Wednesday, March 2, 2016

#WeWriteBooks, Post 5: Main Characters

Jill Williamson is a chocolate loving, daydreaming, creator of kingdoms. She writes weird books in lots of weird genres like fantasy (Blood of Kings and Kinsman Chronicles), science fiction (Replication), and dystopian (The Safe Lands trilogy). She's currently writing a post-apocalyptic book with all of you called THIRST in conjunction with the #WeWriteBooks series. 

Find Jill on FacebookTwitterPinterest, or on her author website, where you can read THIRST. You can also try two of her fantasy novels for free here and here.

Welcome to week five of #WeWriteBooks Wednesdays! I can't believe how fast this thing is going. We are already a month in. How are your books coming along? Let's do a GOAL CHECK in the comments in addition to today's assignment. Are you on track? Do you need to adjust your goals? Feel free to share your word count, updates on your storyworld, research, or map making. THIRST is at 9,904 words so far. I posted Chapter 3 yesterday over on my author website (click here to read it), and I really left my readers hanging. *evil grin*


Today's Topic: Main Characters

To recap. Week one was genre (THIRST is post-apocalyptic YA). Week two was premise. Here's mine:
A waterborne disease has sprung up in every corner of the globe, decimating the human race. Young survivors Eli McShane and his friends journey toward Colorado and the rumored location of a safe water source.

Week three was Storyworld. Week four, maps and floorplans. Today we're going to get to know our main character(s). Notice I didn't just say our protagonist. That's because you might have more than one main character. What's the difference?

The protagonist is the hero. It's his story. He is the one person who must change over the course of the story. He must have a goal that carries him through to the end.

Other main characters can have goals too. (And they should.) They can change over the course of the story. They can be a hero. They're a part of the story. But it's not their story.

For example, The Fault in Our Stars is a romance between Hazel Grace and Augustus. But the reader is always in Hazel's POV. She is the protagonist, while Augustus is a very important main character.

Point of view alone does not determine protagonist or main character status. In Harry Potter, even though the author occasionally shares another character's point of view, like Mr. Dursley or Frank Bryce, Harry is the protagonist of this series.

Some books have two points of view, like Achan and Vrell in my Blood of Kings trilogy. And while the book tells both of their stories, Achan is the protagonist and Vrell is a very important main character. Achan is the hero. It's his story.

Some romance novels have two protagonists. And that's okay. But with two protagonists, you have to make sure to give each one their own character arc. This can be tricky.

Some books have multiple main characters, like in my Safe Lands series. But I can tell you Mason is the protagonist, while his brothers and Shaylinn are main characters. This is true in my Kinsman Chronicles series as well. This is epic fantasy, where I can get away with many points of view. And even though Wilek is the protagonist of book one, Trevn is the protagonist of the series.

So today we're going to work on our protagonist(s) and any main characters. Next week we'll be talking about important side characters. Today we're focusing on lead roles here. You might only have one. You might have two or three.

To help determine who your protagonist is, ask yourself:

1. Who is the story about?
2. Who is the reader rooting for overall?
3. Which character wants something at the start of the story?

For main characters, note:

1. The story about this person too.
2. The main plot cannot work without this person.
3. This character might also have his or her own subplot.

Archived posts for creating characters:

Character is arguably the most important part of a story. (Some people say plot is the most important.) But if you don't have an intriguing character to read about, people won't want to read your book! We've talked about characters on Go Teen Writers a lot, and rightly so. Here are some posts that might help you as you set out to create your most important characters.

5 Great Questions To Ask Your Character
Character Wants vs. Character Needs 
How To Reinforce Your Character’s Lie
How To Find The Heart Of Your Character
How To Avoid Creating Repeat Characters
Write Characters Worth Caring About
Character Interviews: Are They Worth It?

Archived posts for naming characters:

7 Tips For Naming Characters (for contemporary and historical writers)
Choosing Names For Your Characters (for spec fiction writers) 

Archived posts for brainstorming character traits:

Character Hobby And Skills Brainstorming List 
Character’s Merits, Flaws, Or Fears Brainstorming Lists
How To Develop Your Character’s Skills Into Talent

The Character Chart

I recommend creating a character chart for your protagonist. You can also do them for main characters, but it's important to know as much about your protagonist as possible. Here are some archived Go Teen Writers posts about character charts from me and Steph.

