Sometimes I believe that I like to create characters more than I really like to write stories about them. Or, rather, write huge novels with like plots and shit where I'm forced to do bad things and kill some of them. I am still bitter about the fact that my creation of Dartia meant that I had to kill Aschet, who I love first and most. Which of course means I'm going to have to go back in time and write something about Aschet's past...
I always love it when I run across a single sentence or quote that entirely describes a character as no other had before. you don't even need to read anything else to understand who the character is and what they're all about.
I've been reading Mansfield Park by Jane Austen the last couple days and this happened twice while I was reading yesterday.
First there was Mrs. Norris, aunt to Fanny, stuck between 2 half page paragraphs:
Mrs. Norris fetched a breath and went on again.
But she's different than Miss Bates from Emma, who said a whole lot of nothing. Mrs. Norris is a horrid bitch, Miss Bates just never shut up about her neice. But that's a single aspect on two characters who are wholly different. It gives me some hope that I CAN go back and do an Aschet story. My one worry has been that once I've written Dartia what will I have to do with poor old Aschet, they are both space rat pilots, so how do I make them different? I must be careful.
The second Austen character description I found was only a few pages later. Henry Crawford is telling his sister that he's come up with the best way to amuse himself in the next two weeks before he goes back to london and he says:
"...No, I am going to make Fanny Price in love with me."
If we didn't know who Henry Crawford was before (and I think we did after the Julia/Maria debacle) we certianly do now.
I hope that I write characters half as good as Jane Austen does. That will be enough.