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Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Since I have compelted my Character profiles, I have updated the character page on Fire and Light to reflect those changes.

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So, just a little side commentary about writing and such.  I know I should be working on my character profiles for the Fire and Light backstory, but I was just reading Ilarra 2.0 and I was instantly reminded of an Itanya post I made over two years ago.  I have mentioned that I want to refashion some of that to something stand alone.

I first created Itanya twenty years ago.  She’s been my Mary Sue for a long time.  She has grown a great deal from the angsty teenage half-demon that she was twenty years ago.  She adapted to the situations I put her in.  I have had good friends that I wrote with that helped that growth.  The coolest thing about her is that she married Razoras.  I married the player behind Razoras eventually.  I have to say that the player is much cooler than the character, even if he can’t animate tables.

Despite all the deep Mary Sueness of the character, I have a deep abiding affection for her.  I think I can make her into something better.  To do that, however, I have to strip away a lot of what has changed her over the years.  She needs to exist in a world that I create myself, as opposed to the one I have shared with Tribute and Lightsinger for so very long.

So yeah, I was talking about Ilarra 2.0.  She just posted a story about torture and unbalance.  Part of that is essential to Itanya and what she is.  Booze Cow made a comment in her gDoc about writing what you know.  It seems strange to admit that at least part of the pain I write for Itanya is something I know, but it is.

Anyway, I am going to start working on converting this short story post that was once part of a fairly important thread into something that I can combine into this new world.  I’ll be documenting that process over at the Blood of Roses blog, since I do not want to clutter up this one.  I’m still working on Fire and Light.  I promise you’ll see updates.  I just wanted to capture this idea while it was tickling at me.  Sometimes, that is what you have to do.

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So this is the next step in my process, creating character profiles.  For me, creating these serves a greater purpose than just solidifying the characters in my mind.  Creating profiles also helps solidify the story’s setting and its mood.  Instead of trying to explain, I think I’ll just go ahead and work on the profiles.  Obviously, this is a little more cleaned up than my actual normal thought process.  Normally, all of this would still be taking place in my head.

(I think I’ll just take this moment to emphasize this.  Unlike a lot of writers, I do not do most of this on paper.  Nearly all my notes are in my head or in story form.  Part of the purpose of this exercise is to explore how and why I do what I do.)

So, I have a list of the characters that I am going  to profile and I am juggling stuff in my head.  I’ve been reading over the gDoc from the Booze Cow and I realize that my way of doing this is a bit less organized.  Partially this is because the world in which I am writing already at least partially exists in my head.  There is no real need for me to do a lot of that ground work.  The other half of it is that I don’t use things like notecards because I tend to forget I have them. 

Booze Cow does some great work on fleshing out the characters specifically for that story.  I am not looking at doing anything so compact.  My character profiles are going to be more general in scope but tweaked with more details

Characters:

Selene duKeisai:

Selene is one of eight remaining genetic creations from a failed experiment.  She and the others of her pod were supposed to have been created for total loyalty and for their ability to manipulate the Misykvlada (more commonly called Vlada).  There were two hundred decanted for their pod.  Only the eight of them surivived to physical maturity.  Despite surviving, none of them are without their flaws.

She is paired with Philo.  Her loyalty to Keisari is complete.  She is tutoring under Vytir Pekka.  She is genetically human, so technically among the elite despite being a created person.

De’Kado  Shavovk:  De’Kado of the Shavovk is a Kyzhavk, one of the non-human species that helped the Keisari create and hold his empire (Stylamphir).  He is the best warrior of the Shavovk and was sent to serve Keisari by the elders of the clan (They also wanted him out of the way.  De’Kado is more than a simple warrior.)

Keisari:  Cold, calculating.  He is also old, older than he has any right to be, since he is only human.  His reign has seen the rise of humans to power and the destruction of the multi-racial Zorby (The Zorby was never around that long anyway, having been intended as a interm government after the last Prorok of the Vlada died/was killed with no successor.)

