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If I had to describe an analogy for Seamus Winshell's personality, I would use a crystal prism. If I aimed a beam of white light at the crystal prism, the prism would absorb the white light. When the light exits the other side of the crystal prism, the white light has transformed into a variety of colors. Seamus Winshell's personality is much like this. Input from the world strikes Seamus Winshell and his response comes in a variety of colors, much like the colors in a rainbow. Except, in the case of Seamus, his response may not be beautiful or positive or even constructive.
Highlighted in blue is dialogue from a scene in Light Hidden by Darkness. This particular scene gives one perspective from Seamus’s complex personality. In this scene, he is in one of his few vulnerable and reasonable moods. Believe me, he is not often this vulnerable or reasonable. In this scene, Seamus is on an outing with a woman acquaintance, a woman named Gloria. See if you can determine anything about Seamus's personality from the exchange.
“Scared?” Gloria asked.
“Terrified is a better word!” Seamus exclaimed.
“STOP IT!” Seamus screamed…
Without spoiling the book, let's just say this is not the typical mood of the cantankerous Seamus Winshell. Nuff said...
One question that readers ask me often is where I came up with a character Seamus Winshell? Was he someone I knew in the past? How did I create him? I usually reply by telling the questioner that Seamus Winshell is a composite character. His personality comes from a variety of sources and ties back to his various roles and responsibilities in life or in his 'book life'. Seamus Winshell is a father, husband, businessman and acquaintance. For each of these roles, his personality changes. The reader sees Seamus Winshell through the different colors flowing through his crystal prism. The reader sees a different Seamus Winshell for each separate role in his life. The reader gets to see Seamus Winshell's strengths and weaknesses from a bird's eye view.
|Jack Nicholson in the movie As Good As It Gets. As|
Melvin Udall, he carries several different personalities.
In his role as a father, Seamus is one person while as a husband he is another person. As a business executive, Seamus is an entirely different person. It might sound like Seamus has multiple personalities, but I don't think so. He is doing what we all do. He is utilizing different parts of his personality for his different roles or situations. We all do this. Don’t you?
When I read books or watch movies or TV, I always like to see how an author, writer, or director portrays and develops certain characters. Are the characters single-faceted or complex? Is the character believable or are they like a sheet of cardboard, no depth and flimsy to the touch? I love complex characters, especially those found in books written by skilled authors. A good author knows how to paint a word picture of the basic essence of a character while still allowing the reader the leeway to interpret the character’s behavior. The reader can then develop his or her own perspective of the character within the context of the story. How many debates have occurred when different readers have different interpretations of the same character? Personally, I love to unravel the mysteries of characters and find out whom they really are, what makes them tick, or more appropriately, what I think makes them tick.
|In, Black Swan Natalie Portman played |
one of the most bizarre characters
in any movie ever and she had
but two hours to portray the role.
Okay, I am beginning to meander all over the place. Let me get back to our protagonist, Seamus Winshell, my character. More than anything else, I wanted Seamus Winshell to seem real to readers. I wanted to demonstrate to readers that he had certain strengths and was successful in some aspects of his life. I also wanted Seamus to demonstrate that he was vulnerable and unsuccessful in other aspects of his life. To me, this is reality. Few people are successful at all aspects of their lives and more than a few people have tremendous challenges in their lives. Seamus Winshell, like most of us, had these challenges and Seamus Winshell, like most of us, had to decide how he would deal with these challenges. There was only one important difference between Seamus Winshell and you and I.
Well, I am not going to tell you what that difference is, you will
just have to read Light Hidden by Darkness to find out.