chasing rainbows on my own

With what I thought was impeccable timing, Jenny posted about describing characters and asked to see other blogger’s character descriptions. She must have read my mind, because just the previous day I had written a description of sorts, more for myself than anyone else, of Cayne; the main character of my 2012 NaNo novel “Unforget.”

Unforget

- Verb

• The process of retrieving memories previously lost, stolen, sold or otherwise released outside the originator’s mind.

It’s chock-full of telepathic officials, memories, mysteries, technology and my awesome hero walking around in a black hoodie. Now that you all understand the meaning behind the title (I realized that Unforget, like Monster, is going to be a genre nearly impossible to define… semi-dystopic/alternate-reality/suspense…? Maybe?) I shall introduce you to Cayne and leave you to see what image this leaves in your mind.

He had a strange face, and it wasn’t just the serpentine sharpness of it.

            His near-constant expression was a mixture of wide-eyed wariness, simmering fury, terror, and unspoken grief. It resulted in an air of pitiable danger; his sorrowful black eyes watched everything and missed nothing. Rimmed with kohl, they gave the impression of someone barely alive, clinging to the last threads of life with one hand.

             He was the sort of person that people stole second glances at but pretended not to notice.

            He dressed in black; from his boots to his coat. Even his hair, hanging in inky strands over his left eye, was black. Everything he did seemed to border between panicked and assured, wavering thinly on the edge of sanity.

             It was clear from the first glance that he was not quite right, but eyes inevitably followed his tall, thin body as he walked, shoulders slightly hunched, hood pulled up as if to keep attention from being drawn to him.

            He stood out from sheer unusualness.

            He stood out – and he was left alone.

           

The other night I was listening to Owl City’s new songs when Silhouette started to play and it realized that it had been absolutely written for Cayne. I can’t even describe to you how exactly it fits his shattered, broken life; the shards he struggles to piece back together. The lyrics seemed to have come straight from his thoughts and feelings, so I present you with a lyric video. If you understand this song, you understand Cayne as well as it is possible to understand him.

Heavens, anyone reading this would think that I write nothing but bleak characters anymore… that is not necessarily true. Not entirely, anyhow. I do seem to have developed a fascination with the deepest emotional, moral and spiritual issues, though. I almost frighten myself.  Have you any fantastic bits of character description you’d care to share?

Allons-y,

Mirriam

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24 thoughts on “chasing rainbows on my own

  1. Hurrah! I really liked this piece of description: much more kinetic than Mir usually is in the excerpts I’ve read of him. I love your willingness to write people and things that look unusual, that act abnormally. Perhaps (who know?) that is what makes people feel delightfully uneasy about our writing: we try to infuse a bit of the unusual into our sketches, though I honestly think you do it better than I do.

    I like Cayne already, by your description and your attribution of “Silhouette” to him. ^.^

    • I think any character who has Silhouette as a theme song has to have something intriguing about them, anyway. It’s one of my favorite Owl City songs ever – Midsummer Station has outdone everything!! I’m glad you liked the description; I was very happy with it myself. Now, what are you doing here? I want more Dammerung! =D

  2. Mmmm…delicious! I love that description! I know exactly what he looks like! The fact horrifies my mother, puzzles me, and infuriates some of my more out-going characters, but silent and dangerous people like Cayne fascinate me – I like to create them, read of them, and sometimes imitate them (not for long though – usually someone either makes me laugh, or makes me mad, and then I get loud again)
    And I think Cayne is one of my new favorites, perhaps even above Veronica Roth’s Four/Tobias, simply because of your description. I love it!

    • I’m so glad!!! I know; you sound very much like me in the characters we choose to feel sorry for and love. Dark, silent, dangerous – they’re the most fun to read, the most fun to write – and probably the worst to fall in love with. XD OH!!!! Really!? Above Tobias?? *blinks agape* I’m honored!!

      • Tobias is quite hard to beat, isn’t he? I haven’t read much on Cayne, but from what I’ve read so far, I like him best. I love Four’s personality, but Roth’s description – I’ve always thought – was a bit lacking. So, Cayne is my favorite! :)
        And, yes, although I find that they are hard to write, because I always seem to write from the point of view of the one person in the world who could make them behave normally, and so one only gets rare glimpses of the usual character. That probably makes no sense at all, but there you have it!

        • I’m STILL ridiculously honored!!! ^.^ No, you actually made total sense; that’s how I write most of Unforget – through the eyes of the one person Cayne isn’t always psycho with. XD

  3. Positively beautiful, I love this description. He’s easy to connect with *falls in love with song* *cries* Okay when I read this story I am going to die…I know I will. I am already sitting here just crying.

    Love the cover you created for it! The angle is beautiful, and so eye catching and it creates the feeling you want to create. Beautiful!

    • Ohmystarsandstockings, thank you SO much!!! O_O I know I’m going to have my fair share of heartachey and tearful moments while writing it…Cayne is just so ridiculously sad and manages to be so unloveable that I can’t help but love him like crazy. >.< And YAY I'm glad you liked the cover!! It's my favorite cover I've made so far for any of my books =D

  4. Unforget sounds interesting. Really unique. I like the covers you design. Where do you get the pictures of people?

    I am so excited to see that someone besides me finds random songs that describe characters so perfectly! I found a song called You Are More, by Tenth Avenue North. It’s refrain reminds me of one of my characters, Jamie. It goes like this:
    You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
    You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
    You are more than the problems you create,
    You’ve been remade.

    That’s the lesson that Jamie needs. He had a traumatic childhood and that led him to make some bad decisions. Now he’s convinced that it doesn’t matter what he does, he will always be haunted by the past.

    • I’m so glad you like how it sounds! Usually, I find someone I like – in this case, an actor named Kang Dong-Won – and I cast them as a character. It makes it easy to find pictures; I go a little picture-crazy and end up with probably fifty of them in my ‘characters’ folder :)
      Oh, that song! It’s beautiful; it sounds perfect for a character with a damaged past!!

  5. I LOVE this description. And feel a new character crush coming on already. :3 I am actually planning on doing some posts on my characters this month, I’ll keep you posted ;)

  6. *sniffle*
    I JUST WANT TO HUG CAYNE!
    That poor guy.

    You know what would be a terrible meet up? Him and Vice. Honestly, they’d have a pity party for themselves…and I don’t know about Cayne, but I personally need Vice to not look backwards at his past….
    And then, Sullivan would just sit and watch them, and laugh occasionally, because it would be oh so interesting to him.

    AND AND AND, I nearly had a break down today, when I realized just how soonly Monster will be done. Evan tried to console me, and he said, “It’ll be over, and you wont have to get all worked up over it” (Then he handed me a kleenex) and I just sobbed all the more, and said, “I don’t want to not get worked up over it! I want it to just go on and on forever! Its not allowed to ever be over! No….I just don’t want it to stop!!!”.

    What have you done to me?

    • Ohmyword, the last thing we want is these guys getting together. I think their dark pasts would enshroud the entire neighborhood in something akin to the darkness Plague of Egypt!! OHMYWORD, I know!! I’m having “NOOO I DON’T WANT TO LET GO OF IT” with Monster. But I forced myself to write today. I love it. I don’t want to see it go. *wail*

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