The Art of Words

Well, you had to expect we’d still be working on characters with an ensemble cast story.  So, let’s get to the next one…

Name: Geoffery Black (writing pseudonym) aka too old to care who he really was 
Gender: Male
Marital Status: single and not looking

Physical Appearance: Tall, athletic build of an ultimate fighting champion in his prime.  Fairly goth in appearance now as far as clothes go… dark with a hint of "don’t mess with me or I’ll rain hail and lightning bolts of misery down on your sunny day".  These are mostly to keep people at a distance.

Core Personality Traits: Recluse by choice.  He spent so many years mindlessly hurting others that he retreated from it all.  He appears all doom-and-gloom, but he’s found peace with himself over the years and tried to pass that lesson along to a younger generation with a series of popular young adult novels.

Flaws:  After being released from his years of slavery at the hands of a mystical fight manager, he vowed never to fight again, so he’s become a devout pacifist.

Advantages: His body was mystically preserved at the prime of his physical capabilities and will maintain those physical attributes until the end of days.  Since his body will always revert to that state, he heals quickly from injury and is practically immortal.

Background: The youngest of five boys, "Black" (short for "black-n-blue") found himself entrenched in a world of rough-housing and rassling at an early age.  At a serious disadvantage, he convinced his dad to let him study martial arts, and he took to it as a natural.  But even though he was gifted, he worked at it and eventually grew up to compete in international tournaments.

As his career began to flourish, a world-renowned fight manager approached him and signed him under his collection of elite fighters from around the world.  If there was championship for any kind of fighting–boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, ultimate fighting–this guy managed the people who won those championships on a regular basis.  And he knew all the tricks to keeping them in fighting shape for years-and-years.

As he found out, it turned out to be all a trick.  Once Black reached the top of his fighting form… when he peaked and hit his prime, the manager took him out to celebrate.  The manager poisoned him during the celebration and took his body to a secret "training" facility where he used dark magic to bring the boy back as another of his undead servants.  The ritual that brought him back made him forever a slave to the manager who had him win fight after fight after fight.  No slowing down.  No remorse for opponents injured.  No time to cope mentally.  No vacations.  No social life.  His life boiled down to battling, training, and making money for the manager.

Eventually, the manager passed away of old age and when he died, the fighters found themselves freed at long last.  The manager did keep his bargain and kept bank accounts for them where they received their share of the money earned, so the fighters all had money they’d never spent all those years.  They all took their riches went their separate ways to make new lives for themselves in the world of the living.

Black hermited himself away to a nice house and land on a small island estate where he began writing to help get the guilt and sorrow and malaise out of his system.  He eventually became adept at it and authored a series of popular books that allowed him to share his feelings with others and help guide younger kids in a better direction.

You should know… I usually agonize for days building characters (with profiles/backgrounds twice as long as what I’ve been doing here).  These 15 (to 30) minutes posts have been fun and allow me to just let go with things.  And sometimes you come up with some crazy ideas that turn out fun. 

With the last character, I sat there watching the clock tick down as I thought about what role Spook played in the underworld.  I wanted something with a measure of reach and influence but not a position that would normally be considered a threat.  I finally hit a point where I said to myself, "The first thing that pops into your brain jellies in the next 5 seconds."  Craft services king.  And well, it kinda works, so I ran with it.

But the great thing about burning through it like that?  You have something you can play with.  It may not be perfect, but it’s enough to get the job done.  Besides, most characters adapt and develop further as you write their stories, so I always need to remember not to sweat over the small details now.  And with that, on to the next character…

Name: Caprice aka Jana Robinson
Gender: Female
Marital Status: single but willing

Physical Appearance: The tall, athletic body of a well-trained demon assassin.  Nearly 7 feet tall, wiry strong muscles and red skin (but a little on the pale side).  Small but sharp horn-like protrusions stick out from her forehead, forearms and shins to give her a more demonic appearance (and some nasty natural weaponry).

Core Personality Traits: Introverted.  Shy and a bit clumsy.  Smart and well-read, but every bit the reclusive geek/gamer girl with a self-esteem problem… who hasn’t quite adjusted to being cool on two fronts–a fierce, awe-inspiring demon and a ninja.

Flaws:  Even though she has this powerful demon body, she’s still just an awkward, geeky teenager at heart and is still "growing into" the body and still encountering your typical clumsiness a la growing pains.  The other factor that plays into this is that a demon’s power and strength derive from fierceness and confidence, which is why she’s unable to tap into the full potential of this body.  She could have developed that confidence by now, but her self-image gets tampered with on a regular basis by the voice of the original owner of this body chattering in the back of her brain when she’s under duress.  If she ever loses enough confidence and "gives up", the original demon could take back control of the body.

