Over the past few weeks, my love for a certain character has been growing deeper. She’s not the main character of Laughing in Midair, but she’s very, very close to my heart. She seems to have more life to me than any of my other characters, and there’s a connection with her that’s not there for Emmaline all the time. I find her easier and easier to write as Emmaline gets more and more difficult. She’s the girl I want to know more about, the girl I want to have her chance to shine.
Alexis Marie Prentiss (more commonly referred to in Laughing in Midair as Lexi) was made as a combination of several friends. I didn’t realize it as I was writing her all the time, but I see I was basing a lot of her on my friends Taylor and an unnamed in particular. I especially included Taylor’s love of dance in her (something that is not included in the story as of yet, but I make sure I include when I am working on her by herself, outside of the novel. I firmly believe that all characters need an entire back story, no matter how minor their role is.), her lightheartedness, and, of course, her perfect hair that her best friend is extremely jealous of. But while Taylor’s hair is longer, and a gorgeous reddish brown with blond highlights, Lexi’s hair is a cross between the color of straw and a DAFFODIL!!!!, and styled in a short pixie cut (and yes, I wrote her with a pixie BEFORE I cut mine in such a style) that I think suited her better. As for my other unnamed friend, I think I incorporated her laugh, eyes, bubbly but down to earth personality, and, yes, her sarcasm. But there are hints of other people in her, too. She has my baby sister’s endless energy and creativity, as well as her knack for making up very imaginative, funny stories that generally appear to have no point whatsoever. One person she reminds me of is my friend Christina- Lexi is loved by everyone and everyone knows how beautiful she is, but she has a hard time seeing it. It kind of ticks me off in the story, as it does in real life. I also firmly believe everyone is beautiful, and not just on the inside.
And, of course, Erin and Holly. Where else would she get her love of poetry on a background of Arizona sky, or her extreme randomness and happymakingness?
However, she is largely her own self. I have never met anyone else who can make spaghetti sauce JUST right, and a lot of her is quite frankly who I always wished I was. She’s outgoing and enthusiastic. She’s an interesting peron, and I feel like there is no end of her surprises, even though I think I know her inside and out.
And, of course, all characters have some likeness to their creator. She’s inherited my love of writing on the soles of her feet, and like me tends to feel like she’s drowning in the places she loves the most. She wants to be somewhere unsafe, even though she still cares about her home. In short, I think she’s a little of us all, in ways.
Yes, I think I’ve made her a little too perfect. I have a hard time drawing the line when it comes to being able to make my own being. I want her to be happy, faultless, someone EVERYONE loves. I need to give her faults, and I’m working on that. But I enjoy her so much. Lexi is someone I want to explore more in depth. Who knows… maybe she’ll get her own novel someday.