Introduce your protagonist

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Introduce your protagonist

Post by Sophie on Sun Mar 20, 2016 11:23 am

Introduce your main character here. Add info, character traits, reference sheets, pictures or whatever you like. I also recommend you add in an excerpt from your story where you introduce your protagonist.

Please use only one post for all your characters. If you want to add more information about your character, just edit your post. I encourage everyone to offer critique and advice or just general feedback Smile if you're not open to this then please say so (although that kind of defeats the purpose of this thread!)
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Re: Introduce your protagonist

Post by Sophie on Sun Mar 20, 2016 11:43 am

I'll go first!

DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS
Name: Thomothy Wode
Age: 18
Birthplace: Momus

Occupation/Job Experience: The long suffering apprentice to the Great Wizard of Momus. Not too much hands on experience with magic but has a lot of knowledge of its unpredictability. A lot of book experience but not much field work.

PHYSICAL APPEARANCE
Below average in height (and looks), dark brown eyes, eyebrows are thin and constantly furrowed, shaggy hair (could use a good wash). Wears scarves and red long johns. Overall body type is weak but not scrawny.

Strength(s): Innately good at magic
Flaw(s): Self-doubting, stubborn, grouchy and pessimistic
Trademark/Quirk: Makes up random lies about small things for no reason

STORY EXCERPT
After a moment, the city's gate fell open (or more precisely, fell off its hinges) with a loud boom and a cloud of dust and sand, and then a tall and rather imposing man emerged. Or at least he might've been imposing had he not been wearing a soft, yellow nightcap tucked over his chestnut hair, with a tattered, purple bathrobe pulled over his enormous frame. Not long afterwards, he was followed by an extremely surly looking young man, who kept rubbing at his eyes sleepily, donned in several knitted scarves and a pair of baggy, red long johns. Dark hair hung in the youth's face in a messy tangle, which only served to augment his cantankerous disposition.
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Re: Introduce your protagonist

Post by Poetic-Jessie on Sun Mar 20, 2016 12:56 pm

I can see the humour in your writing. I was chuckling away at the descriptions of the Great Wizard and Thomoty, and I especially liked how the gate fell off its hinges ((on the first read-thought) it implied the age of the gate. I imagined rusty hinges screeching every time it opens, wood creaking and threatening the door guards with splinters. Or (on the second read-through) that the Great Mage forced his way through the gate and that's why it fell off the hinges. If that's so, then the Great Mage must be powerful). Either way, I really enjoyed reading this.

Your character sounds like the cranky sort which (with a quick read through your excerpt on your Camp Project Info page) adds humour to your story.

I'm intrigued about the randomly lying about small things. Why does he do that? What sort of trouble has/will he get into for this?

And the scarf wearing reminds me of Doctor Who (considering Momus is a time travelling city, I'm wondering if that's a reference). Overall, I think you've done a good job making your character. He's got flaws and he's very easy to relate to. Cranky characters are a lot of fun to write and read about.

Hope you find this useful Smile
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Re: Introduce your protagonist

Post by Call Me Nefret on Sun Mar 20, 2016 1:51 pm

DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS
Name: Mirabel Redfield
Age: 24
Birthplace: Unknown

Occupation/Job Experience: Mirabel grew up as a ward of the royal family, so a job wasn't warranted. But she has been offered the position by her adoptive brother as adviser to the king, as well as the side job of tutoring a young mind reader. The jobs suit her well, as she enjoys telling her brother was to do and having a captive audience.

PHYSICAL APPEARANCE
Mirabel is not attractive. She is tall and willowy with mousy brown hair framing a plain face. It is not that she is particularly unattractive...her face just holds no great beauty. That is, of course, aside from her a pair of bright violet eyes.  

Strength(s): Future-telling, intelligence, common sense, patience, loyalty
Flaw(s): struggles to understand gray areas of morality, lacks subtlety, obsessed with appearing competent to others
Trademark/Quirk: Blunt tendencies of speaking

STORY EXCERPT
Funerals are always a dismal thing. If the person was well loved, as the dowager queen had been, then the attendants must be miserable and bereft. If the attendants were jolly, then it left a horrible reminder how cruel mankind could be to itself.

But Theodora Redfield, monarch of the kingdom of sweeping fields and blazing skies, first in the late king’s heart and adored by her three children (one of whom had gone to the grave before her) was very much loved.

It is important to note that of her three children, she had only borne two. Her strapping sons, the late King Frederic and reigning King Thorsten, had been her pride. But young Mirabel had been her joy. The child had the good fortune to become ward of the royal family at a young age. The laws on such a matter are something better left for a later page. Suffice to say, the gangly creature would never hold the title “princess”. Fortunately for the girl, she had a far better one in its stead: oracle. Since she’d stumbled into the castle as a child neither drought nor plague nor scheme of man had caught the country by surprise.
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Re: Introduce your protagonist

Post by Poetic-Jessie on Sun Mar 20, 2016 5:44 pm

Right, I have a coffee, so I'm all good to give feedback  Very Happy

Your character's flaws are similar to my character's flaws (the lacking subtlety part). It's always good for making other characters surprised at the bluntness of their speech and I suppose for a future-teller, bluntness would be necessary. And the obsessing with appearing competent is something I think a lot of people could relate to.

I like that intellect is one of your character's strenghts, it's always good to read about an intelligent protagonist.

The story so far looks very interesting. I really like the "monarch of the kingdom of sweeping fields and blazing skies." It's great imagery and gives me an idea of what the countryside is like.

I'm also curious about how she came to be the ward of the royal family. What laws allowed that? I know it says it will be explained in a later page, but I'm still interested to know. Also, how did King Frederic die? I have a few questions.

Overall, I think you've also created a solid character that's easy to relate to and I think it would be a very interesting read too.

Hope this helps Smile
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Re: Introduce your protagonist

Post by Elowen-Astrid on Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:48 pm

DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS
Name: Oliver Damours
Age: 24
Birthplace: Royal castle I suppose

Occupation/Job Experience: He is the third prince of the kingdom of Rovèll and he also is a mage. And in a kingdom the persecutes magic he was taught to hide and control his abilities in secret.

