About E.L. Drayton

Writer of novels, short stories, scripts, and reviews.

What Is Your Default Character?

Only one time have I ever looked at my character and said “they’re perfect”. That character wasn’t mine; it wasn’t somebody else’s. It was my personal character. And I was wrong.

I thought I was all right because I didn’t see my flaws. After all, if I don’t see my own flaws, who am I to think that I have any?

Synopsis | R04 (Part 3 of 3)

I’m so amazed at how far this Workshop has come since it started back in January. We started with 16 Participants and now we are here, almost at the end, and we have 7 left! Juggling life and work can be hard especially when you are trying to also “do what you love” which is why it’s always ideal to make your work be what you love. However, we are not all so fortunate (yet…) so in the meantime we find whatever minutes we can throughout the day to write and explore and create. The 8 (including myself) synopsis you are about to read were all created in a short amount of time (some could argue too short) and before the actual short story has been written (another valid argument…) so keep this in mind when offering up your feedback.

Be kind but most of all be constructive! I’m sure and I know everyone who has been a part of this Workshop has benefited from not only the exercise of writing but the feedback they’ve gotten and implemented along the way.

Each synopsis was to be no more than one page in length, which, if formatted correctly (double-spaced, 12pt font, Times New Roman) would amount to about 250 words. In an effort to keep formatting true to the sender I will be posting each submission in .pdf form below:

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EricaDrayton (Mystery)

Pt 4 - Synopsis - EricaDrayton

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ArthurCole (Mystery)

Pt 4 - Synopsis - ArthurCole

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Like Round Three, this round is just as extensive if not more so. There will be Four Rounds with two synopses in each post. When reading them think about the following questions when giving your feedback:

  • Is this formatted correctly and the right length?
  • Is there too much information given? How can this synopsis be scaled back? What can be cut?
  • Can you picture the story? Understand the Main Characters goal? Is the Antagonist present and clear?
  • On a scale of 1 – 10 how excited are you to read this short story? 1 = Not Much / 10 = Wicked Excited!

Synopsis | R04 (Part 2 of 3)

I’m so amazed at how far this Workshop has come since it started back in January. We started with 16 Participants and now we are here, almost at the end, and we have 7 left! Juggling life and work can be hard especially when you are trying to also “do what you love” which is why it’s always ideal to make your work be what you love. However, we are not all so fortunate (yet…) so in the meantime we find whatever minutes we can throughout the day to write and explore and create. The 8 (including myself) synopsis you are about to read were all created in a short amount of time (some could argue too short) and before the actual short story has been written (another valid argument…) so keep this in mind when offering up your feedback.

Be kind but most of all be constructive! I’m sure and I know everyone who has been a part of this Workshop has benefited from not only the exercise of writing but the feedback they’ve gotten and implemented along the way.

Each synopsis was to be no more than one page in length, which, if formatted correctly (double-spaced, 12pt font, Times New Roman) would amount to about 250 words. In an effort to keep formatting true to the sender I will be posting each submission in .pdf form below:

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Kamary (Horror)

Pt 4 - Synopsis - Kamary

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ArtisticBard (Mystery)

Pt 4 - Synopsis - ArtisticBard

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Like Round Three, this round is just as extensive if not more so. There will be Four Rounds with two synopses in each post. When reading them think about the following questions when giving your feedback:

  • Is this formatted correctly and the right length?
  • Is there too much information given? How can this synopsis be scaled back? What can be cut?
  • Can you picture the story? Understand the Main Characters goal? Is the Antagonist present and clear?
  • On a scale of 1 – 10 how excited are you to read this short story? 1 = Not Much / 10 = Wicked Excited!

Synopsis | R04 (Part 1 of 3)

I’m so amazed at how far this Workshop has come since it started back in January. We started with 16 Participants and now we are here, almost at the end, and we have 7 left! Juggling life and work can be hard especially when you are trying to also “do what you love” which is why it’s always ideal to make your work be what you love. However, we are not all so fortunate (yet…) so in the meantime we find whatever minutes we can throughout the day to write and explore and create. The 8 (including myself) synopsis you are about to read were all created in a short amount of time (some could argue too short) and before the actual short story has been written (another valid argument…) so keep this in mind when offering up your feedback.

Be kind but most of all be constructive! I’m sure and I know everyone who has been a part of this Workshop has benefited from not only the exercise of writing but the feedback they’ve gotten and implemented along the way.