His rule is nearly unquestioned, despite the facisism of it.  Part of that has been the slow vilification of the Vlada and the monakhs that follow its precepts.  Between the monakhs and the temirakhs, the majority of the Stylamphir accept and welcome the Keisari’s rule.  At least that is how it appears on the surface. 

His long life is credited to ancient technology, technology that was destroyed by the followers of the Valda.  As such, his life and the continued benevolence of his rule is threatened by the Valda.  (In truth, Keisari is a temirakh (a follower of the darkness and a sorceror of the Valda) and his life is sustained using those powers.)

Vytir Pekka:

Vytir is also a temirakh and the Keisari’s student, one of many Keisari has raised as a lieutenant over the years.  Currently, Vytir’s influence is on the rise.  He is a tall and imposing man, dark haired swarthy skinned.

He dislikes being in the position of teacher to Selene, but accepts it.  He would rather be the one hunting the monakhs of Valda.  He has some sort of secret.  I’m not sure what it is just yet, but I know he has one.  I am not even sure it is important to this story.

Phil duKeisai:  Like Selene, he is one of eight survivors.  He is paired with Selene.  Unlike her, he hates his life.  He finds no comfort in having every thing regulated for him.  He finds Selene’s lack of curiosity frustrating. 

But, he has learned the value of patience.  He says nothing to her about his questions.  He appears to be perfectly content to stay home and place house mate for her and care for the others in their pod. 

 

So, if you are watching me fill out all these profiles, you might notice that a lot of new terms are cropping up.  As I fill out the details for the characters I am filling in the gaps of terminology and other salient details.

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Everyone has their own way of getting started.  I have two basic ways that a story goes from a nebulous idea to a full fledged bit of writing.  One is the scene.  Most of the stories (and games I have GMed as well, but more about that later) start with just a small snipped, a phrase of conversation and a vague sense of who says it to whom.  Then I flesh out the scene and fill in the details.  However, since I’m doing this as a kind of exercise, this won’t be one of those stories. 

The second way I go from idea to story is to start with an idea of what I want to tell.  This is how things often work with the overreaching arch stories I write with Pill or Tarelyn for WoW.  Most of the time, these stories take places in worlds I have already fleshed out and I am trying to fill in a space or just fleshing out something.  I actually have a few stories like this stored up for just these occasions. 

I would really like to rework “Misery Love Company,” which is the story of how Itanya and Razoras first meet, but I am in the process of reworking that entire setting to make it more stand alone as opposed to being a shared world.  So doing that for this exercise would be far too much work.  Instead I am going to work on a background story for another world I am reworking, but it is farther along than the world that Itanya and Razoras inhabit.

The world of “Fire and Light” has been in the reworking stages for years.  It started out as a Star Wars campaign that blossomed into something more.  The story itself appealed to me enough that I wanted to retain it and at least serialize it.  This creates some problems because in the end, it does not fit in with true Star Wars cannon.  We did things in that campaign that made the story and characters vibrant and the RP we did truly engrossing, but it varied from Star Wars.  Most of the work of that is already done.

So I have the where.  Now for the what.  So, what can I write that will help to flesh out the world in my head?  In this case the what will determine the who.  This morning driving to work, I debated two scenarios. 

There are two primary female characters in the story.  One is Cygna.  Cygna is a passive character.  Eventually she marries the protagonist of the story, but I have never liked Cygna.  I did not like her when I created her as an NPC, but the characters liked her.  I tried to kill her twice and she was saved both times.  Despite all this, I have no real sympathy for her.  I probably should write something to flesh out her background, since she is fairly important to the overreaching plot of the entire story, but I dislike the character that much.

The second is Selene.  Selene is my kind of character.  She’s strong and determined.  She has flaws that make her appealing.  I should say that the same people that adored Cygna had no great love for Selene.  They had no reason to.   So, that choice was easy, I am going to do a background story for Selene. 

So that’s my goal for today.  I’ve got the who, what and where done. 

Next, we flesh out the setting and the arch of the story.

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