Not So Run of the Mill Science Fiction
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Darwin

We all have our own process for creating our characters, how they develop, what about them changes from their "birth" to their polished personality. I'm offering this thread as a way to introduce your characters and perhaps examine how a character begins and how they evolve in the writing process.

As an example:

Let me introduce to you Cabal:

STATS:

Age: 600 years old (by the end of Endgame)

Height: 6'

Weight: About 185...

Build: Welterweight build, muscular but rather thin.

Hair: Black

Skin: Olive brown

Eyes: Ice Blue

Cabal actually was "born" in another story. I was working on a round robin story called "After the Rain" with a friend (http://www.fictionpress.com/~thebaavaproject). At first I was interpretting her characters and using them for my chapters - but I got to a point where I wanted my own character to develop. Besides I was taking her Raine a bit off of the beaten path she had intended for him. Thus I created "Cabal" the illegitimate son of my friend's main character - a half breed - a dhampir. His whole purpose was to find and kill Raine. You can actually find the remnants of that introduction chapter in "Sins of the Father" in the book Endgame. That was the chapter I first wrote for Cabal.

After I created Cabal, I was obsessed with his backstory - why did he want revenge on his father? What had made him become a vampire hunter? How did he develop?

With those questions lingering in the back of my mind I set out to write his story. Within a month I had already written sixty pages of text, starting from his father's seduction by Carmen (Cabal's mother) and the reasons she left, kept him, etc. I have been writing this story for just over three years and have close to 1,000 pages of booklength text on his life (six hundred years is a long time!)

Cabal started life as a very proper speaking and rather straight laced character. I had to loosen him up - such propriety made him seem rather emotionless and Cabal is anything but lacking emotion. He didn't even use contractions when I first started writing him, and after a while that didn't seem to work.

Cabal has a pretty funny stable of quirks. He's obsessive about finding his father, that is pretty typical of revenge style plots isn't it? He's very powerful (mentally and physically stronger than even some vampires) - but sometimes his humanity will lead him astray. One of the most funny and yet dangerous quirks is that the times he gets fixated on something ( a particular vampire usually) he tends to ignore his perturnatural senses - his radar - about impending personal danger. He's stubborn and doesn't like to be proved wrong - he gets very pensive and refuses to see the truth of the matter. He's never used a ranged weapon in his life - he has always fought with his hands and his stakes - he likes the up close and personal battle over the distance kills.

His special talent is to be able to read recorded energy to about ten days in the past, which he uses frequently both to find clues as to his father's whereabouts as well as for contracts he signs up for (usually tracking).

I know this isn't nearly everything about him, so if there is something specific you want to know about his characer or how I developed him please feel free to ask.

In addition if you need help developing a character let us know what you're looking for and we'll do what we can to hook you up!

10/30/2008 #1
Jave Harron

One thing I enjoy is alternative history and some real history. Specifically, an amalgam of alt. history/historical fantasy, scifi, and horror called bizarro history. A new project I am brainstorming for now is a bizarro history entitled "Mother of Shadows," the second entry in a series after "Father of Lights." FoL was about the Industrial Revolution becoming a total war between the industrialized nations of Prussia, Cathay, and the newly declared United States and an evil, magocratic British Empire. "Mother of Shadows" would involve a nightmare version of the Napoleonic Wars.

Due to supernatural and fantasy elements, certain figures from earlier eras appear (IE more ways to evade death due to old age and disease). For instance, Frederick the Great keeps himself alive as a brain in a jar connected to a clockwork computer that controls the military and infrastructure of Prussia. The French use war machines designed by an (even more) deprived Marquis de Sade that are powered by the agony of burning souls. The Spanish and Catholic Church use prayer driven suits of armor and different sorts of 'theomechanics.' To say nothing of the Incan Empire, Samsarans (Indians), Ottomans, or Egyptians in this era.

How often do you find yourself drawing on real life people for fiction, and do you take liberties with any 'historical details?'

10/30/2008 #2
Darwin

My characters are often drawn from people around me, situations I've seen or been involved in. My main characters are often shards of my own personality. Tom Martin for example was me twenty years ago - a strict introvert who doesn't socialize and remains rather pensive.

Tigershark is my ultimate scorpio - sarcastic, no nonsense.

Cabal surprisingly enough is the balance I want to have between strength and emotion. Those who know me will tell you I am a very strong willed person - highly opinionated.

Each of these main characters is me to some degree. I once introduced and killed a guy who was cyberstalking me...does that count?

