Like other people I'm not done with my novel. Not even close. I just got past the first part in the book. That being said, I feel like my group of characters have more personality and chemistry than any other group of characters I've previously concocted. I'm going to keep working on this, though I'll probably take a little break first.
Nickname/Aliases: The Flying Fortress, The Hero of Buford
Rank: Lieutenant (army)
Rhea has the ability to hover in the air. Though she cannot go too high she has fully mastered her gift, allowing her to dash forward and great speeds and change directions quickly.
At Rhea’s core is her values about duty, loyalty, and justice. She is extremely honorable in all things. In battle she will not attack a fleeing opponent or one that cannot fight back unless she is directly ordered to by a commanding officer, and even then will only grudgingly do so. Though she does not prefer to fight against the weak, she will if they refuse to surrender, seeing such an action as a declaration of hostilities. She will respect any opponent as long as he or she shows himself worthy of it during battle, but will become angry if her opponent tries to do what she regards as underhanded techniques. She believes in the sacredness of words, and thinks that oaths are the highest of promises, and that there are few things worse than breaking an oath. She is completely loyal to her state, Liberty, and will never betray it or its leaders. She completely believes in equality, the supposed cornerstone of Liberty, and believes that everyone
Rhea has a firm personality. She is slow to back down, and is hard to frighten. It is her nature to have a friendly personality, though she always lacks any sign of passivity. She feels pity easily, and is quickly moved to a charitable mood by those who are less fortunate than herself. She holds plenty of inner strength, and is willing to go to great lengths to overcome any obstacle, even great pain. Even though she has a strong presence and a firm demeanor, she is also kind-hearted and gentle when not in a life-threatening situation.
Rhea puts on a strong front, and its hides the cracks that are underneath. A veteran of the war, she has been fighting a long time. She is suffering from extreme shell-shock. She is constantly reminded of the many friends who she has lost in her sleep, unable to differentiate the sounds of a city from the sounds of bombardment and battle, and is unable to bring herself to even imagine ever returning to civilian life. Hiding a deep depression in her, life seems to have lost its shine and luster for her.
Rhea is very skilled in swordplay, and also knows how to handle to a rifle well. She is highly literate and well-versed in manners.
Rhea is an extremely honorable person who will never fight someone who is down or attack someone who has surrendered or is retreating.
As a child Rhea was very different from how she is now. She spent her early years in a Liberty orphanage, and to this day is still unaware of what exactly happened to her parents. Whatever happened to them, by the time she was checked in to the orphanage at age five they were long gone. Rhea was not a cheerful child. From her earliest years she was shy, and did not function well in the strict orphanage system. Though everything was provided for her, her standard of living was meagre. Theft was a constant problem in the orphanage, though Rhea was never any good at it, and was too shy to even attempt it. As any easy target, she was bullied often. The only pleasant memory was of the assistant matron of the orphanage, who befriend Rhea and was kind to her, and ensured her survival. She was one of the three people who Rhea looked up to as she was growing up, because of her kindness.
At the age of ten she was adopted into a family which already had two children. Her life did not become any happier. Her siblings consistently rejected calling her their sister, and Rhea suffered as a result. It was the sister, Clara, who was particularly abusive. She didn’t hesitate to take away Rhea’s things, didn’t mind physically hitting her, and knew exactly what to say to get under her skin and make her feel vulnerable and powerless. She was one of the three people who Rhea looked up to as she was growing up, because of her inner strength, tenacity, and unbreakable determination.
Rhea did not stay long with that family. When she was twelve she once again returned to an orphanage. She felt lonely and isolated, and for some reason could not help but think about Clara. Life in the orphanage once again was hard. However, she remembered all that she had learned in her life so far and learned to carry on. From Clara she had learned how one took control from others, and from her old orphanage’s matron she learned how to be kind. The matron of her new orphanage was a former veteran. This new matron befriended Rhea, and told her of her glory days in the military. From her Rhea learned the ideas of honor and sacrifice. It was her who convinced Rhea to join the army.
