Hero Critique Thread (Because it's about damn time for this too!):

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51 FullMoon7th Dec 2012 04:37:43 AM from Surface , Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
feeling blue
[up] That's interesting, but a bit more detail would be nice. Does he have any other goals other than bringing down the President?

Here's another Hero for my still-being-planned story:

Name: Joshua "The Living Shadow" (Not his real name though.) It is actually

Age: It's hard to determine, but he surely acts like an adult.

Personality: He's kind, somewhat playful and really dedicated to magic, he also has a bit of trouble trusting other persons initially. He tends to be a quiet person, rarely speaking at all unless he's with people he feels more confortable being with, he also shows himself to be quite a sarcastic person, though usually just for some gently teasing. He's pretty difficult to really anger, normally only being slightly annoyed at others, but there are a few things that can make him go ballistic on someone and in serious situations, he really will dish out some punishment.

Abilities: Joshua knows a good variety of strong Light and Dark magic, being able to perform a bunch of spells with ease, one of his most notable spells is to enter his shadow, becoming virtually imune to damage unless there isn't enough light to make a shadow, then he just reappears. He also can take the form of the shadow of others, giving him quite the opportunity to make stealth attacks. His other notable spells is to bring his shadow to life to assist him in battle, but if he does that he loses the ability to cast Dark spells, having to use only Light ones while the shadow makes use of Dark magic.

Weaknesses: He's a magician, so there's the expected Squishy Wizard problem, he also has problems to interact with other people and is a bit too dedicated to magic, making him not know much else about other things and as such, he doesn't have much knowledge about what's happening in the world.

Goal: Find his Disappeared Dad, develop his magic, visit different places in the world, help Naoki with his quest.

Motivation: He has been studying magic since his childhood with help from his father and wants to make him proud of him by becoming an incredible magician, but since he went missing he has been searching for him due to being worried and wanting to see more about the world. He aids Naoki after being informed of what's going on and to keep an eye on the rune he carries around, making sure he doesn't make bad use of such a powerful item, he also hopes to find more information about his father's whereabouts as he goes into this quest.

Role in the Story: The Smart Guy (about magic at least), Naoki's magic tutor in a sense and offers a lot of exposition about the way magic works. He's also Naoki's primary human friend and frequently helps him go in the right direction, further motivating Naoki to pursue his goal.

Backstory: Joshua has some fame, he's known about as the first time the world's magic field had strong effects on a person, Joshua's appearance isn't human at all and has been like that since he was born, as such he lived isolated of the world with his mother until she died of a sickness, where then his father took care of him in a village while keeping other people from seeing him.

Joshua has been dressing in a way that the only part of his body that shows up is his face, with looks like some sort of shadow, hence his title, and the only thing you can see in his face are his small golden eyes or rather, yellow irises, since that's all you can see in him and his voice is a bit distorted and a bit low pitched, making for a very scary voice. Despite this, people only know about his shadowy appearance and nothing more, not even his name or who are his parents.

While living with his father he was tutored in the ways of magic, and after some time he got a partner, a young girl who really wanted to be tutored in magic, said girl was initially scared of Joshua, but the two bonded with time and became friends. After his father left he and gave his partner a note talking about his leave. Since then he has been wandering around the world and finally discovering how it looks like.

Relevant Tropes:

  • Angst? What Angst? - Look at his goals, see the lack of something? Yes, he is perfectly fine with his condition and actually says he would be unconfortable if he became a normal person again. That's not to say that his appearance doesn't cause problems for him, but in general he isn't very concerned about it and isn't searching for a way to become normal again.
  • Bash Brothers - Eventually becomes one with Naoki.
  • Berserk Button - Insulting his family, harming his friends, ESPECIALLY Naoki's sister and his magic partner, Lyuri
  • Black Mage - Focuses on offensive spells, his appearance also was based on the Trope Namer.
  • Casting AShadow and Holy Hand Grenade - His primary, and essentially only, method of attack.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle - Gives quite the beating to Naoki the first time they meet.
  • Dark Is Not Evil - One of the nicest characters of the story and a very talented user of Dark magic. he frequently says that he believes that it's not magic itself that must be classified as good or bad, it's the user.
  • Deadpan Snarker - Definetely has his moments, however he likes to use it more for gentle tease than to outright insult someone.
  • Determinator - When it matters, he really won't stop for anything.
  • Hell Is That Noise - His voice counts in-universe, it really takes a while for Naoki and his RobotBuddy to get used to it.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal - Subverted, everybody thinks he does, but he couldn't care less.
  • Like Brother and Sister - With his fellow apprentice, ironically enough She's Naoki's older sister.
  • Living Shadow - His title, despite really not being one, but he can enter his or somebody's else shadow and he can actually summon his shadow to help him.
  • Mr. Exposition - Explains everything about magic to Naoki and the readers.
  • Nice Guy - Again, one of the nicest characters of the story.
  • No Social Skills - Comes as this due to being hidden away from others, his appearance and voice doesn't help either, but he still manages to be somewhat sociable when somebody actually talks to him.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni - The blue to Naoki's red.
  • Squishy Wizard - His main weakness.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes - And they glow a bit when he's angry
  • The Quiet One - Due to his voice and the fact that he naturally doesn't talk much, he is this, bordering on TheVoiceless on occasion.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss - Serves as one to Naoki by being the first true magician he fights.

