Who is the more complex character: Mr Darcy or Dr Grissom?

Quite by accident, I came across a Wikipedia article about fanfiction, which dates the phenomenon back to the middle ages. Among several precursors to fanfiction, Epic Cycles which supplemented the work of Homer, and the various re-tellings of King Arthur’s tales quickly spread through Europe.

As the history of fanfiction progressed through time to fans of Jane Austen who wrote stories based on her characters and published them in fanzines in the 1920s and 1930s, I found myself wondering if I could get into the head of the complex Mr Darcy sufficiently to do him “fanfictional” justice.

There’s no denying that Mr Darcy’s magnetism makes him an appealing subject for a romantic story, my favorite genre. He was, after all, created for that very purpose. But would his aloofness and moral rectitude make him a tad boring in anything other than the tale Austen weaved for him?

As I pondered the question, it suddenly occured to me that I’d been writing an eerily similar character for the past seven years.

William Petersen as Gil GrissomGil Grissom of CSI is obviously not a wealthy, turn-of-the-19th-century, young gentleman whose preoccupations with social status threatens his future happiness with a young woman of his acquaintance. He is a working-class, aging scientist whose issues with their age difference and professional status threatens the love of a young woman on his staff.

And the similarities don’t end there.

Darcy’s aloofness is often mistaken for social ineptitude as is Grissom’s reserve. Both characters are socially awkward introverts who seem to observe their environment and the people in it from a distance.

Both are highly intelligent, witty and self-possessed. Can anyone among their friends claim to really know them? And, does it really matter when we fanfiction writers are so skilled at making up what we don’t know?

Mr. Darcy possesses the same qualities that attracted me to Grissom, my favorite fictional character of all times. Therefore, writing him shouldn’t be difficult at all. At least, no more difficult than writing Grissom.

And, the idea of a kiss before marriage is definitely something worth contemplating!

Who do you think is the more complex character? (See poll below.)