Each synopsis was to be no more than one page in length, which, if formatted correctly (double-spaced, 12pt font, Times New Roman) would amount to about 250 words. In an effort to keep formatting true to the sender I will be posting each submission in .pdf form below:

=========================================================

Nacho (Mystery)

Pt 4 - Synopsis - Nacho

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BlueLikeATardis (Tragedy)

Pt 4 - Synopsis - BlueLikeaTardis

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Like Round Three, this round is just as extensive if not more so. There will be Four Rounds with two synopses in each post. When reading them think about the following questions when giving your feedback:

  • Is this formatted correctly and the right length?
  • Is there too much information given? How can this synopsis be scaled back? What can be cut?
  • Can you picture the story? Understand the Main Characters goal? Is the Antagonist present and clear?
  • On a scale of 1 – 10 how excited are you to read this short story? 1 = Not Much / 10 = Wicked Excited!

Would That Really Happen?

My favorite piece of writing advice is to follow the Rule of Power. The Rule of Power is to “follow the rules of your story’s universe”, and basically asserts that if you want your story’s themes and morals to impact your audience, your characters and story’s world need to be believable throughout. After all, if the story had to effectively lie in order to get across a moral, how effective do you think that moral would be in real life?

For example, if I want to express that to have friends you must be friendly, and that moral/theme/idea is true, all I have to do is tell the truth in a story where that moral would be in play, and the theme will come across!

Sally’s friendliness resulting in her having friends is what shows the moral works. If Sally is a jerk and still gets a lot of friends, we’re either telling a different moral or may have created a story where the characters don’t reflect how people in real life work.

So if we want to create a believable story, we need to be honest with the story’s universe, with the characters, and so on.

But how do we really know that we are right when we choose what “would” happen?

Would Sally really take those emotional scars from being abused as a child and use them as drive to protect others in her circle, or would she become bitter and resentful instead?

Would Bob really be relieved that Sally refused to marry him, or would he feel a tinge of pain?

Would Thomas really go to all that length just to get back at Bob, when he knows Bob didn’t really mean what he said?

We can’t guarantee that everyone will agree with our character choices- but that’s not the point. The point is if the characters are acting as they would, according to who they are. We don’t want them “breaking character”.

I think it’s important to trust our instinct on this first-off, but if you’re uncertain if your characters or story’s world would really work the way you’re writing (not if they should work that way; not if it would be cool if they worked that way; not if it would be deeper or more meaningful if it worked that way), here are some questions you can ask to ground yourself:

1. Why would this happen?

If you don’t have a solid answer, it might be time to reexamine. If you believe a character would do something, or that something would happen, there are reasons for it regardless of whether the character sees them or not:

Some possible answers:

  • She’s triggered because what just happened reminds her of their conversation earlier.
  • He’s exhausted and hasn’t eaten all day; he’s extremely grouchy now because of it.
  • The idea came to his mind because of spiritual forces, and it hit the spot; so he’s going along with it. (This working, of course, depends on your story’s universe)
  • She doesn’t trust them because she’s been burned too many times by people claiming she could trust them.
  • That’s their personality; they’re expressive as a core personality trait. (Make sure it really is a core personality trait! “Core personality trait” cannot be an excuse!!)

If you really feel like it would happen, and you don’t know why, it doesn’t mean it wouldn’t happen- you might just need to write out more backstory or examine yourself and the reasons why you believe that would happen.

2. Am I asking the right question?

Again- at least in my experience (because I take words very literally to the degree of lunacy) I never ask “should” this happen, I ask “would” this happen. If you’re like me, you may need to choose the question you ask to yourself very carefully. I have examined myself multiple times and I will give a different answer to what “should” happen vs what “would” happen.

Did you ask the wrong question? The only question I ask myself when writing is “What would happen?” Maybe you need to take a similar approach.

I think this largely depends on personality (and how literally you take things), but the following questions are no-gos for me (they’re great for brainstorming, but be careful of writing what happens based on the answers!):

  • “What should happen?” -because then I often make it a moral issue in my head or either what “should” be done in the story or what I “should” be okay writing. Neither of those are bad questions, but it’s good to be aware of the difference in the question. No, morally Bob shouldn’t rape Sally, but he would, and that’s what I should write as a writer. The “what should happen” question confuses my literal mind and so I avoid it.
  • “What do I want to happen?” -because sometimes what I want to happen isn’t based on what would happen but on my own triggers, anxieties, tendencies, etc. Asking “what do I want to happen” brings my own biases and flaws into the equation to a greater degree. I have had to force myself not to write what I wanted to write because it wasn’t truthful: two characters were in an argument, and I wanted one to “win” and put them in a pitiful light, when they were actually being extremely passive-aggressive and cruel. So I had to step back, and make sure that I went with the right question instead of following the path I wanted to follow. And the story is better for it.
  • “What would be funniest?” -because sometimes what’s funniest breaks character and is suddenly very unfunny. When characters are written not based on themselves but based on comedy, they lose their comedic power because the audience loses their ability to connect with them as deeply- honest characters can do absolutely nothing and be hilarious (that may be subjective, but I’ve found that to be true to me). Characters who break character lose their power.
  • “What would be the most meaningful?” -the truth would be the most meaningful, because the truth is what helps people see themselves and see reality. Don’t fall for the trap that anything less than the truth will be more meaningful. Even if people respond well to something that isn’t true, if they try to apply lies to their lives their lives will either break or be weaker in that area. Tell the truth; that, in the end, is the most meaningful.
  • “What would people respond best to?” -because we’re judging what the “best” response is. Plus, response is based on the person- one person might fist-pump at a villain’s death, another cry, another get angry. Let them feel what they feel- it gives them an opportunity to examine themselves and learn more about themselves (of course, I realize, they might not take that opportunity to learn about themselves and they might say that you did something wrong). And again, the truth holds power- don’t think that telling anything less than the truth holds more power than the truth itself.

