Last time we wrote a guide how to build characters in your story or game. Today we thought we could tell you a little more about how our main characters were built and who they are.
Characters in Adventures of Wilhelmina
It all began with the airship. I said I wanted one and Andy asked what kind. Small and a bit homemade sounded good. So we started to build the imaginary airship and collecting cats and zombies on the crew. I named the airship loosely after the actor Bill Skarsgård.
One day I told Andy we should write a children’s book around Wilhelmina and here we are now. We decided there should be 2 kids that are very different from each other.
Because I am a fan of Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking, I wanted to bring something similar to Lila’s character. Lila is a wild child with untamed curls and grass stains on her jeans. Lila gets easily animated and she is a kind and warm spirit, always ready for an adventure. She tries to remember how to be polite and more subtle around people, as her aunt Belinda tells her to be, but she usually just can’t contain herself and ends up speaking her mind. She gets often distracted and always loves a good goofy laugh.
Lila needed a friend who would balance her out, so we came up with Robin, a boy next door. As more quiet and prudent, he gives perspective to Lila’s wild ideas. Though on the other hand Lila also helps him to be more brave and spontaneous. Robin is a caring and very thoughtful kid but still might need some help with his sometimes arrogant attitude and short temper.
Lila and Robin are what we like to call organic characters. We never made a sheet or a list of their features. We talk about them and write them in different situations to see how they would react. They also mirror how we were as children.
We want Lila and Robin to show the readers that there is no one right way to be, think or feel. And that you can value and cherish people that are different from you.
Characters in Chronicles of Salaboa
Chronicles of Salaboa started out with the little Pub called The Burning Squid (we have an odd way of starting with a place even when we think character is the main element). We already knew that this story would be more youth/young adult and that pretty much guided the age of the characters. At the same time we wanted the MCs to be independent so sadly we had to kill their parents.
Syd, the one running The Burning Squid, is 19 years old. He is a little scruffy, red haired boy who just doesn’t care about things like grooming or fashion. Syd is very much of a people’s person. He loves to service the customers and get to know them. He is witty but a great listener and because he seems mostly harmless he is an excellent double, triple or even quadruple agent when the war is near.
Syd’s older step sister Cordelia is the so-called mystery character. No one knows much about her but slowly as the story goes on we will reveal more and more about her and her past. With this kind of character we, as authors, need to know a lot of her background and features so we know how to give readers some hints to keep them on their toes.
In game worlds these kind of characters could give more excitement in the game. Maybe the GM could know more about your character than the other players and use that as a plot device too.
The third MC of the Chronicles of Salaboa is Grond who was actually a surprise for me. We were writing the intro of the story when he all the sudden knocked at the door. When Andy introduced him to me out of the blue in the middle of writing the scene he right away found his important place in the story.
This is one great thing about writing together. Two heads come up with so much more than just one.
If you like to know more about the main characters of our stories, please feel free to ask.
And if you want to hear more about how we feel about writing together, we are writing about that soon too.