The reference to Miss Havisham plays a large part with the persona of my character- she will wear a wedding dress (the one which she was jilted at the alter with) and also will remain in a solemn state of mind. I feel that there is something quite eerie about the way she prolongs her nightmare and that it haunts her for the rest of her life. I plan to transfer this into my character. I am a fan reading books, especially fantasy- I think this is down to the way I feel transported into a different unrealistic world. Books have definitely influenced my character type and choice- my villain will wear black, which is often a trait that could be found in mystical books.
The story behind the character:
When I first read the brief, I struggled to think of a character from the top of my head. Yelena's classes helped me to overcome this, by looking at ways shapes and animals can help to create something unusual. I needed a starting point. So I brainstormed ideas which would help me to create a story behind my choice; I felt that if I could not justify my characters motives, it would be extremely hard to make a believable environment for it.
Pulling on all my inspirations and research I had collected, I decided on a character. The character is a villain who lives under a church in the 1900s. Interestingly when she was younger she had discovered the ability of persuasion- at first she did not realise the full extent of her power. Her parents were French, but she moved to England after becoming engaged . She was hopelessly in love with her fiancé, but could not see past his false façade. She was born into a wealthy family, therefore she, herself was wealthy. On the day of the wedding, her fiancé left her at the alter, and stole from her a small fortune. This devastated her and sent her into a frenzy, she never left the church. This is when she understood the full usefulness of her power and persuaded everyone to leave her and let her live under the church alone. From this point she grew bitter and spiteful, she now spends the rest of her days planning to ruin the weddings which take place in the church where she was jilted- by using her power to persuade the man against his love and to fall in love with her. Of course she has no appeal for the men after she seduces and therefore she lets them go. However her work has been competed knowing that she has successfully wrecked another couples happiness.
Choosing the name:
Choosing the name for my character has been a difficult progress, I haven’t had something pop into my head which I have thought would fit perfectly. To help me solve this issue I looked at female French names and their meanings. I thought it would be really good to have a direct link to the characters origin, my favourite names were:
Penelope: Greek myth name of the patient wife of Odysseus who waited ten years for his return during which she refused several proposals of marriage by princes. The name is composed of the elements pene "needle" and lopas "spool," which is taken to mean "weaver of cunning," denoting someone whose motives are hard to decipher.
Apoline: Translates to destroyer
Emeline: Translates to rival
Desiree: Means, to be desired. Connotations of mystery.
Francette: Means, to be free
Henriette: Translates to home ruler
Leonne: Means lion
Lilliane: Translates to lily, which has connotations of death
Marceline: Means to be warlike
Perrine: Means- Rock, stone
From above you can see the collection of names which have meanings which reflect on my villain. My favourite is Desiree, because of its translation. I think it fits perfectly, her appearance is seductive, she is attractive and powerful. The meaning is mystical and compliments her story, the men she plots against her desire her too. However 'Desiree' wasn't enough, I felt that I needed a slight edge which would give her more power. I thought about 'miss' and 'ms', but this was too similar to 'Miss Havisham', it finally struck me to use the French version of Madame. 'Madame Desiree'- is the name I have decided on, I think it reflects faultlessly on her persona.
From the context of my character, I have had to think about this in relation of the theme I am inspired by. The theme I have been looking at is: gothic, barbaric, medieval, eerie, unearthly and spectral. The instant link I thought about was the link to English churches. Earlier on in my development I looked at Hogwarts and the work of Giovanni Battista Piranesi this confirmed my thoughts on wanting to create a space with is like a church.
The story of 'Madame Desiree' lets me be able to build a space which would involve part of a church and use the influences of the architecture to help me model my own space. I am not certain on what rooms I want to model for definite as there is more development to be considered. However I am confident that the character's lair will be underneath the church.