January 17, 2008

More Character Discussion Series!

Hello again, Reader. This time we'll talk about Talm. His full name is Talm (TAHLM) Geneson (JEN-eh-sun). His was the last character (of the three companions for Pajo) that I created. His purpose for inclusion in the story was not so much comic relief as to point out some of the culture of Straemier. His was meant to be a counterpoint to Mikah. Both orphaned, but with vastly different outcomes. Where Mikah is introspective, Talm is brash and outspoken. Mikah can be fearful, yet optimistic—Talm can be bold, yet pessimistic. These contrasting feelings and reactions are all due to their different upbringings.

Mikah was left as an infant at a privately supported orphanage in Lumos. All knowledge of his parents, his lineage, is a mystery. Talm was the son of a reasonably successful merchanting family in Lilag. But his mother died when he was too young to remember and his father died when he was twelve. Mikah, therefore, remembers only everything that he has had at his disposal—and chose to leave. Talm, on the other hand, remembers everything that was taken away from him when his father died. Look at some adjectives that could be used for these two:


If you prescribe to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, you can see that Mikah is striving for self-actualization whereas Talm is consistently working to fulfill his physical needs.

I wanted to construct a relationship between two starkly contrasting characters and somehow make it work. There needed to be an underlying respect for the others' differences established by the end of the first book. I certainly hope that I reached that lofty goal.

Some have made a connection between Talm and Han Solo (swordmaid! bookworm579!). While it is true that both characters can fit within the Rogue archetype—and it is true that I have been a Star Wars nut for about thirty years now—my true inspiration for Talm came from three primary source characters:

(1) Huckleberry Finn
(2) The Artful Dodger
(3) My father

That pretty much wraps it up , Reader! Until next time, be well.

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