Advantages: Demon.  Ninja.  Enhanced strength, agility, speed and senses.  Innate martial skill imprinted into the body from years of training.  Capable of surrounding herself with an aura that prevents all detection–sight, sound, smell, heat sensors, motion detectors, etc.

Background: As a child, Jana grew up in the middle of nowhere with no television and a stack of hardcover friends from the likes of Verne, Tolkien, Lewis, and more.  When she finally got the chance to go to school, she soured on sociality rather quickly as she buried her nose in books to escape the teasing she wasn’t used to.  But she found it easy enough to avoid the rest of the kids attending a small town school.

She never really broke out of her shell and when she first arrived on campus for college, she discovered a brand new feeling… panic attacks.  She avoided crowds and ate when the cafeteria wasn’t busy.  She spent a lot of time in the library meeting new paperback friends she’d never knew existed.

Then one night as she experienced the crowded library with finals approaching, she decided to walk to the public library in town hoping it would be quieter.  It turned out to be nearly barren of people.  The perfect place for her to escape the hours.  She stayed until closing and made the long walk back at night with more new books to keep her company over the coming days.

But her walk brought her into the middle of a battle between a vigilant human sect and demon warriors that had been waging a secret war on this planet for centuries.  The forces were battling over a mystical item known as a merging stone.  With it, either side could merge their best warriors into a single warrior with all the combined strength, agility and skills on the ones being merged.

As one of the human warriors ran from the battle with the prize evading an invisible assassin chasing him down, he stumbled into Jana and fell into the street where he was hit by a passing car.  The gem shattered on impact and embedded into Jana’s body and merged her with the nearest creature at the time… the demon assassin.

In pain and confused, Jana sprinted back to her dorm room… faster than she’d ever run before.  In her room, she spotted herself in the mirror and saw the exotic demon/human hybrid body standing there.

Let’s continue on with developing characters here.  Next, we take a look at Marq’s parter-in-hunting, Spook.  This little cat appears to be just a cute, purr-y sidekick for the monster hunter, but he does have a much larger role in the story (and in potential future storylines)…

Name: Spook
Gender: Male Cat
Marital Status: none (that we know of)

Physical Appearance: cat with soft grey and white fur.  Innocent looking.

Core Personality Traits: Arrogance.  He used to be a minor devil lord but wound up being banished to the world of man due to treasonous acts.  Even though he’s trapped in the appearance of a cat, he still has the attitude of a devil and merely "plays the part" at time to manipulate others to further his plans.

Flaws: Arrogance.  Having once been a powerful creature, he still acts like one… without the power and minions to back up that attitude, he’ll find plenty of reasons to regret insulting the wrong person at the wrong time.

Advantages: Even though he trapped himself in the form of a cat, he did invest a measure of his devilish power into the making of this disguise to keep it from dying.  The body will regenerate and be healthy again within minutes of fatal harm.  The magicks used to create the cat "vessel" also keep it hidden from other devils.  Being a devil at the core, Spook can detect other devils, their magicks and other creatures of a supernatural nature and can still perform ritualized magic if needed as long as it draws from other sources of power and not his (former) inherent devilish power.

Background: As a minor lord of devils, Spook (as he’s now known)commanded a services division within the unholy realms.  Decorators, caterers, entertainers, escorts, throne-bearers, and the like.  As such, he wielded a certain amount of influence since most devils wouldn’t agree to attend a gathering or function hosted by other devils unless it was catered by a third party with no ties or affiliations.  He was the neutral party to hold this honor within the realms.

But that didn’t mean he wasn’t without ambitions, and his neutrality gave him access to all the lords that ranked above him.  It would just take one perfectly planned party with just the right guest list for him to take them all down and rise in power.

Unfortunately, someone else came up with the same idea and sabotaged a dinner he catered, which killed a number of lords… not enough for him to rise in power to a level where he was above punishment for the actions he was framed for (but the saboteur did gain enough to make sure Spook paid for the atrocities).

He was stripped of his powers and sent to the mortal realm where he would be hunted, tortured and released to be hunted again until the end of his days.  But being overly ambitious does mean being prepared in case the plan fails, so he magicked bodies on various realms he could hide in where his presence couldn’t be detected by other devils.

