A Galaxy of Possibilities: Discussing Character Writing, Diversity, Star Wars and Fandom – Week 3: Lorenza Pyrrin

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Lorenza Pyrrin, Students of the Light
SWRPG Wiki Page | Tumblr Gallery

I have precise recollections of how I originally came up with some characters. Lorenza Pyrrin, née Jokardho, isn’t one of them. I know that I didn’t hesitate when it came to the image claim – Kandyse McClure, because I had loved this actress since seeing her in Higher Ground in 2000. I had thought that she would make a great Jedi even as seeing her as Dualla in Battlestar Galactica. She was one of my early characters, as I created her back in 2009. I didn’t reflect on diversity as much back then, but she came up to me looking this way from the start.

For a few years in the SWRPG setting, the imperial legislations forbade any Force user from entering their territory. Shall one be found out as such, they were to be arrested and executed. This is also what prompted some of Lorenza’s back story. She was an Artificial Intelligence expert born and raised on imperial territory and was a military scientist. I am no scientist and always was more of a literary oriented person, but just like combat makes me go crazy as a writer, I like to have some scientist characters so I have research to do and envelopes to push. I didn’t get to write much about Lorenza’s scientific side since I created her though, which also led me to create other scientist characters later on.

Lorenza had recently lost her husband, who served in the Navy when the new law was put in place. Having suspected that her young daughter, Nara, might be Force sensitive, she decided to resign from the military and escape imperial space to make sure that her daughter would be safe. So they traveled to the Jedi Temple for shelter, and she had the surprise to realize that she was Force sensitive as well and that her strong bond with her little girl was a sign of her empathic talents. Yet, being accepted as a Jedi padawan didn’t make Lorenza feel so good and she struggled with impostor syndrome for a long while.

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She eventually began training with the father of one of her daughter’s friends. The two single parents eventually forged a friendship besides their mentor and student relationship. This even developed into a romantic one, despite their initial concerns. They married a few years later, and Lorenza had the good surprise to be well accepted by her in-laws, despite how she was older than their son, which was a stark contrast to the issues she had had with her first husband’s family, who never wanted Lorenza – or even their granddaughter Nara – to be part of their family.

To counter balance Lorenza’s slow process of finding her place among the Jedi, I had her be comfortable as a mother and being good with children generally speaking, which also helped her build ties with her stepson. That made her able to hold on and keep the family together when dramatic events happened both to her stepson and her husband, no matter how difficult it was.

As mentioned above, I don’t use much of her scientific background, but there still are traces of it showing up at random times, just like her military past sometimes makes appearances too. While she learned to wield a lightsaber, I hinted a few times how shooting a blaster was possibly more natural to her due to her life in imperial service, and I plan to further this in the years to come.

Lorenza is one of the few characters I write who lost a limb (so far). I knew that if I had her go through this, I wanted to take the time to have her adjust with the cybernetic replacement. Not only did it make sense but it was something I didn’t get around to write before. I had her struggle with some daily tasks and then with the construction of her lightsaber – for which, just as for some random tasks at first, she needed assistance for. It also prompted me to have her go through basic lightsaber training again because of the new hand, no matter how well it worked, had to be “befriended”. Even now that she is acclimated to the cybernetic limb, it still participates to the slow process of her picking up drawing again, after years of not doing it.

While I am aware that this was acquired disability and that with the technology in the Star Wars universe, things are “fixable”, I still wanted to use this writing possibility as the opportunity it was for character development. Sometimes, focus on her recovery was given, but I also found it important to have smaller mentions in other parts of the stories she partook in. Throwing Lorenza into this hardship when she seemed to have gained more confidence as a Jedi also helped confirming that she had made a lot of progress in her training and life, as it would have been counter intuitive to just toss her back to square one.

  • Do your characters tend to experience parenthood?
  • How do you find balance between strengths and weaknesses for your characters?
  • How do you incorporate a character’s experience of disability in their development?