PHYSICAL APPEARANCE
He is about average in height (182 cm, 6’), but where I come from people are tall. He has brown eyes and dark brown hair. I would say his looks are about average. I think he is attractive, but in the same way many people of his age are attractive. He doesn’t really stand out and is certainly not an extremely attractive dreamy kind of guy. His overall body type it fit but not broad.

Personality
He is friendly and well mannered. But you he doesn’t really let people come close to him. Once you get to know him he will open up to you a bit more. He is also careful, calm and earnest. He is an introvert and tends to think things through (most of the time).

Strength(s): Tries to be optimistic, sees the good in people, knows his way around with a sword (but is not a master).
Flaw(s): Not very good at magic. His abilities are underdeveloped. Not very good with large groups, they make him feel uncomfortable and exposed. Not very trusting, it is hard to win him over.
Trademark/Quirk: Likes to show magic to his younger sister who loves it.

STORY EXCERPT
Slowly Oliver regained consciousness. His eyes wouldn't open yet, but he heard two children talking to each other. 
"Do you think he is a real knight? a boy asked. 
"ssst, not so loud" hissed a girl. "Maerwynn is sleeping, remember." 
"Sorry" answered the boy with a muffled voice.
"Maerwynn said he is a lord, so I think he is a real Knight." There was admiration in her voice. "You saw his belongings yourself, and his horse. I have never seen such a beautiful horse." 
"Me neither" said the boy in admiration. "Do you think he will teach us how to fight?"
"I don't know" answered the girl. "He has to wake up first" she sounded concerned.
Oliver could not help smiling and opened his eyes. The light in the room hurt his eyes. He moaned and started blinking. 
"He is awake" there was relief and elation in her voice. "Go get Maerwynn, quickly" she said to the boy.


Last edited by Elowen-Astrid on Fri Apr 08, 2016 11:45 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added an excerpt)
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Re: Introduce your protagonist

Post by Call Me Nefret on Mon Mar 21, 2016 12:12 am

Poetic-Jessie wrote:Right, I have a coffee, so I'm all good to give feedback  Very Happy

Your character's flaws are similar to my character's flaws (the lacking subtlety part). It's always good for making other characters surprised at the bluntness of their speech and I suppose for a future-teller, bluntness would be necessary. And the obsessing with appearing competent is something I think a lot of people could relate to.

I like that intellect is one of your character's strenghts, it's always good to read about an intelligent protagonist.

The story so far looks very interesting. I really like the "monarch of the kingdom of sweeping fields and blazing skies." It's great imagery and gives me an idea of what the countryside is like.

I'm also curious about how she came to be the ward of the royal family. What laws allowed that? I know it says it will be explained in a later page, but I'm still interested to know. Also, how did King Frederic die? I have a few questions.

Overall, I think you've also created a solid character that's easy to relate to and I think it would be a very interesting read too.

Hope this helps Smile

I do go over the laws of the kingdom later on. Essentially, in Erried a person is legally bound to help their family members. One character mention an instance of a nobleman whose niece of was ill. He didn't pay for her medical care although he had the money. As he was a family member that had the ability to help and refused, he was treated as the girl's murderer when she died and thrown in prison. A ward happens when a child is orphaned with no close relatives that would be legally required to take them. They can be taken in by another family. In this instance, the child is only legally bound to help their adoptive parents. So they wouldn't be penalized for not helping a sibling. But on the other hand, only the parents are legally bound to help them. So when the parents die, any other family members are not legally required to help them either. It's like the freedom to fly, without a safety net. Unless they get married. But in the story, Mirabel is not. Fortunately for her, she was raised as family and the king still considers her a sister. But this pisses off one of the antagonists, a greedy adviser, who hates that she has such sway with the king and virtual legal freedom.

Frederic, alas, died of his own stupidity. He had thrown a feast to celebrate his wife's pregnancy, got black out drunk, took a tumble down the stairs, and hit his head rather hard. While grieving, his wife had a miscarriage and later took to becoming a nun (she is in the main story somewhat). This happens before the story begins, but it mentioned multiple times through it.

Thanks! I wanted to make a protagonist that wasn't beautiful. It seems in too many books the main character is always beautiful, whether or not they know it. Then I decided to take it one step further and say that all seers (there will be more over the course of the book) by lineage are not attractive. And as a result, seer culture holds beauty in low esteem.
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Re: Introduce your protagonist

Post by Call Me Nefret on Mon Mar 21, 2016 12:22 am

Astrid wrote:DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS
Name: Oliver Damours
Age: 24
Birthplace: Royal castle I suppose

Occupation/Job Experience: He is the third prince of the kingdom of Rovèll and he also is a mage. And in a kingdom the persecutes magic he was taught to hide and control his abilities in secret.

PHYSICAL APPEARANCE
He is about average in height (182 cm, 6’), but where I come from people are tall. He has brown eyes and dark brown hair. I would say his looks are about average. I think he is attractive, but in the same way many people of his age are attractive. He doesn’t really stand out and is certainly not an extremely attractive dreamy kind of guy. His overall body type it fit but not broad.

Personality
He is friendly and well mannered. But you he doesn’t really let people come close to him. Once you get to know him he will open up to you a bit more. He is also careful, calm and earnest. He is an introvert and tends to think things through (most of the time).

Strength(s): Tries to be optimistic, sees the good in people, knows his way around with a sword (but is not a master).
Flaw(s): Not very good at magic. His abilities are underdeveloped. Not very good with large groups, they make him feel uncomfortable and exposed. Not very trusting, it is hard to win him over.
Trademark/Quirk: Likes to show magic to his younger sister who loves it.

STORY EXCERPT
I don’t have one yet, but I might edit it in later.

I actually like that his magic abilities are so underdeveloped. I appreciate a character you can watch grow and develop over the course of the story, like Eragon or Avatar, the Last Airbender. Then when they've reached the point where they're total badasses, you know they've earned it.

I did have a question about the strengths and flaws. One of his strengths is that he sees the good in people, yet his flaw is he doesn't trust them. Is this one of those "I trust everyone, it's the devil inside them I don't trust" scenarios? Or those instance when he sees the good in people individually, but distrusts society as a whole?