He activated the body and wandered across Marq and his family.  A family that’s always on the move made a good choice to keep from the devils hunting him, but Spook found out there was a flaw to his disguise.  If the body died and the magicks resurrected him, it pulsed with a spike of devilish energies that sent up a big flare to those hunting him.

After being gravely injured while wandering from the family’s RV one day, the magicks brought him back and that night, the devils attacked the RV.  Spook managed to escape with Marq’s help, and with Marq’s quest to avenge his family’s deaths, Spook saw opportunity… a means for ambitions to live again.

Next article, we’ll dive into the other characters.  For this post, I wanted to go back to the two (mostly) fleshed out characters and bring a critical eye to them.  Things editors or writing buddies might point out.  Things like…

"Their backgrounds are really similar.  Both tragic and involving the death of loved ones.  Seems a little matchy-match to me."

If it’s a real editor speaking, take the notes and adjust things as you see fit.  Or calmly explain your thoughts behind it and make suggestions for capturing that same feel in different ways.  [Hint: if you can’t think of anything actually stronger than your initial instincts and impressions… provide weaker options and hope the strongest thought wins out].

Now, if the person doing the talking here is your "inner editor" creeping up to fill your head up with logic and negative self-image issues… then bitchslap him/her back into the holding pen and get back to writing.

For the two characters of The Ubataurrik and Marq, I actually wanted them to have similar backgrounds.  I wanted to show how similar tragedies spawn different personalities… complementary souls to become a buddy comedy team.  The following is the first impressions of the characters rattling through my head.

Yes, both had loved ones dies by the other race.  The Ubataurrik had his loved one killed by humans.  Marq had his loved ones killed by monsters.  But the tragedy changed them both in different ways. 

The Ubataurrik protected the faer-folk in the enchanted glade in the woods.  He came from a position of responsibility.  Protector.  Guardian.  That’s serious business.  When he failed, he gave up on shouldering responsibility.  His mind began refusing to take on any form of responsibility.  He overreacted and became wild and carefree like the ones he used to protect.  No responsibilities… no future guilt from failure.

Marq was a kid.  Carefree and enjoying his time as a kid.  Growing up with no real responsibility… help mom and dad… be a kid.  He took on more responsibility than what was requested of him.  Not due to pride or duty… but because it was fun.  Work isn’t work if you enjoy it.  When the monsters killed his family, he overreacted in the sense of taking on responsibility for all the harm monsters cause from that day forward.  If he doesn’t catch them and they make someone else suffer like this, then it’s his fault because he didn’t do his job.  He didn’t stop them.  He’s the protector now… the self-appointed guardian to keep humanity safe from all of these monsters.

They started out as opposites and through tragic suffering… became opposites once more.  But deep down, they still have similarities.  The Ubataurrik will never be free of the guardian inside of him and Marq still has youth buried in his heart somewhere.  And maybe a little forced togetherness will help drag the best out of both of them.

Time to expand on some characters.  I use a journaling software for most of my computer-based writing up until I get to scripting (and I’m also still fond of the old timey pencil and notebook method of hashing through stories).  One of the nice features it has is a template system.  So, I have various templates I use to populate a page pretty quickly with a basic structure.  For my character template, it pops these lines into the current page:

Marital Status:

Physical Appearance:

Core Personality Traits:




So, let’s take it from there and do a quick rough breakdown of one of our characters.  The important thing to remember at this point is these are just initial thoughts… super quick… first things that pop into our head.  No need to overthink this (just yet) because first impressions are usually the best ones.  Besides, the character will probably get revised and updated as the story develops, so we just want a baseline to get started with.  First up, The Ubataurrik…


Name: The Ubataurrik
Gender: Any
Marital Status: Widowed

Physical Appearance: Varies.  Most common appearance is that of a hunched-over troll with eyes of obsidian and gnarled up horns on the back of his skull and a dragon’s tail.  Depending on his mood, he sometimes likes to show up with tiny leathery bat wings on his back… just for affect.

Core Personality Traits: He’s a prankster who doesn’t take anything seriously except his job as a guardian and protector.  Despite his size, power and physical prowess, he prefers mind games over might.  Getting under someone’s skin to terrorize them.

Flaws: Again, his core personality is his biggest flaw.  He doesn’t take matters seriously, which will turn out to be his undoing in this story.  It’s okay to joke around and play the fool, but when lives are on the line (more than just your own), he might need to grow up quick and make some "big boy decisions".

