The Sinner's Saint was first drafted out in November 2009 as part of NaNoWriMo. After 25 days of the 30 day challenge, I had written 51k words and was nowhere near finishing; that was a bit of a problem, as I was hoping to have finished it during that month, but it was not meant to be. Instead, this novel decided it wanted to be the only original project I was meant to work on for the next few months.
So when November ended and I had more work to do, I realised I had to plan out everything so I would know what was missing and what needed to be written. To help with the planning first, I had to go through the character list and decide what to do with each of them. I realised I had too many characters to work with properly, so I had to condense them.
The list as it stood before the edit was:
17 characters, some of which are so undefined and really, unneeded that I decided the best way to deal with it was to merge some of the characters, giving the very similar one’s one name and making them one person. This worked out much better as I needed so few characters to be ‘main’ that I could leave any background characters without names. So, the list after the edit became:
Granted, it is not much smaller, but you will notice I have removed Ciara, Ravenna, Derek and Xander as they held no real purpose. Xander merged with Vladimir, who will be having a name change later on, Ravenna is merged with her sister Gabriella to form the much bitchier woman I need, Derek and Ciara have just been turned into background characters. I find this list is still a little long and I am working on changing it even as we speak.
One consideration I am thinking of is to turn the twins Evelyn and Dawn into one person. This could work as one twin is always left out, so merging them means there will not be a further unneeded character. I was also considering merging Gregori and Daffyd, but then realised I may need the two separate magic users as they are two ends of the spectrum.
So now the list reads:
9. Evelyn/Dawn (name to be decided)
I also notice one thing; Lukas. He is unnecessary until the very end and so I could consider him a background character until he is needed, as he only makes rare appearances throughout the novel. So that is another character cut down. The list becomes:
8. Evelyn/Dawn (name to be decided)
I prefer this list more and more. Next, I need to work on fleshing out the characters, properly. They need to have backgrounds, lives, things to mesh together and make it worth knowing them. They need to have love lives, family lives, history, geography, and meaning.
This is where I turn to a writer I found online. Kindra Coates has been writing for years and has also taken courses to improve her writing; this inspired me years ago when I was still writing fanfiction alone and now it is working on my original works. When reading through her website, The Bookworms Library, I took notice of her writing tutorials. Specifically I focused on her character ones; she mentioned that she used a questionnaire from a book called Building Believable Characters by Marc McCutcheon and linked to a blank copy of it. This led to me deciding that I would use it to focus on my characters from now on when I really needed to know them, as well as various other methods, and so I need to go through and look at each of the characters.
I need to look at Cain first. As my main character he is the most important to me at this moment, as I have focused on him for the first two chapters and only really brought others in at the second chapter, and they’re mostly vague right now. So, here are some of the basics for Cain:
Name: Cain Valko (Cain = Acquired. First son of Adam and Eve. Valko = Wolf. Bulgarian name)
Age: 25-26 years old
Height: 6ft 5inches
Weight: 13st 9lbs
Physical Condition (Fit, unfit or something in between?): Fit
Eye Color: Light brown
Hair Color and Style: Dirty Blond, long
1. Slightly pointed ears / slightly flatter nose
2. Sharp claw-like nails
3. sharper canines
Physical Imperfections/Would Like Most to Change:
1. His nose, wants it to be a little less flat
2. Wants his nails to be a little shorter
3. detests his chest hair
1. Growls when confused/angry
2. shakes his head slightly when tired
Ethnic Group: Caucasian
Religion: Christian (Baptist)
Now, this should be fun. Cain is a Baptist Christian, and he’s about to have his world turned upside down. He’s not going to be too happy about that I imagine, but then, I have to find out more about him than just these simple little facts. I need to really get into Cain’s head and that is going to take more than this blog post to do.
So, join me next time when I explore the silly boy’s brain and his way of thinking. Take care all.