Well, it’s been a few more days than I anticipated. Sorry for the wait! I’ve been plodding along, and as those of you on Facebook have heard, I’ve been having some trouble rewriting a character. What trouble, you ask?
When I first created him, he was just a plot device. I know, that’s a terrible thing to say. It’s like saying you’re only friends with someone because they donate to Clarion or something. (You did, didn’t you?! Just kidding.) He was cute and served the purpose of being cute and that was all I needed. By the middle of the first draft, I realized he wasn’t doing anything for the story, he was just sort of… there. And boring. All the lines I’d written for him were as bland as you could get. I’ve been having trouble visualizing him, too.
So… I made a heroic effort to try to work him into the story in a more critical fashion. His role in things changed. As time went on, I liked the idea more and more. And then, at the end of the script, the end of his character arc and the end of the story combined to make what I thought was a pretty cool ending to the whole thing. Finally! He was useful and exciting and no longer a terrible plot device!
Except his lines were still catastrophically boring. He had no personality. And that just wasn’t going to do.
When I started this edit, I came up with a much better way to introduce him to the story. He’s no longer the bland little plot device he used to be. He has what most people would call an attitude problem. Not to the level of a villain, per se, but he isn’t a nice, obedient sort of character. He has spunk. So I started writing him like he had that spunk.
Two days later, I realized he’d gone from “spunk” to “abject hatred of the human race.” It wasn’t intentional, I’d just painted him way darker than I had intended. As I read through the new version, I found myself feeling sad and angry in a game that was supposed to be fun and silly and enjoyable. Something had to give.
Two more days and I’ve nailed him. He has an attitude, but he’s not cruel. His character arc is supposed to transform him from this into something kinder, but that extreme end of the anger scale wasn’t doing him any favors. He’ll still help the party, but he’s just not thrilled about it, as opposed to leaving me wondering why someone who hates the other characters so much would bother doing anything for them.
If I had to mention other characters he reminds me of, the young Magus from Chrono Trigger and Zelgadis from the Slayers anime would be close. (Full disclosure, I have never seen Slayers; I only know Zelgadis from friends and screenshots, so take that with a grain of salt!)
I also managed to come up with a unique physical appearance for him and others that share his race. There’ll be two of them in the game for sure, plus a handful of NPCs. I’m not going to tell you the details just yet – perhaps in another update!
For now, I’m hitting my first new scene and new writing for Chapter 1. I’ve been a bit slower than I intended, but things are moving along. I took Saturday off to try to rest my brain, but by Sunday I hadn’t really come up with any inspiration. I gave it two hours of solid work before throwing in the towel. The good news is that between yesterday and today, I’ve realized that all the work I did yesterday is awful.
No, trust me, that’s good news. Because I think I know how to fix it. Inspiration is creeping in again, and boy, am I glad to see it! Looking forward to kicking butt tomorrow.