Developing Character

I’ve been planning out my next project, The Julian Calendar.  I have a pretty good idea of how the story looks, over all.  I know where the characters have to go and what they need to do.  I even thought that I knew how the main character would behave.  He is Julius Caesar, after all.  Isn’t he bold and heroic?  A type-A personality through and through?  I have never thought of Caesar any other way.  Until today.

When I first started thinking about this project, I wanted it to be a comedic time-travel action.  Focus on the comedic part.  Then, one piece at a time, the comedy was left behind.  I wanted to keep historic characters in the book because it made sense for the story.  Plus, I’m starting to think that this could be a kind of trademark that I do in my writing.  Operation Cosmic Teapot has all historic personalities and it’s fun for me to bring these people back to life in fiction.  So I thought, hey, Julius Caesar would be a great choice.

But, like I said, Caesar didn’t seem that funny.  Then I started to think that while we have on record all the impressive things that Caesar did, we don’t really know how he came to do those things.  Perhaps he bungled his way to the top.  It’s plausible that he was a man that happened to be in the right place at the right time.  Take his time in Gaul, for example.  His armies defeated most of Europe while he was doing what?  Swimming in the Rhine?  Perfecting the perfect recipe for pizza?  Masturbating?

It only makes sense.  If he was such a smart person, then why did he walk into a room where everyone wanted to stab him?  Both Spuriina and his wife, Calpurnia, warned him not to go to the Senate that day.  In fact, according to the story, he canceled the meeting but was then persuaded by Decimus to attend.

In short, Caesar is taking on the shape of an accidental hero.  A guy who heads into danger but without any clear purpose or direction.  He bumbles his way into the fight.  Kind of like Chuck, from the TV show Chuck, but with more charisma.  I like this new Caesar of mine.

Dylan Callens

About the Author...

Dylan Callens is a writer and educator living in Sudbury, Ontario. 

His debut novel, Operation Cosmic Teapot, was a resounding success. Since then, Dylan has written a number of other books, including the upcoming series, The Haber Effect