Friday, June 25, 2010
Those examples don't even scratch the surface of the family talent pool. My cousin Larissa sings like an angel (or a rockstar, or truly, whatever range she feels like hitting that day) and several of my aunts have stunning vocal range.
Somehow, the performance gene seemed to miss me.
Maybe that's why I can sing all of the songs in Moulin Rouge (albeit when no one else is around). I even loved Chicago, despite a lukewarm performance by Richard Gere.
But my favourite musical, by far, is Phantom of the Opera. I've been lucky enough to see if five times - once in New York with my beautiful mother-in-law. So. Awesome.
I think it's the masquerade scene that excites me the most. All of that brilliant color spinning around the stage with mesmerizing choreography and drama. The sudden appearance of the Phantom - one of the most chilling masks in memory. (Well, unless you count the Jason mask from Friday the 13th...)
From the first time I saw Phantom I've been fascinated with masquerades. I actually went through a brief stint where I planned my "phantom" wedding around a masquerade. (Not sure what I'd been drinking to make me think my dad would actually walk me down the aisle holding a mask but it was a stunning wedding in my mind...)
I watched Phantom again yesterday, the movie version of course, because I was home sick and writing and reading wasn't an option. When I got to the masquerade scene, I paused the DVD to absorb all of the cool characters, the beautiful masks, the amazing costumes. And then it hit me.
My protagonist in one of my WIPs is wearing a mask.
In the other WIP, Heartless, my girl Jagger is stripped raw. What you see is what you get. And I LOVE her. She's sassy and fun and fearless and sexy and *takes breath* - I could go on about her all day. But when you ask me about Cait, the protagonist in Absolution, I struggle to find the words to describe her. Not physically, but on that more intimate level. As expected, when I look at her scenes, I can appreciate her character is technically sound - she's just lacking in the personality department.
On Wednesday, I blogged about my critique partner and how she's taught me to take risks. For Cait, that means ripping off the mask and digging deeper to figure out who she really is. Up until now, Cait has been a solid, steady protagonist. Nice. Cute. Reliable.
But not anything like Jagger.
Oh, I understand they each need to be unique. And although Jagger LIVES in me, I'm not planning on cloning her in Cait.
It's just that, if Jagger called me right now, I'd trip over myself to pick up the phone. If Cait's number came up on call display, I might be tempted to hit the "ignore" button. That has to change. If I don't want to spend time with her, why would you?
For the next few days (after I stop feeling blech), I need to peel back Cait's masquerade mask. It's a necessary risk - even if it means the Cait I thought I knew is not at all right for this book. Honestly, I'm excited to finally learn who she is.
Are any of your characters wearing a mask? What tools do you employ to strip your protagonist to her rawest form?
The Book In My Bag Today: The Summoning, Kelley Armstrong