Character Charts (Steph’s Take)
The Character Chart (Jill’s Take) part one: initial descriptions and personality
The Character Chart (Jill's Take) part two: backstory, goals, and motivations
The Character Chart (Jill's Take) part three: tags and titles
The Character Chart (Jill's Take) part four: character roles

My character chart is always changing. Here is the most recent chart I've made. Click the picture to see it up close and to print, if you'd like. If the link doesn't work, click here.

Now, before you get too excited about filling out charts, I want you to answer a few questions about your protagonist(s) and (if you have them) main characters. (I'm stealing half of these questions from Steph's blog post 5 Great Questions To Ask Your Character.)

1. What does your character most value that he would never willingly give up? (Bonus points: Find a way to force him to give it away willingly during the course of the story.)
2. When your character wakes in the morning or falls asleep at night, what does he dream about? Worry about? What's always in the back of his mind?
3. What is his biggest weakness? How can he face that in the story?
4. What is his happiest childhood memory?
5. What is his worst childhood memory?
6. What lie does he believe because of that worst memory?
7. What trait does he long for in himself?
8. What can your character do at the end of the book that he couldn't do at the beginning?
9. What is the mantra he lives by? This can be something he says to himself. Or it can be something he does without even realizing it.
10. Introvert or extrovert?

Here is my main character. His name is Eli McShane. He is seventeen, from Phoenix, Arizona. He loves the outdoors, hiking and outdoor survival. He is the oldest of two and has a fifteen-year-old sister named Lizzie. I picture him looking a bit like Dylan Minnette. He's the quiet one. The smart one. The one who will likely save everyone's life if they'd all stop freaking out and listen to him. But he's not going to tell anyone what to do. Here are the answers to his ten questions:

1. What does your character most value that he would never willingly give up? (Bonus points: Find a way to force him to give it away willingly during the course of the story.) Eli values his faith and morals. They've never steered him wrong before, so when he and his friends become dependent on a group of people with different morals, he's going to have to make a tough choice.

2. When your character wakes in the morning or falls asleep at night, what does he dream about? Worry about? What's always in the back of his mind? Jaylee Jennings. He's pretty much in love with her. Only his best friend Zaq knows this. He would never tell her because then she would reject him. Eli figures it's better to keep the dream alive than live through the death of that dream.

3. What is his biggest weakness? How can he face that in the story? Eli's biggest weakness is speaking up, especially against someone bigger, louder, stronger, and cooler than he is. He's going to have to speak up later on when he and the group face life or death.

4. What is his happiest childhood memory? Camping with his whole family when his dad let him plan the day's activities.

5. What is his worst childhood memory? Getting picked on for being small.

6. What lie does he believe because of that worst memory? That he isn't enough to be a leader. He does better in the shadows, taking care of himself and helping where needed.

7. What trait does he long for? To be confident and respected.

8. What can your character do at the end of the book that he couldn't do at the beginning? Speak up for himself against someone bigger, louder, stronger, and "cooler" than he is.

9. What is the mantra he lives by? This can be something he says to himself. Or it can be something he does without even realizing it. If you get there first (get done first), you're not a loser.

10. Introvert or extrovert? Introvert. But the story will force him to speak up and become a leader, even thought he'd rather stay in the background.

*NOTE: Numbers 4 and 5 are too simple as I have them now. Both those events shaped who Eli is, so I need to flesh those out into full-on powerful memories with scenes, actions, and words that he will remember forever.


Assignment Time

1. Write a short paragraph introduction about your protagonist and (if you have them) each of your main characters.

2. Answer the ten questions above for your protag and main characters. Bonus if you print out my character chart (or your own chart or any other chart you prefer) and fill it in for your protagonist and any main characters. You don't have to fill in every blank. It's to help you, not drive you crazy. *wink*

3. Find a picture of your protag and main character(s). These could be celebrities (actors, athletes, singers) or people you know.

4. Post your introduction in the comments so we can all meet your protagonist. If you have important main characters, you can post an intro for them too, if you'd like. Also, give us a GOAL CHECK so we know how you're keeping up with your plans.


