[ The girlfriend asked me a few more questions about my characters – here are the answers! ]
What rock best embodies Tanim? Daren? What characteristics do you factor in to make your assessment?
Tanim would be granite, definitely. Granite is forged deep in the earth through intense pressure and heat, just as Tanim’s life experiences have forged and shaped who he becomes as an adult. Granite also forms the solid, stable core of continents and holds up mountains. Likewise, Tanim’s loyalty and stability are the solid core of his relationship with Daren, the one thing Daren can always count on. In some ways, Tanim even resembles the physical properties of granite. From far away, granite can seem like a fairly plain stone, but up close you can see the beautiful minerals which form the stone. Tanim is the same way; he may seem like a straightforward person, but once you begin to know him better, you see how complex his personality really is.
Daren would be obsidian, without a doubt. Like granite, obsidian is a product of volcanism, but at a much hotter, more volatile scale – just as Daren’s past has shaped him in more dramatic ways. Unlike granite, obsidian is a glassy stone which breaks to edges finer and sharper than a razor blade. Daren, too, is most dangerous when broken, and must be handed with extreme care lest he cut you… by accident or on purpose. Obsidian is beautiful to look upon, but its classic black form yields no deeper features. Daren is the same way; he’s beautiful, but closed-off, showing only on the surface what he wishes you to see. His eyes practically are obsidian, black and hard and cutting.
Presume that Tanim and Daren have a long-distance relationship. What is each man’s preferred method of communication? Email? Phone? Text? Hand-written letter? Skype? Instant message?
Since technology is rarely mentioned in any of their stories, I hesitate to say anything that points to a particular decade, such as text messaging or Skype. Therefore, without those choices, Tanim would probably prefer at least being able to talk on the phone so that he could hear Daren’s voice. Tanim is such a sensory person that he’d need something beyond just text to bring him comfort. Plus, he’d worry about Daren if they weren’t together, so he’d want to hear his voice at least once a day, if not more, to judge for himself whether Daren was okay or not.
Daren’s not very talkative (understatement of the century) so he probably wouldn’t enjoy long phone conversations. Text is more his style, especially since writing out a letter gives him time to choose his words with care and hide anything he doesn’t want Tanim to know.
Name a movie that one man would hate and one man would love, and vice versa.
Hmm… you know, I could kinda see Tanim liking Bedazzled. I think he’d really identify with sweet, dorky Elliott who just wants the woman he loves to love him back, and whose well-meaning naivety gets him into all sorts of trouble. Tanim would sell his soul to the Devil in a heartbeat if it guaranteed him a happy life with Daren, so he’d be rooting for Elliott the whole time. Daren, however, probably wouldn’t be able to sit through any romantic comedy, especially one where the main character is so helpless to change his own emotions. It’d be just too sappy for him and he’d just end up rooting for the Devil instead.
As for Daren, I think he’d enjoy any movie with an unreliable narrator or protagonist, such as Memento and Frailty. Daren himself is an unreliable narrator, after all, since he’s so good at hiding who he really is and what he’s feeling. He’d respect that in a fictional character and identify more with them than someone genuine – especially if their motives were secretly harmful, either purposefully or subconsciously. Although Tanim would probably like those kinds of movies as well, I think facing an unreliable narrator would be slightly disturbing to him, partly because it would remind him of Daren’s more difficult personality quirks… and partly because it would remind Tanim of himself, as well. Of how easy it can be for his own mind to trick him.
What’s something that Tanim knows how to do but Daren doesn’t? And I mean something really odd, like… like Tanim can ride a bike, but Daren can’t. Or Tanim knows how to swim, but Daren can’t.
Hmm… well, I imagine Tanim can swim and Daren can’t, only because I don’t know when he’d have had a chance to learn. Somehow riding bikes seems… beneath Tanim’s family, so I’m not sure he’d know how to do that. He didn’t exactly have free time in his childhood; or if he did, his “free time” was the choice between studying, practicing, or shadowing his father. Tanim can play the violin, though, and knows all the appropriate fancy dances required of someone at his level of society, as well as the proper use of every tiny fork on the table. He also knows how to buy drugs, though I’m sure Daren could manage that pretty easily, too. And then of course he knows certain, ah… techniques useful in the bedroom… *cough*