28 Oct 2015

NaNo Prep 2015 - The Characters

Time's ticking away.  Three ideas, three days to decide, and a convention* to start NaNoWriMo off.  What have I been doing?  Converting BattleTech to Firefly and writing a new Unruly chapter**.  I am so not prepared.  Or am I?  I know what I'm missing, but if I have a good handle on the characters and an idea of the ending, I'm good to begin.

The Clockwork Avenger
Three central characters, including the pilots of the Clockwork Avenger suit and the villain.  Both pilots will have a supporting cast.  The ending involves a battle that ties in both times to defeat the villain, somehow.  Explosions, probably.
  • Bernard Newton, machinist in Bristol. England.  In his mid-forties.  Served in Her Majesty's Expeditionary Forces (specific unit to be researched), mustering out as a Captain.  Handlebar mustache.
  • Marissa Beaumont, grad student in Ottawa, ON.  In her mid-twenties.  Descendant of Bernard's brother.
  • Vernon Waller, occultist.  Age indeterminate.
Bernard should have an apprentice while D'arcy has a close friend helping her.

Colony Base 183
One central character, the newly graduated main character, plus a host of supporting characters.  I've found a document I created for a different setting that I can pillage for details, such as rank structure.  Beginning will be the main character's arrival.  Ending is up in the air and will depend on how things go while writing.  Since the colony is near the intersection of several space-faring nations, I will need some aliens, ideally not just humans with stuff pasted to their heads.***
  • Delphine Piper, Subaltern, Confederate Combined Armed Forces.  Freshly graduated from the Confederation Military Academy on Greydon.  Early to mid-twenties.  From another frontier colony along the border with the Altair Triumverate, whom she suspects as causing the colony's failure.
  • Vina Minoru, Technical Officer, Confederate Combined Armed Forces.  Early to mid-twenties.  Another fresh graduate and Delphine's roommate on base.
  • Vintner, Lieutenant, Confederate Combined Armed Forces.  Early thrities.  Delphine's CO.
I'll need some colonists and the alien delegations at some point, but I can get Delphine to settle in first.  Rank structure is a little scattered, but it'll work for an established military.

The Elf's Prisoner
Ultimately, there will be five people gone a-questing.  The climax involves snake-people, cast family members, and sword & sorcery action.  The goal here is to file off any and all serial numbers.
  • Jyslyn, dark elf refugee.  Studied magic illicitly.  Can be sneaky when she wants.  Has family hunting her.
  • Bellus Starpetal, high elf priest of The Lightbringer.  Grandson of the matriarch of the Starpetal family.  Not fond of Council politics, mainly because he gets pulled in so often.
  • Nyssa, Dame Kellus, Knight of the Realm.  Human.  Late-forties.  Has slain a dragon.  Royal pain in the ass.
  • Leomund, squire to Nyssa.  Mid-teens.  Much put upon.
  • Wren, elf lass.  Sole survivor of a village massacred by dark elves.
Already, there are some elements of the world that need detailing, but that can wait until the need becomes critical.

Of the above, I've already had a scene worked out in my head for The Elf's Prisoner, featuring Jyslyn and Wren.  It was an odd one, where Jyslyn both wasn't and was serious.  I've had the lawyer scene when Marissa receives her package play through my head a few times, working out just how the package managed to survive until 2015, through fires, bankruptcies, and the Blitz and how the law firm found Marissa.  Suffice it say, someone had to keep a good family tree even after some of the family moved overseas.  I am tempted to have a scene with Bernard and Marissa where she passes some investment ideas to him, but that could lead to an investment that shouldn't be possible.****  Colony Base 183 has the least work done, but I may have a good handle on my lead.  Just have to work out some events to toss at her.

All of the above said, I still have no idea which one to write.  A poll won't work; I tend to be ornery when told what to write, as my English marks can attest.  I could roll a die, but even that may not work.  My tenth NaNo is turning out to be be less organized than my first.  At least Lethal Ladies started with a solid idea.

Feedback is more than welcome here, especially if there's something I may have missed.

* Not only am I attending, I'm a panelist.
** Among other things that seldom make it to the blog.
*** While the approach works with television series like Star Trek because of budget limitations, there's no reason for aliens to have evolved like life has here on Earth.
**** Temporal anomalies weird cause and effect.  I first saw the  of the Bootstrap Paradox expressed in a beta reading of Time & Tied, but a recent Doctor Who episode, "Before the Flood", used the idea of a Beethoven-loving time traveller who met his idol who had never written a note, leading the traveller to write the symphonies he enjoyed.  In both cases, there was no point where the apple or the symphonies existed prior to the loop.  A stable paradox, but do I really want to risk that?

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