You do have a good set up for a story. Fighting against societal norms is always an intriguing theme.
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Re: Introduce your protagonist

Post by Elowen-Astrid on Mon Mar 21, 2016 3:38 am

I actually like that his magic abilities are so underdeveloped. I appreciate a character you can watch grow and develop over the course of the story, like Eragon or Avatar, the Last Airbender. Then when they've reached the point where they're total badasses, you know they've earned it.

I did have a question about the strengths and flaws. One of his strengths is that he sees the good in people, yet his flaw is he doesn't trust them. Is this one of those "I trust everyone, it's the devil inside them I don't trust" scenarios? Or those instance when he sees the good in people individually, but distrusts society as a whole?

You do have a good set up for a story. Fighting against societal norms is always an intriguing theme.

First of all, Thank You Smile I like fighting against societal norms and characters with growing potential. At first I wanted to make another character the protagonist, but she would have been too strong in the beginning. It would not have been very interesting. I do think she would make a good support.

Secondly, about the trust issues. I think he sees the good in people, because he needs to see it. He needs to believe people are be good and he will actively look for it. He knows his sister is a good person, and his parents and brothers are good people too. But he always had to hide a part of himself. If others found out about his magic it would have major consequences for himself and his family. He probably would have been killed for his magic, even though he is royalty. So he can't really confide in people. If he would tell someone he actually trust, that person could still accidentally let his secret slip even though that person wouldn't want too. So in order to protect himself and his family he can't trust people.

I think it is the "I really wan't to trust people, and I know you mean well, but I still can't trust you" kind of situation. Which of course is a point he can grow on Smile I hope this helped.
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Re: Introduce your protagonist

Post by Elowen-Astrid on Mon Mar 21, 2016 6:57 am

I like that intellect is one of your character's strenghts, it's always good to read about an intelligent protagonist.

This made me realise something, and I thank you for it. My more important characters are intelligent per default. I like intelligent people and surround myself with them and I failed to realize not all people have above average intelligence so this is something for me to keep in mind when creating characters.

Call Me Nefret wrote: I wanted to make a protagonist that wasn't beautiful. It seems in too many books the main character is always beautiful, whether or not they know it.

I completely agree with you on this one. It annoys me so much to see all of these books with beautiful characters. I would somehow like to find a way to write my characters without stating they are beautiful or not most of the time. So readers can decide for themselves if a character is beautiful or not.
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Re: Introduce your protagonist

Post by Poetic-Jessie on Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:11 am

First of all, Thank You Smile I like fighting against societal norms and characters with growing potential. At first I wanted to make another character the protagonist, but she would have been too strong in the beginning. It would not have been very interesting. I do think she would make a good support.

Secondly, about the trust issues. I think he sees the good in people, because he needs to see it. He needs to believe people are be good and he will actively look for it. He knows his sister is a good person, and his parents and brothers are good people too. But he always had to hide a part of himself. If others found out about his magic it would have major consequences for himself and his family. He probably would have been killed for his magic, even though he is royalty. So he can't really confide in people. If he would tell someone he actually trust, that person could still accidentally let his secret slip even though that person wouldn't want too. So in order to protect himself and his family he can't trust people.

I think it is the "I really wan't to trust people, and I know you mean well, but I still can't trust you" kind of situation. Which of course is a point he can grow on Smile I hope this helped.

I'm glad that you cleared that up, I was going to ask the same thing, but I understand it now and it makes sense in context. His secret is so dangerous that he wouldn't dare trust anyone to keep it for him, no matter how much good he sees in others. I liked that he shows his little sister magic, it really shows how much warmth he has to offer and that he's a caring older brother. It also implies how close he and his younger sister are.

I'm in agreement with Call Me Nefret, I like that there will be character growth in him, in regards to trusting others and magic. And I also like stories about fighting against societal norms too and how people deal with persecution.

It sounds like an interesting story so far and you've created a character with understandable flaws and I think he'd be relatable too.

Hope this helps Smile
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Re: Introduce your protagonist

Post by Poetic-Jessie on Mon Mar 21, 2016 7:57 am

I do go over the laws of the kingdom later on. Essentially, in Erried a person is legally bound to help their family members. One character mention an instance of a nobleman whose niece of was ill. He didn't pay for her medical care although he had the money. As he was a family member that had the ability to help and refused, he was treated as the girl's murderer when she died and thrown in prison. A ward happens when a child is orphaned with no close relatives that would be legally required to take them. They can be taken in by another family. In this instance, the child is only legally bound to help their adoptive parents. So they wouldn't be penalized for not helping a sibling. But on the other hand, only the parents are legally bound to help them. So when the parents die, any other family members are not legally required to help them either. It's like the freedom to fly, without a safety net. Unless they get married. But in the story, Mirabel is not. Fortunately for her, she was raised as family and the king still considers her a sister. But this pisses off one of the antagonists, a greedy adviser, who hates that she has such sway with the king and virtual legal freedom.

Frederic, alas, died of his own stupidity. He had thrown a feast to celebrate his wife's pregnancy, got black out drunk, took a tumble down the stairs, and hit his head rather hard. While grieving, his wife had a miscarriage and later took to becoming a nun (she is in the main story somewhat). This happens before the story begins, but it mentioned multiple times through it.

Thanks! I wanted to make a protagonist that wasn't beautiful. It seems in too many books the main character is always beautiful, whether or not they know it. Then I decided to take it one step further and say that all seers (there will be more over the course of the book) by lineage are not attractive. And as a result, seer culture holds beauty in low esteem.

The laws of your book are really interesting. Thanks for answering my questions Smile Poor Frederic, dying of stupidity, I didn't see that one coming. I thought he might have died valiantly in battle, a death fit for a fantasy king. I like that you deviated from the norm of how fantasy kings usually die and that you kept his wife in the book as a side character.

I also like that your antagonist is pissed off because of the position Mirabel is in and acts on greed and jealousy. It makes an understandable antagonist when you can see their motivations for acting as they do. And it brings in the backstabbing nature that is the life of a courtier.

My antagonists are power-hungry and greedy, one who thinks he can outwit the second antagonist, but is really being outwitted by that antagonist...

My more important characters are intelligent per default. I like intelligent people and surround myself with them and I failed to realize not all people have above average intelligence so this is something for me to keep in mind when creating characters.

