Monday, July 02, 2007

Character Study: Will Channing

With a nod to Susan Helene Gottfried and her West of Mars blog, I’ve decided to post occasional character studies, drawn from my writings.

I’m starting with loyal but stubborn Will Channing, from my dystopian novels. He is a peripheral character in Tin Soldier, a main character in Bella Diana, and gets a few mentions in the first diary of Diana's Diary. He also features prominently in the planned final book, Water Bearer.

  1. Will isn’t technically an orphan. He has no reason to think his parents are dead. He just hates them.
  2. When he was seven his parents hired him out him to a rancher who was a known child molester. He figured if he did a good job, he would be left alone. This worked at first, until it quit working.
  3. Will ran away and spent the next few years traveling and getting by as best he could.
  4. He coped with his memories of molestation by protecting the girls he met on the streets. This made him feel strong and in control of his own destiny.
  5. At the time Donovan Sloan caught him picking pockets in the town of Macrina, Will was caring for a young orphan named Tasha. He referred to her as his sister, even though she wasn’t.
  6. Donovan took Will and Tasha to live with Amalia and her sister Carina in Valle Redondo. After nearly four years on the streets, Will didn’t adapt very well to having rules and lessons.
  7. Everything changed when Will met the neighbor girl, Diana. They were close in age and shared the same interests, but she was smarter and didn’t need Will’s protection. He found this so surprising that he was smitten, although he was too young to realize it.
  8. Will learned how to read only because Diana liked to send him notes and he wanted to know what they said.
  9. When the government mercenaries came to Valle Redondo, Will saved Diana’s life but couldn’t save her family.
  10. Will started calling Amalia “Mother,” as a gesture of respect.
  11. He took Amalia’s last name as his own, even though she never adopted him in any legal fashion because the secession and civil war made it too confusing to figure out which “government” was the “real” one.
  12. Because Diana was so traumatized at the loss of her mother and grandparents, Will allowed her to call him “brother,” or “shilah” in the language of the small Apache tribe they sheltered with after they left the valley. He thought she’d get better faster if she felt like she still had family.
  13. By the time Will was old enough to realize that he was in love with her, Diana had been calling him “brother” for so long she could think of him in no other way. But he won't accept that.
  14. Will isn’t introspective, and he isn’t a man of ideas. But he can recognize these traits in others and he respects them.
  15. Will is loyal and reliable, almost to a fault. These traits inspire confidence when he is in a leadership role.
  16. These same qualities turn to stubborn blindness in his dealings with Diana, who won’t follow his lead in the one thing that really matters to him—building a future together as husband and wife.


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Wow, I've influenced someone! Cool!

You've also managed to intrigue me, bunny... when will you post more?? Like, now??? Please?

Alix said...

I love the character studies, fascinating.
I think Will is my favourite something to do with the strength plus vulnerability. He really does break my heart, hope he finds some happiness in Water Bearer.

Alice Audrey said...

Will shows up in Tin Soldier? As more than a walk on?