As I contemplate the protagonist for my next project, I'm trying to figure out who I want her to be. Likeable and unique, but flawed, of course. So I question, what is it that makes peeps likeable? Not too hard to determine--usually politeness, confidence, courteousness, drive, humor, etc.
I can cover that much, no problem. But what is it about peeps that make them unique? I mean, we're all likeable in common ways (mostly). But we're far from carbon copies of each other. It made me start thinking of myself and how I am unique. I've come to the conclusion that it's my alter ego. You know, that little entity all its own that lives inside your brain and tries to take over and make you do stuff from time to time?
Okay, now I sound like a mental patient. lol
But if you know anything about alter egos, you know what I mean. I was able to identify mine long ago, and I even have a name for it. I call it Indy Morrison. One half Indiana Jones; One half Jim Morrison. It's a mischievous combination, and I can pinpoint when its's giving me an itch to do something. Especially, now that I'm a mom, I have to keep that alter ego in a straight jacket. No more traipsing around the world writing poetry and socializing with the locals for this lady. Not til the kids are grown, anyway. :p
But the reason I bring this up, is because it got me thinking that maybe the key to a strong, unique character is defining what their alter ego is. Knowing what makes them do the things they do, or even just why they WANT to do the things they do. The alter ego isn't something you'd ever even mention in the story. I certainly don't go around talking about Indy Morrison like it's a second personality. lol. That's a good thing.
But knowing it's there helps me associate why I get these urges to do crazy things. Perhaps, giving our characters silent alter egos that emerge only at times in the story when it seems appropriate, we can make them unique. Or if it be a villain, maybe their alter ego of Mother Teresa will be their flaw. lol
We could really get creative with this.
What about you? Ever tried something like this? Do you have an alter ego? Have you gone so far as to name them? Or am I the only basket case out here? lol