Character Study: Winter

Ye who are caught up, read on. Ye who are just beginning to read, hold up a bit. Try to catch up before you read this, or, if you don’t care ’bout spoilers, don’t worry.

Winter is one of the most complex characters I have ever written, while simultaneously remaining very, very simple. Her reactions to problems at the start were always pretty easy to figure out- from the beginning it’s obvious that she runs. And she runs a lot. Later she starts getting braver and braver, naturally. But since she’s often the one in control of her body, Summer finds that horribly inconvenient.

But this Winter is much different from the one before she lost her memory, and she doesn’t care what Summer thinks. The one before, as Winter later discovers, would only do what she thought Summer wanted her to do. She was basically a puppet, and one whose strings Summer yanked freely. BB, as the past Summer is affectionately referred to, gleefully would shove Winter around.

Something happened in the duel between Summer and Lord Autumn- no one seems willing to say anything about it yet, and I’m sure as heck not going to spoil it for you. But know this- Winter-Long-Frost is a lot stronger than she ever was before the fight with Fall.

The character of Winter started simple- my friend, who shall remain nameless, gave me this lovely idea for a character. In fact, she gave me the character as part of one of our character swaps. Since then I’ve expanded on the concept, and she went from one person in two minds to two people with two bodies and two minds, sharing the same space. The leap made it possible for me to do all sorts of fiddly things to spacetime, which I love. There is nothing more satisfying than finding a continuity error in my own work and correcting it, and without Winter, there would not be a work to look through to find the errors. And I know there are errors. I’m not a perfect writer- no one is a perfect writer. There are so many laws (guidelines, really) in the english language I cannot fathom how someone could construct a truly grammatically correct sentence.

Yet Winter presents a much different problem, because the errors are in continuity. Since Summer and Winter are essentially two different characters- see polarized opposites who have to share the same mindspace- in one space, it means that Winter could be bleeding out and Summer could be just fine.

It does weird things to Winter, psychologically, too. Some people have a conscience pointing all the things out they did they should regret. Summer is like a reverse conscience, pointing out everything she thinks Winter should do to benefit herself. In that way, Winter and Summer are completely different. When Summer is in control, Winter is always trying to protect the people Summer might hurt. She rarely seems to care about her own safety, or even Summer’s safety.

Winter, who Summer thinks is too soft for her own good, is constantly berated for trying to save people. The two balance each other out in a lovely synergistic way- or would, if they weren’t constantly at one another’s throats. While the whole [SPOILER]* incident helped cement the two of them together firmly in mind as well as in body, they still have very distinct character differences. It’s part of what makes Winter so enjoyable to write. Alone she would just be another heroine who tried to handle too much. Along with Summer to be the superbitch [not a real word] she’s balanced out.

I don’t generally think about that so much. I think about the relationships between my characters, but rarely do I actually meditate on why they are as they are. I think it’s a good exercise to go into depth about what experiences drive Winter…

And the main one I can think of, the first one that really struck her, was the [SPOILER] of the two men early on. She was just starting to learn what and who  she was. And look how far she’s come now!

What amazes me most is Winter’s flaws. Despite having a kind character… Winter still manages to come off as a bit childish in her views of the world. While she’s terrified of Lord Autumn, one of her major flaws is her lack of true understanding of what’s happening. She gets fragments of knowledge from her memories, but the fascinating thing for me is that even when she’s getting all this help, she’s still only brushed the first of hundreds of webs of intrigue wrapping around her. She’s blindly flailing, trying to figure out what exactly is going on at the same time as the reader. Fortunately I’m coming close to [SPOILER] the messes all in, and it won’t even need to be [SPOILER] heavy.

But I’ve already said too much. That’s it for Winter, for now.

As always, enjoy!

-Eris

*[Hint: I’m not going to tell you what I put in the spoilers unless you ask me really nice.]