Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Introducing Jag Barque

Okay, people, this is a character interview. Jag is the kewlest guy on the planet...in about 200 hundred years. sengihnampakgigi He's the male MC in Control Issues. And he's taking over all the space in my head. So I'm letting him out...now. Maybe then he'll shut up and leave me alone. Not likely, though.

He might look something like Mark Ballas, although it's been incredibly hard to find a picture of Jag. But Mark's hair here is the closest I can find even though Jag's would be way spikier and more wickedly cool.

EJ: So tell us a bit about yourself.
JB: Silence. Icy glare from his blue eyes.

EJ: *clears throat* Okay, what's your name?
JB: Jag Barque.

EJ: No middle name?
JB: Not one I'm aware of.

EJ: Does Jag stand for something?
JB: Stand for something? Like world peace and all that?

EJ: *blushing* No, like is it a nickname?
JB: No.

EJ: *nervously scanning notes that blur together* Um, where are you from?
JB: The Badlands.

EJ: Is it nice there?
JB: Nice? Yeah, sure, it's Nice there.

EJ: What's your favorite food?
JB: Favorite? That really makes no sense. I eat to stay alive. And I'll eat anything I can find.

EJ: So no chocolate chip ice cream for you, then?
JB: Nope. Ice cream tends to melt in the desert.

EJ: That it does. What do you like to do for fun?
JB: Fun? Besides trying to stay alive, I don't have much time for fun. But if you're going to badger me about it, I like to plan for my next mission. That's always fun.

EJ: Do you answer every question with a question of your own?
JB: *sighing* No.

EJ: You're right, only about half. Ahem. How do you get your hair to stick up like that?
JB: It's called gel. You do have gel in the past, right?

EJ: I'm asking the questions here. And for the record, yes, we have gel. Why won't you tell Vi anything?
JB: Eveyone's gotta learn for themselves.

EJ: *scoffs* Right. Like you did.
JB: Is that a question?

EJ: How about I kill you off at the beginning of book 2? Answer that question tough guy.
JB: You do what you have to do.

EJ: *sighs knowing she can't kill him off* Fine. Can you say what's going to happen next?
JB: *smirking* You're the author. I have no idea what tomorrow brings. Maybe you should write it.

EJ: Maybe you should stop harping on me about it.
JB: Maybe you need to stop thinking about those goth ghosts and focus.

EJ: *stands up* Leave Penelope out of this!
JB: *fists clenched, he stands too, and he's much taller than EJ* She's crowding me in here. I feel like I can't breathe. I'm choking.

EJ: *laughs* That's because you left--
JB: Shut up. Don't say it. Don't you dare say it.

EJ: *clamps mouth shut because the stupid boy has used his Voice power on her and she can't talk even if she wanted to*
JB: *glaring, arms folded, amusement in his icy eyes*


And before this gets too embarrassing for all involved, that's where the interview ends. As you can see, I'm being nagged from all sides. Inside and out. Le sigh. Maybe he's right. Maybe I should just write it.

So here's the question. Do you ever battle with your characters? Do you write down their favorite foods, their birthday, the type of music they listen to? Do you know how they would react to every situation, every conversation? Do you know how they talk, what they would and wouldn't say? What they would do with their hands during a confrontation? What's in your character bible? (I totally stole this term from the ladies in my crit group. I can take no credit.)

And can you tell what kind of guy Jag is from the interview, which really reveals no information about him, other than he doesn't have a middle name. Oh, and a snarky streak that can only be matched by his female counterpart in the book. No wonder they're--oops, can't tell you that!



M. Dunham said...

I have a character bible. That's actually a REALLY great thing to have if you're planning on writing a series. Also, make sure to update it when you revise. You'll thank yourself.

My characters and I battle it out. In the case of my main character, it took gaining her trust to understand some deep things about her. It's a bizarre thing when you feel your characters allowing themselves to tell you things.

Also: Jag is a smartass. I can tell from his pithy responses. I like him already. ;)

Anonymous said...

This is my new favorite post of yours...and I might have to interview David sometime....it is a great way to get into his voice!!!

Now I *heart* Jag even more!!!

And to answer your questions, Yes, I know my characters inside and out as the story goes on ... in fact, I had a nice conversation with David this morning *blushes*...eh...okay, gotta go :)

Windy said...

Very amusing indeed. ;-)

I totally have similar conversations with my MCs in my head. In a very old ms I wrote I had a character who died before the story began, but as I kept writing I found myself totally infatuated with him and decided I had to go back and do some character development... well over 300K ... that's right, more than 300,000 words later, I totally get why he's so pivotal to the existing ms, but his death made me so sad after I "got to know him" I've since left the ms for the time being.

And Jag, well, he's sounding like a superhot Bad boy to me! ;-) And what girl doesn't love a Bad boy?

Merc said...

That was hilarious! (And, sadly, all too familiar. Though with mine, more violence and explosions are involved.)

I have no character bible, so end up jotting random notes to keep things straight--and yes, I fight my characters all the fricking time. I have maybe, I dunno, one who actually does what I tell him. Poor guy.

