Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Fantasy Characters, part one

We've taken a good look at building a fantasy world for your characters. Now let's build those characters. What makes fantasy characters different from non-fantasy characters? What kind of characteristics should you include when developing the protagonist? Antagonist? Secondary characters?

1. The protagonist – this is your hero or heroine. They usually have some kind of gift. Sometimes they know about it, sometimes they discover it. It can be magic or a special talent. They often are not aware of how special they are. This is typical for fantasy. It’s your job to come up with something totally fresh.

2. The antagonist – this is your hero’s enemy. They should be as strong as or stronger than your protagonist. In fantasy, the antagonist is typically the evil dark lord/lady who is going to destroy the world. If you don’t want to write a typical fantasy adventure, you’ll need to give this a twist.

3. Secondary characters – you can give these characters magic/powers or nothing at all. But they need to have something that helps the hero in some important way. Be careful your secondary characters do not outshine the main character.

Let's start with the main character. Once you've decided what kind of fantasy you're writing, you now can build your hero. Let's say you're writing high fantasy. Your main character will need some kind of magical quality or skill, even if she doesn't know it yet. It can be full magic. It can be one type of skill. The hero can know about it from the beginning or discover it. It can help them or hinder them at first, but should help them at the end.

In Fairyeater, Akeela has what I've called "spirit sight." She can see the auras around living things, including plants. It's something she's always had, and it helps her save herself and the group she's traveling with when they're lost in the caves because she can see where to walk in the combined light of everyone's auras.

So, let's talk about your main characters and their characteristics.

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