Blog Tour ~ The Thieves of Nottica
Author: Ash Gray
Genre: Science Fiction/Steampunk
Tour Dates: 3rd – 7th of April
Hosted by: Ultimate Fantasy Book Tours
In a world where humans are evil, invading aliens, Rigg is the youngest member of the Keymasters, a band of professional thieves who use their skills to defy an overbearing government known as the Hand. It is a world full of pollution, intrusive surveillance cameras, and injustice, where any who “give the finger to the Hand” are punished with death. The Keymasters are hired to steal a highly sought after treasure, but when one of their number is lost during the job, they find themselves the tools in a power play for said treasure -- a mysterious lockbox that no one can open. To ultimately survive in the end, the Keymasters must battle their way through mechanical monsters, airships, and politics, literally going through shit (they travel through a sewage pipe) to make it out alive.
I am going to share with you something I learned from my first Creative Writing teacher. She taught us how to build up a realistic character by using a character sheet.
First, what is a character? A character is a desire, which in turn is the entire story. So the first thing you have to figure out is what your character wants. Whether they get it or not is up to the story and their actions.
To discover what you character wants, you would complete this sentence:
____ is a___ __ -year-old ___, ___ who wants ___.
So if I was going to fill that sentence out for, say, my alien character Qorth from the novella of the same name, I’d fill it out thusly:
Qorth is a gentle 42-year-old racist, intellectual who wants to save the last humans from the rising sea levels.
Yeah, Qorth was a racist with a serious god complex. Being benevolent to other races is still racist when you think those other races are inferior. Say that five times fast.
Or we could use Rigg from The Thieves of Notitca.
Rigg is an anxious 27-year-old compassionate, artist who wants to stop suffering and live free.
After we’ve filled out the sentence to figure out what our characters want, we then ask about their reactions, their feelings, what makes them tick, what makes them active or inactive.
This could be any number of things, so here’s a basic list.
What makes Rigg . . .
Angry . . . Injustice.
Ashamed . . . Failure, her own anxiety, bringing harm to others.
Laugh . . . Sarcasm or deadpan snark from others. Tricking other people/ besting them.
Pensive . . . When she’s questioning her own actions or the nature of morality.
Frightened . . . Losing her friends and those she cares about.
Proud . . . Successfully stealing something or otherwise screwing over her oppressors.
Content . . . Good sex. Finding a nice piece of candy (every pun intended).
. . . ha ha.
If you can fill out that list, then you’ve got a character that is fully coming to life.
Similarly, I could do the same thing with Qorth.
What makes Qorth . . .?
Angry . . . His own helplessness.
Ashamed . . . His lack of knowledge on a subject. Hurting others. Killing.
Laugh . . . Irony. His own clumsiness.
Pensive . . . Like Rigg, he often questions if he’s doing the right thing.
Frightened . . . His loved ones in danger. That he’s actually not a good person.
Proud . . . His vast knowledge on the structure of various societies and cultures.
Content . . . When everything goes right (aka his way). Discovering something new.
See how easy it is to form a character when you ask yourself these questions? So use these questions to flesh out your heroes and villains. What are you waiting for? The world is waiting to see what you come up with!
Ash Gray is a dragon with minuscule spectacles perched on her nose, living in a wonderfully dank, musty cave far away in an alternate universe. She types her stories with gigantic claws on a ridiculously small typewriter before sending them through a membrane and into your dimension for your enjoyment.
I am the scariest thing you'll find in the dark, forsaken places, with breath of fire and claws that shred. "Dragon!" they scream as I rip them red.
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