Everyone else... is it a slowly author-losing battle. :|

*greatly enjoyed Jag*

Tess said...

I can't decide if I want to laugh or jump into the computer and rip Jag's shirt off. Hmmm....decisions decisions.... :)

Amanda Bonilla said...

I don't have a character bible, but I do know how my characters would react, what they'd say, eat, drink. What their favorite music is.... I have conversations in my head with characters all the time, or I play out conversations between characters.

These imaginary people become so central to our existence as writers sometimes its VERY hard to disconnect, which is why I'm taking a break from book 3 in my series. I needed to hear a new voice for a while.

~Jamie said...

Kill him off and I'm coming for you...

...just sayin.

Okay, now that we got that awkwardness out of the way--my favorite writing exercise so far is the one where you sit down and write twenty random facts about your main character. It has really helped me to develop them. Not just the main characters in the book though... I like to do it for like my main character's random big brother... ya know? Just so I know more about him...

Candace said...

hilarious...I do have to agree with JB here though-you can't let goth ghosts stifle Mr. Jag it's just not fair

Unknown said...

Can we get more EJ/character interviews? I'm a fan! I'm chanting, but you probably can't hear it, so I'll spell it out. M.O.R.E J.A.G! Vi's great too. Yeah, that was an awesome post. I love coming to your blog. I walk away always feeling inspired and happy!

As for how well I know my characters, it depends on the part they play in the story. My female MC is an old friend. We go WAY back. Probably a good ten years, which is long before I ever even considered writing a story about her. I think in order to write a good novel, you'd have to know your characters pretty well. Then again, some people don't read books for the characters. I'm not one of those people though. :)

My verification word is supper... boring!

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

This is great! I think I may have to do something similar with Paul. It's a good thing they're not contemporaries, or else they'd be duking it out for the title of Coolest Guy on the Planet.

I keep my "character bible" in my head. Yes, I should write it down, but who has time? Although I know a lot about my characters from birth to death, they still surprise me.

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

Too funny. This was my favorite part:

*sighs knowing she can't kill him off*

I don't do character bibles for quirks, traits or anything. The only thing that I really try to nail down about them is what their arc will be, otherwise I just like to find out about them as we go along.

Michelle McLean said...

LOL I loved this post! :D *sigh* I <3 Jag :D

I am currently experiencing one of those annoying internal struggles...not with my characters themselves really but something similar to Penelope and Jag...another character just popped up and Kesi isn't done yet :) Oh dear....let the squabbling begin ;-)

Megan said...

I love Jag. I want to get to know him better. PLEASE let him out!!

Danyelle L. said...

I love this, Elana! He sounds like a fun person and thoroughly exasperating character! ;-) But those are the funnest to read about.

I don't battle with my characters per se, I just do what they tell me to do, when they tell me to do it. We all know who's in charge. >.<

Gah! That teaser was cruel. Cruel! I want to read more!

Andrea Cremer said...

Fantastic post! I'm going to set up my own character interview now - I have those conversations all the time, but never thought to write them down. Brilliant.

Thanks for sharing. I loved your excerpt from the last Secret Agent contest at Miss Snark's First Victim. It was such a pleasure to have more snippets of Control Issues.

Elana Johnson said...

LOL! You guys are my trampoline when I dive off the edge. I know you'll be there for me, even on posts when I think it's the lamest thing ever. Somehow you guys like it. And for that, I *heart* you with every fiber in my being. And so does Jag. ;)

BTW, he's mad and sulking. He hasn't spoken all day. I showed him, didn't I? :D :D

Oh and if you decide to do an interview with one of your characters, I'd LOVE to read it. Be sure to send me an email or post here or something.

Rebecca Knight said...

LOL! This was truly great, Elana. I agree with the other that Jag sounds HAWT... especially if he really does look like Mark Ballas ;). I'm just sayin'.

I have a bit of a character bible, but I also have a Man Expert (the wonderful husband) who I defer to for All Things Man. I asked him more than a few times how a dude would react to the situations I put my character Torin in, and get the Manly Perspective whenever I need it.

It's a lifesaver! Do you have a Man Expert to help you with Jag, or are you wingin' it, manly-style?

Suzette Saxton said...

Aha! The perfect visual. I already love Jag, you know. ;)

Mary not so Contrary said...

haha that was really cute!! So I went on the hunt for you books and I can not find them anywhere!! Has Control Issues been pulished yet? I would to read it! It sounds so good. Also the book you wrote about helping inspiring authors, do you know where I could find that? Because funny and oddly enough I decided yesterday with the help of my husband that I would like to try and write a book. I have all the ideas in my head and have stared taking notes on those ideas. but I have a great fear of rejection. So I would love to read your book on getting an agent and just getting started. Thanks for following my blog. Its totally divine intervention that you have! :)
Mary Mrs.Graef@hotmail.com

Bethany Wiggins said...

Just reread this. It makes so much sense since I've read your MS. LOVE it!

Corinne O said...

Can't WAIT to meet Jag!!

Aleeza said...

omgosh i love this! jag is. So. Hotttt! And mean, but i love that too. the interviewing characters concept sounds wicked cool. maybe ill try it out!

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