I've not really taken historical figures and played with them....but I've definitely borrowed real people and plajarized them for characters in my stories! (the names have been changed to protect the innocent - or guilty as the case may be!)

10/31/2008 #3
CellarDoor96

It's my belief that the characters make up a story more than anything else. Ultimately, the story isn't about the conspiracy, or the battle, or even the daily chores, it's about the characters and how they change.

My characters tend to change a lot, and their personalities are a little hard to describe. But ultimately they fall into a few basic categories.

Since they're aliens, it's a little tough to describe their appearances; there are pictures in my profile.

Xynophin - He's the athletic type who only has average intelligence. He's generally friendly but can be sarcastic at times. He's a little quick to get angry, though.

Aemarya - She's smart but not athletic at all. Even though she's a princess, she doesn't like it when people treat her differently because of that. She's generally quiet and withdrawn, and she tries to work problems out before resorting to violence.

Firodalym - He, like his sister, is smarter than your average Joe but also is terrible athletic-wise. He's deaf, too, but he can lip-read so well that most people would never know. He doesn't like people taking pity on him for his disability. He's not as mature as his sister, and likes to tease her a lot.

Jaea - She's very athletic and perceptive, but her moral compass is... almost nonexistent. She's withdrawn and usually doesn't open up to anybody, and won't help someone unless it's to her benefit. She is a wanted criminal, and associates with other criminals regularly. Occasionally, however, she'll show a softer side.

1/18/2009 #4
Chocolate Unicorn

Does "Secret organizations" count as characters?

I sure hope so, because i need help on creating a name for my organization.

This particular organization deals with breeding those with special abilities, and using them as weapons, to destroy "alien" threats. There are never two individuals with the same ability, if there ever is then the one with the "ability" that is the strongest with less weaknesses get's to keep his/her life. Later on it will be implied that they were using the "alien story" as a cover up to take over the U.S then eventually the world. it's all little fuzzy dealing with the conspiracy at the moment but i do know that i need a good name. It can be an acronym, or just a plain old name. Just please help.

waiting eagerly

-Futurestar

3/30/2009 #5
Darwin

While I wouldn't consider this character development, we can lump it in with world building, because obvious by your description, it is crucial to the way the story works.

Personally I would suggest a term that best describes the kind of work this organization does - and try to use something that hasn't been used ad nausem before.

It sounds as if it is a genetic recombination firm, looking to enhance the latent abilities of humans. If I'm off mark here please let me know.

In that case you could go with something that alludes to those enhancements. In my story Only Half, I used "Victor Sierra" two letters of the military alphabet as an allusion to the human organization's job as "Vampire Slayers."

If you want something more vague than that try to use something catchy, and if for an organization that is "evil" or "ominous" you could go for a word that matches: IE Maelstrom (implying violence or a storm).

I know this doesn't give you the answers, but it might help you brainstorm on your own to come up with something good.

If you have a specific direction you want to bounce off us, go ahead and throw it up here!

3/30/2009 #6
Darwin

Love interests:

Great topic for the up and coming valentines day...hee!

Do your main characters have love interests? How do you determine how detrimental or beneficial these love interests are? How do you develop their relationship? Is it just physical or do they become emotionally attached to the other half?

All of my main characters so far have love interests. However, none of them have had a whirlwind romance that has been instant or easy for the characters to be in. Almost always there is some tragedy that either brings them together or drives them apart. I believe in real-life, realistic relationships that go through trials and tribulations before working, or in some cases breaking apart. Case in Point, in the book I published "Gemutations: Mercenaries and Angels" Angelina fought very hard to return David's personality to "Tigershark" in an effort to save the relationship she could remember from before he'd been captured and experimented on. Only, she figures out that despite her efforts, things weren't going to be the way she hoped...they weren't going to be what they were before. This creates tension between them, and eventually *SPOILER* she drives David from her.

People were very upset with that ending...but it was more realistic than a "happily ever after" romance in my mind. That's just the way I am!

Thoughts? I would love to hear what you guys think....

1/31/2010 #7
Yuli Ban

Having been committed to KashMir for such a long time, one of my more recent inventions came recently.

Wait, well DUH.

I mean, he's one of my newer favourites- Kid Mobio.

Name/Surname: Kid Mobio

Age: 23

Birthday: 2200s

Species: Human Hybrid

Sex: Male, technically

Home: None

Current Location: N/A

Occupation: Huh?

