Character Development

I tend to be epic.  My stories start simple and bloom outward. Usually, I start with one character and one point of view, and soon have six points of view.

I began Topaz – Jewel of Desire with four main characters: Young King Samard, his new wife Queen Abiya, who get in trouble and need saving, and the hero and heroine who save them, a thief Dor and his wife Rheaux, and the jewel Topaz that causes all the trouble. I guess that’s six.

At the very beginning the two characters who created Topaz popped up: the dwarf wizard Namia Zora and his gnome assistant Tabisya. As I continued to write, more characters appeared, uninvited, but who quickly became apart of the plot and came with their own point of view: the witches Tamerad and Sidrea, and thief–murder Karth. King Samard’s chambermaid, Haajiyo, was supposed to be a minor character, but she too had other plans.

That makes ten characters each with their own point of view, eleven, if you count Topaz.

I’ve been working on the plot and what each character is dong with in the plot. A couple of days ago, I organize what they where doing when and got everything in order. Now, I thought, I can work on the story and make some headway.

Not so fast.

I’m a good storyteller and can come up with a good complicated plot. My weak spot is character development. It always comes last for me. If I could just tell the story, I’d be fine, but characters make the story interesting. And characters need to be memorable. Readers need to care about them or why read the book.

So, now I’m character developing.

The plot is almost 300 pages long, and that’s after I illuminated all the unnecessary backstory. Once I start developing character, the story will be unending.

Too bad. Here I go.

Tamerad and Sidrea are obsessed with their personal goals: to be queen of the land and to be in control of the magic that rules it. Zitazang has a few extra goals: she wants revenge on a dead lover and wants eternal youth.

Both witches are bad, well, Tamerad is bad, Sidrea is evil. They can’t just quietly move about in the story, they must be larger than life. People within the story need to be afraid of the both of them, or do they?

Tamerad shows up first and assumes the roll of Queen Abiya’s handmaiden. It’s a disguise while she establishes herself as resident witch and adviser to the king. Those who know her should to be afraid of her.

Sidrea is a frail old woman when she enters the story. No ones afraid of her, but the readers know better. They hear her thoughts and sees what she does while lurking in the shadows.

Tamerad still has tenderness and compassion, though her heart is hardening. Sidrea is already hardened. There is only on thing she cares about. Herself.

My witches need to be interesting, scary and larger than life. So I’m doing research on what that means and thinking on how I will apply what I learn to Tamerad and Sidrea.

I’ll let you know how things turn out.