Guide to writing Graham Miller
by Angel Jade
AJ's Website: http://www.badsideoftown.com/violence/index2.html
There are many characters than leave an impression, despite their lack of screen time. Graham is one of those. Heís become increasingly popular in fan fiction, being paired mostly with Xander and Willow, along with a few other characters. But because of the little time he spent on our screens, itís not easy to write him into your fiction. How do you characterize a person youíve only seen a few times?
First, you have to know where Graham is at the time you want to set your fic. We can assume he is at Sunnydale University before season four as Riley is at least a year above Buffy and Graham seems to be around the same age. So a pre-season four fic is entirely possible. After season four, we donít see him for a while. It is most likely heís been continuing his work for the government and could have been anywhere in the world. He appears back in Sunnydale briefly in season five to help Riley, before offering him a place on his next mission. Graham and Riley leave on a mission, and itís the last time we see Graham. Where he is after that, is completely up to you. Unlike other characters such as Faith, who even when sheís not on our screens, is in a coma or in jail, Graham has open possibility. He could be anywhere. Oklahoma (where a certain ex-evil lawyer resides), LA (where a whole bunch of characters are) or a random place where he could meet up with characters we havenít seen or heard from in a long time, such as Oz or Harmony. Then of course, you could always find a reason for him to go back to Sunnydale and get together with any one of the Buffy cast. There are very few limits to Graham pairings.
Characterizing Graham can be quite tough. Heís not always the quiet type, but he is careful about what he says, unlike Forrest who is very verbal about his opinions. One mistake people make is writing Graham too much like Riley (who has stronger leadership qualities and is a lot more headstrong than Graham) or Oz (who is also quite reserved about what he says but in a different way). Grahamís a young male and a lot of the time he acts like it. He cracks the occasional joke and he enjoys hanging around with his friends. But when heís doing his job, he is quick to act like a typical solider. Heís mostly about the mission (although he is very loyal to his friends) and heís not easily put off. He seems the type to have a lot of patience and strength behind his convictions. But as mentioned before, he is loyal to the people he cares about, and is quite protective over Riley. He isnít an emotional man, and emotion rarely registers on his face, itís shown more through his actions and words. We havenít seen him put into a situation involving interaction of the casual and flirting kind, so we donít know if he secretly harbours gay tendencies, but from the way he is portrayed, he is straight and single. Thereís so much that is not known about Graham, that it leaves it up to the writer to decide. You can give him a background, so use it to your advantage. If you want to pair Graham with someone who doesnít have a lot in common with him, add something to his past that he could use to relate to that second character. Give them a common interest or past experience they can share with each other. The only rules you have to stick by, are the ones Joss has created. And even then, thereís nothing stopping you from creating an alternative universe or just a simple Ďwhat if?í fic. As long as you stick to Grahamís character and donít make him a completely different person, you have the freedom to do anything.
Grahamís language reflects who he is. Heís at university, that at least showís heís intelligent. He talks like a young male, calling his friends Ďfellaísí and Ďmaní. You donít see him babble, he says what he means. Heís a confident speaker, with no real accent to distinguish his roots. Itís not so much the style he uses that makes him different, but the way he says things and what he says. He only says what he needs to and what he says is usually to the point. He can make jokes, but theyíre usually well-timed one-liners.
If youíre still unsure of how to write him, get a second opinion. Often, another perspective can point out any problems that you might have missed.