Book Review: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Tempted Champions by Yvonne Navarro

Tempted_Champions_(Buffy_Novel)The last novel included in my fourth Buffy the Vampire Slayer anthology was Tempted Champions by Yvonne Navarro. This was an enjoyable read, that even saw me found interest in Anya’s presence and side plotline in the novel. Anya is one of my least favorite characters in this fictional universe, so when an author manages to make me care about her, this is a big thing. I very much liked her discussion with Willow and Tara, which I didn’t see coming.

The same way, I found the interaction between Willow and Tara and Dawn, during the casting of some spells, a solid moment in the storyline. There were many small moments between the characters that made this novel work well in regards to how the show was developped on television.

As always, I was glad to get any scene involving Giles and Angel, but this is no news coming from me.

The antagonist in the story was a brilliant twist, with her being a Slayer turned Vampire. I liked how it challenged Buffy on so many levels. I knew that Buffy survived in the end, but at the same time, I was really wondering how or when she would be able to make it through.

Links: Writing, Batman, Feminism and Science Fiction

ID-100188595 - Laptop Computer With Books, Isolated On White Stock Image - cooldesignLinks: Writing, Batman, Feminism and Science Fiction

Feminist Friday: #Twitterpurge, Women, and Internet Culture

Natacha Guyot:

This week’s Feminist Friday discussion is hosted at Part Time Monster. As always, you’re all invited to chime in either today or in the weekend, as the threads remain open!

Originally posted on Part Time Monster:

Over the weekend Something Happened on the Internet. Well, something happened on Twitter. It was called #twitterpurge, and though it seems to have slowed down a lot since then, it hasn’t quite ended. The hashtag was primarily used for revenge porn, with users posting nude photos of ex-girlfriends or lovers under the hashtag. The #twitterpurge hashtag is a stark contrast to #Yesallwomen, a movement that created mini-texts of empowerment and confession using tweets. This time, we were reminded that the Internet is not a safe place for women.

So what is this hashtag, and where did it come from? Last year, a film called The Purge was released. The premise was that, for one night, all crimes were made legal; this “purge” of crime had the dual effect of lowering crime stats for the rest of the year and providing population control. This year, the sequel to the film,

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Wonderful Team Member Readership Award

I can’t believe of how many people have nominated this blog for awards, in the past few weeks. You guys rock and I am humbled by your kindness and praise for what I write and share here!

Thank you very much to Diana at Part Time Monster for nominating me for a Wonderful Team Member Readership Award!

wonderful-readership-award2Rules

1) The nominee shall display the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award logo on his/her blog.

2) The nominee shall nominate 14 bloggers s/he admires, over a period of 7 days, all at once or little by little, by linking to their blogs and informing them about it.

My Nominees

In case any of my nominees doesn’t wish to accept the award, please simply consider this a token of my appreciation for your blog. I am using the ping as notification of the award. :)

Book Review: Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Wisdom Of War By Christopher Golden

Source: Wikipedia.

Source: Wikipedia.

The second novel included in my fourth Buffy The Vampire Slayer anthology was Wisdom of War by Christopher Golden. I wouldn’t say this is one of my favorite novels in this fictional universe, mostly because the story dragged on a bit for me; but it was still a decent read. I think that Golden’s talent in portraying the characters from the show helped a lot. He is one of the authors in the Buffy novels who does most justice to the existing characters.

The main storyline with the two different aquatic dangerous species was good but with all the players involved, it got a little messy. I felt that some things were a bit rushed while others were delayed. So it felt like unrealized potential. All characters were well defined and the ones from the show were great, especially Buffy, Faith, Giles, Willow and Tara. These five were the ones I enjoyed best in the novel. I was surprised of how I liked Spike as well in this one, as the character tends to easily annoy me. So it is another proof of Golden’s solid job at bringing these known characters to life again.

Overall, it was a decent read, and if you are mostly interested in the character dynamics, it is worth checking out.