Character building

Everybody on my blog roll seems to be talking about world building right now– Spec Faith, Ya Highway, and Gurney Journey, to name a few. So, just to be different, I’m going to talk about character building.

Building character in real life and building an imaginary character are remarkably similar. We are defined by our choices. But our choices are made in our secret hearts, where our daily battles are fought, our fears reside, and what we believe about God, the Universe, and Everything all stew together.

The fun of writing is getting to ride around in someone else’s head and find out what makes them tick. In a book, a character is defined by what they want. Their ultimate goal, the thing they want so badly, they’ll fight, kill and die for it. And all the things that keep them from reaching that goal.

I’m revisiting the Jake and Revi story in preparation for another draft. Revi is a trainee assassin on the run from her colleagues who kept her drugged in order to control her. All she wants is to be left alone and live a normal life. She wants this so desperately, she’s willing to kill all the other assassins to achieve it.

Jake is a retrieval agent, still mourning the senseless murder of his fiancĂ© the previous year. He just wants to do his job and retreat back into his shell of alchoholism, where there’s no pain.

When these two characters collide, and what’s more, have to depend on each other to survive, that’s the meat of the story. Sparks fly. Blood is shed. Jake and Revi learn that there’s more to each other than meets the eye–and that they’re pawns in a vast xanados gambit spanning centuries and worlds.

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