Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Character Appeal

By Martha Reed

I’m afraid this blog might end up being a short one because even though I started out with the best of intention and planned on spending a couple of hours on it, real life has interrupted my discipline – my evil cohort at work, Star Wars Guy, brought me a present on Monday: The Second Season DVD set of Dexter and I can’t wait to get to it.

I even stopped at Labriola’s Market on my way home to buy dinner so I wouldn’t have to waste any time cooking it. (Not to mention that their roasted eggplant stuffed with ricotta is to die for and their Chicken Romano ain’t bad, either).

I’ve already explained in a previous blog how I discovered Dexter years ago in print, and how I had to keep Dexter a guilty secret indulgence because how on earth do you confess to admiring a character who is a serial killer? Honestly, though, Dexter the Showtime Series is so much more than that oversimplification and the cast does wonderful work fleshing out the story. (Is that the correct verb?) Michael C. Hall deserves an Emmy for his portrayal of Dexter but my current favorite character is the seriously flawed detective Angel Batista played by David Zayas. There is something in his portrayal that is very, very close to real pathos plus I love Angel’s collection of hats.

Here’s a killer sample of the very human Angel:

But the question I want to post today is: have you ever read a story and then had a dream where that character or set of characters came to life in it? I can remember one dream I had where Tom Berenger was a vampire Lord but I believe that one was based more on a personal preference than on any actual character I had read about. What I’m looking for today is something more than wishful thinking: an example of a written character who came to independent life during the course of a dream.

I know there must be at least one Heathcliff out there and hopefully no one has stumbled into Hannibal Lecter. I look forward to reading your answers!


Tory said...

I remember dreaming episodes of "Bonanza" when I was in Junior High. I was TOTALLY in love with Adam! I was trying to write an episode for it, too, so you could say it was my first attempt at fan fiction, though I didn't get very far.

kathie said...

Hi Martha--I just started watching the cable version of Dexter since I don't have Showtime. I do like it, but of course it's disturbing too. In some ways I'm such a Pollyanna because all I can think when watching it is, "can't he just stop all this killing so I can love him fully????" of course he can't or there wouldn't be a story. I've never dreamed about a book or movie or characters that other people have written, but I have solved my own plot problems in my sleep! Great post, thanks.

Working Stiffs said...

Tory, I never really understood Adam - he never seemed to be at home. Little Joe was confusing, too, because we were so supposed to like him. Hoss was my favorite - I love the episodes where he gets himself in trouble and then gets himself out. Bonanza was such a Sunday night ritual in our house - thanks for reminding me of it.

martha reed said...

PS. Oops, that's me, it's early and I was still logged into blogger. Sorry!

JennieB said...

Can't say that's ever happened to me, no. My own characters come to life sometimes in my dreams, though. And I just read that that's how Stephenie Meyer came up with the idea for the Twilight series. I do sometimes dream about television characters, but I suspect that has more to do with the appeal of the actors than the characters.

I don't 'get' Dexter, sorry. Much the same way I don't 'get' vampires. They're dead, he's a serial killer - zero appeal there, in either case. Just can't get past that one thing, I'm afraid.

Wilfred Bereswill said...

Hmmm, I think in my youth, there was a dream that involved the original Charlie's Angel's cast and me...

Actually, I don't remember dreams. I can wake up from a particularly disturbing dream and as soon as my eyes snap open, it's gone.

Anonymous said...

Interesting wish. Dreams are great for imagination though wind up bizarre. Not good at this yet, but will try.
John stood by his steaming car. His quest to Nantucket by nightfall now foiled. As he looked beyond the vacant surrounding two lanes he just passed, he sees a bend in the road and walks toward it. It is then a man comes out. He is dirty and wiping his hands on his front shirt. He sees the distress in Johns face and the open hood of the car.

A small babbling brook can be heard from the side of the road. Without a word, the man looks at the engine and pulls out his knife. While John is taken aback, he does not feel threatened.

The man then nods, loosens the hose from the radiator and cuts a slice in the hose. He holds it to the sun, confirming the small crack that caused the leak. He tosses it aside and re clamps the hose. Pulling the cap off the radiator he walks to the brook and comes back with a hat full off water. He pours this in. No drops are spilled.
Oh to give a reader your words and have them come to life in your dreams !

I have indeed had dreams based on reading prior to sleeping. That said, it seems dreams are best remembered if you eat or drink right prior to sleeping. There is always water next to the loo so I can drink on purpose, in hopes for said better remembered dreams. Some have been good, some not.

The writers for Dexter are rather morbid. He is enjoying his kill, making him, in fact, a serial killer. (personal opinion)Mr. Hall is indeed playing the roll well.

I've not seen the next season yet, coming now on netflix. The writers were softening him up with the girlfriend stuff toward the end of season one. (again, personal opinion) Needing some fluff ? We shall see. Not sure if he should go soft or stay detached, or how to write that one in.

Let us know what you thought of season two !