Sunday, April 10, 2016

Character Development: Ao Xingtao 敖兴涛

My mind is all over the place, and it's as though it has tides and streams...

I was searching today for a lot of references, for aerial drone video cinematography footage, and photography. There's so much to pick through on just Youtube alone, and Flickr.

But, ever since I'd decided to create multiple male characters that would be of interest to Lively, I actually felt so much better. It was like a major weight off my chest! You have NO IDEA.

I felt I couldn't ever deiced or get it right...

I always felt some kind of terrible guilt or shame over it that I cannot even explain.

But, once I did that, I felt I noticed Xingtao develop more.

I also think I've decided on a surname for him: "Ao".

There's a reason for it. I know its a bit of major rule breaking, but I'm gonna break 'em anyway.

If you've ever read ancient Chinese books, novels, etc. the old stuff is rather weird, but it has all sorts of meaningful things that often tend to have been thought out incredibly in depth. The thought process doesn't translate well at all to Western languages nor ways of thinking...

But, if you've ever heard of Feng Shen Ban or Feng Shen Yan Yi it's pretty much a list of every and any "god", deity, magical being, or whatever from ancient times. It's also written in an ancient way which may seem silly or ridiculous to a modern person... That text is even older than the Hebrew Bible.

Anyway, in the text it talks about the Dragon king gods, and their surname is always: 敖

These are The Dragon Kings of the 4 Seas:
敖廣 Ao Guang
敖欽 Ao Qin
敖閏 Ao Run (Western Sea)
敖順 Ao Shun

and there's other ones also...

I believe in the Xi You Ji (The Journey To The West) the White Dragon prince (also a Horse and eventually a Buddha) is related to Ao Run, but I don't actually recall him being named at all... except for his Buddhist name which was 白龍馬 "Bai Long Ma" (White Dragon Horse). At the end of the story, the Bai Long Ma gets to India to The Western Heaven to see the Tathāgata and becomes a Buddha dragon 八部天龍廣力普薩 or 八部天龍馬, and changed from white to (in my translation) white and gold in a special pool for washing dragons. Anyways, he got some fancy titles... it's normal in ancient Chinese stories and ancient cultures that special individuals got more than 1 title. My translated version had him with a title different than the ones online in English. 

Ironically, the Dragon became the white horse as a kind of punishment, or penance , but his crime in our eyes would seem silly. He broke something, and was sentenced to death for it. Kinda extreme, right? But, of all the other characters in the story of the Xi You Ji it was Bai Long Ma that was the BEST and MOST behaved and MOST loyal to his shifu, Tang Sansang AKA The Golden Cicada. 

Anyways, I decided that since I have a Dragon theme going on, it only made sense to pick an appropriate Dragon's surname: 

It sort of adds to the mystique of the character... because it's lost in meaning unless you were well read and cultured...

Also, I am having my setting of my story as an alternate version of our world. I also plan on having extra moons or visible planets in the sky.... 

I want to show, or portray, a vision of a world culture heading in a new and positive direction, environmentally, and show it panning out, only to have my villain/antagonist character to be the destructive antithesis of that vision... I'm NOT sure if I could include "space elevators" like Arthur C. Clark wrote, because that's his work... and not mine... but, I could portray the world as it was intended to head towards starting back in the late 1990s of which I was a part of... SO, I hope to incorporate permaculture, and really GIVE people a positive vision of the future, because lets face it, THERE IS NO STAR TREK on TV anymore... just the old dated reruns... (I so love them tho'.) 

I have so many ideas that I couldn't even begin to start.... 

So, his name will be: 兴涛 Ao Xingtao 

Also the word 敖 can sort of mean to "flirt". 

There are also variations of the word 敖 "Ao" also still called "ao" that can have all kinds of meanings like to saunter, to stroll around, to flow around, fly around, to travel the world... I guess it depends on how you use it...

Some variations can also mean pride, arrogance, snobby, or haughty... which I think adds very nicely to the complexity of the character, and his personality.....

I also think I will change his hair a few times...

I also want to create some other male characters that will be of interest to Lively... I have a few vague ideas, but they won't be quite as in depth or dynamic as Xingtao. Xingtao's major vice is mystique... only, he doesn't know that it is... he's mostly oblivious to it, unless his mood changes... He's like 2 mane personalities that he lives out; 1 is an introvert, and the other is an extrovert... and, neither are quite exactly who he actually is... and even he doesn't know.... he seems to know what he's doing, but is lost, but when he seems lost, he actually knows what he's doing...

He can be very calculated and well thought out, or suddenly impulsive. he wants order and balance in his life, structure, order... but, when things are too strict, he hates it, and he will break away from it, and even self sabotage. He wants order because he's been too foolish many times, and screwed several things up, but he also wants freedom... so he settles into 2 mane modes of being, the introvert and the extrovert.

He wants to have, or find, or cultivate JUST the right balance where things won't go to hell, and but he can be free, fun, expressive, but he also wants the status that comes with responsibilities, he wants wisdom, maturity. In some ways he's incredibly bold, and in others he's incredibly timid, quiet, strict.

To those whom he works with he has the persona of being happy-go-lucky, friendly, fun, and even verges into cocky, and a show-off... But, he also can compulsively thrust himself into his work, tasks, etc. and often way too much.

But, in his personal life away from that, he's strict, quiet, stoic, and even statuesque, or appears cold, stern, or boring. He hides away in his home with music, movies, creative things he never really shows to anyone, stacks of poetry notebooks, photo albums, electronic components, tinkering projects, and inventions, or spends time hiding away from people in nature, the trees, yard work, or spending time with animals, or doing his creative endeavors alone while sight seeing all over the place... like landscape painting, calligraphy, photography, videography, or improv' playing an instrument.

He has a love of beauty, beautiful things, and beautiful women. He also see beauty where others cannot.

As the story goes on, I will have him more interested in meditative things, but not so much in the beginning... In the beginning he will be a lot more expressive, and robust. But, as it goes on, he will become more cultivated... almost like a Vulcan in Star Trek... only not...

He will also not always be in the story... he sort of goes to different places for various reasons.... and, he's always wanting to learn something, know something, or find out something... but, he doesn't want everyone to know everything about himself... so much so, there are things about himself even he doesn't know... Like he's trying to figure out who he really is. There's also a reason for this aspect.

Well... it's all in his name right there: 兴涛

Anyways, altho' my Chinese isn't the greatest at all.... and after deliberating over choosing his name, I consulted a picky person about it... and we always have long conversations... I actually didn't really want to tell this person the name of my character, nor that I was creating one... because he might want to butt-in, and throw off my groove! ARG! But, since I kept asking him for feedback, he got nosy, and found out what I was doing... 

That was a LOOOONG conversation.... 

But, after constantly learning and asking, and contemplating, and discussing, he walked passed me much later on and said: I like that name you picked. That was very good. 

I was deathly afraid I was possibly breaking some rules, which I might be, but he actually sounded IMPRESSED. WHAT??? 

Great! None of those long lectures of: Don't do this! And DON'T DO THAT... and being totally nonplussed as to why, and culture differences that don't translate... so frustrating. .... but, luckily it went WELL! ^_^

Credit Notes: 

Chinese calligraphy program used to generate these Chinese ming-zi 名字 (names) is programed and created free of charge at: specifically found HERE.

I LOVE this site so much! I've been using it since the GW Bush era and it's just getting better & better! THANK YOU Chinese tools!

They also NOW do other language scripts such as Korean, Japanese, Arabic, Tibetan, and Thai! Many many others also!

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