edited 7th Dec '12 4:41:41 AM by FullMoon

[up]I like him. I enjoy the contrast between his creepy image and relatively well-balanced nice-guy personality, it's a simple subversion but it works. I would give him some kind of angst though, not an in-your-face thing but something personal that leaves room for vulnerability and character development, otherwise I think he risks being a little bland in terms of motivation, even if the rest of his character is interesting.

Here's one of the characters from my NaNoWriMo story, curious as to what you guys think because she's a huge cliché but it's sort of deliberate, I was trying to play with a number of related tropes and still achieve an interesting character.

Name: Rose (perhaps, haven't decided whether to use this or whether or not it's her 'real' name)

Age: Several hundred years in actuality, mid teens in appearance, several days physically.

Personality: Polite, excitable, eager to please and keenly interested in all matters, especially those concerning Earth and humanity. Often uses formal/archaic speech, sounding like she came out of a Lewis Carroll novel and learned everything she knows out of a book (she basically did). She's straightforward and aggressively open-hearted but can become vexed by perceived injustices or irrationalities.

Abilities: As a celestial being, her power level is basically preposterous. She's perpetually physically fit, healthy and beautiful, capable of speaking any language, and has an advanced knowledge of metaphysics and a superhuman capacity for learning. Those are just her innate abilities, over the course of the story she masters Light magic, which is basically the Yang side of yin-yang, concerned with Power, Life, Ambition and so on. Eventually it allows her to fly, read and control minds, bring things to life or back to life, blow stuff up, teleport, punch and be punched through walls, scry, and pretty much anything else (but not time-travel).

Weaknesses: She begins very ignorant of all things mundane and gets by mostly by mimicry, and her sense of morality isn't quite the standard human one. In addition, like all celestials, any exposure to Chaos (the mess of raw creative potential that manifests itself in dreams) will render her insane. As a result, she's incapable of dreaming, creating art beyond stick drawings and direct reproductions, and having religious experiences. Her strong bonds to others leave her vulnerable to The Power of Friendship. Ultimately her power is useless to her because she's incapable of using it wisely, first because of naivety, and later because of insanity.

Goals: Initially just wants to learn magic from her older brother and take up the mantle as Light Bearer, maintaining the status quo, but becomes invested in humanity and determined to 'fix' it.

Motivation: Curiosity, boundless if somewhat confused compassion and a strong sense of duty and family.

Role in the story: De-facto protagonist and The Hero, initially, though she later becomes a villain. That's after she goes insane though, so it doesn't really count.

Backstory: Rose is a princess from a 'higher plane of existence' generally termed Heaven in the story, though it more closely resembles the Chinese idea of a Celestial Bureaucracy than the Christian concept of Heaven. There are similarities, though. Her brother, the previous Light Bearer in her family, contravenes heavenly decree and as a result is cursed and stripped of his power. Together they are banished to Earth until Rose is ready to take her place as the new Light Bearer. Despite her form, she doesn't truly have a gender or appearance, higher-dimensional entities being largely beyond the comprehension of four-dimensional beings, except in symbolic flashes of terrifying grandeur like the visions in the Book of Revelation.

Relevant Tropes:

edited 8th Dec '12 3:59:13 PM by Kesteven

About time we got one of these threads, so here goes nothing.

Name: Specter.

Age: Unknown.

Personality: Very stoic. Direct in terms of responses, and as a result, comes across as very cold to his allies. Never questions orders. However, he does truly care for his comrades, though only at first because the mission requires them to be alive.

Abilities: Is a strong soldier, with good skill in handling firearms and melee weapons. He has made it through many encounters, though his undying loyalty to the mission objectives has made him rather unliked towards is fellow men who believe that one should buck it if they need to. He also seems to have a strange connection to several of the Youkai; creatures that inhabit this particular universe.

Weaknesses: The fact that he follows his orders without question has led him to willingly do several unethical actions simply because he was told to by his superiors. He thinks very little of himself, and considers himself expendable. He rarely talks, and one could mistake him for being mute.

Goals: To see the mission through, no matter the cost. This later changes to protecting the only ones who have shown him any kind of friendship.

Motivation: Doesn't have one that he has for himself at first, only doing what his superiors tell him. As it goes on though, it turns into wanting to become more human and less of a puppet, to protect his allies, and to find out what he exactly is.

Role In The Story: As the main hero of the first two parts of the trilogy, he is the sergeant of Bravo Six, a squad under the military, which is essentially the main order in this society. He doesn't remember anything of his past, only that he is to do what he is told by his superiors. This causes him to be ostracized by his fellow squadmates, especially fellow team-member Dust, who constantly belittles him, saying that he is nothing more than an inferior version of a certain man known only as "Shepard".

