Lu Xiaofeng has four eyebrows. He is known throughout the land as the man with four eyebrows. When people hear his name, they either shrink in fear or rush to see whether he really has four eyebrows,
That’s how we were introduced to Lu Xiaofeng, the wuxia equivalent of Sherlock Holmes. And this is a good tip on how to make a character memorable: give them special traits that both pique the reader’s interest and make them memorable.
In this post, I will attempt to break down the components that make Lu Xiaofeng so iconic that my dad, at 50 years after reading the novels, still remember who he is. Despite not being a qualified writer, I will try to summarize some characterization tips I got from reading the series.
*this post is done as an assignment that I half-assedly did, so I apologize in advance for the quality
During our adolescent years, we start to decide for ourselves who we are and who we will become. It is a time when we have powers over our thinking. Our individuality. Our life. Recall that time you were in the so-called “rebellious phase” most people go through at some point in their lives. What if you had to go through that stage, not in your cozy house and society full of healthy individuals, but in the world where everything is nothing but ashes? In Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic novel The Road, the boy struggles in a nightmarish world while trying to grow up. Throughout the novel, the boy matures and starts becoming an individual.
“Before I built a wall I’d ask to know, What I was walling in or walling out.” This line from Robert Frost’s Mending Wall talks about the purpose of real barriers between two neighbors, but these could also be metaphorical barriers people put between or build for others. In the play Fences by August Wilson, protagonist Troy Maxson made multiple walls. He created figurative and literary fences to keep his pride intact.