Same here. All of my important characters are intelligent by default, apart from the first antagonist I mentioned. He should really be smarter than that, but greed blinds him. I guess you could consider how an emotion might force a character to make poor decisions. Like greed, or love or whatever is appropriate. (btw, I'm not saying you alter your characters (at all), but just (hopefully) letting you see there are other options than just intelligent or not intelligent. That emotions can rule instead of the head). There's nothing wrong with intelligent characters by default (at least in my opinion), and I like reading and writing about intelligent characters Smile
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Re: Introduce your protagonist

Post by Poetic-Jessie on Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:42 am

DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS
Name: Fiachella of the Land of the Phoenix
Age: 20
Birthplace: The Royal Palace

Occupation/Job Experience: Crown princess, the shadow rebel leader and rebel spy in the royal palace.

PHYSICAL APPEARANCE Average height, red hair with golden tips, and brown eyes. She is beautiful (I know, Astrid and Call Me Nefret, but she has a reason for her beauty), it's because she's half phoenix, and in my mind, phoenixes are beautiful.


Strength(s): determined, intelligent, protective, fantastic instincts that regularly get her out of trouble and aid her in being a spy.
Flaw(s): no magic to speak of (everyone has magic in this book and the king, her father, really considers this to be a major flaw, so naturally she does too), self-doubt, scared of her phoenix rising randomly and not being able to control it (so, I guess, scared of her potential power and losing control of herself).
Trademark/Quirk: Speaks bluntly

STORY EXCERPT
Fiachella sighed as she went through the secret tunnels into the underbelly of the Capital City. She made sure that her distinctive, bright red hair with golden tips was tightly bound to her head, and that no sign of the golden tips were showing. Her unique hair colour alone would identify her to anyone as the Phoenix Princess. She didn’t want to be identified in such a way, she wanted to seek out those who would help her for the good of her country, not use her for their own personal gain.

(And on a random note, if it looks like I'm online all the time, it's because I have the browser up in the background and logging in and logging out is a too much effort. But I'm usually afk or working on something else or just procrastinating on facebook...)
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Re: Introduce your protagonist

Post by Call Me Nefret on Mon Mar 21, 2016 1:52 pm

Astrid wrote:
First of all, Thank You Smile I like fighting against societal norms and characters with growing potential. At first I wanted to make another character the protagonist, but she would have been too strong in the beginning. It would not have been very interesting. I do think she would make a good support.

Secondly, about the trust issues. I think he sees the good in people, because he needs to see it. He needs to believe people are be good and he will actively look for it. He knows his sister is a good person, and his parents and brothers are good people too. But he always had to hide a part of himself. If others found out about his magic it would have major consequences for himself and his family. He probably would have been killed for his magic, even though he is royalty. So he can't really confide in people. If he would tell someone he actually trust, that person could still accidentally let his secret slip even though that person wouldn't want too. So in order to protect himself and his family he can't trust people.

I think it is the "I really wan't to trust people, and I know you mean well, but I still can't trust you" kind of situation. Which of course is a point he can grow on Smile I hope this helped.

That makes a bit more sense. So he sees the good in people, but trust just isn't an option he has.

While Mirabel is technically my main character, I truly enjoy switching viewpoints. While I write in third person, the words will often carry the tenor of various character. For instance, if the greedy adviser is the center of a scene, the writing would go along the lines of "The pathetic whelp in front of him was sickening." Very clearly in the man's voice, though written in third person.

Astrid wrote:I completely agree with you on this one. It annoys me so much to see all of these books with beautiful characters. I would somehow like to find a way to write my characters without stating they are beautiful or not most of the time. So readers can decide for themselves if a character is beautiful or not.

I do state when a character is beautiful or not, but I like mixing up levels of beauty and ethical standing. There are people in all moral camps (good, bad, and somewhere in between) that are varying degrees of attractive. I like to emphasize the "beauty does not indicate goodness" theme.
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Re: Introduce your protagonist

Post by Call Me Nefret on Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:02 pm

Poetic-Jessie wrote:
The laws of your book are really interesting. Thanks for answering my questions Smile Poor Frederic, dying of stupidity, I didn't see that one coming. I thought he might have died valiantly in battle, a death fit for a fantasy king. I like that you deviated from the norm of how fantasy kings usually die and that you kept his wife in the book as a side character.

I also like that your antagonist is pissed off because of the position Mirabel is in and acts on greed and jealousy. It makes an understandable antagonist when you can see their motivations for acting as they do.  And it brings in the backstabbing nature that is the life of a courtier.

My antagonists are power-hungry and greedy, one who thinks he can outwit the second antagonist, but is really being outwitted by that antagonist...

Laws and culture are definitely my favorite parts of world building (with geography being my least favorite XP). I think I may use the dowager queen as an important source of some realization later on (as she is going to be working in the same orphanage Mirabel was brought to as a young child). I have a habit of creating a ton of side characters. So when I reach a block, I can bring one of them in to get things moving again.

Yeah, I enjoy my antagonists having reasons for being evil. The whole evil for evil's sake theme might bring up important discussion points, but most villains have reasons for what they do. And I have multiple. There's the greedy adviser, the king's ex-mistress that's pissed off at being put aside, and the northern indigenous tribes of the land constantly trying to fight back.

I'm also going to give my king character so many difficult positions. Over the course of teaching the young seer, Mirabel's going to discover that the girl was kidnapped by her new "parents" for her abilities. The evil adviser warns the king and queen that Mirabel is going to take the child away and they make plans to come take the child back. Mirabel is forced to act, kidnapping the girl and getting her to a band of seers that come to town (much later on from where I am now). The king and queen of the ally kingdom are furious and demand that Mirabel be executed when she refuses to tell where the girl is. Thorsten is forced with the choice of executing the last family member he has or going to war with their greatest ally. Not to mention he has to deal with the fact that his land's greatest ally might be evil and conniving.

But his solution (and I have already discovered one for him) is genius.
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Re: Introduce your protagonist

Post by Call Me Nefret on Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:06 pm

Poetic-Jessie wrote:DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS
Name: Fiachella of the Land of the Phoenix
Age: 20
Birthplace: The Royal Palace

Occupation/Job Experience: Crown princess, the shadow rebel leader and rebel spy in the royal palace.