  1. I can't wait to hear about everyone else's protags! Here's mine:

    Tess Bridger is sixteen years old. She loves horseback riding at her father's farm and sparring with Brent, her best friend. She's great around people, always laughing and having fun, but when she's alone she can't stop thinking about her little brother's death and if she could have prevented it. Because of his death, Tess is fiercely protective of those she loves. She refuses lose anyone like she did him.

    I'm doing well on my goals. I finished plotting yesterday, so I'm going to let it sit for a day or two, then look over it again to make sure I've got everything together.

    1. Sounds great, Linea! Keep at it. I find it helpful to let things sit for a day or two also.

  2. Isabella Bolle is a 12 year old girl who has the ability to turn invisible. Her birthday is the 29th of February, the same as her younger sisters.

    1. Isabella doesn't know, but she loves her sisters
    2. Her future, her childhood. She is determined to be "perfect"
    3. She's only cares about herself
    4 Not sure
    5 the day her twin sisters were born (this changes)
    6 Um, it doesn't relate to that day but she believes she is perfect
    7. To be liked by all and to be "perfect"
    8she learns the values of people
    9. Don't know
    10. Extrovert to introvert

    I've found the MC and her friends houses, her school and the premise. My genre is middle grade contemporary fantasy. My settings are her house and the Scarlet Maze

    1. Good job, Corgi! I am intrigued by this Scarlet Maze...

    2. Me too! Care to elaborate on said maze?

    3. The scarlet maze an ever changing maze, created by the antagonist, scarlet. It is used for training the people with special abilities like Isabella. She must complete 6 ridiculously easy challenges--and one super hard one, and I now have to write that, a challenge for me--to learn to harness her power. The last challenge is a maze as well. It also regularly changes location.

    4. I see! It's a pretty cool name.

  3. My goals have been coming along pretty well! I haven't made a map for my world yet, and I don't think I will till I'm a little bit into the story and have fleshed out the world and gained familiarity with it. I don't think I'll be looking for a picture of my characters, I like them better in my own head :).

    Okay, here's the introduction for my protagonist:

    In a world torn with war between elves and humans, Dorlin Hull is 17 years old, and the royal assassin of the Emperor of Imperia. After his parents died in an arson that the elves committed when he was three, Dorlin was taken in by the Emperor, who raised him with an iron fist to be the assassin of the Empire. Being constantly punished and occasionally tortured for his mistakes grew a fear of failure in Dorlin. After his childhood rival and friend Servus Strife framed him for a horrible mistake he committed, Dorlin strove to be aloof, for fear of being betrayed again. For the past five years, Dorlin has been suffering from a mysterious control over fire, which doesn't bode well with his pyrophobia that has plagued him since the arson. Because of this, Dorlin is barely able to control his power, and often his hands spontaneously light on fire, along with flammable things he's holding. His hands are mostly burned, which is why he wears gloves at all times. Dorlin is barely able to keep this a secret, and fears that it may go out of control one day.

    1. Nice job, Jason! This sounds really epic.

    2. Thanks, Mrs. Williamson! Any feedback?

  4. Oh my gosh, Linea! Our protagonists should totally become friends and help each other out! (Although you couldn't get my character, Olive, on a horse all that easily!). Here's mine:

    Olive Galloway is unable to accept reality--the stony reality that her beloved mother is gone. Forever. Constantly wishing away the present and attempting to retreat into her childhood memories, Olive spends her days in reflective scilence as she sits on her grandmother's porch swing and twists small shells into breathtaking bracelets. Although Olive might not say much, her thoughts are crashing more mightily than the waves of the South Pacific.

    I'm so excited to hear about everyone else's characters--this is going to be fun!

    As for my goals, I have a pretty good start. I exceeded my word count yesterday for 300-for-30 (and Tuesdays are my busiest days!). I should have a LOT of time to get some real work done today since I'm homeschooled and my mom gives me a chunk of time every Wednesday for a "creative writing workshop".

    Thanks for another great post, Jill!

    1. You're welcome, Taylor! Sounds like you're doing great. Keep at it!

    2. How did her mother die?

    3. An extremely rare, aggressive form of cancer. Olive and her family barely had time to say their goodbyes.

    4. are my answers to the questions for Olive...

