As I said in my last post, I wanted to talk some about my characters from Star Catcher, my NaNoWriMo project. That is more or less what I am going to do now. I want to outline and give a perspective of how my character development is going with each character individually and see where it goes. This may or may not work, and it may reveal some things about the characters that I have not yet put in the story, but then, these are just notes about what I want to do with them. Anything I write here could end up in the story or not. So I’ll think I’ll dive right in, but with fair warning that I am not sure what I write may spoil some things in the novel for you all. I will try to keep spoilers to a minimum though.
Jayko Troven is my main character who I am currently trying to develop at the moment. Star Catcher is supposed to be a background story for him. It tells the tale of an event in his life that forced a decision that placed the weight of a whole world in his hands. This leads him to realizing that he needs to get out and see the galaxy from a different perspective.
While that is more or less the direction his character takes in Star Catcher, it wasn’t always the direction I had in mind for him. This story takes place in his past and I had to redesign his character for it. I wanted to accentuate some points of his personality that I had not been able to do in my ‘trunked’ novel the Titan Mystery.
Originally I had him as an adventurous person who was at the top of his league, a little laid back, always cheery and full of advice and always seemed to know what to do in certain situations to keep them under control. I realized that with this model, he was too perfect, too well rounded of a character. He didn’t have many flaws, if any at all and no background to him that wasn’t a mystery. I did give him plenty of enemies and put him in plenty of hard situations, but there was nothing that he couldn’t overcome.
The protagonist of a story is more or less supposed to overcome the obstacles in his or her way, but it’s the character flaws that help drive the conflict, along with some form of antagonist or another. And Jayko didn’t have much conflict.
Essentially I want to somehow define the fact he is not in the role he wants to be. What he wants to be is an engineer/inventor and travel the galaxy. What he has been pushed into is a leadership role. He never wanted to fight, lead, or solve the galaxy’s problems (which seem to keep cropping up wherever he goes).
So far I’ve been trying to develop his personality like this:
Not too outgoing but not too solitary. Likes to do things on his own as this is the way he was taught by Aronon (his mentor in Star Catcher), therefore has a hard time accepting help. Despite this he is always looking for ways to get into trouble as there was not much room for him to have fun while growing up on a working ship. Thus he also goofs off whenever he can and generally tries to make the most of any situation he is in. He is even tempered and there is not much that can throw him off the hook. Gets a wistful look as he daydreams about his life, his past and the adventures he could be on. Also tends to over-think things at times when the answer is right in front of him.
As for his skills, this is what I have come up with so far:
He knows at least several languages from living on a trading ship. Good with his hands and anything technological. Excellent pilot/navigator. Knows some dirty fighting from Aronon, not very skilled at it though. He is a decent shot with his gun when he is really focusing, otherwise he is a terrible shot. Great with with all of his senses (has to be with Aronon as his mentor).
And that’s about what I’ve settled on for the moment. I don’t know if I will add more skills that, but who knows.
A few more notes on him:
He follows the arilian (one of the alien species in Star Catcher) code of honor (I haven’t really defined this in the story yet and I may or may not). He has a knack for anything engineering or technology wise; would go anywhere or do just about anything for Aronon. He has trouble talking about his parents or his past, mostly because he doesn’t remember but also because the night he lost his home and family left a deep scar that haunts him still in his dreams.
That last part is supposed to be a very prevalent part of the story. He was very young when his home was destroyed and his parents killed, so it rather traumatized him. It’s supposed to be a large part of who he is and sort of define him. I don’t know if it really does, but it defines his past and why he doesn’t talk about it much. And I think I’ve more or less iterated that twice in this post now.
I think that’s about it for my defining of his character so far. So far I’m happy with the way he’s turned out for a main character, certainly a little better defined than he was before, but then again, that’s open to debate. I think in my next post I’ll talk about Violet and see if I can better define her as I’m still trying to flesh out her character. See you next post then!