I find character development can either make or break a story. Invincible heroes and everyday villains many can find boring, and people are quick to drop a story if some sort of connection can’t be made. Descriptives like hair color and attitude only go so far as well, and that’s why for me I wanted to go a bit further in my characters than just surface deep attributes.
When it comes to building a character for a story, it helps to have a process in doing it. For me, I want to know why they are there. Do they fulfill a requirement for the story, or are they just fluff? How important are they to the plot? Trying to make everyone have the spotlight is hard, and juggling a cast versus one central person may be that much harder.
So, while I was sitting at my computer, working on transcribing what I had recently written for “The Forgotten Doctor”, I came to the realization that there’s a story to be told about the books themselves, not just the storyline contained within.
I’ve often had people ask me, “Why do I choose to write what I do?” Why indeed?
Growing up, I always felt the calling to pick up a pencil and lay down a manuscript. I’ve had several people in my life that have given me encouragement in developing the talent, though there have been those who have given me discouragement as well.
Given my history in working on computers, in call centers and in the field, I have been told numerous times that I have a penchant for communicating on a level that laymen can understand. If you’ve ever had to speak to someone who is more than a little versed in technology, you know how difficult it can be trying to get a straight answer out of them.
As my inaugural article, I figured I would post some things about myself, that I might be able to properly introduce myself to you.
In the last four decades I have played a number of roles: first and foremost a follower of Christ, a father, son, husband, arch-enemy, best friend, brother, soldier, airman, living history re-enactor, historian, craftsman, mechanic, machiavellian genius, psychologist, villain, hero, technician, engineer, and finally, author.
I have found that all of those roles intertwine to fit into the final one.
I have spent years as a casual author. Really, what I spent time writing was no more than an introduction to the numerous different kinds and classes of characters I was working on. Most of them are mere shadows of what it takes to be in a long-term storyline, but a few have made their way into different places of the Legends of the Landrun series.
Returning to my theme of a couple posts ago, I have chosen to share another “paranormal” adventure. This is a flash fiction piece I wrote a while ago. It is told from the perspective of a demon. Following in the footsteps of The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis, this begins with a senior demon speaking to younger demons but as his story progresses, he falls into the memory. I hope you enjoy this “light-hearted” look into a haunting.
The ghost hunter team arrived late this afternoon. I knew they would come. The humans who bought the house six months ago planning to bring it back to its original glory are afraid to set foot in the front door. I must share my technique; you will appreciate this my fellow junior demons. It’s an old trick, really. I convinced them that I was the sorrowful ghost of a past tenant, trapped here by some tragic event. That I was benign. Then, when they thought they understood and had developed a connection with me, I went all nasty vengeful spirit. You know, throwing things, pushing humans downstairs, leaving nasty, burning scratches. Fun stuff.
Oooh! It gives me the chills just thinking about it. Well … it would if I could get chills. But since I’m a demon, I don’t have a physical body … currently. But that’s another story.
It is quite easy to scare humans—they are so impressionable—but remember, we must obey the rules. And rule number one is: never reveal the truth of what we are.