      1: At the beginning of the book, Olive is consumed by grief so she thinks that what she values is time to herself so that she can retreat into her sadness. As the story progresses, Olive learns that her new friend, Jazz, needs her help. Slowly, Olive realizes that sitting on her grandma's porch swing isn't going to do anything. Olive willingly sacrifices opportunities to be by herself in order to help Jazz.

      2: Olive is always thinking about her dead mother. With Olive's grief comes a doubt that there IS a loving and kind God who works all things for good.

      3: Olive's biggest weakness is her desire to hide from conflict in order to escape the results, which she feels will only cause more grief and pain. However, when Jazz reveals a horrible secret, Olive is compelled to take action.

      4: Olive's favorite childhood memory is when she visited Hawaii with her mother and the two shared shave ice under a magnificent sunset before taking a nighttime walk on the beach. (Like Jill, I need to do some work on this one!)

      5: Olive's worst childhood memory is watching her mother speedily slip away as cancer overtook her one strong body.

      6: The lie Olive believes is that God isn't real or, at least, He doesn't answer prayer. Also she sees no point in fostering relationships with others because she has little faith that they will last. Life, Olive feels, is too short for emotions.

      7: Olive longs to be able to jump in and fix things almost magically. If she always has a plan then maybe life will get easier.

      8: At the end, Olive is able to trust God and build relationships with others without wondering when the next tragedy will strike.

      9: Olive feels that she should just hide from it all. Suffering will go away if she shoves a pillow over her head and tries to ignore the pain of grief.

      10: Olive is extremely introverted. She's not great at talking to people or sharing her feelings, although when she does end up talking, she can't seem to stop. She can easily end up saying things that she regrets.

      Also, this link leads to a picture of Olive. I know that it's actually a wedding picture and, technically Olive is a 16-year-old but the hair and eyes were just perfect. I couldn't resist!

      (And yes, her name and olive green eyes ARE related...)

      As always, anyone's comments and suggestions are VERY MUCH APPRECIATED!!

  5. Meet Darro, a young man caught in a time when prophecies must be fulfilled. He grew up a shepherd's son in the north country of Jamasia, but was sucked into the world of cities and nobility as child when his friend was announced as the prophesied one. He is not particularly striking in any way, nor is he particularly tall. He is impulsive in the best of ways, likely to save lives and go on to heroic deeds of great renown, but such things have never entered the mind of one intending to remain on the sidelines.

    Meet Jonas, only son of his father's princely house. He stands tall and handsome, with a crooked nose (Darro's fault). He envies the purpose driven lives of those involved in the fulfillment of the prophecy, and tends to spend his own directionless energy in wild horse rides, lazy sarcasm, and irritating people like his sister, that cocky shepherd's son, and his tutors.

    Neither of these young men can forsee what spectacular twists God has put into their futures.

    And yes, I am doing well on my goal- to finish my first draft by August.

    1. This: (Darro's fault) LOL! Great job, Savannah. Keep at it.

    2. LOL! I really liked that part as well.

  6. My protagonist is Leah Anderson. She's seventeen and she lives in central Maine. Leah loves to cook, play musical instruments, and read. Leah's an extrovert and she always seems happy. However, she has a lot of dark secrets. Leah has an older sister, Naomi, who's in college, and a younger sister, Mikayla, who's fourteen.
    My goals are going well. I've figured out some of my plot and I've done a lot of prewriting. I also started writing the actual book a little yesterday.
    Thanks for the great post!

    1. Leah and I would get along really well... ;-)
      What instruments does she play? Just curious.

    2. Probably piano, clarinet, and saxaphone. The saxophone and clarinet have the same fingerings, I believe. I still have to look that up. I play clarenit and piano so it should be easier to describe than say, the trombone, which I've never played before.

    3. Cool! I play violin, piano, and cello. I'm glad that you're writing about a musician. I love to read about characters who play an instrument but music doesn't seem to be that popular of a hobby among fictitious characters. Good luck!

    4. Thank you! Good luck to you too!

    5. Wonderful, Anya! Keep up the good work. :-)

    6. You musical types are always so talented!

    7. Thank you Mrs. Williamson and James!

    8. I really would love to meet your protagonist!! She sounds fun :)

      My hero's best friend, Liam, is an amazing fiddle player. I love putting in musical characters - probably 'cause I like music myself. I took flute lessons for several years when I was younger :)

    9. I love putting in musical characters too! :)

    10. I love putting in musical characters too! :)

  7. You guys are all doing so well. I'm totally impressed (and proud)! I love reading about your characters and stories and seeing your commitments to writing. Way to respect your dreams!

