Friday, May 24, 2013

Characters: Mudarra

Mudarra is the somewhat unlikely hero of the second half of The Seven Noble Knights of Lara. The reader spends a lot of time in his point of view, so my first priority was to make sure we could see the world through his eyes, sympathize with him, and generally root for him. Then I had to present him from the outside, when another point of view character meets him for the first time. He should have dark hair and light eyes and a scruffy beard, much like the picture above, although probably even a bit younger.

This guy should credibly play his father in the movie version. (Oh, yes, the role of Don Gonzalo is coming for you, Mr. Clooney!)

I could have looked online for inspiring pictures like these, but at the time, I thought it would be more creative to draw a picture myself. I've never been a particularly visual writer, so I thought that might jump-start those muscles. Sometimes the creativity only really gets flowing in one area when you take a break and try to create in another medium. I never took drawing lessons, but here's my description guide for Mudarra.

Would this make an impression on you?

Here's how the description ended up:

... how could it be anyone else, with the same cowlick in the front of his dark, almost black hair that pointed in every direction before curling almost tamely under his ears? His eyes were shaded under the same wild brows, and his long, straight nose, exactly like his father’s. His square chin supported the same half-grown stubble of a child on the verge of becoming a man. His mouth was pursed in seriousness, but Sancha recognized instantly its shape, always ready to burst into a smile or laughter. ...

Where had he been all this time? He’d been doing well. As he knelt before them, his long cloak opened to reveal that it was lined entirely in a fur as fine as silk and much warmer than the hole-ridden lynx pelt. The tunic he wore underneath, made of a soft-looking, fuzzy fabric, seemed to create its own heat with its bright red color and golden embroidery. The hand he held out to her and her husband had golden rings embedded with shimmering carbuncles on each finger. Even his boots were studded with beads that sparkled as much as rubies. The only detail that seemed out of place for a well-landed lord somewhere in Andalusia or in the borderlands was the length of rough string that secured a small pouch around his neck.

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