Needless to say, Specter's loyalty to the objectives first ends up getting half of Bravo Six killed on their first mission, with only himself and Dust making it out alive. Despite this, he still believes that he did well, as he was able to successfully complete the mission. However, Dust is obviously upset with him, culminating with the man, after several more missions that nearly cost him his life due to him nearly being killed thanks to Specter, trying to murder the hero in his sleep. He fails, and is discharged from duty. However, the event caused Specter to begin to question his actions for the first time, as he was shocked that simply following commands willingly would cause someone to try to kill him.

It is here that he is to meet his next three members, as these squads operate in groups of four. Bearing the call-signs of "Ash", "Gale", and "Aqua", Specter at first views them like any other soldier. However, these three prove to be very different. Ash, a Child Soldier only 14 years of age, mistakes him at first to be his father, none other than the legendary figure Shepard, only to take back his comment after viewing his crimson eyes and ice-blue hair. Gale had read up on a few of the reports of his missions, and warns him that if he tries something like that again, he will not follow through. As for Aqua, well let's just say that he is the relative Deadpan Snarker, but Specter's resemblance to Shepard immediately causes him to try to connect with the sergeant, as he had idolized Shepard due to his exploits.

It is through his interactions with these three that he begins to change from unfeeling puppet to an actual caring human being. Because they actually began to tell him that his life had more meaning than just a soldier, and that they wouldn't just follow his orders without question in order to get him to stop and think about what he is doing.

Backstory: As it turns out, his resemblance to the legendary soldier Shepard isn't a coincidence. He is actually a clone of him, having been created by Shepard as an attempt to continue his legacy and actions should he die. However, Shepard's actions, despite what everyone says of him, were actually quite unsavory. It is due to this that the Anti-Villain of the story killed Shepard and then hijacked the cloning process. He wanted to shape Specter into someone who wasn't Shepard, and thus raised him to be unfeeling and totally dedicated to the mission so as to not go through any of the rebellious actions that Shepard took.

As for his connection with Youkai, well that is because Shepard was chosen by the goddess Amaterasu to bring about a new era. Once Shepard died, that role went to go his son, but the villain doesn't know. However, the goddess, sensing Ash's bond with Specter, begins to reach out to him to guide Ash into the role that he is meant to fulfill...for better or worse. This is another reason for his unfeeling personality. The villain thought that Specter would become The Chosen One after Shepard died, and tried to manipulate him into doing only what he wanted for a new world. Once he found out otherwise, he just dumped him into the military. However, he still doesn't know that Ash is the new chosen one...yet.

Related Tropes:

Yeah, I think I need some constructive criticism here.

edited 8th Dec '12 11:46:46 PM by LDragon2

[up]Sounds pretty decent. A character like this needs a very strong cast of ensemble characters to make his story and character arc more involving, which you seem to have covered. As long as you flesh them out just as well, your MC should be fine.

On a sidenote: your character also reminds me of Serph from Digital Devil Saga especially with the cloning bit. Not a criticism mind you, just an observation.

Don't forget to review and critique the other Heroes posted in this thread. :)
[up] Thanks for your critique. I do have many secondary characters that I plan to give well-developed personalities and backgrounds as well.

I also found your character to be pretty interesting. She sounds like a mix of Morrigan Aensland and Dante.
Thanks. I did base her personality and appearance on Dante and Sol / Ragna, the name of her sword is a reference to Ragna as well.
57 FullMoon9th Dec 2012 02:20:38 PM from Surface , Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
feeling blue
I like him. I enjoy the contrast between his creepy image and relatively well-balanced nice-guy personality, it's a simple subversion but it works. I would give him some kind of angst though, not an in-your-face thing but something personal that leaves room for vulnerability and character development, otherwise I think he risks being a little bland in terms of motivation, even if the rest of his character is interesting.

He does angst sometimes because of how difficult it is for him to get along in the society, but he isn't really wanting to become a normal person and rather wants to make society accept him as he is and not be afraid of him or think of him as a freak/monster. I guess I should've mentioned this in his goals =P
@ L Dragon 2: I went from being "Good, it's nice to see someone who's not a regretful Heroic B.S.O.D. mess over people dying" to "Ok, he comes across as an unfeeling jerk" due to a seeming complete lack of any remorse about his fallen teammates to "It took him THAT MUCH to question things?" to being glad that there is improvement to his personally - I think it makes his uncaring, unfeeling attitude at the beginning look a lot better since it allows for a good character personality story arc.

@ Kesteven: I'm not sure if I'm following your character correctly - I read like she has a bunch of power that she could use but doesn't from the top section, but then I see she's de-powered from the trope list. Clarification might help.

@ Morwen Edhelwen: He's 14? It feels off, especially considering what you say his role in the story is.

