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Monday, March 31, 2014

Shades of characters - Introduction

It is A to Z time.

Until two days ago I was thinking very hard about participating, but I concluded that this year I would have to sit it out as a poster.  I am trying to meet a deadline on the second installment of a trilogy, work is hectic and I'm tired.

That does not mean that I won't be enjoying it.  I will be reading and cheering and clicking and commenting and following during the A to Z blogfest. 

Instead of my participation, and well aware that I will be lost in the wave of awesomeness that I plan to follow, I decided to bow to an urge I've felt for a long time and begin a series of regular posts on a subject that I have always enjoyed:

Heroes—Villains—Protagonists—Antagonists—Nice guys—Jerks

What are they?  And in any given work of fiction or, for my purposes, in a movie, who is which? We tend to blur things.

We have definitions of all these:  (from Merriam-Webster Online.  I wanted to use the Oxford English Dictionary, but $295 per year for a subscription was not do-able).  I will follow them in my series of posts.  I will say right now that 'hero' encompasses male and female, as does 'villain'.

a person who is admired for great or brave acts or fine qualities
the chief character in a story, play, movie, etc.

a character in a story, movie, etc., who does bad things

1 the principal character in a literary work (as a drama or story)
a leading actor, character, or participant in a literary work or real event

one that contends with or opposes another :  adversary, opponent

Nice guy
think vanilla and good as gold.

an annoyingly stupid or foolish person
an unlikable person; especially :  one who is cruel, rude, or small-minded

It's a subject I enjoy. I have some questions whose answers should be amusing:  

  • Can one be a hero and yet a secondary character?  
  • Can one be the protagonist and yet be a villain?  
  • Can you have more than one hero?  
  • Does a villain have to be a jerk?  
  • Are antagonists necessarily villainous?
As the King of Siam might say, Is a Puzzlement:

I'll explore those in my posts.  I think it will be fun.  Will I use my own characters?  Probably not.  Drooling is so unappealing.

My first in the series will be Wednesday, April 2.


  1. Hi Diana - A-Z is going to be overwhelming .. but good to meet new friends and I think that's where we met last year ..

    I'll enjoy seeing your posts .. Shades of Characters .. just the shade part opens up lots of thoughts ...

    Cheers Hilary

  2. I'm not doing the challenge but enjoying checking out the other blogs who are. Love the Shades of Characters!

    1. thanks for stopping by! (I loved your presentation of Death Spiral...)

  3. Great post, Diana! Such interesting questions. I'm not doing the A-Z challenge either. Blogging every day seems a daunting task! I admire anyone who can keep up a regular blog schedule, though, and I'll definitely be stopping back!

    1. Thanks for dropping by! I returned the favor and ended up the gainor for it. Well done!


  4. I'll help you out with the Oxford --
    1 A name given to men of superhuman strength, courage or ability, favored by the gods; at a later time regarded as a intermediate between the gods and men, and immortal.
    The later notion included men of renown supposed to be deified on account of great and noble deeds, for which they were venerated generally or locally; also demigods, said to be the offspring of a god or goddess, and a human being; the two classes being to a great extent coincident.

    2 A man distinguished by extraordinary valour and martial achievements; one who does brave or noble deeds; an illustrious warrior.

    3 A man who exhibits extraordinary bravery, firmness, fortitude and greatness of soul in any course of action or in any pursuit, work or enterprise, a man admired and venerated for his achievements and noble qualities

    4 The man who forms the subject of an epic; the chief male personage of a poem, play or story; he in whom the interest of the story or plot is centered.

    From Greek, first English usage 1378

    1. Yowza! Please tell me you didn't type that from the mouseprint in the books... (And now I can quote those in my posts. Thanks!)


  5. Thanks for cheering me on in a-z, Diana! Love the pics....Wasn't the King of Siam marvelous to look at? (But actor wasn't so great in person, I hear; he was a real jerk).

    1. Hi, Sharon -
      ...ah, but all I would want to do is look at him. Shirt optional.


  6. I feel you with not doing the challenge! I'll see if I can make it to the end this month. Writer's Conference is coming up too. :) I appreciate your support of us crazy folks trying to do the nearly impossible!

    And thanks for reminding us to get back to the basics. Good v. bad. Isn't that what life's all about... definitely our stories.