Lets check out today's assignment:
Today, we're going to apply our "What if?" wondering to the characters. You can use any character-building exercises you like, but the questions below should help you fit your characters into your novel. A person is always a product of where they came from; don't neglect your hero's background when you determine who he is and what he does. Additionally, do the same exercises for your protagonist(s), additional primary characters, antagonist(s), and any love interests in the story.
For the purpose of these exercises, I'm going to refer to the character as "Joe." Obviously, use your own character's name and gender as appropriate.
Every time you answer a question, write down at least one follow-up what if? For example, "What if Joe met his nemesis in a neutral public place?" Suppose my answer is "they would fight." my follow-ups are: "What if Joe wins? What if he loses? What if the bar-owner throws him out? What if he has to pay for the damages? What if he goes to jail for it?" Play with your what ifs? When you're writing, keep questioning the possibilities, pushing the envelope for what could happen, and finding the most fun-to-write answer to your questions.
Keep going with questions about Joe's life until you get really tired of Joe, have such a great idea of what he would do or not do in any situation, or are ready to move onto another character.I've had a character kicking around for a while now; let's get her down on the page.
|This will do for an image for now. |
Not perfect, but...
Angela is 35 years old, 1.6 meters tall (yes, The Garden uses the metric system), and possesses a curvy build. Her blonde hair is slightly wavy and kept short, but long enough to obscure her eyes if she let it fall down over her face. Blue eyes, freckles in the sun, confident stance, and speaks with no discernible accent. She is also a sorceress. So begins the questions.
- What would a stranger notice within 5 minutes of meeting Angela? Her attractiveness for one thing; Angela has many qualities that are physically appealing. Shortly there after they realize that Angela is also intelligent.
- What would a companion notice after 5 days of traveling/working with Angela? That she's dedicated and focused to whatever project she's working on, sometimes to a fault. She can get hyper focused on one thing and sometimes miss clues and cues. However, this intense focus is beneficial for her hidden talents.
- Who are Angela's parents? Her parents are citizens of the Union, and live on Kel; the capital planet. Her mother is dead; she was also a sorceress and was killed "in the line of duty". Her father is still alive, but unaware of both Angela's and her mother's magical talents.
- What if Angela met her father? How would she behave? She would be happy and friendly to her father, try to take care of him and have concern for his well-being. She would also take any step necessary to prevent her father from knowing about her involvement in magic, or her mother's.
- What if he found out? Angela's father wouldn't understand; he'd think it was some sort of trick, or odd alien power. Magic is something from fairy tales, used for primitive societies to explain what they don't comprehend. It may well scare him and make him wonder what his daughter was, and would estrange their relationship
This is a decent place to start. It gets me thinking more about the other elements to Trinary, not just the science and political ones. Plus, as I said, I'm back on track for 30 days of Worldbuilding...
Check back tomorrow, because it looks like I'm about to get into the Plot...