@ Ninjaxenomorph: What about his pregnant wife? You mention his life is spared because of her, but otherwise there's no mention of her - no goal of getting back to her, no worry about her, no remorse about her (assuming she's dead), nothing. Reads like Whatever Happened to the Mouse? or Forgotten Fallen Friend.

I figured I might as well give this a shot, since the book I'm working (a three/four story anthology) right now basically revolves around the main character, so making sure he's a character people can root for/like is kind of important.

Name: Morgan ZIM (Technically Z.I.M. since it stands for something, but usually it's just ZIM)

Age: Ranges from 20's to 30's, variable due to the date of his birth not being known and when the story takes place.

Personality: Morgan ZIM is actually two individuals inside a cyborg's body - there's Morgan, the human part, and Z.I.M., the AI that lives inside part of his head. The two communicate through 'thought', since ZIM is attached to Morgan's brain - ZIM can hear what Morgan hears through his electronic ear, but he can also 'read' any active thoughts at the front of Morgan's mind, and vice versa.
  • Morgan is, fortunately, the nicer half of the two. He's also got full control of his body, both the fleshy parts and the robot parts, meaning ZIM is incapable of physically doing anything with Morgan's body. After waking up as a cyborg with no memory of his past, he sees himself as an entirely different person from who he used to be. Effectively, he died in his old life, and his new memories are a second chance at life to do what he wants with. For this reason, he doesn't fear dying (at least, as long as it's not for a stupid/senseless reason - he's not just going to throw his new life away for no good), and uses it as an excuse to live life without worrying too much about how others perceive him, instead living life for the fun of it. That said, while he claims to be lone wolf type, he's not immune to getting attached to individuals, and when push comes to shove he can be expected to do the right thing.
  • 'ZIM is the more violent and aggressive of the two, though his exposure to Morgan mellows him out over time. He's kind of like a bad angel inside of Morgan's head urging him to take the more violent choices in life and do things for the lulz even when he doesn't need to. He's also apt at taking vocal pot-shots at Morgan.

Abilities: Morgan is an accomplished Bounty Hunter (more technically, a gun for hire, but he thinks 'Bounty Hunter sounds better), for one. Second, he's a Cyborg, which allows him to hit harder, move faster, and install hidden 'goodies' inside his metal parts. His cyborgness also allows him to upgrade, replace, and repair his metal parts as needed, though usually with ZIM's help. He's also good at making stuff up combat decisions on the spot, making him difficult to predict.
  • For his part, ZIM is not only good at Hollywood Hacking if Morgan plugs him into the right data ports, but he's also able to store data that he can share with Morgan that allows the man to accomplish an assortment of mechanical feats. So while it may appear to others that Morgan is a mechanical genius in addition to being a talented bounty hunter, the truth is that while Morgan knows the basics of robotics and fixing/upgrading vehicles it's actually ZIM who's figuring out the more complicated technical parts and Morgan just follows his instructions.

Weaknesses: His first major problems are that he's lacks a certain level of social pleasantness, making him come of as rude or brutally honest, even when it's not appropriate. His second is that it's difficult for Morgan to act discretely due to looking quite clearly like a cyborg if he isn't wearing his armor and helmet. While he usually doesn't hold it against people for trying to kill him if he thinks they're just doing their job, if he DOES put someone on his grudge/revenge list, he's less inclined to act rationally. And his preference for making things up on the fly can bite him in the butt, too.

Goals: Bounty Hunting, mostly, hunting down criminals or other people with a price on their head. He also does other jobs, but he's choosy about which ones he'll take. While it's rare, he'll also indulge in his revenge list if the occasion arrises.

Motivation: Morgan continues to be a bounty hunter mostly for the thrill of it. But doing the right thing provides him with the occasional motivation as well.

Role in the story: He's the protagonist - the reason I'm writing these stories.

Backstory: His life prior to him becoming a Cyborg is left deliberately vague - I do have a basic idea of who he was from before, but I'm going with the idea that it'll probably work better if the reader is allowed to guess about it. The few things that are clear are that he might as well have been dead when the process happened, and that he thinks he was a soldier of some kind before it happened. The first story opens after he's been working as a Bounty Hunter for a few years, having had an opportunity to learn to ropes and establish himself in the trade.