Personality Description: Kid Mobio is an eccentric supergenius. He does everything in '3's. His ego is in the exosphere, if not in space, and he often says he's 'God's favorite daddy'. He has a fascination for pockets, as he has them everyone on his body. Despite being a super genius with a demigod like IQ, he has nothing to show for it. He is more than likely a mechanical genius like Tails or Eggman, but he's so lazy, he lets everything pass him by. He almost never uses his intelligence to his advantage, seeing he'll wipe the floor with anyone anyway, not to mention he's too lazy. Actually, Kid Mobio should be a Gary Stu, if it had not been for the fact he never actually wants to do anything. He never takes anything seriously, even his own life. As for technology, he'll send somebody out to buy him something nice. He'll fight then- unless he's so lazy, he needs someone else to fight for him. Kid Mobio often sleeps for 23 hours of the day. Did I mention he's slightly misogynistic?

IQ: 666. One, duh, it's 666. Two, 2 divided 3 is .666...

Visual Description:The man has long, translucent, and spiky gold hair, much of it covering his forehead and the top of his eyes. His pupils are both metal- android typed. Judging by his youthful face alone, he seems young, as if a twenty-something. However, patches of his face are covered with electronic, microchip-esque skin. Donning a raspberry red coat and black pants, both littered with pockets, he has ankle high metal boots. Amazingly, even they have pockets! Covering his neck is a black scarf with skulls imprinted on it. Yes, it has pockets as well. Both of his hands are metal and segmented extensively. No, at least they don't have pockets. Short, he appears to be 5'1" at most.

Update: He has pockets on his tongue, face, and the back of his neck!! They're not visible and aren't hanging off his skin. It's only when he opens them that they appear. His nickname is well deserved.

Background/History Description: Kid Mobio is from the 23rd century, but is an Ultraterrestrial hybrid. He's a superalien crossed with a human. The race he's from? The Davodavidians. His "father", Mobio is turned to stone in 2099 and Kid Mobio's mission is to kill the ones who did it. His rival is a powerful robot, Sabre, from the same time period he's from.He eventually finds out he's actually a clone that dies later on, only for the clone to grow up and repeat what he did. The storyline winds up repeating endlessly, forever.

Kid Mobio, using UT technology, also discovers, in 2097, a way to bring the non-existent into reality.

Special Abilities: Too lazy to have any

Special Talents: "Talents are for failures!"

Weaponry: Impossibility Generator. Because he's an UT, he can take anything out of his pockets, even the ones on his face. It's as if he can make something from nothing. Best- and laziest- alternative to actually having to build something. Chances are, he's not even going to use it and will send 23rd century mechs to fight for him.

Strengths: If I said his monsterous intelligence, I'd actually be lying. He loves making everyone else feel dumb, but that's it. He's way too lazy to actually use his intelligence for something productive.

Weaknesses: Lazy. Lazy. Lazy. He'll pass up an opportunity to kill someone because he's lazy. He will let captives escape, because he's lazy. He'll even run from a battle, mid-fight, because he's lazy. He'd be a Gary Stu, if he weren't so damn lazy!!

Preferred Transportation: He's an ultraterrestrial, so he can actually just think about being somewhere, and he'll be there. He can even be in two places at one time. But screw that, he's too lazy! He just lets others drive or fly him!

Alignment: Dark side

Alliances: Hm.

Family: The even more eccentric and child-like idiot, Mobio

Friends: "FAIL, for friendship!"

Love Interests: "Women are garbage!"

Marital Status: Hahaha

Enemies: Sabre

Allies: Tesla Muronokiv (told you about him), Null, Chaos

Nicknames/Titles: Pockets; Pockets Fail

Likes: Failing everybody, humiliating everybody, seeing people die, sleeping

Dislikes: You

Pet Peeves: Your existence

Favorite Quotes: "FAIL!"

Goals/Dreams: Nah

Fears/Phobia: Nope

Extra Info: Kid Mobio does almost everything in 3's, as if he's OCD. He has a transformation form, which I currently call "Kid Satan." He fails everybody constantly- "FAIL, for (insert what you fail at)!!"

Like all my KashMir characters, he's still in development.

EDIT: This guy is very fun to read, but is a pain in the arse to write. Also, notice 23 keeps on appearing.

7/21/2010 #8
Yuli Ban

Then there's Machinefist...

Name/Surname: Batista Faust/Machinefist

Age: 46 (in KM's beginning)

Birthday: Unknown month, unknown day, 2053

Species: Human

Sex: Male

Home: KashMir, Madrid, Spain.

