Tag Archive | characterization

It Takes a Thief – Part 63

It Takes a Thief coverThe time has come and the team makes ready for their big night out. Jason does his best to hide his jitters.

The limo pulled up to the City Center, stopping by the red carpet. Valets came forward to open the door and help the ladies out. Jason took a deep breath and stepped out. TV and flash cameras greeted them. This was the biggest event of the year and everyone had to be commemorated. Only a few of the reporters even knew who he was and some made a big fuss. One woman rushed forward, microphone at the ready.

Greg stepped between Jason and the reporter as Jason put a protective arm around Taylor.

“Mr. Banes! Mr. Banes! Do you have any comment on the outcome of your trial?”

“Outcome? Why don’t you tell me, love.”

“Are you pleased with the verdict?”

“I’m pleased that the judge thought well enough of me to drop the charges,” he said calmly. “I don’t remember details, only wish I could. But I know I didn’t kill anyone. Now if you’ll excuse me, my fiancée and I are expected inside.”

That set off a whole slew of photographs. Even more reporters tried to get comments, but they walked by without another word. Greg pushed a few nosy cameras aside as they passed, smiling blandly.

“Vultures,” Taylor said through gritted teeth, her smile somewhat forced.

“Oh, aye, love. They are that.”

Greg presented their invitation to the security officers at the door. The men nodded at them in a friendly manner, not giving any indication that they knew them. As they walked through to the lobby, they spotted Alex. Tim was inside, closer to the stage. The women giggled and chattered with Taylor, pointing at celebrities like a bunch of silly little girls.

Greg leaned over to Jason, his face bland. “They do that shit way too well,” he mumbled.

Jason’s smile was sarcastic. “I was just thinking that.” He took Taylor’s arm. “Oi, love, music. Let’s go check out the band before the show starts.” He snapped his fingers at Greg. “See they’re cared for.”

“Yes, Mr. Banes.” Greg bowed slightly as he escorted the ladies to their seats. “If this was real, I’d kick your ass for that,” he muttered knowing Jason could hear him.

“You’d try,” Jason replied quietly. “Then Taylor would kick your sorry ass instead.”

Greg chuckled. “Pussy.”

A lively 70s tune was playing in the ballroom. Jason started a lighthearted routine with Taylor as the notes of Dance With Me played around them. Laughing as they danced, they drew every eye in the room. Even security watched them briefly before going back to work. Jason spotted dozens of people he knew, all of them highly placed in society.

Not far away, he spotted Honoria, surprised to find her there. Then he remembered that her husband’s company was a major sponsor of the event. Of course she’d have to be there for that reason. He wasn’t sure if he should go talk to her, so he decided to wait to see if she acknowledged him or not.

After the dance, Jason and Taylor joined the women at their table. It was quite close to the runway. Jason suspected he’d been placed in a prominent position on purpose. He would be seen the moment a model stepped onto the stage. He sat languidly, feeling anything but calm, his arm draped casually around Taylor’s shoulder, grateful for the fact he’d had his suit and shirt fitted over a bullet proof vest. He wished he had been encased in full body armor, but that wasn’t possible. Instead, he could only pray that Orchid or whoever she’d hired, didn’t go for a head shot. He shifted uneasily in his chair. Taylor leaned over as if nuzzling his neck.

“What’s wrong?”

“I feel like there’s something we haven’t anticipated. She’s up to something, I can feel it.”

“Just paranoid,” Tim’s voice said over the ear piece he wore.

“Promise I’m not. I really think she’s got a heist planned. This many rich people in one spot?”

“She’d expose herself. She couldn’t take us all hostage and kill us,” Taylor said. “Could she?”

Jason gave her a patient look, lips thinning. “I need to speak to Bitsy.”

“Already here, JB,” Bitsy said. “Speak to me, baby.”

“Check the ventilation system immediately. She could gas us all and incapacitate or kill us with very little effort.”

“What makes you think she would?”

“Because I’ve bloody done it,” he said, trying hard to stay calm. “Do I need to look myself?”

“I’m on it.”

“Hurry. Chances are she’ll wait until after the fashion show, but she might not. Did you check the kitchen?” Jason said abruptly.

“The caterers have been there all afternoon….”

“Bitsy, need I remind you that one perfect way to get into a place is on the catering staff? I possess some impeccable credentials in that department. I even know how to light a chafing dish.”

“You’re freaking on me, kid. Keep calm.”

“I’ll keep fucking calm when I know she can’t kill us. She’d likely gas the entire bunch of us just to get me.”

“Oh shit,” Tim said quietly.

“Talk to me,” Bitsy said.

“One second.”

