Character Traits

By Jeff Salter

In which famous novel would I want to be (temporarily) a character?  Which character?

One of the Foxes asked which loony worked this question into the schedule.  Hello, my name is Jeff (the Hound) … and I’m the loony.
Well, as I sometimes do, I consulted a panel of experts for their input on this question, while I pondered how I might answer.

* Son, Dave, said he’d like to be Jason Borne in the Bourne Identity

* Daughter-in-law, Angel, said she’d want to be Leah in Abram’s Daughters
            OR … Maria in The Sound of Music (if non-fiction were in this mix)

* Grandson, Levi, said he’d like to be Batman and Robin … in various of their adventures

* Wife, Denise, said she’s like to be Miss Marple in various of Christie’s novels
OR … Poirot in Murder on the Orient Express

* Grandson, Jacob M., said he’d like to be Peeta (before he loses his leg) in the Hunger Games

* Granddaughter, Jessica, said she’d like to be Harry in Harry and the Purple People

Who Am I This Time?

A TV movie which greatly impressed me – with Christopher Walken and Susan Sarandon – is called Who Am I This Time?  About a man who is widely considered to be rather dull and hesitant as himself, but every time he plays a new role in community theater, he becomes an exciting, dynamic person — that particular character.
Sometimes I have felt like Walken in that film:  bland and unnoticeable in my own right, but I can sometimes play a role and make a favorable impression.  If you get a chance, watch this film:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083325/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

My turn to choose

* Like Janette, on Tuesday, I’ve written a character that I think I’d enjoy being for a while — Bill ‘Mitch’ Mitchell who appears in Called to Arms Again (as well as two unpublished novels).

I couldn’t think of any other fictional characters I’d want to be now, but I remembered several that I wished – as a kid – that I could have been:

* Tarzan in Burroughs’ various titles
* Robin of Locksley in The Adventures of Robin Hood
* Davy Crockett in various of Disney’s fictional iterations of that real person’s life
* Dardo in the film, The Flame and the Arrow
* Marshall Dillon in the TV series, Gunsmoke
* Wyatt Earp in the TV series by the same name
* Yancy Derringer in the TV series by the same name
* Palladin in the TV series, Have Gun Will Travel
* Josh Randall in the TV series, Wanted Dead or Alive
* Rowdy Yeates in the TV series, Rawhide
* Flint McCullough in the TV series, Wagon Train

I think you can see that, as a boy, I watched a lot of TV and wanted to be the gun-slinging good guy with the cool horse.  Or, as a change of pace, to be the swash-buckling hero in an earlier period of history.

Question:
Which character would YOU want to be (for a while)?

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About jeff7salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Twelve completed novels and five completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015, "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015, "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015, "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014, "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014, "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014, "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014, "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013, "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013, "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013, "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012, "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012. Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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32 Responses to Character Traits

  1. Carol Todd says:

    Oh, I love this one! I’m back on land, but still in Alaska. Being in America’s “Last Frontier,” I gave this a little thought. I’m glad to see I’m not restricted to female characters. Jeff, I have to say, you and I must have watched a lot of the same TV shows growing up. I would love to be a number of the same characters you’ve chosen. But maybe not all of them – so here goes: Tarzan (for sure – preferably in the films featuring Johnny Weismuller), Davy Crockett as played by Fess Parker in the Disney versions, and Matt Dillon of Gunsmoke. I’d also love to be Superman (the original TV version starring George Reeves) and there are loads more of that sort. But in written fiction, that’s easy: I would like to be Count Dracula in Bram Stoker’s Dracula – until shortly before his destruction, of course!

    Like

    • Carol Todd says:

      Perhaps I should have said that being in Denali and feeling very much back in the 50s, as well as in a true frontier area, made me inclined to go with those western type heroes. And of course, Tarzan was always one of my favorites. But Dracula wins out over all.

      Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      oh, Dracula is a GREAT choice, Carol. He’d definitely be a challenge to portray and fun to ‘be’ for a while. Of course, I wouldn’t want to be that pale — LOL.

      Like

      • Carol Todd says:

        And of course, as mentioned below a bit, many of the movie/tv characters were from works of literature first, including Tarzan from Edgar Rice Burroughs’s novels.

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      • jeff7salter says:

        Absolutely, Carol. Most of the 50s TV shows I grew up on probably began as western novels. Though they took on a life of their own after reaching the TV studio system, of course.

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      • True, Carol, but you can’t assume the character in a movie is the same temperament or personality as the person is written in a book.I have so many examples of how they either trashed a character from a book in a movie or made them so much nicer people for the screen and for public opinion.

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  2. Sherry Gloag says:

    I agree with Miss Marple, an so many of georgette Heyer’s more feisty heroines.