Advantages: Shapeshifting.  He tries to keep that hidden from everyone that he can change appearances.  It’s part of his "mystique".  With the shapeshifting, he can grow to twice his size or to the size of a bug.  He possesses supernatural strength and survivability.

Background: The Ubataurrik is a construct… created by a community of faeries and minor daemons to act as a guardian for their home.  Even though they designed him with protective instincts, he did grow up amongst the faer-folk and his personality developed under their carefree and mischief-loving ways.

At one point, he fell in love with one of the faeries and married her and he let himself get lost in that emotion.

One day, a couple neared the glade where the faer-folk remained hidden.  He could see they were in love just like he was, so he neglected his duty and let them enjoy their secret lovers’ rendezvous.  It was just one night in the forest and they were camping a safe distance from the enchanted glade.

Unfortunately, the couple carelessly burned down the forest.  Most of the faer-folk died in the blaze including the great guardian’s wife.  He banished himself from the forest and wandered the world at large letting himself get lost in mischief and constantly poking fun… hoping he can keep enough laughter going to keep the pain suppressed.


Name: Marq
Gender: Male
Marital Status: Too young and focused on his "career", so he’s definitely not even looking.

Physical Appearance: A young boy in his mid-teens.  Slim in stature but healthy and doesn’t lose sleep over keeping up appearances (disheveled hair, wrinkled clothes, etc).

Core Personality Traits: He’s a mechanical savant probably due to high-functioning autism.  As such, he’s a little socially awkward… fearless, no respect for personal space, and not much of a mental filter when he’s talking (he tends to say what he’s thinking).  Oh, and he hates monsters.

Flaws: The boy has a big brain in that skull of his, but he tends to overthink things.  He gets carried away with the non-important details and can easily begin thinking in terms of the "worst case scenario".  He’s like that D&D thief in the party that has to search every little thing for traps.  "You see a room with a door at the opposite side of the room and a simple desk with a fern on it."  "I search the fern for traps."

Advantages: As a mechanical savant, he likes to build gadgets and toys to help him ply his trade as a "monster hunter".  Traps and weapons along with modifications to his "armored hunting machine" cleverly disguised as an RV.

Background: Marq grew up as the middle kid in a family full of rural mechanics who spent their days traveling from farm-to-farm and town-to-town fixing vehicles, farm equipment, motors and whatever else needed tinkering with while they were available.

Since they covered a large area, they converted an RV to be their home away from home and mobile workshop.  The kids were homeschooled and smart as anything but not quite as social as most families.  They worked hard but they made sure to make time to enjoy their lives… they even managed to pick up a stray cat, which they nursed back to health as their companion and pet.  So overall, their lives were good.

Until the monsters came.

The monsters showed up one night and began tearing through the RV looking for something.  They tore through anyone in their way and only Marq and their pet cat managed to escape.  The next morning, Marq snuck back to the RV to find the monsters were gone.  He buried his family, fixed up the RV and vowed to hunt down every last monster he could find. 


And my fifteen minutes are up (well, 22 minutes actually).  It’s a good start and I’ll continue on with the rest of the characters tomorrow or Thursday.

In part 1, we covered the concept of the story, so now it’s time to start gathering ingredients.  First up… characters.

Though part of me really wants to do the dark fairy tale, I decided to go with the ensemble storyline.  Why?  Because there are more characters and I do love developing characters.  So when working on the concept, I wanted to pull in characters from other story ideas to use in this.  I never really developed those other stories beyond a concept, so that’s all there is to start with here… the basics of the characters.  Let’s see who we have:

  • The Ubataurrik — our horrible and nasty but fun-loving guardian/protector type of monster.  Mean lookin’ on the outside but butterflies and rainbows on the inside (not literally).
  • Marq — originally, he was the boy who the Ubataurrik took pity on and accidentally let burn down the forest that hid the place he protected.  With this story, he’ll be a teenage mechanical savant and one of the best monster hunters on the planet.  And he’s been tracking the Ubataurrik.
  • Spook — Marq’s cat.  He’s arrogant and talkative (to those who can understand him).  He has a dark secret and a reason for hanging out with a monster hunter.
  • Caprice — she’s a young teenage girl from a realm where her planet is torn apart by a great war between humans and demons.  She was accidentally fused with a deadly demonic assassin and remained the dominant personality controlling the hybrid human/demon body.
  • Black — a tournament fighter whose manager used dark magic to kill him off and bring him back as an undead fighter.  After the manager died of old age, his immortal undead fighters were free to roam the world.  Black became a recluse and found peace authoring a popular set of children’s books.
  • Gan — a martial artist monk cursed and turned into a tumbleweed.  But the curse didn’t stop there.