  8. My protagonist's name is Abril. She is a 16 year old girl who secretly longs for adventure. She is an extrovert. She enjoys riding her horse, attending social events, cooking, and shooting a rifle better than her brother. She is kind but has a witty sarcastic side as well. She lives with her family in an old west town in New Mexico in the early 1860s.

    1. New Mexico is an interesting setting. What kind of adventure?

    2. She would really like to go back east and see where her mom grew up. However this trip took a very long time and people would often only go if they wanted to move, and if she were to move somewhere else she would rarely get to see her family (if ever).

    3. I see! That's pretty cool.

  9. -Avartes Zalaxter Alendor

    Avartes is a thief, a liar, and an elf. He works with a team of rogue soldiers and assassins to steal from the rich, and steal from the poor, and give it to his pockets.

    (1) He most values his own life, but in the end he gives it up to save his sister.
    (2) His dreams are always scrambled clips of his past, always there to make sure that he never forgets.
    (3) His biggest weakness is his inability to acknowledge that other people can help him.
    (4) His happiest childhood memory was playing with his sister in the woods.
    (5) His worst childhood memory is his home being burned to the ground, and his family being butchered.
    (6) He was the only survivor, so he believes no one is as good as him.
    (7) He doesn't long for a trait because he doesn't care how others see him.
    (8) At the end of the book he can care about other people, which he didn't even believe was possible at the beginning.
    (9) If your smart enough, you can win any game. Especially life.
    (10) Introvert.

    1. Sacrifice and tragic backstories are always fun.

  10. I know I'm late, I would have totally jumped on this earlier if not for school. These comments are so cool!

    Reed Fox is futuristic vigilante, and the most wanted person in his time period (my story deals takes place in a world of multiple times instead of lands. Reed is sixteen, but several of the futuristic treatments he received to help balance out brain defects he was born with caused him to age three years (defining age can be rather complicated at this point). Even though Reed was tossed around a few unhealthy foster homes as a child, Reed dedicates his life to avenging his last family after they were brutally hunted down by the corrupt government. Although most of Reed's daily life is spent on the path to justice, Reed is a HUGE animal lover, taking in genetically defected animals the government throws to the whims of nature and also maintaining his popular cat blog.

    1. One of Reed's core values is freedom, but in order to keep his freedom and his life in his own hands, he ends up building a wall in between himself and his new friends. To reveal the corruption of a company which may have ruined his entire life, Reed is forced to trust his life to other people and take on the responsibility needed.
    2. Reed can't naturally go to sleep without medicine which doesn't allow him to remember dreams even if he is even able to have them, but he faces survivor's guilt from various events in his past which he wishes he'd controlled better.
    3. Reed's biggest weakness is the limits he will push himself to in order to not repeat past mistakes. He can get pushed to the extreme choice all too easily when things get personal.
    4. Reed's happiest childhood memory is the first time he ever got ice cream. The first real time he ever felt things couldn't get worse, that he was safe at last.
    5. His worst childhood memory was when his sister was killed right in front of him.
    6. He came out believing no one in his life truly loved him.
    7. Reed wished for other people to see who he truly was past all the labels, so he doesn't want to be anything more.
    8. At the end of the book, he finally understands who he is.
    9. You will receive from me what you give to other people.
    10. Definite extrovert.

    (sorry if there are any typos, my laptop is running weird right now)

    1. Sorry for the long comment ... I got carried away.

  11. Image:
    Kamri Taylor has been a foster child since she was three, and at 13 can't find another home to accept her. That is, until she is sent to Jones Preparatory Boarding School. Her friends are Collin, Erin, and (sometimes) Mason.
    1. She tells herself she has no values, but begins to be willing to do anything for her friends.
    2. Kamri dreams about having a family, worries that people will reject for who she is.
    3. The lies she tells, and the lies she's told.
    4. Her happiest memory is when she was with a great foster sister named Amy.
    5. Her worst memory is being bullied.
    6. That she needs to lie to have people like her.
    7. Worth.
    8. She can be honest about herself.
    9. Vulnerable is weak, be strong and hide your feelings.
    10. Ambivert.

