knew he was a sergeant because I recognized the marks on his uniform, and I knew it was a desk because it’s always a desk. There’s always someone at a desk, except when it’s a table that functions as a desk. You sit behind a desk, and everyone knows you’re supposed to be there, and that you’re doing something that involves your brain. It’s an odd, special kind of importance. I think everyone should get a desk; you can sit behind it when you feel like you don’t matter.” 
— Steven Brust (Iorich (Vlad Taltos, # 12)

“He got up and walked out, so I missed seeing the powerful sorcerer doing his powerful sorcery, which would have involved him closing his eyes and then, I don’t know, maybe taking a deep breath or something.” 
— Steven Brust (Iorich (Vlad Taltos, #12)

“But we’re assassins: when we make mistakes, people live” 
— Steven Brust (Iorich (Vlad Taltos, #12))

And, finally, Matt Scrudder. I have written about Matt on this blog before, how reading the newest book in the series made me feel like I had come to visit an old friend. Matt is a private detective created by Lawrence Block. Mr. Block has a knack for writing great characters and putting them in great stories. If you haven’t read about one of Matt’s cases, you might want to check them out.
“You don’t die all at once. Not anymore. These days you die a little at a time.” 
― Lawrence BlockA Drop of the Hard Stuff

I looked down into my glass. It held club soda, but the way I was gazing into it you’d have thought it was filled with something stronger. I used to stare like that into glasses of whiskey, as if they contained coded answers. All they did was dissolve the questions, but there was a time when that was enough.” 
― Lawrence BlockThe Devil Knows You’re Dead

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