PREFACE: Sorry for the dead air, things in my social life have been crazy the past week or so. Now, though, things have reached a plateau (despite seeing a very high probability of getting crazier in the next week), so I've decided to bang out a few blogs while I have the stability.
I have a Cast page now, so check it out if you haven't already. Some people I have yet to write about, but that will change soon.
To continue in the hopes of making this into an actual blog about becoming an author, I am continuing where I left off in (idea generation).
Now that we have a protagonist, an antagonist, and the beginnings of a plot, it's time to do some refining. How do the characters come together to create the story? Why are they in opposition? In my opinion, the pro-/antagonist relationship is the most crucial to develop, as without it, there is no story. Who is Spider-Man without the Green Goblin? Batman without the Joker? Navidson without the house? Think of an protagonist-antagonist relationship and you'll find that the more well-established it is, the better the story is.
In my story's case, I chose to emphasize Tristan's being as much of an average Joe as he is by making the antagonist a larger-than-life character. He is pompous, and looks down on everyone, actually dismissing Tristan's worth as a person outright. Tristan's not even worth a bullet, and is just tossed over the antagonist's shoulder, at which point the story begins in earnest.
Tristan's personality is key for this story, and is one I've always wanted to write about. Emotionally stable, cool as a cucumber, unflappable, easy-going and high-spirited. Pretty much everything I want to be.
How about his wife, though? How would Mrs. Halpenny react? What does she want out of life? What makes her a real person? I eventually found out that her relationship with Tristan is the good old "opposites attract"-style of relationship. Slightly unstable, loud, brash, hot-tempered, and a strong desire to be the center of attention. Her name is Jennifer ("Not Jen, Jenn, or Jenny, thankyouverymuch!" *glare*) Reigh, and I don't see her taking Tristan's surname. As much as she loves him, she's too much of a leader to take what she sees as the backseat of the relationship.
How long have they been together? That was an easy question, and I received an answer immediately. Forever. First relationships, since they were both sixteen.
As far as what Mrs. Jennifer Reigh wants out of life, she wants to be a famous singer, a household name, a superstar. Whenever she needs support, all she has to do is turn to Tristan. I find myself likening their relationship to a kite and its string. She lifts him up and shows him new things, while he keeps her grounded in reality and her plans feasible.
I suppose that's good enough for now. We'll further refine the Tristan-Jennifer dynamic when we cover the first writing prompt of "Five-page short story of an event during the week preceding Page One."
Let's work on the Tall Man. If you haven't read the cast page yet, he's the antagonist of the story. I started out with what intimidates me, which is kind of silly in retrospect, but is people taller than I am. At 6'2, being noticeably taller than me is both quite impressive and outside the norm. I'm not trying to imply that it's a bad thing, however. It's just one of those fears that belongs to the basic reptilian part of the brain.
With that in mind, I wanted a villain who made people just stop and stare when they should be running or fighting. I amplified the height issue. I really wanted to impress the sense of foreboding being evoked by the characters, so I figured he'd be well beyond the human range. I also wanted him to pick up Tristan as easily as I pick up a coffee cup. Proportionally, that adds several feet. After sketching out a few ideas, the Tall Man revealed his height to be exactly double mine. 12'4. The Tall Man, indeed.
He'll also be part of some invading force, maybe. I have some ideas I won't be putting here in the blog, because I plan on this story to be the first in a series, and I would hate to give away any spoilers. ;)
I want him to have some lackeys, too, but I'm torn between people being pressed into service with things like slave collars and such, or just making them fanatic loyalists. I'm leaning more toward the slave collars, as I find that adds more to the intimidation factor, but we'll see how things go as we move along.
Finally, I'm still unsure about the Tall Man's banishing device, but this post is long and dry enough for now, so we'll tackle that next time.