© Dellani Oakes

To Purchase Dellani’s Books:

Ninja Tattoo http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Oakes_Dellani/the-ninja-tattoo.htm

Under the Western Sky http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Oakes_Dellani/under-the-western-sky.htm

Indian Summer http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/product_info.php?products_id=36&osCsid=8dc4fd3d95717ca205d5a157f3b827a7

Lone Wolf http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/product_info.php?products_id=67&osCsid=8dc4fd3d95717ca205d5a157f3b827a7

Character Interview – Gabriella Deza from “Indian Summer”

Last week, I interviewed Manuel Enriques, hero of “Indian Summer”. Today, his fiancée, Gabriella Deza, graciously agreed to answer some questions.

Second Wind: What is your story?
Gabriella: I haven’t much of one yet, I’m only just 15, but what there is of it is told in “Indian Summer.”

SW: Who are you?
G: I am Gabriella Deza, youngest daughter of Governor Ferdinand Deza.

SW: Where and when do you live?
G: I live in the village of St. Augustine, La Florida. The year is 1739.

SW: Are you the hero of your own story?
G: Me a hero? Heavens, no! That would be Manuel Enriques, my father’s aid du camp and the love of my life.

SW: What is your problem in the story?
G:Quite by chance, I found out a terrible secret. A British spy is trying to overthrow my father, capture the fort and take over the town!

SW: Do you embrace conflict or do you run from it?
G: I’ve never wanted to embrace conflict, but one must face it bravely. Troubles are sent by God to test us. Am I going to argue with Him? I never run when I can fight.

SW: How does the author see you?
G: Headstrong, demure, capable, passionate, honest, loving.

SW: Do you have a hero?
G: My father, Manuel and Sailfish are my heroes. They are all so brave and noble. Though, in their own way, all men are heroes, don’t you think?

SW: Do you have a goal and why that particular one?
G: My goal is to marry Manuel as soon as possible. I love him more than I can possibly express. I want to be with him forever. He is my own, true love.

SW: Do you have any special strengths?
G: My faith in God is my greatest strength. My faith has seen me through very trying times. I would not be the woman I am without it.

SW: What are you afraid of?
G: I’m terrified of losing Manuel. If he were to die, what would become of us? Papa says only he can save us in this troubled time. If I lost him, I would have no reason to live.

SW: Has anyone ever betrayed you?
G: Yes, the man who spies on us, using our friendship against us. He betrays me, my family and my home. I hope I have a hand in bringing him to justice.

SW: Have you ever failed anyone?
G: I hope not. I will only have failed them if I do not find the spy and send him to God early for judgement.

SW: What is your most prized possession? Why?
G: My peso necklace, because Manuel gave it to me. Though my parents gave me pearls for my birthday, the peso shows Manuel’s love for me. He can’t ask me to marry him, it wouldn’t be proper, but that shows each of us our promise to wed.

SW: What is your favorite scent? Why?
G: Sandalwood., because that is the scent of Manuel’s soap.

SW: What is your favorite color? Why?
G: Apple green, because it was Mama’s favorite as well, and I am most like her of all three of us girls.

SW: If you had the power to change one thing in the world that didn’t affect you personally, what would it be?
G: I think I’d like the Spanish and the English not to hate one another so much.

SW: What makes you think that change would be for the better?
G: There would be less fighting and conflict in the world.

SW: If you were stranded on a desert island, would you rather be stranded with, a man or a woman?
G: Do not think badly of me of saying this, but I would want to be stranded only with Manuel. I can think of no one else with whom I have enough in common to spend any period of time. Only if we were married, of course. Anything else would be scandalous!

Nine Questions to Ask Your Character

Writer’s Digest published these questions as a tool for an author to get to know their characters better. I decided to do this with some of them. I’ve interviewed them before, but these were different questions.

First is Manuel Enriques from “Indian Summer” (available at secondwindpublishing.com or Amazon.com)

Dellani: How do you learn best?

Manuel: I am a very visual learner. I see and remember things remarkably well.

Dellani: How open are you to new ideas and information?

Manuel: I am a warrior and a spy, I must learn to adapt. Were I not open to new ideas, I would be ineffective in that role. Information? My life’s work is gathering it.

Dellani: When you walk into a party, what do you notice first?

Manuel: All the beautiful women, of course. What would you have me say? That I look for the nearest exit and plan my escape should that prove necessary?

Dellani: Is one sense more highly developed than the other?

Manuel: I’ve never paid attention, I’m afraid. I do seem to hear extremely well, though Gabriella will tell you that occasionally I am deaf to the sound of her voice. I see very well and can hit a fast moving target with bow, pistol or rifle with great accuracy.

