What?! Homework?! I never wanted to go back to school…*sigh*
To be honest, it was either this blog prompt or the one for yesterday: Sell Yourself. For as much as I like to toot my own horn and for as proud as I can get about my work…I’m not very good on the selling part of it. I can be painfully shy, especially when put on the spot to say how awesome I am. SO…onto mirandafave’s homework assignment:
What approaches do you take to writing and conceiving your characters? Do you have their milestones and the path that made them mapped out already? Do you perhaps also have their future map laid out? How do you go about realizing and bringing from conception to written reality your characters?
Writing and conceiving my characters tends to be off the cuff, at least in the After Darkness universe. I just started writing and they gradually fell into place; personalities, relationships, interactions. None of it was planned out (such as the Captain and “Abuela” being romantically involved. That was something that I wrote down, I looked at it, and said “I like it!” and it stuck around).
Rafale – Star Trek Online has been different. Keep in mind, I had been playing the game with these characters for about two years before I started seriously writing anything about them. On top of that, Jessica and Justine were carried over from City of Heroes; they already had their personalities set in stone. There were still a few tweaks to be made (they were graduated from college now, rather than high-schoolers in City of Heroes). So those characters were the easiest.
Obruz Dossu, the First Officer, came next. He was the first “Bridge Officer” I received in the game, so I got to know him quickest. He was Bajoran, and I made his costume include the traditional earring; he’d be a follower of the faith, perhaps handed down from his father? I put a scar on his face; a memento of a past conflict that troubles him still to this day, thus his refusal to get the scar healed. I made him a security officer, rather than a tactical officer; he has more of a mind for ground tactics and people skills, rather than ship’s weaponry and tactics. From there, I came up with his story. He was a security officer on the same, ill-fated ship as Justine and her lover, Bridget. During the battle, he would have gotten into a confrontation with a Borg drone; the close brush with death, combined with all the loss of life in that battle would cause him to want to keep his scars as a reminder of the battle and what had been lost. His faith he would attribute to his father, a cleric who had died some time ago from a relic of the Cardassian Occupation; while still very important to Dossu, his faith would falter with the death of his father, and waver more after the Battle of Vega. He chooses to follow Jessica into her new command out of a sense of repayment for her saving his life.
Next was Nizeri Sano, the Trill science officer. I chose to model her appearance and voice on Renee Felice Smith’s character Nell Jones on NCIS: LA. She’s knowledgeable and confident in her abilities, but she needed some more of that “junior officerness” about her, as she was another officer thrust into the command staff because of the death of her predecessor. It wouldn’t be till much later (about a year ago, actually) where her fear of being joined was added to her character, so that she would be bound thematically to a character of TPhoenix’s on his Independence. Her relationship with Wirstowx came about randomly; I liked the idea of the largest, strongest alien on the ship protecting the most fragile, smallest one, so I put the two together.
Wirstowx was a no-brainer for me. I had finally come up with a name for his race – the Oza – for their appearance in Archangel, as well as their physical appearance. I wanted to actually make one, so I used the game’s character creator to help design his look. I loved the result so much that I kept it; Wirstowx would be one of a handful of Andromeda Galaxy aliens (to include Jessica) who had decided to go to the Milky Way before it was closed off from Andromeda, never to return home again. Much of what he does is random, but it’s easy to do for an alien who says very little; Wirstowx is the brawn for my story.
Most of the characters from there on I began formulating as I played the game. Seymour was going to have a “fighter-pilot” kinda cockiness about him; Elaina would be prone to taking risks, and somewhat less inclined to be happy with Jessica outranking her; S’Tel would be stoic and Vulcan in public, but willing to let her facade come down in private or with those close to her. I also decided that she would eventually transfer off the ship, allowing me to introduce a new doctor for the ship. As the characters ran around on the screen during away missions, I would think of who they were, what they would be saying, what was going through their mind as they did things. I still fill in the gaps for much of the stories, but the basics are all already determined; I know enough about who they are to know what makes sense in-character for them and what wouldn’t make sense.
How’s that for the homework assignment, mirandafave? lol