There are a lot of characters that I like and have a borderline inappropriate obsession with. No, not because of any lecherous tingling, just simply because they strike some sort of resonance with me. I could list the dozens of characters that I can relate some part of my psyche to, but there is one I find myself most drawn towards. Some people might find that my favorite character is an odd choice, but what can you do? Having read a lot of fantasy and science fiction, the idea of swinging a battle ax through somebody’s head like Logen Ninefingers or riding a massive sandworm like Paul Muad’Dib should seem most appealing to an avid reader such as myself and it does, but not at my core.
Call me Ishmael.
To me that is one of the greatest openings of all time and it is from my favorite character. Right away you know everything you need, while at the same time being kept at arm’s length. The sea calls to Ishmael and feeling some sort of separation from society, he sets himself to whaling to find some bearings. He watches an iron willed man deconstruct, before his very eyes, in a pursuit of vengeance that ends up having a heavy price tag. He was there, watching distantly, feeling first hand.
This might be a stretch to some but for me this is representative of my feelings when I immerse myself in writing. I am the watcher, Ishmael, relaying emotions and actions as the characters in my head go about their business. I am close enough to interact with the world and be impacted by decisions and yet still being far away. So much of the histories and settings are developed in my head and yet so very little actually makes it to the page. Each story is just a little boat on the sea floating along telling it’s own story and I am just along for the ride telling you just what you need to know.
Perhaps I am just crazy.