PHYSICAL APPEARANCE Average height, red hair with golden tips, and brown eyes. She is beautiful (I know, Astrid and Call Me Nefret, but she has a reason for her beauty), it's because she's half phoenix, and in my mind, phoenixes are beautiful.


Strength(s): determined, intelligent, protective, fantastic instincts that regularly get her out of trouble and aid her in being a spy.
Flaw(s): no magic to speak of (everyone has magic in this book and the king, her father, really considers this to be a major flaw, so naturally she does too), self-doubt, scared of her phoenix rising randomly and not being able to control it (so, I guess, scared of her potential power and losing control of herself).
Trademark/Quirk: Speaks bluntly

STORY EXCERPT
Fiachella sighed as she went through the secret tunnels into the underbelly of the Capital City. She made sure that her distinctive, bright red hair with golden tips was tightly bound to her head, and that no sign of the golden tips were showing. Her unique hair colour alone would identify her to anyone as the Phoenix Princess. She didn’t want to be identified in such a way, she wanted to seek out those who would help her for the good of her country, not use her for their own personal gain.

(And on a random note, if it looks like I'm online all the time, it's because I have the browser up in the background and logging in and logging out is a too much effort. But I'm usually afk or working on something else or just procrastinating on facebook...)

Don't worry, I wont fault you for a beautiful protagonist. XD We were just discussing how books use it as a given. But if there's a reason, then it's perfectly acceptable. I also appreciate that she's without magic in a land of magic dwellers. You can get desensitized to how incredible magic is supposed to be when every character has it. Having some without makes for the perfect foil.

I like that she's both a princess and a spy. Since her father considers lack of magic to be a flaw and she has none, are there any relationship issues between them?
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Re: Introduce your protagonist

Post by Poetic-Jessie on Mon Mar 21, 2016 3:15 pm

I like that she's both a princess and a spy. Since her father considers lack of magic to be a flaw and she has none, are there any relationship issues between them?

Yes, there are many issues between father and daughter. He cried when he found out she couldn't use any magic whatsoever (he married the phoenix to ensure that he had the most powerful line possible, and as Fiachella has no magic, she's a disappointment). But when he tries to put her more under his control than she already is (in the form of a new soldier on her guard), her phoenix rises and basically tells him that she won't accept the new guard. He sees this as confirmation that she's powerful, but somehow blocked, so he's not too disappointed in her. He pushes her to be able to control her phoenix (because she has no memory of her phoenix rising, thus becomes scared of losing control again), but she can't access it. She comes to terms with having no magic before he comes to terms with it.

Also, he's a tyrant, so she has issues with that but can't express it to him. He allows greed to cloud his judgement and gets the country into all kinds of strife because of it.

That's just a few of their issues, but despite this, they both love each other. He's her father, she's his daughter, at the end of the day, they still care about each other. He's the only parent she's ever known, and one of her struggles is coming to terms with the fact that she loves and hates her father at the same time (the counsellor is coming out of me) and that this is okay. But he's still a difficult antagonist for her to face.

In regards to her not being able to do magic, she is very much in awe of the most common place magic. This story involves a lot of character growth, she discovers how to access her phoenix and control herself while in that state (even how to fly). Of course, magic comes with that. She treats it like a novelty for the first half of the book.

Thanks for your feedback Smile
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Re: Introduce your protagonist

Post by Poetic-Jessie on Mon Mar 21, 2016 3:47 pm

I'm also going to give my king character so many difficult positions. Over the course of teaching the young seer, Mirabel's going to discover that the girl was kidnapped by her new "parents" for her abilities. The evil adviser warns the king and queen that Mirabel is going to take the child away and they make plans to come take the child back. Mirabel is forced to act, kidnapping the girl and getting her to a band of seers that come to town (much later on from where I am now). The king and queen of the ally kingdom are furious and demand that Mirabel be executed when she refuses to tell where the girl is. Thorsten is forced with the choice of executing the last family member he has or going to war with their greatest ally. Not to mention he has to deal with the fact that his land's greatest ally might be evil and conniving.

But his solution (and I have already discovered one for him) is genius.

Those sound like tough situations! But I guess a king would need to be able to make the difficult decisions and be smart about it or have smart advisors. I wouldn't have a clue how to deal with those situations, but it would make for interesting reading Smile

I was going to post this over in the other thread about writer's block, but I'll post it here. Having side characters randomly turn up to keep things moving sounds like a really good way of getting out of a creative slump. I'd say the dowager queen sounds like a good character to have as the one who helps further the plot, it makes sense that she's still hanging around. (I studied science rather than history, so I know only the basics) but when kings died young and left a young widow without an heir, wouldn't the next king (aka the brother) marry the widow to keep whatever money/land/alliance was formed from the first marriage? But I just remembered your dowager queen became a nun, so that's not the case... Hmm.. So, what does happen to the alliance/land/money from the first marriage? Or does it not matter? Or are the laws different and it just doesn't come up in your book? I guess I'm just curious Smile
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Re: Introduce your protagonist

Post by Elowen-Astrid on Mon Mar 21, 2016 6:21 pm

Poetic-Jessie wrote: I guess you could consider how an emotion might force a character to make poor decisions. Like greed, or love or whatever is appropriate. (btw, I'm not saying you alter your characters (at all), but just (hopefully) letting you see there are other options than just intelligent or not intelligent. That emotions can rule instead of the head). There's nothing wrong with intelligent characters by default (at least in my opinion), and I like reading and writing about intelligent characters

I understand and I agree with you. I just think it is good be be aware of something like this. And I don't see it as a intelligent - not intelligent duality. I know a lot about intelligence and emotions and how they can influence each other. I know the picture is a lot more complex than I make it seem to be. I love reading and writing about intelligent characters as well but less intelligent characters are just as important since they can have redeeming qualities an intelligent character might not have.

poetic-jessie wrote:(I know, Astrid and Call Me Nefret, but she has a reason for her beauty), it's because she's half phoenix, and in my mind, phoenixes are beautiful.

I don't fault you for it either. I think it is perfectly okay to have a beautiful character around. I just don't like it when characters are beautiful just for the sake of being beautiful, when it is overemphasized and when there are too many of them.