    1. Congrats on first ambivert (I think, sorry if I missed something)! Kamri is a really pretty name. I became a new person after I found my comrades and fellow nerds, so I always like friendship dynamics in characters.

  12. Prince Fearghal, Flint to his friends, 20 years old. He has dark hair and eyes, is altogether very handsome and prince-like. He will be king one day, a fact that tends to weigh heavy on his mind. Another problem of his is that his mother expects him to marry well, as is expected of a prince. The only problem is, he doesn’t like any of the girls his mother picks . . .

    1. Flint values his life and his friends. He sacrifices his life for Kaia (or at any rate, was under the impression that he sacrificed it. And in ordinary circs, he would have. Hush ;)).
    2. Flint dreams about Kaia, though it’s hard for him to tell whether or not she loves him. He worries about being king, that’s something that’s always at the back of his mind.
    3. His biggest weakness would probably that he rushes into relationships too fast. Basically, he’s kind of under the impression that it’s a given that ladies will inevitably fall for him. With Kaia, he learns to slow down.
    4. Since he grew up a prince, what I’m going to say will sound weird, but it’s true. So his happiest childhood memory is beating up a couple of bullies who were pounding on a skinny street boy – I suppose because he proved himself. And o’course it was pretty neat that the kid he rescued just so happened to have remarkable talent with the fiddle and knew the most wonderful pranks to play on people. His name was Liam, and you would be dead right if you guessed that they became best friends.
    5. Flint’s worst childhood memory was his father’s death and how Flint wasn’t able to bring himself to look at his father in his coffin.
    6. He believes that deep down inside he is a bit of a coward.
    7. He longs to be a hero in some capacity or other.
    8. At the end of the book, he can marry Kaia. And he believes in himself – and so becomes a great king. Just like his father.
    9. Do your best, and a half measure more.
    10. Extrovert, but a more quiet type.

    Kaia Silje, 16 years old. She has a rough, wild mane of chestnut colored-hair and glittering brown eyes. She can’t talk and is naturally petite, but her life at the orphanage has left her thinner than she should be. Kaia becomes the adopted daughter and apprentice of the court physician at Friel Palace, and it’s there that she meets Flint. The rest, as they say, is history. At least it will be when I finish the book :P

    1. Kaia values most the love of her family and friends. But she willingly leaves all that to go in search of a flower that could save Flint, despite the fact that the flower is little more than legend.
    2. Kaia dreams about Flint, but she knows that such a marriage would never be approved. She worries about people looking down on her because she can’t talk. She worries that she is worthless, because that’s what she’s been told for a good part of her life. It’s always on her mind.
    3. Her biggest vulnerability is her love of Flint, as it incurs the fierce wrath of the Queen. Also, it’s that love that the witch counts on, when cursing Flint.
    4. Kaia’s happiest childhood memory is dancing with the other children in the streets to the wonderful music of her homeland in the Western hills.
    5. Her worst childhood memory is when her parents died of the fever.
    6. She believes that there is no one in the world who truly cares about her, and that she must depend on herself alone to get anything that she wants.
    7. Kaia longs to talk, but that is not to be. She also wants to have more self confidence.
    8. At the end of the book, Kaia can marry Flint. (He’s not dead!!) Also, she now believes that she is not worthless – that on the contrary, she can do great things and that people do love her.
    9. Find who is hurting; help them, spare nothing. Put other’s needs ahead of your own.
    10. Introvert all the way :)

    1. It wouldn't let me insert URLs for pictures of these two, so I'm trying again. Here's a picture of Kaia:

      And here's a picture of Flint:

      I hope you guys can view them! What do y'all think of my babies? I'm pretty darn proud of them myself . . .

      My goals are okay. I've got the plot, characters, etc. all worked out, and am in the middle of Chapter 5, with a word count of 5366.

