Grey Wings Character Study: Mephistopheles


Grey Wings

We’ve looked at a few of the different characters in Grey Wings, those who dwell in Heaven and those who live on the Earth. But we haven’t looked at the denizens of Hell.

One of the main antagonists (although I am loathed to label him a ‘bad guy’) is also one of my favourite characters, he was almost as fun to write as Aurelius. I’m talking, of course, about Mephistopheles. He is an interesting character as categorising him is difficult. He’s neither good or bad, he’s selfish perhaps but certainly not ‘evil’. But he certainly isn’t a good guy either! Mephistopheles is a fallen angel bent on bringing another angel to Hell and is willing to kill Jason, a young boy, to accomplish this.

Mephistopheles was designed to be a ‘grey’ character, playing solidly into the themes of the book of morality and how real life is far more complicated than the dichotomy of good v evil.

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Character Study: Ophelia

While writing my upcoming novel Ghoul, I created a character designed to serve the function of a ‘talking head’ aka someone for Mya, the protagonist, to bounce ideas off. However, I understand talking heads are bad; they result in clunky dialogue that’s obviously just exposition in the form of dialogue. So, with that in mind, I tried to turn my talking head into a semi-developed character with her goals and motivations.

I made this character a Sphinx. I’ve always been fond of a bit of Egyptian mythology, as those who read Amenti will have noticed, and it didn’t take me long to decide where in London my Sphinx would live and she promptly moved into the Egyptian walk of Highgate Cemetery.

I started drafting a bit of dialogue between my Sphinx and Mya, and before I knew where I was my ‘talking head’ fast outgrew the role she was designed for and took on a life of her own. My Sphinx had become Kepi and all of a sudden I had another book growing in the back of my head.

While Kepi lives in the Highgate Cemetery close to the ghouls who dwell beneath it, there is another Sphinx in London. Ophelia and Ophelia even as a rough character concept was very demanding and spent her first hours of life in my head telling me her story.

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Writing Top Tips: The trick to writing characters readers fall in love with

In this blog, I will be sharing with you my five favourite characters from fiction and why I think they are awesome.

I’ve spent a lot of last weeks reading. Having a cold sucked a lot, (especially since it was only my second week in my new job and I was gross and grumpy) but one of the upsides was that I took as much time as possible to rest and thus had some time to catch up on my reading.

I’ve been re-reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and it got me thinking that Karou is one of the best character’s I’ve read in a long time. It made me think, what is it that makes a character into a favourite character? For me anyway I find it hard to pin down, so I have spent time thinking about what makes good and bad characters.

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