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:
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
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.
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.