Call Me Nefret wrote:I do state when a character is beautiful or not, but I like mixing up levels of beauty and ethical standing. There are people in all moral camps (good, bad, and somewhere in between) that are varying degrees of attractive. I like to emphasize the "beauty does not indicate goodness" theme.

I like the "beauty does not indicate goodness" theme. I just want to stay a bit neutral on the beauty thing. Of course when a character is attracted to another character he or she can state he/she finds that person beautiful, but someone else does not have to agree and can think that person just average. Or when a character just happens to be very handsome/pretty/beautiful then it is okay too. It is just a part of who he/she is.  

Okay, I noticed this beauty thing is a pet peeve of mine and I am going to shut up about it now, I promise. I think I have said enough about it now XD

(And just like poetic-jessie said if I seem to be online most of the time, it is because I have the forum open in a tab)
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Re: Introduce your protagonist

Post by Call Me Nefret on Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:54 am

Poetic-Jessie wrote:
Yes, there are many issues between father and daughter. He cried when he found out she couldn't use any magic whatsoever (he married the phoenix to ensure that he had the most powerful line possible, and as Fiachella has no magic, she's a disappointment). But when he tries to put her more under his control than she already is (in the form of a new soldier on her guard), her phoenix rises and basically tells him that she won't accept the new guard. He sees this as confirmation that she's powerful, but somehow blocked, so he's not too disappointed in her. He pushes her to be able to control her phoenix (because she has no memory of her phoenix rising, thus becomes scared of losing control again), but she can't access it. She comes to terms with having no magic before he comes to terms with it.

Also, he's a tyrant, so she has issues with that but can't express it to him. He allows greed to cloud his judgement and gets the country into all kinds of strife because of it.

That's just a few of their issues, but despite this, they both love each other. He's her father, she's his daughter, at the end of the day, they still care about each other. He's the only parent she's ever known, and one of her struggles is coming to terms with the fact that she loves and hates her father at the same time (the counsellor is coming out of me) and that this is okay. But he's still a difficult antagonist for her to face.

In regards to her not being able to do magic, she is very much in awe of the most common place magic. This story involves a lot of character growth, she discovers how to access her phoenix and control herself while in that state (even how to fly). Of course, magic comes with that. She treats it like a novelty for the first half of the book.

Thanks for your feedback Smile

I've done the tyrant father/ daughter dynamic in an RP before. Except in that instance, the daughter had no love for her father. And he was afraid of her because she was the actual legitimate heir to the throne, as her mother was the actual princess. Still, I enjoyed writing out the emotional struggles of wondering if coming from evil somehow tainted her.

Poetic-Jessie wrote:Those sound like tough situations! But I guess a king would need to be able to make the difficult decisions and be smart about it or have smart advisors. I wouldn't have a clue how to deal with those situations, but it would make for interesting reading Smile

I was going to post this over in the other thread about writer's block, but I'll post it here. Having side characters randomly turn up to keep things moving sounds like a really good way of getting out of a creative slump. I'd say the dowager queen sounds like a good character to have as the one who helps further the plot, it makes sense that she's still hanging around. (I studied science rather than history, so I know only the basics) but when kings died young and left a young widow without an heir, wouldn't the next king (aka the brother) marry the widow to keep whatever money/land/alliance was formed from the first marriage? But I just remembered your dowager queen became a nun, so that's not the case... Hmm.. So, what does happen to the alliance/land/money from the first marriage? Or does it not matter? Or are the laws different and it just doesn't come up in your book? I guess I'm just curious.


That happens sometimes, but not necessarily. In some religions, marrying your brother's widow was actually considered sinful. When Henry VIII went to marry Katherine of Aragon after his brother's death, they had to get special permission from the pope. The permission was predicated on the fact that Katherine swore she'd never consummated her marriage with the older prince.

A dowry was originally intended to be money the woman would live on after divorce, although it ended up becoming a bride price. But in this instance, she gave everything up to become a nun. As for the alliance, she was actually from the same court, so there wasn't an alliance with another land. That's why there's so much talk of using Thorsten's marriage as a way to make or cement an alliance. And why the evil adviser is so annoyed that Thorsten is choosing a bride from a country they're already allied with.

I am still working my way through the laws. Rather than trying to create an entire world from scratch, I world build as I go. Kinda like how you slowly learn things about your own world as you grow up, I create more of the world as the story progresses. So I'll probably end up with a lot of questions to answer and just come up with the solutions as I write.
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Re: Introduce your protagonist

Post by Waterfall17 on Tue Mar 22, 2016 1:47 am

Everyone's followed the same/similar format--going to break the mold a bit pirat
(Really I just can't remember the format without quoting LOL...sigh)

Name: Nikaiya (I had a middle and last, but they don't fit with the conlang. The conlang I have yet to finish along with the other conlangs...which aren't really super important, but the alphabet helps in determining how to go about naming things)
Age: 17
Residence/place of origin: Erevfauna/Mydoria (neighboring ally)

Title: Karun (princess) of Erevfauna. She is the only heir and will thus inherit the Light of Stars...aka Ere

Physical appearance: Taller than most males in her country at 6'2; dark curly red hair, fair skin, and deep blue eyes (because she's a Seabreather, they have a somewhat reflective, pool-like appearance); *ahem* well endowed. Does not view herself as attractive, but doesn't place much stock in looks anyway

Unique abilities/traits: Night vision; enhanced hearing (with dulled taste and smell); can breathe underwater; skin glows/shimmers blue when submerged; enhanced speed (swimming only).

Hobbies: Reading, lounging in the gardens or her underwater grotto, drama/theatre, and falling on her face b/c clumsiness

Strengths: determined, clever, adventurous/curious, independent
Weaknesses: reckless, selfish, introspective (spends too much time in her own head)

Excerpt (just fyi, I'm writing W+M in a stream of consciousness style reminiscent of Mafi's Shatter Me series):

I should be relieved, but there’s a teensy part of me—an apparently suicidal part—that’s disappointed, a part of me that longs to see those eyes just once more. In my (poor) defense, the monstrosity’s eyes were easily the most enchanting I’ve ever seen: the color of refined gold, but far more luminous, fathomless as the ocean itself. Unfortunately, they brimmed with both wonder and torment and testified, if only with a taunt of confident superiority, of imminent danger. Which was obvious at the outset due to the creature’s massive proportions. Particularly those of its gleaming, needlelike TEETH…

My pulse spikes, heartbeat jolting out of sync. The rapid thumps riot and morph inside my ears until their raucous frenzy overtakes everything else. I shake my head violently. Not thinking about the teeth! Not. Thinking. About. Them!