    Like

  3. Iris B says:

    I strongly disagree that you’re a loony. I like this week. It’s a great idea!
    I agree with Miss Marple. Great character. I don’t think I really know any of the others, except Tarzan of course. Yet, swinging from tree to tree is not my kind of fun 😉

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  4. I considered Miss Marple myself! I can’t see you as Dracula, Jeff…I just don’t see you draining damsels.
    You picked a lot of NON-novel parts there, Jeff…it would have been easy for me to go with a movie character.Maybe we should do that one month…The next open month you’ll book me for we’ll do 1)movie star and secondary characters, 2)TV star and secondary characters 3) cartoon characters. How does that sound?
    And you are only semi-looney, btw, (in the best sense of the word!).

    Like

  5. Win Day says:

    Does it have to be from a famous novel? I always wanted to be Nita Callahan from Diane Duane’s Young Wizard series, which started with So You Want To Be A Wizard.

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    • jeff7salter says:

      Famous is a matter of degree. If it was famous to you, Win, then it’s totally okay with me. I can’t say I’m familiar with that series or that author, but obviously it made a big impact on you at some point.
      I think it’s so fantastic that authors can capture our imaginations sufficiently that we’d actually like to BE one or more of their characters … even if only for a little while.
      Thanks for visiting, Win!

      Like

  6. This is a great topic! As a kid, I wanted to be Nancy Drew so badly I actually searched for a mystery. Unfortunately, I didn’t have disappearing neighbors, and I never found a diamond hidden by the beach. But boy did I look! As an adult, it’d be fun to be Eve Dallas (if possible without the difficult childhood) because I’d get to solve murders, be tough, and sleep with Roarke. 🙂

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    • jeff7salter says:

      thanks, Rebecca. I guess Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys really tapped into the psyche of our generation. My brother and I — for a time — fancied ourselves as Frank & Joe Hardy. LOL.
      Yes, I was always on the lookout for something exotic and mysterious … but things were pretty tame in my home town.
      I’ve never seen the movie “Stand By Me” but I gather some kids find a dead body. As a kid, I can’t say I ever wanted to find a body per se, but I did want to discover SOMETHING which was spectacular [like your diamond in the beach] .. or find something which would cause a big stir (and of course, I’d be a celebrity!). Ha.

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  7. Theresa says:

    In my early days I really wanted to be Scarlett O’Hara. She seemed so powerful to me! I loved the opening line that said she wasn’t beautiful but men forgot that in her presence. That just said worlds to me! I also had a deep hankering to be Mrs. Pollifax. I thought I’d have made a terrific spy. I’m more in the Mrs. Pollifax realm now than Scarlett’s, but I still love both characters. I also loved Meg in A Wrinkle in Time but I never wanted to be her. I figured I kind of was her only without the tesseracts.

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    • jeff7salter says:

      I’ve never read the GWTW book, Theresa, but I saw somewhere that Hollywood spent more time and effort casting the role of Scarlett than of any other role in any other movie … EVER.
      Oh, good choice with Mrs. Pollifax! She was a world traveler … right?
      Hmm. Not familiar with Meg or her tesseracts. LOL

      Like

      • Theresa says:

        Mrs. Pollifax was a world traveler but only because she started working for the CIA as an undercover agent. She was a little old lady who thought she’d be a good spy so she went to the CIA and offered her services! Ha! I still love those books! Meg is from A Wrinkle in Time, a really terrific children’s book.

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      • jeff7salter says:

        Sounds pretty cool. I think Denise has read some of Pollifax.

        Like

  8. pjharjo says:

    So, You’re the “loony” who suggested this as a subject. LOL! Nice to meet you. 😉 I think I’ve already commented enough on the characters I might like to be, but you have brought some others to mind. Not that as I child I ever wanted to Be them, but I know I always wanted to be the female character who played opposite them. Especially opposite of Sean Connery as JB!

    (Especially about the upcoming questions I see have been mentioned, here, please bear in mind my TBI and the impaired memory bc of that.)

    THANKS!

    Like

  9. jbrayweber says:

    Hmmm..from the looks of it,Jeff, you want to be a cowboy when you grow up. 😉

    As a kid, I always fancied myself as Daisy Duke or Jill Munroe of the Charlie’s Angels. I could see myself as Scarlet O’Hara, but I also think I could be a character that was feminine and smart but kicks butt when provoked.
    My mind isn’t working right now but here are a few names that come to mind:
    Sarah Conner (Terminator)
    Marian Ravenwood (Raiders of the Lost Ark)
    Jane Smith (Mr. & Mrs. Smith)
    Elizabeth Swann (You had to have known that was coming – POTC)
    Angelica Teach (POTC – On Stranger Tides – can’t have one without the other)

    That’s all I can come up with. But you get the point.
    Jenn!

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Well, Jenn, I’ll have you know that I can also picture you as Daisy Duke. Ha. Hop into the General Lee and I’ll take you for a spin.
      Good choices also with Sarah Conner and Marian Ravenwood.

      Like

      • jbrayweber says:

        But I have to be the one DRIVING the General Lee. My Huffy bike was named General Lee. I would stick magnolia leaves in the spoke to make that engine noise. LOL!

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      • jeff7salter says:

        Okay, “Daisy” — you can drive Gen’l Lee.
        BTW, I used to use playing cards (attached with clothes pins) to make the ‘motor’ noise on my bike.

        Like

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