Relevant Tropes (That I know of):
  • The Alcoholic: This came about inadvertently when I wound up deciding to have each of the stories open up with Morgan in a bar. I've since at least partially justified it in part to liquor being a good fuel source, but he still happens to enjoy getting drunk on occasion.
  • Anti-Hero: Morgan sits somewhere between Type II and Type III.
    • ZIM, if he were given the option, would sit between Type IV and Type V, though mellowing out over time thanks to Morgan.
  • Arm Cannon: A pop-out blaster Morgan keeps hidden inside his arm as a backup weapon.
  • Artificial Limbs: parts of both of Morgan's legs and his left arm.
  • Bounty Hunter: In the same spirit as the kind of Bounty Hunters you find in Star Wars.
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul This is something Morgan fears happening if he doesn't take care of the parts of him that are still human, especially his right arm - not that he'll admit it
  • Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them: Literally, in the latter case - In addition to his more obvious skills, ZIM also contains subroutines and secondary programs that ensure Morgan's more essential parts continue to function properly. In other words, Morgan literally could not live without ZIM, even if the AI gets on his nerves at times.
  • Cyborg: Obviously.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Justified - his lower legs and feet are made out of metal, so not only would shoes be redundant (if they fit whatever shape his feet were at a given time), but they might also get in the way of anything he wanted to use the bottom of his feet for. Like Jump Jets. Or Magnetic Grips.
  • Easily Forgiven / Nothing Personal: This is Morgan's outlook towards most people that he fights while doing his job. He's not entirely immune to holding grudges, but most the time he doesn't take it personally when people try to shoot at him while he's doing his job - after all, if he were in their shoes, he'd be doing the exact same thing.
  • Electronic Eyes: Morgan's left eye is robotic, alongside a third of his head. This is also what allows ZIM to see the world.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Z.I.M. does stand for something, and I know what that something is. Whether or not I'll actually say what it stands for is questionable for the time being.
  • Good Feels Good: Even if it goes against a job he's being paid for or if he can't expect to be rewarded for it, Morgan will do the right thing for the big picture simply because it feels like the right thing to do.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: ZIM would like to be this, but fortunately Morgan isn't having any of it.
  • Hearing Voices: While ZIM is an actual AI with his own identity and personality, Morgan partially thinks of ZIM this way (which is also part of the reason he keeps ZIM a secret).
  • Hollywood Hacking: ZIM is capable of doing this, and he's very good at it, too. Which is part of the reason why Morgan tolerates him.
  • Identity Amnesia: Part of his backstory, credited to Brain Damage (and permanent, too - he is physically incapable of restoring it)
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Morgan may not be a pleasant person sociably, but when it comes down to it he IS a good person who you can safely assume will do the right thing in the end.
  • Swiss Army Appendage: Morgan takes advantage of his robot parts to put special tools and weapons inside of them with ZIM's help.

edited 9th Dec '12 9:52:39 PM by SpaceJawa

59 MorwenEdhelwen10th Dec 2012 10:45:30 PM from Sydney, Australia
Aussie Tolkien freak
[up] Yeah, it's a YA novel.
The road goes ever on.
60 nrjxll10th Dec 2012 10:48:53 PM , Relationship Status: Not war
That's not a justification.

Soapbox Man, awaaaaaay!
61 Ryuhza10th Dec 2012 10:49:46 PM from San Diego, California
Alligaytor Season


EDIT: Damn, beat me to the punch.

edited 10th Dec '12 10:50:18 PM by Ryuhza

[up]x3 Your novel can still be aimed at the YA-audience if you make him about 17-21. That age would feel more appropriate for his character type I think.

EDIT: Sorry, I mistook what you were talking about.

Yeah, saying "It's young adult" to justify him being 14 sounds like a lousy justification. Is there any reason he can't be a young adult (or straight up adult) himself rather than a full-on teenager?

edited 11th Dec '12 4:26:52 PM by SpaceJawa

@Space Jawa. Morgam ZIM already sounds like the kind of character who I'd instantly find readable. He's got a real Jekyll and Hyde feel about him yet at the same time it has a uniqueness to it. One question though, which might seem odd; Are you writing from Morgan/ZIM's perspective? Just wondering how you'd approach the way you two communicate, if that's okay.

Anyway, here's a hero for my sci-fi novel that I'd really appreciate some feedback on. Will probably post another later.

Name: Jane (no surname or middle-name. Often nicknamed "Just Jane")

Age: 23

Personality: Jane is incredibly honest and hates to lie, constantly apologizing for things that aren't even her fault. She is very sympathetic, always seeking to help others with selflessness, though this can lead to her taking considerable risks. She's almost always in the mood for a joke, trying to be as much of an optimist as her pessimistic side would allow. Snarky yet considerate, determined yet indecisive. She is not one for relating, as she finds it extremely difficult. There are times where she can be frightened but tries her best to swallow it. While she does try to be humble and credit others, she permits herself some moments of pride. Bit of a closet history buff, she is shy to admit it.

Abilities: Due to the experiments that birthed her to begin with, Jane is rarely sick and has excellent health. She is a natural at deduction, as well as being resourceful. A decent fighter, she possesses some knowledge of martial arts as well as physiology. An expert at first-aid.

Weaknesses: While she is sympathetic, she can feel distant from those she shows signs of it too. She has a sort of cognitive dissonance, brought on by her "lack of context" and determination. Has very little experience in fighting, despite her heavy amount of research. Despite her selflessness being the cause of her recklessness, it can lead to her putting others at risk. Isn't the most psychologically stable and has mild sociopathic tendencies. A terrible pilot and has an addiction to ice-cream.