I plunge toward the tree and focus on each stroke, on the acrid, brackish taste that fills my mouth with every breath of water, on the push and pull of my muscles as they propel me forward, weaving through the jutting rocks until it’s too shallow to swim further. I stand and glance backward, half expecting the beast’s maw to clamp around me—again—but there’s nothing larger than a typical pinfish in the foam-spritzed reef.

I laugh at my own stupidity, the sound hollow and unconvincing. It was only a dream; irekarn don’t even exist.  

The dream just…felt so real. Like a—No, it was not a mfirenar.
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Re: Introduce your protagonist

Post by Call Me Nefret on Tue Mar 22, 2016 10:35 am

Waterfall17 wrote:Everyone's followed the same/similar format--going to break the mold a bit pirat
(Really I just can't remember the format without quoting LOL...sigh)

Name: Nikaiya (I had a middle and last, but they don't fit with the conlang. The conlang I have yet to finish along with the other conlangs...which aren't really super important, but the alphabet helps in determining how to go about naming things)
Age: 17
Residence/place of origin: Erevfauna/Mydoria (neighboring ally)

Title: Karun (princess) of Erevfauna. She is the only heir and will thus inherit the Light of Stars...aka Ere

Physical appearance: Taller than most males in her country at 6'2; dark curly red hair, fair skin, and deep blue eyes (because she's a Seabreather, they have a somewhat reflective, pool-like appearance); *ahem* well endowed. Does not view herself as attractive, but doesn't place much stock in looks anyway

Unique abilities/traits: Night vision; enhanced hearing (with dulled taste and smell); can breathe underwater; skin glows/shimmers blue when submerged; enhanced speed (swimming only).

Hobbies: Reading, lounging in the gardens or her underwater grotto, drama/theatre, and falling on her face b/c clumsiness

Strengths: determined, clever, adventurous/curious, independent
Weaknesses: reckless, selfish, introspective (spends too much time in her own head)

Excerpt (just fyi, I'm writing W+M in a stream of consciousness style reminiscent of Mafi's Shatter Me series):

I should be relieved, but there’s a teensy part of me—an apparently suicidal part—that’s disappointed, a part of me that longs to see those eyes just once more. In my (poor) defense, the monstrosity’s eyes were easily the most enchanting I’ve ever seen: the color of refined gold, but far more luminous, fathomless as the ocean itself. Unfortunately, they brimmed with both wonder and torment and testified, if only with a taunt of confident superiority, of imminent danger. Which was obvious at the outset due to the creature’s massive proportions. Particularly those of its gleaming, needlelike TEETH…

My pulse spikes, heartbeat jolting out of sync. The rapid thumps riot and morph inside my ears until their raucous frenzy overtakes everything else. I shake my head violently. Not thinking about the teeth! Not. Thinking. About. Them!

I plunge toward the tree and focus on each stroke, on the acrid, brackish taste that fills my mouth with every breath of water, on the push and pull of my muscles as they propel me forward, weaving through the jutting rocks until it’s too shallow to swim further. I stand and glance backward, half expecting the beast’s maw to clamp around me—again—but there’s nothing larger than a typical pinfish in the foam-spritzed reef.

I laugh at my own stupidity, the sound hollow and unconvincing. It was only a dream; irekarn don’t even exist.  

The dream just…felt so real. Like a—No, it was not a mfirenar.

Sounds like you're getting really deep into the world building. I do like your writing style. And I'm already intrigued by the strange monster she encountered with giant teeth. It sounds both terrifying and curious. Also, does the fact she's taller than most of the people give her any issues at court? Like romantically or just "whoa, she's weird"?

Also, I like that you're making so many new words for your world. How are you explaining the new terminology to the reader? I know for me, I struggle reading super inclusive fantasy or sci-fi, as simply getting a hang of the new culture can be tricky. More so with sci-fi, than fantasy, but it helps if there are ways to reiterate what certain terms mean or how things are set up.
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Re: Introduce your protagonist

Post by Poetic-Jessie on Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:15 pm

Everyone's followed the same/similar format--going to break the mold a bit pirat
(Really I just can't remember the format without quoting LOL...sigh)

Name: Nikaiya (I had a middle and last, but they don't fit with the conlang. The conlang I have yet to finish along with the other conlangs...which aren't really super important, but the alphabet helps in determining how to go about naming things)
Age: 17
Residence/place of origin: Erevfauna/Mydoria (neighboring ally)

Title: Karun (princess) of Erevfauna. She is the only heir and will thus inherit the Light of Stars...aka Ere

Physical appearance: Taller than most males in her country at 6'2; dark curly red hair, fair skin, and deep blue eyes (because she's a Seabreather, they have a somewhat reflective, pool-like appearance); *ahem* well endowed. Does not view herself as attractive, but doesn't place much stock in looks anyway

Unique abilities/traits: Night vision; enhanced hearing (with dulled taste and smell); can breathe underwater; skin glows/shimmers blue when submerged; enhanced speed (swimming only).

Hobbies: Reading, lounging in the gardens or her underwater grotto, drama/theatre, and falling on her face b/c clumsiness

Strengths: determined, clever, adventurous/curious, independent
Weaknesses: reckless, selfish, introspective (spends too much time in her own head)

Excerpt (just fyi, I'm writing W+M in a stream of consciousness style reminiscent of Mafi's Shatter Me series):

I should be relieved, but there’s a teensy part of me—an apparently suicidal part—that’s disappointed, a part of me that longs to see those eyes just once more. In my (poor) defense, the monstrosity’s eyes were easily the most enchanting I’ve ever seen: the color of refined gold, but far more luminous, fathomless as the ocean itself. Unfortunately, they brimmed with both wonder and torment and testified, if only with a taunt of confident superiority, of imminent danger. Which was obvious at the outset due to the creature’s massive proportions. Particularly those of its gleaming, needlelike TEETH…

My pulse spikes, heartbeat jolting out of sync. The rapid thumps riot and morph inside my ears until their raucous frenzy overtakes everything else. I shake my head violently. Not thinking about the teeth! Not. Thinking. About. Them!