At the age of eighteen Rhea left to join the military. She had gone through a lot in her childhood, and had changed completely from when she was a child. She joined the army, and tried her best to fit in there. Due to her experiences in childhood she fit in better than she did before. However, she still had a shyness and nervousness about her. The training was hard on her, and every day was a challenge. She earned the ire of her commanding officer as a result of her weakness. However, with the experiences of her past in her mind she made it a point never to give up. Eventually Rhea grew stronger, and as boot camp went on she became stronger due to her tenacity. As a result she tapped into her inner potential and turned into a fine soldier, perhaps the finest in her platoon.
It was during this time that the war between her state of Liberty and their rival Erubesco began a war with each other. During training Rhea had learned to control well her Gift of levitation, but she had not yet achieved mastery of it. She had plenty of growing to do. As the war began her regiment was one of the first to be sent to the frontline, and she was one of the first to fight in the war. Those first days would shape Rhea more than any other event ever would. Many of her comrades, who she had come to know in boot camp, died immediately. Those who survived, such as herself, were immediately besieged. The enemy was relentless, and fighting lasted for hours as they fought for single miles of land. Rhea did not think about it. She had learned how to block out all such thoughts that would merely force her to break down. She soldiered on – a fitting expression – and held the line. When there was an assault Rhea, with help, spearheaded the counterattack by her regiment, leading to her moniker “The Hero of Buford.” In the Battle of Buford she had sixty confirmed kills overall.
Rhea is not tactician, and she has never been well-liked by the military brass for her honorable and principled stance. The officers simply feel that Rhea is not “one of them.” She has been (privately) accused of being more like an Erubescan knight than a soldier of Liberty, but Rhea has never had any doubts regarding her loyalty. As a result of this situation Rhea has never been promoted any higher than lieutenant. She has without relief in the Liberty-Erubesco war, now in its seventh year, and Rhea believes there is no end in sight. She believes it will ultimately be a war of attrition, and that victory will only come when one side runs out of people. She does not like this situation, but she cannot see any alternative.
Full Name: Sara Danton Hargrave
In terms of beauty, Nomad isn’t much to look at, with a harsh skin that is mired by the scars of battle and a life of hard work. It is difficult to tell her gender at a glance. Her clothes are mere tatters, things which she has bought for cheap from the various ashlander scavengers, which are hodgepodge of various linen and cloth sewed together without any thought to aesthetic. Her gender can be hard to tell, as she is extremely plain and wears very baggy clothes, and doesn’t have anything to speak of in feminine form. She normally wears a round hat over her head to protect her skin from the sun. She wears thick black gloves, and when she is traveling she is never without her spiked brass knuckles, which she all too willing to punch someone with. She has a belt that holds her canteen and pistol, which has its own hoisters.
All of Nomad’s senses are above average, and she additionally has more strength and speed than can be acquired through training.
Most find Nomad very abrasive. She has a tendency to be crude, though not vulgar, and only knows how to speak in unpolished language. She also does not tend to hold back in her words. She is not very good with complicated emotions, or at least does not like to discuss them, and prefers bluntness over anything else. With those who are friendly and amiable to her she knows how to act accordingly, as long as they aren’t asking too much of her in terms of manners, but towards the arrogant and conceited she doesn’t hesitate to try and bring their ego down a notch. She tends to be quite talkative and inquisitive, and does not mind prying into someone else’s business.
Nomad is always looking out for herself, and is always hoping to get valuable things to barter. She, however, is utterly unwilling to become a trader. Instead, she is always doing favors for other people in return for reward. However, Nomad will never do any work she considers unscrupulous, and will not hesitate to help out someone in need if she has the time. Nomad hates to see good people suffers, which is why she despises bandits and slavers. She also despise mercenaries, mostly due to bad experiences.
A veteran fighter. Adept at sneaking and hearing people approach her. Is skilled at unlocking locks. Experienced in bartering. She knows all the skills necessary to survive in the Ashland, such as how to make a fire, how to hide from incoming bandit or slaver raiding companies, how to hunt, scavenge, make clothes and blankets, how to cook, and how shoot a gun. With her pistol she is a crack shot, but it still is only a pistol. Though her training is minimal, she is an expert hand-to-hand fighter due to years of intense experience. She should not be underestimated under any circumstances.
Overconfident. Has a tendency to think she will never lose to anyone no matter how outnumbered she is.
Stupid. Never thinks things through and isn’t very good at making plans.
“Me and the slavers have a working deal. I shot them, they die. It’s a mutual relationship.”