Goals: While there are certainly many obstacles in her journey, she is indecisive of her goal. See motivation. She has no idea what her purpose in life is. Although once she encounters someone that she feels some connection to, Jane finds herself doing far larger tasks than she expected. Yeah, I'm being vague cause I don't want to spoil the plot.

Motivation: note Above all else (except ice-cream), Jane has a desire to help people. She is compelled to do so, she doesn't understand the context of Human empathy or what it's like to be Human. She is able to acknowledge loss and that it is a horrible thing but she doesn't quite get it, so in a way her compulsion is something she doesn't fully comprehend. While she could have and has thought of becoming a police officer or a doctor, she never followed up on them as she finds pressure when it comes to such titles, lacking the drive of what reasoning people have for doing such careers.

Role in the story: Protagonist, the hero.

Backstory: Born from a project created for the purpose of ridding diseases and disabilities, Jane has no true family. Even the person responsible for creating her died shortly after she was born. She's managed to grow relatively close to the other children from the project but the one she's closest to is one of the older ones, essentially a big sister figure to her. Once she was a teenager, she had to start working for the investors of the project as a way to pay off the debts. Something along the lines of indentured servitude.

While on one of the jobs she's working, she not only encounters an alien from a long lost race but also discovers information that could lead to disaster.

Relevant Tropes:

edited 26th Dec '12 6:01:20 PM by darthnazgul

My name is darthnazgul and TV Tropes has ruined my life.
65 MorwenEdhelwen27th Dec 2012 01:29:59 AM from Sydney, Australia
Aussie Tolkien freak
@jawa: he's a teenager because of the fact that a large part of the story is about dealing with being a young teenager in a fascist/"Valverdist" dictatorship.

@darthnazgul: Can't see any problems with Jane.

Here's Eva:

Name: Maria Eva Duarte Ibarguren Valverde, aka Evita

Age : Claims to be 23, but actually 27

'''Personality"': passionate about her ideals, warmhearted and friendly, but can be manipulative.

Nationality Cuban

"'Skills"': Gifted actress and public speaker.

Strengths: charisma, acting skills, compassion, determination and ambition.

Weaknesses: manipulativeness, ruthlessness, vanity. Ill health.

Goals: desire to become First Lady and eventually vice-president and first female Cuban president.

Motivations: Establishment of social justice and revenge on the upper classes.

Backstory: Born in Caimanera, a village near the city of Guantanamo, as the youngest child of five. She was illegitimate- her father, Juan Duarte was a banana plantation owner while her mother, Juana Ibarguren, was his mistress. Eva was not permitted to view her father's body when he died. Her mother was a jinetera and seamstress who provided for her family partly with the help of neighbors and tourists and by illegally renting rooms in their house when the family moved to Baracoa. When she was nearly 13 Eva left home with a musician, traveling to Havana to become an actress. After months of working in bars and sleeping her way to a top position, she was discovered by a b-list producer producer and became a well-known actress, broadcaster and model, and the mistress of Col. Juan Valverde, a member of the president's cabinet twenty years older than her and becoming aware of politics and gaining a radio show. Months after that, she discovered she was pregnant and gave birth to twins shortly before her 14th birthday. She and Valverde married a year before the story starts.

Role in the story: Heroine.


Anti-Hero: Type III. She is not above questionable actions such as money laundering and ordering extrajudicial killings and exile of opponents to further her own interests. She's also power-hungry.

Banana Republic: Is living in one and married to a military officer, making her a very powerful woman.

But Not Too Black: A light-skinned Cuban mulatta.

Casting Couch: How she worked her way up until being discovered.

Cayman Islands Bank Account: Wants one.

Determinator:Will do anything to be First Lady.

Doting Parent: Is this to Che, who's a clone and her children.

Hair of Gold: Dyed her dark brown hair blonde.

Hooker with a Heart of Gold: was a jinetera (prostitute) in bars for a brief time. Her mother could also be considered this, having a kind heart and friendly personality.

Mr. Muffykins: Treats Che, her clone, like a lap dog, spoiling and pampering him. She also pays for his education.

Never Got to Say Goodbye: To her father, who died when she was seven.

No Celebrities Were Harmed: Is basically Eva Peron, but Cuban.

Rags to Riches: Started out as a poor girl from Caimanera and became a famous actress.

Secret Other Family: Her father was married.

Teen Pregnancy: Had one which resulted in twins.

The Fashionista: Loves couture, especially full-skirted Dior dresses and nice shoes.

The Mistress: Was this, mostly before getting married. Her mother and grandmother were also mistresses.

Unlimited Wardrobe: Seems to have one.

Voice of the Resistance: Has a weekly radio show, broadcast twice a day, which she uses to spread anti-government propaganda.

edited 27th Dec '12 5:10:45 PM by MorwenEdhelwen

The road goes ever on.
66 TairaMai27th Dec 2012 03:10:08 AM from El Paso Tx , Relationship Status: What is this thing you call love?
rollin' on dubs
@darthnazgul: 1st time poster, long time lurker, if I may add my 200 yen:

Backstory: Born from a project created for the purpose of ridding diseases and disabilities, Jane has no true family. Even the person responsible for creating her died shortly after she was born. She's managed to grow relatively close to the other children from the project but the one she's closest to is one of the older ones, essentially a big sister figure to her. Once she was a teenager, she had to start working for the investors of the project as a way to pay off the debts. Something along the lines of indentured servitude.

