Today I’m pleased to welcome Ellias Quinn to the blog. Ellias is the author of the Eventry series of fantasy books, the first two books are already available to buy, Eventyr (book one) and Elders of Eventyr(book two) with a third book already being written. This series is one I have really enjoyed reading so far, and you can check out my reviews for both books by clicking here for book one and here for book two.
Today though I’m so excited to have Ellias join the blog and share her thoughts on imaginary characters and the importance of loving them especially as a writer. 🙂
Imaginary People Need Love Too
I love fictional characters. Do you? I mean, how on earth do figments of our imaginations – mere constructs, golems of art – start to feel like real people we care deeply about? It’s incredible. Yet despite my love for them overall, I don’t automatically care about characters and I’m not always sold on the illusion that they are real people. Those types bother me because I can tell something’s not right. And then there are the ones I feel sorry for, as if they’re bears trapped in a collar and chain, being made to dance by the author. Fictional characters fascinate people for many reasons, and with me it comes down to a creator’s love and respect. The way I define love here is ‘wanting what is truly best for someone.’ This kind of love isn’t just about feeling affection for that someone, but about recognizing the inherent value in another person, a value equal to your own, and thus showing them respect and paying attention to their needs. I consider it an important mission for us to love ourselves and others or, as it has been said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
So what does love have to do with characters if they are not real people? Characters are reflections of real people. Our reflections. We use them to make fun of ourselves and each other, fulfill our hopes of what could be, and express our despair or joy in what is. When a character is treated simply as a vehicle for plot, ideology, or mean humor, the connection between the character and life is broken. Which can work for very minor characters, though it’s not ideal in my mind. A character that lacks the spark of life given through the love of its creator is just a prop and a mouthpiece. If I’m going for engagement and immersion into my story world, even a one-line character is a person with his own past, present, and future. I don’t have to come up with all that background to treat him like he has it. Treat him as if he doesn’t, however, and I show that I don’t believe in my own story.
Why would we want to treat a fake world as if it’s real, and why should we extend love to fictional characters? Because to a certain extent, fake worlds and fake people are real. They are products of our own minds and hearts. They are the stylized and often entertaining expressions of what we believe is truth. I’d say that even surrealism, escapism, and happy endings contain truth, and I’ll leave you to think about that. My point is, how we view people in real life is reflected in our characters and vice versa. Love is important in the creation of fiction because love is important in life.
And yes, I love my own characters while I’m sowing death and discord among them. In the Eventyr Series, I may write about fairies and magic, but I also portray a world where the characters have beliefs, desires, and flaws, often in conflict, and in real life all of those things make a mess. I want to respect the characters by showing the truth of what happens in difficult circumstances, and I want to give them the possibility of growth through overcoming their challenges. Now, growth is where I differentiate between love for characters and love for people. In real life, sadly, people don’t always get character growth or redemption arcs, though I may want that for them. If I were writing the actual lives of real people, I would write them all to have positive growth in the end. Sounds great, right? I think it would be terrible. I’d slip up because I myself am a flawed person in need of positive growth, and what’s worse is that no one would be free to choose their own path. Instead, what I strive to do in my stories is reflect the beautiful and dark reality of free will. Sometimes that means it makes sense for a character to refuse positive growth or to die without remorse for their wrongdoing. Love still figures into writing characters that way – love and respect for the reader, who deserves to be told the truth.
I’ve been a reader, a watcher, and a gamer all my life. I enjoy seeking the truth that shows up in all kinds of fiction. I’m protective of fictional characters for the humanity and symbolism we attach to them. And I always appreciate when it feels like a creator respects and cares about the characters and me, whether it’s in a fantasy world, a heavy drama, or a goofy comedy. To me, that is love, and love is the most powerful ability you can use no matter who you are and what you do.
About the book
As malevolent forces grow and unrest spreads through Eventyr, the wingless fairy Matil has learned her true identity and the face of her enemy. Matil and her companions travel north through wild lands in search of a legendary human, hoping that he can tell them of the fabled beings known as Elders. But the quest for storybook heroes brings deadly peril and engulfs Matil in the myths and secrets behind the Elders’ disappearance long ago. Can the ancient protectors of the forest save Eventyr? Or are they just fairy tales?
About the Author
Ellias Quinn is the author of Eventyr and Elders of Eventyr, the first two books in a fantasy-adventure series for ages 11 to 111. She pours her love for people, cultures, history, and nature into her writing. She lives in Texas and is currently editing the next installment in the series, Wings of Eventyr.
Thank you so much for joining us on the blog today Ellias and I agree, it’s so important to love and care for the characters we create otherwise the worlds in the books we read and the people in them just seem flat and unreal.
I hope you’ve all enjoyed this guest post and please do check out the Eventyr series starting with book one. It’s such an amazing series set in a world of fairies and I’m already excited for book three! 🙂
Do you love imaginary people too? What do you think of this fantasy series set in a fairy world? Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