    2. I love them, Rosie!!! I can't wait to read more about them! I ship them pretty hard already :-)

    3. Awwwwwwwwwwwww, thanks!! Thanks a ton :)

    4. Lol! Kaia is a really pretty name, and her last name too!

    5. Thank you so much!! I wanted a short name, one that would stand out without being too "fancy" and sounding more than she is :)

    6. I've always liked the name Kai, the spelling is so cool, but I never thought about Kaia before!

    7. I love Norwegian names!

  13. Excellent post! Lots of insightful ideas and now I have more tabs open than my browser can handle. :)

    Russell Domakov is the son of the most feared man in the country and the former queen of the country (although he doesn't quite know it yet). When he learns who his mother was, he becomes one of the most dangerous people in the world - and a huge threat. He could raise or burn the entire country with a word. And yet, all he wants is to escape the shadows of his parents and live his own life. He firmly believes a person can only truly be successful when they carve out their own path, but when circumstances force him to make sacrifices, his own rule may be one of the things he leaves behind. He wants someone who understands him, but due to his father's dark influence on his personality and sexuality, he isn't exactly what you look for in a friend.

    When he meets Arai and Zoe, he finally has a chance to start over. Unfortunately, the closer they get, the more unlikely any kind of relationship gets as they realize their parents are more closely tied than they thought. The more they run from destiny, the darker their futures becomes, until the most difficult choices turn into the only choices.

    1. I like the concept here, with all the conflict in the character dynamics.

    2. Thank you! I've only recently started working on this project, so I don't have much of a plot yet, but I'm glad my characters are working out :)

  14. Ah, I can't resist to comment! My protagonist is still developing, by the way, but this is what I have so far (also, this is the first time I'm ever putting anything about it on the internet, so I'm really nervous :'D).

    Ty Melsbach is a seventeen year-old boy who has never known stability, having to constantly move from city to city with his divorced father and leaving so much behind—namely, friends. While this hurt him deeply when he was younger, Ty soon took to a defense mechanism: preventing any close relationships from forming (if you don't make friends, you can't miss them, right?) He is incredibly guarded with his feelings and puts on a façade of boringness so no one will bother trying to get to know him. Outwardly, he is stolid, taciturn, and standoffish. His strengths lie in his intelligence and perceptiveness. Though he says little, when he does speak, it's meaningful.

    1. 1| Ty values his privacy. After all, if he let his true nature spill outward, someone might be interested in him and try to befriend him! Oh, the horror!

      2| There is always one question in the back of Ty's mind: when is he moving again? Where is it THIS time?

      3| His biggest weakness is his relunctance to let anyone into his life, and is going to be challenged when he finds himself inadvertenly growing closer with a group of teens his age.

      4| Unfortunately, I have no answer to this as of yet, but with some more character development, I will!

      5| His worst childhood memory is leaving his hometown. His mother, his school, and his friends—all gone, never to be seen again.

      6| Ty believes that if he allows himself to grow too close with someone, he'll be hurt once one of them inevitably leaves.

      7| He wishes for stability, to feel certain that he can stay in one place without the threat of leaving looming over and taking him from people he cares about.

      8| By the end, he'll feel comfortable with letting his walls down.

      9| It's best to keep to himself.

      10| He is absolutely an introvert.

    2. I love this guy so much :) Great job!!

    3. Thanks so much, Rosie! :)

    4. I really like your concept! I've jumped around different social groups and stuff over the years (though I haven't had to move around or anything, I lost contact with my earliest best friends and had to wander around for awhile), and when you find your real friends you FIND them. It sounds like Ty will be in for a pretty cool experience, I love character dynamics like this.

    5. Thanks James! :D The idea for Ty seemed to just come out of nowhere, and I found myself loving his character so much that I needed to incorporate him in something. Part of my inspiration came from some of my own personal experiences (even though I've only moved once, and not even for long before I came back, but it still disrupted my social life), but amplified.

    6. Yeah, people can make big changes quickly over time. I really like to be able to relate to my characters on some deeper level even if their experience is definitely amplified (that's a really good way to describe it by the way).

  15. First, my protagonist, Halvard.
    Halvard Drakvardson is the son of Drakvard and Fayalief. A brave warrior, Halvard longs to pass his coming-of-age trials and be recognised as his people as a man as well as to find his missing father. Drakvard was sent on the same quest as Halvard, but had not succeeded, never returning. Halvard volunteers partly to get the chance to find him. Halvard enjoys reading, hunting and tree-climbing, the reading having earned him the ire of many of his fellow trainee-warriors. He can be inflexible and rule-based, but he’s kind and loyal to those he cares about.