The common thread though most of those "monster" characters should be easy to see.  They’ve been touched by darkness but they each have a non-malicious nature to them in the way they act.  So these descriptions give me a "block of marble" to work with and I just need to start chipping away at the characters until I get them shaped and ready to write.  Let’s start with my favorite aspect… the flaws.

  • The Ubataurrik — despite his appearance, he’s a prankster and doesn’t take anything seriously.  This will be his undoing when everything’s falling apart around him and he has no choice but to make a "big boy decision".
  • Marq — the boy has a big brain in that skull of his, but he tends to overthink things.  He gets carried away with even the non-important details.  He’s like that D&D thief in the party that has to search every little thing for traps.  "You see a room with a door at the opposite side of the room and a simple desk with a fern on it."  "I search the fern for traps."
  • Spook — arrogance.  I already made that a strong part of his personality.  He used to have reasons for being "confident", but those days are long behind him… but the attitude isn’t.
  • Caprice — even though she has this powerful demon body, she’s still just an awkward, geeky teenager at heart and is still "growing into" the body and encountering your typical growing pains clumsiness.  And since the demon’s power and strength derive from fierceness and confidence, she isn’t able to tap into its full potential. 
  • Black — after being released from his years of slavery at the hands of the mystical fight manager, he vowed never to fight again, so he’s become a devout pacifist.
  • Gan — he’s a kung fu wielding tumbleweed.  I think my work with this one is done.  No, wait… I’m getting something… he’s from a temple that cherishes balance with life, so we’ll make sure the curse does something else every-so-often to throw him off balance and torture him emotionally.

Well, that’s a little past my 15 minutes for the day, but we’ll stop there and let the characters percolate a bit.  Next week, I develop them further with more personality traits, physical characteristics, and add more to their histories to where we can see them in our minds and start to imagine how they’d actually act and talk if we met them in person.

With today’s 15 minutes, I wanted to work on a comic, so I thought I’d dig up an old story idea where I had the basic concept and build it out into an actual comic book…  character development, plotting, scripting, editing, revising, and pitching.  The whole she-bang.  I’ll probably work on it a few times a week and see how it goes.  So, there’s no time to waste.

Let’s get started with the basic idea and see how it evolved over the years.  It started with a monster.  He was a cutie know originally as the Ubataurrik that I wrote some micro-fiction on nearly 7 years ago.  I was working with an artist at the time who wanted to do something more all-ages, so I transformed the Ubataurrik into a guardian monster protecting an enchanted patch of woods (and we softened his looks up a bit)…

Well, I have this one idea…"The Horrible, Horrible, Mean, Nasty Ubataurrik" (yes, a long title… originally intended to mimic the form of some children’s book titles).

The Ubataurrik is a monstrous, legendary creature like a big ol’ hunched-over troll with eyes of obsidian and gnarled-up horns and a dragon’s tail… he looks horrible… just horrible, nasty and mean. He lives in a small crop of woods where he lurks in hiding and comes out of the shadows to deal with any trespassers.  All to protect a portal to an enchanted realm filled with wondrous sites and magical creatures.

One day, a young boy enters the woods to escape his terrible life–hoping the frightening tales of the Ubataurrik are real and hoping his troubles will finally come to an end. For the first time in his entire life, the Ubataurrik takes pity on someone and leaves the boy alone… alone to survive on his own in the woods… alone to start his own campfire… alone to burn the place down.


So, after thousands and thousands of years protecting the portal, the Ubataurrik quits in shame and runs off to live with the boy’s family. While he mentors the young boy in the ways of nastiness and terror, the magical creatures from the enchanted realm scramble to keep the legend of the Ubataurrik alive in a smoldering husk of a forest while another small group of them fumble their way through the world of modern man to find their guardian.

Originally planned to be a look back on the darker days of faery tales… blending comedy with occasional bits of Poe-style terror. Anyways, just one of my weird ideas.

The artist got pulled into other projects, so the story didn’t go very far.  The idea sat for a while until I started working on some pitches.  I wasn’t sure they’d go for a dark fairy tale, so I thought of other ways to use the character.  I also had these other "good in evil’s clothing" characters from other ideas I dabbled with in the past and I stumbled across them as I read through my various notes and ideas.  I decided to put him in an ensemble with a few other of these good-hearted nasties and had some fun with it.  Went crazy in a sense…

An ancient civilization stands on the brink of extinction as a white substance (tentatively called "The Mire"–a substance you can breath in and allows you to walk in any direction–up, down, straight ahead, etc) destroys and takes over the rest of their dimension, whiting it out.