I plunge toward the tree and focus on each stroke, on the acrid, brackish taste that fills my mouth with every breath of water, on the push and pull of my muscles as they propel me forward, weaving through the jutting rocks until it’s too shallow to swim further. I stand and glance backward, half expecting the beast’s maw to clamp around me—again—but there’s nothing larger than a typical pinfish in the foam-spritzed reef.

I laugh at my own stupidity, the sound hollow and unconvincing. It was only a dream; irekarn don’t even exist.  

The dream just…felt so real. Like a—No, it was not a mfirenar.

I really like the name meaning of your kingdom: The Light of Stars. It's a great name, I'm wondering what the other words you've made up mean, if they have as interesting meanings or just mean "monster of the deep." I also like how Nikaiya's skin glows when she's submerged and that she has night vision. I've never read about a character that has night vision before and it's intriguing. And is Nikaiya clumsy only on land (because she's a seabreather) or is she also clumsy underwater too (Can you be clumsy underwater? I guess you could accidentally inhale water, but that's only for us landdwellers Razz )? I also like that all of her senses aren't heightened. I've read a lot of paranormal romance books and having all of the senses heightened seems to be how vampires/werewolves/aliens are represented. So, it's refreshing to have some limitations of what senses are heightened.

I also like your writing style. You've shown us an interesting little piece of your work and I'm intrigued to know more. Overall I think your character is relatable and interesting Smile
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Re: Introduce your protagonist

Post by Waterfall17 on Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:17 pm

Call Me Nefret wrote:

Sounds like you're getting really deep into the world building. I do like your writing style. And I'm already intrigued by the strange monster she encountered with giant teeth. It sounds both terrifying and curious. Also, does the fact she's taller than most of the people give her any issues at court? Like romantically or just "whoa, she's weird"?

Also, I like that you're making so many new words for your world. How are you explaining the new terminology to the reader?  I know for me, I struggle reading super inclusive fantasy or sci-fi, as simply getting a hang of the new culture can be tricky. More so with sci-fi, than fantasy, but it helps if there are ways to reiterate what certain terms mean or how things are set up.

Oh, that is such a relief (regarding world building)! I do want to dive deep and explore this world in such a way that the setting is part of the story rather than a distraction. I'm glad you like the style, too--I know that when I polish things I'm going to have some fixing up to do because stream of consciousness is surprisingly easy to slip out of. I knew I couldn't handle a format that didn't have proper punctuation and such like some soc novels/short stories. Chime by Franny Billingsley has been an immense help in balancing "deep pov" soc with the more modernized soc Mafi presents.

Glad you mentioned the height thing...yeah, Nikaiya isn't interested in romantic entanglements of any kind in part because of this. On her side, she views most men as incompatible because she can't handle their comparative shortness (though she also finds men to largely be arrogant and unintelligent). On their side, her height and cleverness is intimidating. Nikaiya perceives "potential suitors" to be uninterested in her because she isn't like Miaka, eldest princess--but not throne heir; it will go to her younger brother--of neighboring ally Mydoria; she isn't graceful, beautiful, or talented...she's kind of a freak because of her Seabreather abilities and the fact that she has visions. She doesn't view herself as a viable, wanted ruler, either. Basically she enjoys herself for who she is, but struggles with the perception that others don't/can't...and they don't even know about her true nature.

And the language thing is totally a struggle for me, too. It depends on how deep you want to go with it. There's this wolf series that is extremely dense when it comes to terms; very immersive and interesting, but I wasn't sure I wanted to take such an intense route. In my very first draft(s) of the beginning, I had a ton of terms that I felt were explained contextually, but others didn't, so I have since toned it down...aka axed almost all of them hahaha. I probably have a few that won't make it through this revision, but irekarn and mfirenar are staying.

I want the story to be immersive, but not inaccessible or annoying. Thus the terms that make the cut are those that are, at the very least, clearly defined by context. Irekarn and mfirenar show up multiple times throughout the story, are significant to the storyline, and are given adequate context Very Happy

The strange monster (irekarn) is actually a sea dragon Wink.
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Re: Introduce your protagonist

Post by Waterfall17 on Tue Mar 22, 2016 11:41 pm

Poetic-Jessie wrote:

I really like the name meaning of your kingdom: The Light of Stars. It's a great name, I'm wondering what the other words you've made up mean, if they have as interesting meanings or just mean "monster of the deep." I also like how Nikaiya's skin glows when she's submerged and that she has night vision. I've never read about a character that has night vision before and it's intriguing. And is Nikaiya clumsy only on land (because she's a seabreather) or is she also clumsy underwater too (Can you be clumsy underwater? I guess you could accidentally inhale water, but that's only for us landdwellers Razz )? I also like that all of her senses aren't heightened. I've read a lot of paranormal romance books and having all of the senses heightened seems to be how vampires/werewolves/aliens are represented. So, it's refreshing to have some limitations of what senses are heightened.

I also like your writing style. You've shown us an interesting little piece of your work and I'm intrigued to know more. Overall I think your character is relatable and interesting Smile

Actually, the Light of Stars isn't the name of the kingdom ^_^'; rather, it's like our phrase about inheriting the throne. (Light of Stars=throne.) I was shooting for something less typical. I didn't make that very clear here though so it's understandable you'd think that Razz!

It's been a while since I've worked on anything pertaining to language b/c I've been drafting, but I know at least the first part of Erevfauna, Ere, means water (derivative of ire). Towns/settlements within the country do make reference to stars, though (Aknad)...but most of that is irrelevant to the story and will only show up on the map. I mentioned to Margaret (??! if I'm wrong I'm really sorry!) that irekarn means sea dragon. Mfirenar=vision, a dream--waking or sleeping--that isn't merely a dream.

I have wondered the same thing about clumsiness in water Laughing! There are loads of other Seabreathers who live on land (it's complicated) who aren't clumsy, so I can't outright blame it on that Smile, but I think she's just going to be clumsy overall. When I first envisioned the project I thought it was going to be more mermaid-like with a good bit of sea time, but the story ended up being completely different and there's not a whole lot of time spent underwater. I'm still a little sad about this haha
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