Insights: Establishing the Cast.

First impressions are pretty vital in all things.   It can make or break lasting friendships.    For some people it comes naturally.   They find themselves able to burn their will unto others and leave a memorable impression.   Other people simply think they have such draw, but in reality fall short.

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Zammela is the latter.

When I work to introduce a character, I try to craft a moment that defines them.   I don’t bother trying to make a perfect person, free of flaws.   In fact I aim for the opposite.  But there’s nothing wrong with said character remaining oblivious to such imperfections.

The defining character moment holds a lot of precedent over what the reader will think of the character for the rest of the book.   For that reason, I find myself inclined to treat them with the utmost care.   Of the five main characters of novel I only feel completely comfortable with this with one of them.   That would be Tartagin.

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My love for Sam and Max has everything to do with their iconic character establishing moment in Hit the Road.

For me it was a no brainer.   Tartagin had been one of the first characters to be fleshed out when the Novel was just an idea.    At the base of any concept is the moment of realization when ‘wouldn’t it be great if’ comes out and forms a character from top to bottom.

On the other side of the spectrum Zammela has several of these moments.   As her complexity is worn on her sleeve.   The other Four, Derrek, Naida, Tartagin and Hush manage to suppress what makes them tick for varying reasons.

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Funny thing about ‘blank’ things. You take a few steps back… and you notice the spots you missed.

Derrek, on the other hand, managed to grow as a character better when I stepped away from him.  As it might be apparent in the first chapters, it works out better if his thoughts are censored and he’s given some personal time to sort out the situation he’s in.

Hush, who I’ll go into detail on next week’s post, is a lot like Naida.   He puts on a tough face, but when it comes down to it, he has many issues to sort out.

As a general rule, I’ve spread out the love a little.   None of the characters hog the spotlight anymore.   Instead taking turns to help paint the larger picture of Pange.   If you would ask the characters themselves Zammela would insist the story is about her.   Her struggle is the most ‘relevant’ and ‘important’.   But really, when it comes down to it, what good is saving the world only to have it fall apart at the seams.

It’s bad enough the Geldbane sun is fated to destroy the world, tensions are still thick from a recent war, the nation’s King is dead, and the populace has fallen into a critical state of apathy.   You have to paint the silver lining.   How can a ragtag group of adventurers save the world?   Character.   The rest sort of just falls into place.

The picture at the top of the post (done by the talented Shakira) is a reenactment of an early moment in the story.   But it isn’t the first thing you see of the characters at all.   It simply serves as an intimate glimpse of what makes them, well… them.

I’ve felt pretty motivated of late, with Wind and Sky releasing it’s second chapter on ESci-Fi.  If you get the chance to support my first real published writing foray.   I’d love ya for it.   But as always I’ll be posting the chapters here on the blog after their run in the E-zine.

2 thoughts on “Insights: Establishing the Cast.

  1. “As a general rule, I’ve spread out the love a little. None of the characters hog the spotlight anymore.”

    That is a key element, isn’t it? My intent is to do a post on that (along with some other stuff) someday in the future, but for now I think we can agree on the importance of character dynamics. Focus too much one one character, and there’s an imbalance; it’s a surefire way to hamstring potentially interesting characters. Gotta explore those possibilities, right?

    Now I just have to make sure I practice what I preach… *jumps out window*

    • I think you might have hit the nail on the head. I think when you step into the shoes of a secondary character and have them meet the/a main character under those circumstances… you see things you would never see otherwise.

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