Tuesday, October 20, 2009

NaNoWriMo Prep: Characters for Dirty Pop

At this point in my preproduction of Dirty Pop, I think I should give some thought to the novel's cast. After all, the characters make the plot, and I need the right balance of characters if I want the story to work. I have the right balance between our heroine, Charlie, and the archvillainess, her mother Drusilla. But their epic conflict requires various supporting characters as well. So let's see what I can come up with...

First of all, there's the major figures in the story's conflict:
  • Charlie Thomas, our heroine. She's a former teen pop idol whose career was ruined by a sex scandal when she was 16. Five years later, she's struggling to rebuild her shattered singing career while trying to build a life on her own, free from her mother's tyranny.
  • Drusilla Becket, Charlie's mother and the main antagonist. A right-wing New Age cult leader, a tyrannical stage mother, and an all-around narcissist and prima donna. Being the narcissist she is, she thinks of her daughters Charlie and Desiree as nothing more than extensions of her omnipotent ego, so she will fight her daughter's quest for a life of her own with every weapon she's got. She's a major-league scenery muncher, so Charlie's challenge as hero is to steal the story right back.
Next, there's the supporting characters I'm borrowing from Spanner and the prequel "Dictel trilogy" (Bad Company, Black Science, and their eventual sequel):
  • Desiree Thomas, Charlie's redheaded younger sister, is a supporting character in Dirty Pop the same way Charlie is a supporting character in Black Science. But the two still define "best friends", and their relationship remains as intense as in Bad Company.
  • Alex De Lacey, also known as DJ Alex Plus (also a hacker in the other stories). Charlie's cousin, and quite fond of her too. She serves as a mentor to Charlie through the predator-infested jungle of the music industry.
  • Cedric Thomas, Charlie's father, a legendary rock singer/guitarist who has managed to escape celebrity despite his strange and seemingly dissolute life. She's extremely attached to him (being separated from one's father by an evil narcissistic mother tends to do that), and there's much she can learn from him. He has a much different angle on the music industry from Alex, since he's been feuding with it since 1985.
  • Elizabeth Shears, Cedric's bandmate and first wife. In Bad Company, she helped Charlie break Dru's power over her; in Dirty Pop, she'll help Charlie rebuild her career. Charlie desperately wishes Betty were her mother instead of Dru.
  • Hope Reston, Cedric's third wife and Shira's mother. The civil rights lawyer who pretty much saved Charlie and Desiree from Dru and her evil superlawyer husband, Clayton Starr, in Bad Company. This time around, she'll find herself defending Charlie from the Clayton Starrs of the music industry.
  • Shira Thomas, Charlie's youngest half-sister and already a legendary prankster at age 9 or 10. Always a wild card in any story she appears in; Spanner itself is precisely about that. Who knows what she'll pull off in Dirty Pop?
  • Taylor Brinkman, the goth-rock singer. She may guide Charlie through the darker realms of rock, like she does Desiree in Black Science. Little or none of that "Da Vinci Code" stuff will make it into Dirty Pop, though I'll probably sneak in the information that Taylor had Rat Scabies be the godfather to her twins Leila and Robert.
  • Marshall Brinkman, Taylor's eldest brother, is Dru's personal lawyer. He may have a career-making moment in Dirty Pop, even if he fails to destroy Charlie. He might even get hired by the now-infamous British libel-law firm Carter-Ruck, where he will do battle in the firm's never-ending crusade against freedom of speech in the UK. Or he may be hired by the RIAA or its UK counterpart, the BPI, which the RIAA is putting under intense pressure to become increasingly militant.
Real-life pop music and rock & roll figures that may inspire characters in Dirty Pop include:
  • Lady Gaga, the reigning princess of disco and strange fashion. Note: She is an ardent supporter of gay rights and is on the record as saying that gay culture should take over the mainstream (the same way I insist science fiction should take over mainstream fiction).
  • Pink, who is a lot like Lady Gaga except she's a rocker rather than a disco diva, no matter how many DJs remix her.
  • Samantha Ronson, celebrity DJ who is currently most famous for her onetime romance with Lindsey Lohan. There may be something of a Ronson/Lohan dynamic in the Alex/Charlie relationship, at least if my inner yuri fangirl has something to say about it.
  • Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, and other teen pop idols who are right now what Charlie used to be.
Plus others I can hardly think of right now. These inspirations may appear as themselves in greatly modified form, or combined into composite characters like Drusilla, who is a "mega amalgam" of several notorious female New Age gurus and a celebrated soap opera drama queen.

This is a preliminary lineup of characters, and real-life inspirations for potential characters. The lineup will surely change by the time NaNoWriMo begins. And then it could change as I write and then edit the novel. Stay tuned...

Back to Spanner’s World...

No comments:

Post a Comment