While on one of the jobs she's working, she not only encounters an alien from a long lost race but also discovers information that could lead to disaster.

The way she relates to other people would be a bit off kilter until she has more interaction. It would mean little things, like treating people like bosses or co-workers a few departments over. For instance, someone who talks to her about her personal history or background to make small talk would think "I'm just trying to be friendly."

Jane would see this guy/gal as that annoying person who's hogging the copy machine when you have a TPS report due.

As time goes on she would pick up on the nuances of human interaction. There would always be a sense of otherness but she'd start to feel more and more at home among regular people. On the flip side, her "outsider" status could make her "too dumb to fool" when it comes to con-artists or people trying to intimidate her. That soothing voice, the suave villain is a no sell for someone who grew up in a lab (see also ignore the fanservice, it might not interest her at the time).

edited 27th Dec '12 3:12:13 AM by TairaMai

Are you writing from Morgan/ZIM's perspective? Just wondering how you'd approach the way you two communicate, if that's okay.

I'm writing it from a limited third-person perspective. There's a few instances where I follow other characters, but mostly it follows Morgan where the reader is aware of what he's aware of, including his thoughts. I think this is partially out of necessity since it strikes me as the best way to make sure that ZIM is included in the story since no one else can hear him. Otherwise it would be awkward trying to give him any lines and would leave the reader questioning whether he actually exists.

As far as your character:

With what you've written for her goals and motivation, it really does look like context and what happens in the story is going to be highly important for her, because while she strikes me as someone I want to like, she also feels bland and too much like a blank slate. I imagine that her learning what it means to be normal will provide a lot of entertaining material, perhaps along the lines of characters like Spock or Data.
68 MorwenEdhelwen27th Dec 2012 03:36:16 PM from Sydney, Australia
Aussie Tolkien freak
Comments on Eva, please?
The road goes ever on.
69 TairaMai27th Dec 2012 09:39:11 PM from El Paso Tx , Relationship Status: What is this thing you call love?
rollin' on dubs
@Morwen Edhelwen: Keep in mind that Evita Peron is seen as a saint or a whore, for some there is no middle ground.

With that out of the way, how would Eva react to those who mention her past? Is it a berserk button or does she try to buy them off?

One Crowning Moment of Heartwarming for the real Evita was when she comforted a little girl with a skin disease. She was in a hospital and the doctors tired to restrain her. Evita simply looked at them and said "Do you know what it would mean to her if I kissed her?" And she kissed the little girl on the lips. This actually happened.

No matter what people though of Evita Peron, the woman did care for the poor. Hooker with a Heart of Gold? Make sure things happen that make her opponents say "She has her good points, she has been kind to the poor." Make sure the reader knows that to avoid informed ability. Others would mention how hard it would be to assassinate someone who pays people's medical bills and gives money to the poor. Of course the real woman had quite the temper. So her private face and public face should conflict.

In the end it's what happens in the story that makes the character. Show the good and the bad. For every scene where she's doting on Che, there is a scene where she's meeting with very bad men to make sure Che's protected.

edited 27th Dec '12 9:40:17 PM by TairaMai

70 MorwenEdhelwen27th Dec 2012 09:44:40 PM from Sydney, Australia
Aussie Tolkien freak
Thank you so much, Taira!
The road goes ever on.
71 TairaMai27th Dec 2012 10:13:24 PM from El Paso Tx , Relationship Status: What is this thing you call love?
rollin' on dubs
[tup] No problem. waii

edited 27th Dec '12 10:14:14 PM by TairaMai

72 Philosopher29th Dec 2012 05:49:45 PM from Behind the Wall
The thing with the red gold crown.
@Morwen Edhelwen

The name is a mouthful. The ill health is interesting and manipulative as a weakness is intriguing. How did she get in the cabinet? I don't understand how ruthlessness in the setting would be a weakness. You have a good motivation for her, but that anti government propaganda should provide her with a challenge. I'm not sure what to make of her right now.

Name: John Smith

Age: 32

Personality: Stubborn, ruthless, loyal, zealous, caring, cruel, serious

Abilities: John can pull any almost any kind of gun from his coat as long as it fits the definitions of gun as well as ammunition.

Weaknesses: He needs his jacket for his power to work. He is unimaginative which severely limits his power. John also likes to gamble. He is loyal to a fault to his god which he refers to as 'Author'.

Goals: He is sent by the Author to gather thirteen characters and return them to the Author.

Motivation: John hopes that by doing this the Author will rewrite John's story so that it will end happier.

