Well this is a start to the part of my blog that deals with my book named “Over The Mountain” (subject to change). I don’t know if any more posts will be created but this is a start quite like how the beginning stages of my book in a way. What originally I thought would not breach 10k is sitting on 53k of a first draft. While it’s not massive it does mean I wrote 5x more than I thought I would! It’s been difficult at times but it’s been a lot of fun.
Still my book won’t be done until this time next year (provided my timetabling is correct). Still it is now in the 2nd draft phase allowing the drip feed to begin that is my proof readers. To allow them to potentially and hopefully untangle the grammatical mess that is my work ‘Over The Mountain’ I thought I would do a character bio of a character of which I am very fond of namely that of Red Panda. The book is a simplistic adventure story about Mr Moose as he heads ‘over the mountain’ and a large part of the book is about how he and Red interact with the other. It is a work of pure fiction which I have found very relaxing and has served to help with my English and give me a greater appreciation of fiction which previously I saw as quite useless, rather the lessons that could be learnt from a work of non-fiction served a better purpose in addition to imparting more knowledge. I can now see that I was slightly off with that assertion although I still prefer to read non-fiction it really has has opened my eyes.
Red Panda is not the most original name, she is simply what she sounds like a Red Panda and her appearance is also pretty obvious the only change being a white and bushy tail that she is proud of. It means it’s pretty simple to imagine the character in your head and that is something I really enjoy about the character. Red is a good balance to the idealistic and simplistic Mr Moose and serves to be a guiding hand and a character that is very much respected by Mr Moose. I wanted a character that provided contrast to Mr Moose and Red provides this without being a black and white styling.
She is a character that while enjoying the adventure side of the duo needs to have an escape and will not jump to admit to any joy and does not like to show weakness. She is a character that thinks she has a stone face and would never admit want to admit to herself that this can potentially be seen through. She is very well spoken and the parts In which she speaks are the more complex parts in terms of writing. I felt it was important to reflect the aspects of the book by bleeding in traits of the characters at times.
She likes a simple but refined life but is happy to be dragged away on what she states are silly adventures for the escape. She does enjoy them but like many things will play this down from time to time. The character of Red often acts as a mirror to Mr Moose despite how different the characters actually are. He learns a lot through her about himself even though both characters are not sure that they will be ever to fully understand the other. In reality we will never be able to fully understand somebody, the best we can do is make predictions. I wanted to create something where I could toss my interpretation into the mix and not become some sort of canonical god for this universe. Time will tell if my lack of writing experience has not damaged this goal.
Still like Mr Moose she has novel aspects of her personality for example being a massive fan of apple juice, something she would say is clearly superior to orange juice. She is caring but often can’t see positives. Her excellent way of speaking also seems somewhat confused to me at times.
In all she is one of my favourite characters because to me she represents a few archetypes. She is that friend that you never understand yet you have some sort of deep connection with. She is the unlikely friend that we all have and sometimes forget to be thankful for. She is somebody who does not want to be exposed as weak and insecure and sometimes feels like she has to carry the weight of others although if this weight is real or imagined is not something she can always be sure of. She also to me represents the parts of ourselves that wishes we could present an ever stone and unyielding face to the world.
The theme with Red for me in making the personality and history of the character was one of contrast. We as people are often hypocritical and we are complex and sometimes on the face of it we are self-contradictory although we often have ways to justify our actions which can often set the record straight.
While the original idea for the name of the character was not of my creation she was the first character that I wrote that was a blank slate. Mr Moose was already somewhat ingrained in my head but with Red I could mould her how I wished and then release her into a fictional world and try to see how she would react and what she would do. I wanted to write in a way that felt organic and not simply fitting characters to plot. For this reason she is also the character I care most about despite her not being the main character. She is the sort of person that if was real I would like to understand more about and would perhaps attempt to protect but of course Red Panda would never allow that, she is too proud. I’ve heard authors call their own characters ‘my baby’ or something along the lines of that and I’ve finally understood that looking back at Red. She may be a work of fiction but I am yet somehow protective over her, although as humans we often attach this sort of affection onto fictional characters whatever medium that they present themselves in.
I find it odd how close we can feel to what I know is that of a clearly fictional character, A great example from my childhood is Goku from DragonballZ. Red is a character I don’t want to spoil beyond this but in essence she is a character that compliments those that she is with in any given scene. Red Panda is also a launch pad that helped me imagine the world and I have had great joy letting the characters loose in this fictional world. She is a character that continues to solidify in my mind in later drafts as the personality starts to cement.