Occupation: Mercenary, former military super soldier

Personality Description: Faust is just an average guy, like you and me. When not fighting, he acts like a normal adult with normal adult issues. He's not an excessively angry person, but he's not meek either. However, as soon as he become the super soldier 'Machinefist', his demeanor totally changes. He acts like a rampaging animal during battle. He has no plans of world domination (although he'd have a good shot). Who ever pays him the most to do something worthwhile, he'll do it. If he's paid by someone else to kill the person who paid him first in the middle of the mission (providing it's a higher bid), he'll do it. And he still wants his money, too. He's highly sensitive about his 'vocal problem', and will not hesitate you to kill you if you taunt him.

IQ: 100

Visual Description: When not Machinefist, Faust is a normal 40-something man, with greying hair, military muscles, a wonderful jawbone, and unusually bright blue eyes. His hair has long grown out to about ear-length. It isn't spiky, nor is it smooth. It's ruffled and chaotic. As Machinefist, both of his arms become nuclear-powered hydraulic machines. Several times the size of the man, he is still easily able to control them. They increase his strength by an untold number of times, but still face a variety of drawbacks. Faust himself is 5'9".

Background/History Description: As a member of a fascist military, Batista Faust was signed onto a suggestive 'doom trooper' project in the late 2070s, one that was bent on creating super humans using current day technology. Most of the subjects died in experimentation. Faust is one of the few that survived, and the only one that scientists succeeded with. Although hydraulics in this day and age are being used for strength, speed, and jumping enhancement already, it was taken to the next level with Machinefist, his new surname. A very small nuclear reactor was placed in each arm, which could increase strength even more, far beyond what Machinefist could already achieve. However, during some troublesome times in the 2090s, Machinefist quit and went solo to become a mercenary. In no means an environmentalist, one of the things he could next stop doing was destroying all wildlife around him.

Special Abilities: Kilo-ton strength punches, creatively named "Kiloton Punch". *sarcasm*. He can create earthquakes and can use the nuclear reactor in his arms for some interesting extra abilities.

Special Talents: He has no real talents, except smashing things.

Weaponry: His machinefists.

Strengths: Exessive strength, excessive brutality, excessive force. One punch can instantly drain most of their entire energy, making him even stronger than Knuckles and Mighty.

Weaknesses: His hydraulic arms must be lubricated constantly. If not, they fail and won't work. They always fail at temperatures below -4 degress Celsius, meaning he's unable to fight during the late fall/ winter in many locations, or in arctic areas. Also, because he loves destroying things, he can go too far with it and destroy something he didn't mean to. Perhaps the ground, for example, he has to stand on. Using some of the 'special extra abilities' I mentioned earlier also wipes out much of the libricants on his arms, if not all.

Also, because of the size and clunkiness of his machinefists, you can easily hear and see him coming, so stealth is not his thing either.

Preferred Transportation: Anything fast that has a cannon that can shoot explosive projectiles.

Alignment: Neutral, but nudging on the dark side due to greed; whoever pays him the most, hero or villain, gets his attention.

Alliances: None.

Family: Met the firing squads back in the 2050s.

Friends: Working on this one. None.

Sexual Orientation: Heterogeneous

Love Interests: Whatever hot chick strolls his way. He might be a p***, due to the fact 21 is the oldest age he'll go for.

Marital Status: Single

Enemies: Everyone who had a bounty on their head. Note word "had".

Allies: His payer

Nicknames/Titles: Nope.

Likes: Money, fascism, seeing poor people suffer and die, diet soda

Dislikes: People making fun of his voice, poor people, and those who don't pay him.

Pet Peeves: His voice, books, and smart people.

Favorite Quotes: "I'm an atheist, thank God!"

Goals/Dreams: Becoming the richest man alive

Fears/Phobia: Acrophobia, hydrophobia, aracnophobia. Basically, fear of heights, water, and spiders. He is also very scared of aliens.

Extra Info: Machinefist speaks with a stutter. Every letter he says, he seems to say three times, in a stutter like fashion. It almost sounds like he has a machine-gun voice, which makes it hard to understand him. He is also no longer alone in his abilities- thanks to technology, hundreds of otherwise normal people around the world are becoming 'Machinefist-lites", or of other "superpowers".

Like others, I'm still working on Machinefist. I can't say for sure that a year from now he'll be the same, but I had to get him out sooner or later.

7/21/2010 #9
fantasybookworm2012
I usually come up with a plot then I'll start figuring out how different charecters can fit into it. Like in my sci- fi story "Tien Could Kill You." I sme up with my plot then scoured baby name sites and all sorts of things for names then started to formulate personalities for the charecters that would help move the plot along.
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