Meet Owen

The following is the first in a series character introductions/profiles from the upcoming novel Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud.

Owen is the fifteen year old son of King Kendrick. He lives in Innes Castle in the Central Domain of Wittatun. Peace has prevailed in the kingdom the three years since the Wizard Rebellion attacked, killing many people at Innes Castle, including Owen’s mother, Beatrix. But Owen’s attitude toward magic, and those who use it, has grown more belligerent.

At the celebration for Owen’s fifteenth birthday, King Kendrick prepares to make an announcement that will determine Owen’s future. But when he stands to make the announcement, he crashes to the ground–unconscious.

Owen must do everything in his power to revive his father, to save his future and the future of the kingdom, even if it means teaming with someone he hates. Someone he holds responsible for the death of his mother. A filthy sorcerer named Cedric!

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Creating Characters

Why do we care if the hero lives or dies? Does it matter if the heroine achieves her goal? Can the antagonist truly be a protagonist?

The one word answer to all these questions: maybe. Have you ever picked up a book, struggled through the first hundred pages, and finally returned it to the shelf? Or maybe you’ve paged through a book of which you intended to read the first chapter before bed, only to glance at the clock and realize three hours had passed? So what’s the difference between these two types of books? One possible answer, and I’d argue the most common answer, is the writing of the characters.

A well written cast of characters can instill in us all the emotions of real people. We laugh at what they find funny. We cry when something sad (or happy) happens to them. And we get scared when the serial killer has them cornered in a dark basement.

Likewise, poorly written characters seem as thin as the paper they’re written on (or nowadays the electrons they’re projected with).

So how do you write a strong character? I like to get to know my characters before I ever start writing my first draft. I fill out a profile page with all the pertinent (and some impertinent) information I can come up with. I do this for every character in my story. The main characters get more in-depth profiles, while the minor characters just get a few details. After I’ve started writing the story, scenes will require new characters I hadn’t realized earlier. I’ll stop writing the story at that point and develop the new character’s profile.

Here are some profile “questions” I use when creating characters. Depending on the particular story I may add new questions, or omit some:

Name; Age; Notable Physical Features; Hometown; Other Places Lived; Where He/She Goes To School/Work; Attitude Toward School/Work; Temperament; Family; Friends; Enemies; In A Relationship; Other Notable Relationships; Goals In Life; Major Successes/Failures; Favorite/Least Favorite Items (food, drink, games, etc);  Mannerisms; Attitude Toward Men/Women; Self-esteem.

Most importantly, have fun writing your characters. They’ll be your friends. They may get you into some trouble, but they’ll always be there for you when you need them. Besides, if you don’t like your characters, neither will your readers.

 

Welcome!

Welcome to my website! I’ve created this to keep everyone informed of my writing, and as soon as I figure out how everything works, I intend to do just that.

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Updates on my newest publications
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My mindless rants about topics unrelated to writing
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