Semi-threadhop. I skimmed through the posts, so if I missed something, I apologize in advance. Here are a few questions I'm going to throw at the OP to help out a bit.
1. What martial art or combat system does this character study? Some martial arts require extensive brute force while others insist upon gentle maneuvers that make use of precise timing and controlled breathing.
2. Remember that sometimes being stealthy means being very direct in both physical and interpersonal matters. Your character can still be very surreptitious while still engaging his enemies through explicit force, or he can use objects, light and sound discipline, and psychological countermeasures to evade his enemies all together. In other words, do you want your character to be the kind of person who uses his tactical expertise to incapacitate his foes, or does he focus more on being invisible and not leaving traces of his presence? The type of stealth tactics your character uses will have an impact on their personality and mannerisms.
3. I'm not buying the "no technology" approach. Give the character electronic devices, knowledge of information security, industrial espionage, or just make his lack of technological expertise more plausible. I don't mean to sound unfair, but it's not enough for me as a reader for your character to simply not have proper equipment or the wealth to procure such equipment.
4. What does your character wear? His clothing will provide the reader with further indications of his personal life as well as clues as to how he acquired his skills. Does he prefer leather jackets? What kind of shoes does he wear? Are they steel-toed SWAT boots, tractionless moccasins, or spit-toe tabi shoes? Does he have tattooes indicating prior experience with a criminal organization or maybe a military special operations group? You can follow the "show, don't tell" rule and give readers subtle hints about his training through insignias, jewelry or obscure clothing.
5. What is the physicality of your character? Is he large and powerful? Flexible? How are his senses? Does he have any ailments that might hinder other abilities from time to time like a heart condition or daytime blindness that requires him to operate at night?
I don't mean to hijack your character ideas, but I'm writing my own story with covert-oriented individuals, and it's refreshing to see someone take a stab at it. I've studied martial arts and tracking long enough to come up with detailed character layouts that might work depending on the setting and plot. If you haven't already, make a fairly long biography for your character that explains his history, family life and education. Again, this is my bias, but I love characters that have a rich and intriguing history.
By the way, if he never harms innocent people, have him develop a code or honor system he uses to define an innocent person since the the concept of innocence is a highly complex subject. You could make this one of the major themes of your story if you find it interesting enough.
edited 2nd May '11 9:32:31 PM by Aprilla