Featured Fig: Kara Rivers

What makes Figment Figment? Well, there are forums and blog posts and writing groups and featured books. But what really makes this place special are all of you Figs. So you should get some love.

Kara Rivers is a 15-year-old science and natural history enthusiast from Pennsylvania. She has much respect for sidekicks and isn’t ashamed to show off her nerdiness. Her writing reflects her diverse interests, such as mythology, the unexplained, and gravediggers.

Know a Fig who should be featured here? Tell us about him or her. Email admin@figment.com with your recommendations. Interviews may be edited and condensed.

Do you have a go-to writing snack?

Not exactly, although I do have a bad habit of munching while writing. I end up with some odd “esxgfcjihkugymjntfgrbdxfgc’s” from keyboard wiping, usually. If I have to pick anything, though, I’m most often eating Doritos, pretzels, or crasins. Don’t know what crasins are? You poor, poor person.

You’re interested in science and natural history. What is the most interesting fact you’ve learned from those two fields?

You can’t possibly expect me to choose, can you? You do? Well, science and natural history (which go together very nicely) are my ways of explaining everything and keeping sane in the world. I thrive on logic, so I’m very dependent on science in my daily life. I particularly love theoretical physics and astrophysics, and learning about things so foreign and out of our range of comfort. Learning about things that don’t seem to fit into people’s original views of the world is a wonderful thing, and I try to do it as often as possible. The more information a person has, especially information such as this, the more open-minded and fair they can be as a person.

Okay. If I really do have to pick one fact, I think it’d be that everything cycles and everything, on a scale of matter (not to mention the possibility of becoming energy), has been somewhere else. It’s like the water cycle that was pounded into your brains in elementary school, only infinitely more complicated. Eventually, in one of a hundred ways, earth will be destroyed. Eventually, everything we know will become something new.

Heavier elements (those heavier than iron, that is) are typically formed, as nearly as we can tell, in supernovae explosions. These are the colossal demise of an enormous star, and are one of the most beautiful and purely destructive things we’ve yet seen in the universe. But this is what really gets me: Humans, and most other things on earth, are at least partly formed of these heavier elements. Do you know what that means?

We are, quite literally, made of exploded stars.

If you could get fist-bumped by one famous writer, who would it be?

Hmm. Only a fist-bump? Do I get a conversation at all? Do I get to wildly scream “I love you, I LOVE YOU SO MUCH YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW,” as I pass?

Well. Let’s assume that I don’t know if I can wrangle my way into the previous interactions (even though we all know I would FIND a way), and only have the fist-bump assured. I am quite fond of my fist bumps. I mean, not to be “hipster” or anything, but I did those before they were cool. And by that I mean when my dad thought they were cool. When I was eight. But anyway, I do know that I would probably need to fist bump Markus Zusak. I recently read The Book Thief (and now fully intend to probably read everything else he’s ever written). The beauty and tragedy of that story completely captured me. It was such a refreshing perspective on a topic that’s been done many a time before, yet The Book Thief still manages to stand completely alone and shining from any other Holocaust books I’ve ever read. Do I need more reasons than to meet him to figure out how the heck he did that? Well, even though he wrote a heartbreakingly-real story of a terrible time in our history, he seems like a pretty cheerful guy. He signs things with smiley faces (not that I have two signatures or anything) and, as if anything else was needed, he’s Australian.

I mean. He. Is. Australian.

His writing is absolutely beautiful, and I would definitely fist-bump him. In a heartbeat. Or maybe longer, seeing as the first time, I’d probably miss.

You claim that if you could be any literary character you “would be one of the many awkward, annoying third-wheel characters.” Why? Is there any specific character you have in mind?

There are so many of these characters, and I tend to love them all. It’s more an archetype than a specific character that I meant. Often, while there is a romance between two of the main characters (as many groups come in threes), this third, “odd-man-out” will help distract from the sappiness at times. These characters often fall into comic relief roles, and are often trusted friends, wingmen, sidekicks, or followers/helpers to the main character, or hero archetype. I love the comic relief and I’m always one to root for an underdog, especially the one that tends to do a lot of the work but the hero of the story gets most of the credit. These are the Ron Weasleys, the Sam Gamgees, the Sokkas, and the midshipman Newkirks of the world, just to name a few examples. There are hundreds around you if you look closely, and as I’ve stated on my profile, the vast majority of such characters are usually males. Most of these characters also fulfill a serious role in the story on top of their comedy and following. They are often some of the most loyal characters in the entire story and are often neglected at some point by the main character, where they are then newly appreciated by said main character. Not only is the archetype of character exceedingly useful in changing the mood of a story and keeping your readers interested, but they are also very versatile and can be fantastic plot and character development devices if used well.

Fill in the blank: “My most embarrassing writing moment was when . . .”

Oh, so many embarrassing typos I could mention here . . . but I think the worst is when I accidentally swapped two of my characters names and published that chapter on Figment, somehow not catching that, leaving my poor readers very confused. These characters were also almost nothing alike and fulfilled very different roles in the story. In fact, they’d hardly ever met at that point. *sigh* Try to keep your own characters straight, folks. Apparently it’s not as easy as it appears.

9 thoughts on “Featured Fig: Kara Rivers

  1. Oh wow! As I was reading your paragraph about the archtype third wheel characters I thought, ‘Wow, this girl is amazing, how is she 15 & describing things in writing this way!?’.So, in short, I absolutely *love* you & will proabably check out some of your writing! 😀 Do you have a tumblr? By the way! I know we’re made of iron, but the way you put it about about us literally being made of exploding stars is AMAZING!! 😀

  2. You sound like an awesome, intelligent person. I am going to go look at your writing right now. Also, I have a question. Did you watch Legend of Korra?

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