Caprasia Brocard/Vanessa Redgrave

Probably due to the fact that I grew up with television and computer games, and have always been really "into" movies, I find it helpful to "cast" actors as the main characters that I write. Over the years I've found that my best characters were always ones that I was able to visualise being portrayed by a certain actor or actress as I wrote.

Caprasia Brocard is one of my favourite characters in Call to Arms. She is an Old Loyalist under the care of Varas Solabius when he crash-lands on Voystra. She is a secondary character but an important one who is an inspiration to virtue and valour in the main protagonist of the tale.

Even to her creator, Caprasia's been a bit elusive and I've found my beta readers tend to find her a bit opaque and uninteresting. I've been struggling with the re-write, and one of my biggest issues has been with difficulties envisioning her. I think I may have finally found who I've been looking for in Vanessa Redgrave after watching Mary, Queen of Scots during my vacation.

She has the bone structure I had in mind without the seductress' eyes of Eva Green, the previous "front runner" for this role in my mind's eye. Caprasia Brocard needs to be more stately and dignified, and I think Redgrave has the look for.

On a side note, with reference to the film that inspired this post, I wouldn't say it was a great film but it was interest to me to see how far gone things already were in 1971 in the film-making industry. Already sodomy is being propagandized and the soft-core gay porn between Ian Holm and Timothy Dalton is really something I wish I'd never seen. Although reading some brief encyclopedia entries, the film seems to have been decently accurate in portraying the key events -- in which case Mary Queen of Scots was likely THE stupidest woman to ever wear a crown. If there was a wrong way to do something, she did it, and if she's made even one fewer colossal blunders in her time, James I of England and VI of Scotland would have at least ascended to the British throne a Catholic.


M.R. Zapp said...

Hm,I remember reading a biography of Mary, Queen of Scots, and she didn't strike me as stupid or as having performed idiotically. Perhaps it is a case of hindsight being twenty-twenty, in which case we could say that there are many leaders in history who performed amazingly stupid blunders, but at the time, if one were in their shoes, who is to say that we would not have made the same choices? Especially for her, given the supremely difficult position she was in, I don't think it's so easy to say that her choices were bad ones.

Interesting idea about basing characters off of actors - at least if the actors are more obscure. I would think if you supplied a character who was ripped, a bad A** and spoke terse English with a strong German accent, you might give yourself away to easily! :)

Nicholas D.C. Wansbutter said...

Only if I have him say "I'll be back!"

Sophia's Favorite said...

That's an Austrian accent. Not the same thing at all. A German accent doesn't make you sound like you took a surfboard to the back of the head; the Austrian one does (it's the drawl—the Vienna dialect actually has triple long vowels, not just double ones).

And no, it's not just Arnie whose groggy delivery suggests a head-injury—Henry Kissinger has the same accent, and he, too, sounds vaguely concussed most of the time.

Nicholas D.C. Wansbutter said...

You're completely correct, my friend. Still and all, your comment made me think of some of your recent posts at Lady Wisdom's Favourite, and I have to say that your linguistic knowledge and skill is scary. It's because of people like you that I don't even think of attempting to create my own languages in my stories because you'd uncover me as a fraud in 2 seconds!

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