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.