Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Characters: Patience (The Daffodil Robot)

Of all my characters, none has gone through as much of a change between first draft and published work as has Patience Smith from His Robot Girlfriend.  Originally she was a rather Amazonian figure, physically very imposing, but much more submissive.  Some might argue that Patience is still submissive, but I think she's not so much.  When I rewrote the short pieces into a long story, she needed to have much more force of personality so that she could advance the storyline of forcing Mike to change.  A college professor once told me the main character is the one in the story who changes the most-- and that would be Mike.

When I started rewriting, I just wasn't happy with her physical description, so I started completely from scratch, using a young woman I knew as a model-- so yes, there really is a Patience out there.  I observed her as carefully as possible (without seeming too creepy) so that I could describe her movements and gestures-- like when Patience bounces on her tip-toes or incorporates dance moves into everyday movement.  Since then, I've tried to find a human being to at least think about when I write my characters.  Yes, I still know the young woman I patterned Patience after, and no, I never told her she was an inspiration.  I still think it's a little bit creepy.

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