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Resurrecting Characters in Novels


This isn’t about actually bring dead characters back to life. Not in the literal sense anyway 🙂

I’ve been working diligently on the last Alexis Davenport book, Desperate Reflections, when something struck me. The villain (Drifter aka Lane Stygian) is eerily similar to a bad guy from the Portals of Destiny series, Fa’ Vel.

It wasn’t something I planned. Honestly! And it’s weird that it took until the third book of the Alexis Davenport series to really realize it.  Makes me wonder how many books by other authors have the same sort of thing. That character whose personality appears in a multitude of books, just under a different name. Oh, I’m not saying that the characters are identical or anything. Nothing that transparent. Just something about them that  makes a reader say, “Gee, this guy reminds me an awful lot of this OTHER guy!”

Maybe the author just really likes that character is brings them back in a totally different book subconsciously. I think that’s what I did. I have always likes Fa’ Vel, the dark magician from Portals of Destiny. He’s a little mad, a lot powerful, and a fun character to write. I must have infused some of his personality onto Drifter when I started writing the Alexis Davenport series. They don’t look the same or have the same motivations but there’s something eerily familiar lurking below the surface that just hit me as I was writing on a Drifter chapter this evening.

Perhaps the author does it on purpose, unwilling or unable to say good-bye. Maybe the character represents something very personal and has a habit of popping up in novels. I can see this happening, especially if the character that keeps making an appearance is based on the author themselves.

And is a bad thing, necessarily? When you come across a character you loved (or loved to hate) more than once, maybe it makes you feel connected to that book just as strongly as the first time you met them. They make you feel all comfortable or warm and fuzzy inside.

I suppose you could always have a situation where the same character pops up again and it drives you crazy. I have never personally had that happen but I suppose it could.

What “character” have you read more than once in a particular author’s books? Did it drive you crazy or did you actually enjoy it? I’d love to hear from you!

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3 Comments on “Resurrecting Characters in Novels”

  1. Bonnie Loshbaugh June 17, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

    I missed out on Diana Wynne Jones as a child and recently read a couple of her books, which are great fun but I notice a recurrance of “distant mother” and “uncle who seems nice but is using nephew for his own malicious purposes”. Still fun reading, though!

    • Bonnie Loshbaugh June 17, 2013 at 3:38 pm #

      It has made me reluctant to pass the books on as a recommendation to my nephew – don’t want him to get suspicious of his uncle’s motives! 🙂

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