Characters: Patience

Patience is the Robot in “His Robot Girlfriend”. Just as you might expect, she’s perfect.  What I find interesting is that so many people tell me they love Patience– both male and femal readers.  I guess she’s so pleasant that she’s just hard not to like.

Though her hair was covered with a clear plastic cap, he could see it was jet black. It matched two dark, carefully arched eyebrows and a set of long eyelashes.  She had no other body hair.  Her face could best be described as cute, with large blue eyes, a button nose, and thick voluptuous lips.  She had the kind of slender and yet curvy body that was just not possible on a real woman.   Breasts the size of apples just kind of floated there above a perfectly flat stomach.  Mike tilted his head down.  She looked anatomically complete.

Of all my characters, none went through as much of a change between first draft and published work as did Patience Smith in His Robot Girlfriend. Originally she was a rather Amazonian figure, physically very imposing, but much more submissive. Some might argue that Patience is still submissive, but I think we find out in His Robot Wife that she really isn’t. When I rewrote a series of short pieces into a long story, she needed to have much more force of personality so that she could advance the storyline of forcing Mike to change. A college professor once told me the main character is the one in the story who changes the most– and that would be Mike.

When I started rewriting, I just wasn’t happy with her physical description, so I started completely from scratch, using some of the actresses that fit that body type: Christina Ricci, Natalie Portman, Alyson Hannigan, as well as a young woman I knew as a model– so yes, there really is a Patience out there. I observed her as carefully as possible (without seeming too creepy) so that I could describe her movements and gestures– like when Patience bounces on her tip-toes or incorporates dance moves into everyday movement. Since then, I’ve tried to find a human being to at least think about when I write most of my characters.

Her personality couldn’t be based on a real person or even a person that I though up.  She’s a robot.  Her personality couldn’t be readily apparent.  It had to be very subdued.  It had to sneak up on the reader as it sneaks up on Mike.  For that reason I think, quite a few readers find her a dull automoton– Imagine finding a robot as such.  I think this is a failure for me as a writer.  Still of all the fan letters I’ve ever gotten, I would say that easily 40% (written about any of the books) tell me how much they love Patience.

I mentioned before that the robot books are not my favorite Wesley Allison books.  That being said, they are my most popular, so I will soon write another.  Oddly, I have the hardest time thinking up plots for Mike and Patience, when plots just seem to pop up for my other books. The next book is planned to be a longer one, involving multiple characters from the previous books.  Hopefully, that will work out well.

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