One city remains due to a protective field they developed, but they aren’t sure how long it’ll last.  They invent a device to locate beings from other dimensions that might be able to help them and then send small beacons to retrieve them (still working on the logic on how they can send beacons and bring others to their dimension but can’t escape it themselves).  The beacons recover the creatures or people and everything within a small distance, which leaves them stranded on a small pocket of land in the middle of The Mire (the beacons also contain miniature versions of the protective field). 

Now, they need to follow the beacon to the city while surviving hunger, thirst, and the vicious denizens of The Mire, the Whitemares–small pure white shark-like creatures with turtle shells (with three shark fins as part of the shell) and tyrannosaurus rex style front arms (there are other nasty things out there too, but the Whitemares are the most common).  And when these summoned beings finally arrive at the city, this ancient civilization suddenly realizes they’ve made a terrible mistake. 

Their device selected creatures of a dark nature–demons, undead, nasty mythological beasties, and the like.  Not the sort to be "helpful" when torn away from their normal haunting grounds.

And now we boil that down to a more manageable mouthful… a quick sales pitchy version of it…

A living light known as "The Mire" works its way across a
dimension devouring it, and the last surviving race of this universe
grabs champions from other realms to fight the threat.  But when your
threat is living light, the only hope for countering it means
recruiting champions filled with darkness… and hoping they don’t kill you before The Mire does.

This is mostly to give a quick feel for the story… something I can easily read back to and get that initial emotion of the story.  But I still like that storybook idea as well.  Hmm… I’ll have to think on this some more (until next time).

Your brain sends you this wondrous idea for a story in a bolt out of the blue.  You see landscapes and events and… waitasec… who’s gonna be your star?

Ahh, the joys of character development.  Early on, aspiring writers fall into that infamous trap of living out fantasies by putting a doppelganger of themselves onto the page.  Not quite a clone or true replica because this character has it all.  Looks, athleticism, charm, money, power, and an endless supply of Taco Bell.  It’s the perfect character.

And it’s crap.

If you decide to inject a bit of yourself into your stories, you need the elements that define you.  The elements that deep down, you know they make you who you are.  But sadly (whether we want to admit it or not), most of our actions result from our flaws.  Got a gambling problem?  I bet that influences how you act, react and plan things out.  Got a nervous twitch from a childhood dodge ball incident that kicks into high gear when people say the word "ball"?  I’d imagine you’d do anything to avoid going to sporting events.

Eating disorders.  Psychological trauma.  Physical impairments.  Emotional instability.  A hard-on for your inner zealot.  A fourth nipple that looks just like Frank Zappa.  These characteristics make people do things.  It makes them take action (even if it’s motivation is to avoid certain actions).  The story gets movement with these flaws… forward, back or sideways.  They provide an innate trigger for action within the character.  And without these flaws?  Well…

Invulnerable, immortal and devilishly handsome Awesome-naut sits by the pool at his mansion enjoying the tickle of expensive bubbly while reading through a mountain of fanmail.

"A meteor just made a u-turn in space and bolts its way straight toward Earth.  Save us, Awesome-naut!", screams the announcer from the radio.

"Meh.  I’ll survive.  Joey!  Refill, por favor!"

Pretty exciting stuff there, eh?  Well, what if you make a minor tweak…

The nearsighted yet invulnerable Flawed-naut makes his way from the optometrist… dark glasses in place to protect his dilated eyes when screams echo down the street.  A large vehicle heads toward an intersection where a crowd crosses the street… toothpicks before a five ton woodchipper.

Flawed-naut leaps into the street and muscles strain and twist as he grinds the large vehicle to a stop.  He turns to check on the citizens crossing the street, and for saving the day… the crowd greets him with boos.

He squints to get a closer look at the vehicle he stopped with all its… decorations and people standing on top… and all those large balloons shaped like Underdog and Taz filling the skyline behind it… and a banner with fuzzy letters on them.  He strains further and cheeks flush with a heat and color as he makes out the words, "Bieber Day Parade".


And yes, that last character is an amalgam of most muscle-bound superheroes and Mr. Magoo.

When you look for that perfect character to fit your story, try starting not with the heroic, protagonist or "perfect" qualities that will fit the story.  Think of the flaws that would instinctively bring that character to action and help breathe life into the story all on its own.  Cause characters that drives themselves make it much easier to get that story written.