Dellani: Do you usually notice problems around you?

Manuel: But of course. My job as Governor Deza’s aid is to see that things run smoothly. Problems of any kind prevent this. I assess the problem and deal with it as needed.

Dellani: Would you say your are an optimist or pessimist?

Manuel: I am very optimistic. I would be a miserable failure in my position without it. I must believe that there will be a happy outcome or I can’t survive.

Dellani: Are you more interested in the past, the future or living in the now?

Manuel: My past holds no happiness for me and parts are best forgotten. My future with Gabriella is something I look forward to, but I must cope with the now or I won’t be able to see that future.

Dellani: How do you decide if you can trust someone?

Manuel: My trust must be earned. I do not give it easily. I trust my blood brother, Sailfish. I also trust Governor Deza. Other than that, I can’t think of anyone else I fully trust – not even Gabriella.

Dellani: Are you a deliberate, careful speaker, or do you talk without thinking first?

Manuel: I can’t count the number of times I’ve spoken out of turn. Why I haven’t gotten myself killed, I don’t know. I’m far too likely to blurt out random pronouncements without thinking. When I take the time to deliberate and concentrate on what I intend to say, I find life runs more smoothly.

Secondary Character Syndrome

I suffer from Secondary Character Syndrome. Never heard of it? I’ll explain. It’s the tendency to introduce minor characters and forget their names, thinking they aren’t important. Okay, usually, this isn’t a problem, until one of them turns up again. Believe me, these little, inconsequential people still have stories they want told. They want their 15 minutes of fame.

I try hard to write these people down. Really, I do! Mostly I’m good about it, but once in awhile…. Well, you know how that goes. I remember they exist, then I have to go back and find their names so I can add it to the character list.

Sometimes, and this happens a lot more than I like to admit, I don’t give them a name at first. I think they’re so minor, they won’t ever come back. Or I give them a designation, like ‘hungry actor’, later deciding on a name. They don’t much like that, insisting upon coming back into the story to gain a proper name.

The ones that are really bad are the ones I name, forget to write down, they come back and I give them another name. Don’t think it doesn’t happen. Yes, laugh at my pain! Can’t tell you how often I’ve done that. It’s embarrassing.

The worst minor characters are those who somehow end up with the same name. Not overly sure how or why this happens, but two totally unrelated people will pop up in a story with the same name. Yes, it’s possible for the characters to meet more than one person named Michael, David, Peter or Joseph. However, for the readers, that gets complicated. Is this Mike the Cab Driver, Mike the Bartender or Guitar Mike at the restaurant?

I went through an entire novel calling two separate characters Mickey. I changed the name of the murder victim in a short story from Jay to Jeff less than three pages later. I’m still not sure I’ve got that right. I named my ‘hungry actor’ David and forgot and called him Sam. I even went back and checked my character list for him, missing him completely. There are only 12 other names on the list. There’s no excuse for that!

“Ring Up the Curtain” a work in progress by Dellani Oakes

Posting a quote from a work in progress called “Ring Up the Curtain” It struck me as rather funny and quirky, so I decided to share it. This is part of a longer conversation between Shaine Gregory and 3 of her guy friends – Colt – a man she recently met, Brent – her boyfriend & Romy – his cousin.

“Brent, dude, you are one lucky man.” Colt grinned at him. “You’ve got a woman who doesn’t mind telling you what turns her on.”

“Naked men,” Brent chuckled.

“Nearly naked, thanks. I like a little left to the imagination. I mean, when you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.” Shaine corrected.

Three men groaned loudly.

“That hurts,” Brent said. “We like to think we’re all unique.”

“Baby, that’s like asking me which skateboard I want to ride, the long or the short one. They all have wheels, they all have sandpaper on top and they get me where I want to go. The decoration is different, the wheels faster or slower, but they’re all skateboards.”

“You’re comparing a man’s package to a skateboard?” Colt looked confused and somewhat disheartened. “That’s not even right.”

“You cut me to the quick, love,” Romy said. “We men are rather attached to our personal units, you understand. Are you saying size isn’t a factor?”

They leaned toward her, curious. Shaine giggled, tossing her head.

“It matters some. Too big is almost as bad as too small. Each woman has her own idea of just right, kind of like Goldilocks.”

“Well, the three bears here wanna know, what’s just right?” Colt smirked.

“You really want to know?”

They were hanging on her every word. Nodding, they scooted closer as she leaned over the table.

“Ask Brent, cause it’s in his pants.” She smiled sweetly, excusing herself from the table.

Their laughter followed her to the ladies’ room, fading slightly as the door closed.