Twice while writing Fealty to the King I found myself at my keyboard thinking, I have a new character who is a clean slate. Both times I quickly defined a few facts about the character's life and became amazed what happened.

For Tribemaster Warnek Vinlon, while writing the chapter titled Loyal Companion, I decided his wife left him and took their two children with her, and many years later he still loved and missed her. Voila! I had the character. His inner pain influenced everything he did. The character wrote itself. One of my test readers says about him, He has anger issues.

For Chief Hamunth, while writing the chapter titled His Name is Thoiren, I decided he killed his brother to become chief, and he sired eight children from seven women, none of whom he married. As a result, I needed only one thought to write the character. He's a weasel.

Warnek and Hamunth became two of my favorite characters. They're deliciously complex, a mix of good and bad, but inner pain and weasel made them easy to write.

Another fun character is fun-loving Heptor, who gets into trouble and when he does, it adds significant punch to the story.

My friends who ask me to base a character on them better beware they might get what they ask for. The real Nelber says I nailed him:

He had a young man's shag of hair, not gray but faded sandy brown.

He would continue accepting the life he was given and persevere to the next day.

He remained thankful she never took an interest in him, although he took offense at not being offered.His aging mind had limited space for new information, and he didn't want to waste it on things he didn't care about.

Hoj found Thigrel readying Toush for bed. "I was with Nelber," he told her to explain missing supper. "He enjoys talking."

Nobody would think my friend who was the prototype for Pokyer could change the world, but this simple character did by finding the scrolls.

"Pokyer," he said, as if saying the name aloud made the reality more real.
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Published on September 16, 2014 10:12 • 67 views

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