Nomad doesn’t know much about her lineage. Despite the aid of a gifted doctor Sara’s mother died in childbirth, so Sara only had her father. Sara has only a few memories of her father, but remembers his name, Walter Danton. They were traveling together on a caravan with a number of others, heading towards a nearby settlement, when they were attacked by bandits. Nomad was the only survivor. She would have been captured, but she was saved by an ashlander named James Hargrave. Though he was not her blood relative, in time Sara learn to call James her father. He taught her the skills necessary to survive in the Ashland, and taught her how to fight and shoot. Nonetheless, James never let her come along when he ambushed small groups of bandits and slavers.
By the time she was twelve Sara had gotten used to calling James father. It was then when James’ enemies caught up to him, and the mercenaries of the Black Raven Company ambushed their hideout. James told Sara to retreat, and to run as far away as possible. Their departure was tearful. Sara knew that she was leaving James behind. She never looked back, though she knew that he couldn’t have lived. From then on Sara called herself Nomad, because she had become a drifter and wanderer.
People didn’t respect Nomad at first. They thought she was just some snot-nosed kid who was there to cause trouble. But she wasn’t there to be some orphan, she was there to take jobs just like her dad did. Things didn’t turn out like she thought they would. No one took her seriously, and no one was willing to give her the types of jobs she wanted. She wanted to kill bandits and slavers, not perform menial labor. So she ended up joining a traveling caraven. When it was attacked by a group of bandits Nomad was able to fight the off. She ended up traveling with that caravan for three years.
Once she turned fifteen, however, Nomad decided that people would start to take her a little bit more seriously. Long story short, they did. Nomad ended up in conflict with a group called the Aran Gang after she saved someone who a gang member was terrorizing. This was a long and arduous journey for her. Along the way she met Adam Culver, a former slaver who for years would serve as Nomad’s most trusted companions. In the end Nomad and Adam proved to be a durable and formidable pair, and left the Aran Gang severely damaged, with several of their leaders killed by them personally, and Nomad and Adam personally led to the events that resulted most of the Aran Gang members being arrested.
Later Nomad decided to travel through the Ashland more, helping all sorts of people along the way, provided they were of some sort of moral character. She vastly preferred to be reward for her efforts over not being awarded. Nomad frequently attacked small groups of bandits and slavers with Adam at her side. The Black Raven Company, the mercenaries who killed Nomad’s father, she has run into a great number of times, and always as enemies. They have put a bounty on her head, and attack her personally. She is good enough that she always wins out, however. As the years went by Nomad made many friends and gained the respect and admiration of many who were saved as a result of her actions. One day Nomad was out in the ashlands as usual when she and Adam were ambushed by a large group of slavers, who were intent on getting rid of her. She survived and killed them, but was injured and Adam was killed. Since then her hatred of slavers has increased, and she hates them even more than the Black Raven Company.
Since then, however, Nomad has carried on, alone. She does the same thing she always does, but she misses Adam.
Riza put his glass down, and stepped forward. There was no reason for him to hesitate. Alcohol had a way of playing with the mind, of dulling it, but Riza did not feel dulled. Disassembling and assembling his pistol was no problem at all. It was something that he had done many times for years, and was something that was natural to him. It was something that did not require much thought from Riza. He disassembled his pistol, then quickly assembled it again as fast as his hands could move.
On the topic of romance, no matter what I do I'm never able to set up real romantic tension between characters. It did happen once accidentally last year between a pair of characters, but I was never able to settle that since there was never a time when a kiss scene wouldn't have been completely out of place.
The vision I have of my characters from when I begin to write tends to be radically different from when I begin. This seems to be affect me without fail. This year I had planned a side character who had a fiery, even rude personality. She's now turned a trickster whose pretty kind, and has turned into the main character. The fact that I am even able to surprise myself is undoubtedly the best part of pantsing for me.
Riza looked to the row of bottles that the Field Supervisor had all set up. Riza knew that they must have been far from homogenous, since the Field Supervisor had ordered them to a bottle from the left first. Riza was not much a drinker, but he had could hold his own on that front well enough. As long as he didn't have to outdrink some Erubescian drunk he suspected he should be fine. Riza approached the drinks and took one off the table.
"Cheers," Riza said.
Then Riza, rising the drink to his mouth, took a gulp of it.