Role in the story: Protagonist

Backstory: This is difficult to say since the characters are born with memories that didn't happen. John remembers dying as a businessman and being given a second chance as the Author's minion who enforces his will and as a cowboy.

Relevant Tropes:

Just Following Orders

The Gunslinger

More Dakka

Mundane Utility - A water gun in a dessert and everywhere else


Normally, I Would Be Dead Now

The Fettered

The Paladin

Shoot the Dog - If asked by the Author John would do it in a heart beat except in certain circumstances.

Church Militant

edited 29th Dec '12 5:56:21 PM by Philosopher

It comes. The corrupter comes.
Don't let it touch the tower lest all reality crumble.
73 MorwenEdhelwen29th Dec 2012 11:18:15 PM from Sydney, Australia
Aussie Tolkien freak
@Philosopher: She is based on Evita Peron.
The road goes ever on.
74 Yomegami30th Dec 2012 01:46:45 AM from out of nowhere
Sanely Insane
@Morwen: Judging by the way you listed her strengths and weaknesses, I'm left wondering just about how many of those are going to wind up being Informed Attributes. I'm also left wondering just why she's claiming to be younger than she is, and how exactly she's of ill health.

@Philospher: I'm not having any immediate questions or concerns jumping out at me, though your description is a bit sparse and there's not much there to comment on.
Name: Dahlia McGuire

Age: 16 (At least physically. She is a ghost; she's likely older than this)

Personality: Dahlia is remarkably cheerful for a ghost and doesn't seem to be all that bothered by it. That said, she does seriously dislike that she can't interact with most of the living, and is quite lonely as a result. She could interact with other ghosts, but she's also very shy and seriously socially awkward (both in life and death).

Abilities: Ghosts in this particular story aren't much more powerful than living people, and Dahlia is not much of an exception. She's really no stronger or weaker than she was in life, and likewise no stronger or weaker than any other human or ghost. She is invisible to most people, and apart from interacting with some physical objects (sewing needles, for example) she really can't do much to communicate with them.

Weaknesses: As previously mentioned, she's very socially awkward and has a tough time trying to work with other people she's not familiar with. It doesn't help that she can't interact with the living due to being a ghost, and she's scared of interacting with other ghosts since most of the other ghosts...aren't quite as accepting of their state as she is with her own. She's also rather prone to annoying the heck out of the people who can interact with her (notably the protagonist) due to aforementioned lack of social skills.

Goals: Find some sort of way to communicate with her family and by extension other members of the living, as well as possibly find a friend of some sort. She is interested in learning more about the circumstances of her death as they were very strange indeed, but as she really doesn't mind being a ghost all that much she keeps it on the backburner.

Motivation: She's a ghost that is very lonely and wants to see her family reach solace about her death.

Role in the story: She's currently the Deuteragonist.

Backstory: Dahlia's life wasn't particularly out of the ordinary for a sixteen-year-old girl. She's initially unwilling to divulge the circumstances of her death to the protagonist due to the fact that she's scared of moving on, but after she manages to strike up a decent relationship with the protagonist, she eventually spits it out.

She was shot by a hunter in what initially appeared to be an accident. However, it is eventually revealed that the hunter was possessed by another ghost who was just as lonely as she was, got attracted to her, and for lack of a better option decided to kill her so the two could be together.

Relevant Tropes:
  • Angst? What Angst?: Dahlia's biggest complaint about being a ghost is being unable to talk to most of the living. She actually sort of likes her state otherwise thanks to the advantages it brings (she doesn't have to worry about her health, she can pet the tigers at the zoo without getting horribly mauled, etc.)
  • Blood from the Mouth: Coughs up blood at regular intervals. She was shot just below her left breast, and the bullet punctured her lung. As a result, she was forced to carry the wound into the afterlife.
  • Cute Ghost Girl
  • Ghostly Goals: Is closest to a Type A, as a big part of her motivation is bringing solace to her family after her untimely death.
  • Jacob Marley Apparel: Is still wearing the same clothing that she wore at the time of her death, as well as the previously mentioned Blood from the Mouth. That said, she did manage to sew a patch onto her shirt after death, covering up the hole that the bullet that killed her left behind.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Ghosts in this story aren't restricted to haunting one area, and can actually move on whenever they want. The ones who decide to stick around as ghosts, however, usually do so because they died violently and want the foul play dealt with. Dahlia's a bit different. She's curious as to the circumstances of her death, but the real reason she stuck around was because she doesn't know what's on the other side and is afraid of what awaits her.
  • No Social Skills
  • The Pollyanna: See Angst? What Angst?

edited 30th Dec '12 1:48:02 AM by Yomegami

Father, Father, Father, help us, send some guidance from above;
Because people got me, got me questioning: Where is the love?
75 MorwenEdhelwen30th Dec 2012 02:05:21 AM from Sydney, Australia
Aussie Tolkien freak
[up] not very many. I plan on working on showing these attributes eg promising privileges to certain people, paying for people's necessities eg. medical bills, starting a foundation.
The road goes ever on.

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