Since I’m about to be writing about these characters hardcore for NaNoWriMo 2011, I thought I might take a moment (or four) and introduce the lead characters of Tesseract. I’ll start with the first character I thought of for the story, the chief protagonist, Kahlan Rhhl.
First of all, let’s discuss her name. Kahlan comes directly from Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series. I needed a name for my puzzle-driven lead character. Since she has a streak of social isolation, it seems to fit since the Mother Confessor’s touch is dangerous enough to be ostracized. There’s a more direct reason as well, simply that the friend who inspired this character and this book is a big fan of the Sword of Truth.
The other part of her name is where my Kahlan gets interesting. In Tesseract, children grow up in a creche, at least initially. At a young age, most children are chosen by parents, though they might be from the same species. Kahlan is taken in by a nest of aliens who, due to the shape of their vocal cords, can’t pronounce vowels.
As I mentioned before, Kahlan likes puzzles. She’s motivated, in part, by an instinctive need to put things together and in their proper place. Her part of the plot centers around a need to keep something intact: her friendship with her two best friends. They work together, they play together, relax together, hurt together. Much like the next Kahlan grew up in, her friends are her life and she is woven to them in every way.
When it comes to casting Kahlan in my mind, I have to go with Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Not only does she have an air of intelligence that she projects well. Check out Scott Pilgrim vs. The World or the newest version of The Thing if you want to see evidence.
Since I’m also inspired by music, I’m going to play something to get in the right frame of mind for writing about Kahlan and what she sees. For this, I think I’ll use goth rock music, like Evanescence or Within Temptation, maybe even a bit of Epica. These acts all carry a sense of the epic, along with mystery and mood. These are just the things I’m after in a science fiction lead.
But Kahlan isn’t the only character in this story. There are three others I’ll discuss, but that will have to wait. Soon, we’ll talk again and focus on another member of this curious quartet.