    And now my other main character, Sigfrid.
    Sigfrid Gunilladottir is the daughter of King Aelfrid and Queen Gunilla. The family was deposed by the Creepers and their leader twenty years before, four years before Sigfrid’s birth. She’s brave and ambitious, longing to be recognised for her accomplishments rather than her bloodline. She enjoys horse-riding, drawing and beating up people who get on her nerves. She can be reckless and impulsive, with a dangerous hair-trigger temper and a tendency towards vengefulness and holding grudges. She volunteers to go on the quest with Halvard, not telling him until she’s forced to that she’s a princess.

    1. Do I detect a hint of Nordic origin in your names? Hmmm? Maybe not, but it would be quite the coincidence (I have a bit of Norse culture within my WIP). If you don't mind me asking, why/how is Halvard's father missing? And who are these Creepers?

    2. Yeah, there's an awful lot of inspiration drawn from Norse mythology and culture, both in the world and in the people. That is a funny coincidence.
      Halvard is being sent on a quest to fetch help for their people from the mysterious (and magical) Dragon Guides. Quite a lot of people have been sent before, but they've never succeeded, most of them disappearing on the way. Most people think they've been killed, but Halvard, being an orphan otherwise, refuses to believe it. I can't tell you whether or not he is dead *cough*becauseIhaven'tdecidedyet*cough*.
      Creepers are the main race of villains in my story. I drew a lot of inspiration from the Wild Hunt of Celtic Mythology for them. They're kind of mysterious, most people don't know what they are, they just call them Creepers. They look a little like murderous, man-eating satyrs.

    3. Norse and Celt mythology/culture have a lot to draw from. Murderous man-eating satyr-like beings, that does sound fun!

  16. I have another entry because I have two WIPs and the cross sometimes. Sorry that this one is late.
    Elric Van Helsing

    Elric is a monster hunter, he once worked for The Church of The True God but he learned that their intentions were to use him as their weapon, so he fled.

    (1) His fathers angel medallion. He always wears it and often it had been known to ward off the dead.

    (2) His dreams are always scattered, all the werewolves and demons and vampires and ghosts he has slain constantly haunting him.

    (3) He cannot face the truth of who he is, refusing to believe that he has magic within him.

    (4) His happiest childhood memory was when he was given the Angel medallion by his father.

    (5) His worst childhood memory was watching his father transform into a werewolf.

    (6) He believes that he will be able to hunt and slay his father, once he finds him.

    (7) He wants to be the best monster hunter in the world.

    (8) He can face that he can use magic.

    (9) No one deserves mercy, they will wrong you at some point or another.

    (10) Extrovert.

    1. Wow. Kill his father? That's rather interesting.

  17. Protagonist: Eliana

    1. What does your character most value that he would never willingly give up? (Bonus points: Find a way to force him to give it away willingly during the course of the story.)

    She would never give up her "good reputation" as a good girl and an obedient slave. By the end of the story, she doesn't care anymore what people think or what they'll say, but rather pushes forward, makes her own decisions, and does what needs to be done.

    2. When your character wakes in the morning or falls asleep at night, what does he dream about? Worry about? What's always in the back of his mind?

    Dreams about her parents, her gods, and this strange "person" called Jireh.

    3. What is his biggest weakness? How can he face that in the story?

    She's obedient but absolutely refuses to think for herself or make her own decisions.

    4. What is his happiest childhood memory?

    She quite frankly doesn't have a happy childhood memory, and that makes for her worst, living childhood nightmare. She had a terrible childhood. She has a terrible life now. But still, she tries to be optimistic and obedient and not down-on-herself.

    5. What is his worst childhood memory?

    6. What lie does he believe because of that worst memory?

    Because of her sad childhood and everything, she believes she can't ever be anything more than a slave, that she'll always belong to someone else.

    7. What trait does he long for in himself?


    8. What can your character do at the end of the book that he couldn't do at the beginning?

    Stand up for herself and make her own decisions.

    9. What is the mantra he lives by? This can be something he says to himself. Or it can be something he does without even realizing it.

    You're useless. You'll never be anything more than a slave. Obey, never argue, because everyone else knows better than you do.

    10. Introvert or extrovert?


  18. Hi Jill! I have a my protagonist and my only other main character is my antagonist will you be doing a post about antognists or can I go ahead and fill out a chart for him just like my protagonist.