Remember- the truth is what gives your stories’s themes power. Without truth there can be no themes, and stories can have no lasting impact in peoples’ lives, and stories essentially become meaningless to everyday living. Our opinions, ideas, and angles don’t give stories power. I’ve had to swallow that pill that my own opinions don’t mean that much in my stories, but it’s actually comforting because it shifts me to a new frame of reference and I can look to something. Your opinion on this will strongly vary depending on your worldview, but if you don’t believe in meaning or truth you probably aren’t reading this article with the intent to draw anything from it anyway.

3. What would it take for them to do something different?

Besides this being a great brainstorming exercise (and a way to make sure you know your characters), it can show you if your mind is stuck on only one possibility and not allowing any other possibilities in.

For example, would Sally still kill Bob if…

  • …the police found them right now?
  • …she found out she was out of bullets and she’d have to kill Bob with her bare hands?
  • …she learned that Bob was innocent?
  • …she had five guns pointed at her telling her not to shoot?
  • …her best friends were watching?
  • …she remembered what her uncle told her about Bob?

The answer might be “yes” to all of those. That doesn’t mean you’re wrong; please understand that these questions don’t exist to prove that you’re wrong. You probably aren’t. But if you’re uncertain and you can’t think of any conceivable way that would change, it’s worth going back to question number 1: “why?” and if you have no answer, I’d recommend developing one (you’re a writer, that’s allowed).

In conclusion…

Trust your instincts. This isn’t a post about questioning everything and doubting yourself- but if you ever question or doubt, hopefully these questions can help ground you and give you confidence in your direction!

Plus I think they’re just fun writing exercises.

Characters | R03 (Part 4 of 4)

I can’t believe we are already at the halfway point of this Workshop! We started working on our “idea” through crafting a Pitch then we expanded on that idea by creating a world for it to exist in. Now we are adding people through sketches! I must confess, I do love the process of creating a story almost as much as I enjoy writing the story itself. I enjoy this process so much I can no longer stay on the sidelines, just facilitating the Workshop, I want to join in! So during one of these Parts you’ll find my two Character Sketches as well as my Pitch!

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Pitch: It’s 1943 in and around the small town of Purbeckshire, James Arnold, part of the “British Resistance” was secretly training to be able to attack invading German Forces. It was thought they would attack soon. Spies were known to be operating in the area. The ultimate goal is to disrupt the Germans.

First Character

Name: James Arnold
Age: 30
Gender: male
Race: (if relevant to the story, if not, leave blank)
Role in Story: (Protagonist | Antagonist | Anti-Hero | Sidekick | Stakes | Mentor)

Physical Description: very broad shoulders, tall for the time, strong arms, big hands

Personality: quiet and never forthcoming with discussions on anything

Background: farmer, only member of family who could work the farm due to both parents being unable to due to injuries. Exempt from having to go to fight with armed services.

Key Relationships: mother, father, Queen and Country

Internal Conflicts: not sure what to put here yet

External Conflicts: not sure what to put here yet

Flaw: is a loner so may not be good in situations where he has to mix in groups of people. May give himself away to person hunting for him as he is a loner and doesn’t have the skills not to show himself as being different to the others.

Goal: if the Germans invade his aim is to go into hiding and act as the British Resistance while British forces organise themselves.

Second Character

Name: not known

Age: not known

Gender: not known as we have not found who the spy is yet

Race: (if relevant to the story, if not, leave blank)

Role in Story: (Protagonist | Antagonist | Anti-Hero | Sidekick | Stakes | Mentor)

Physical Description:

Personality:

Background: no local links

Key Relationships: German Commanders

Internal Conflicts:

External Conflicts: Continually having to reinvent themselves due to being a spy and moving on

Flaw: due to no local links would have trouble mixing with the local people

GoalMay show signs of having a low knowledge of the local area and not be sure of whose who in the area, a matter that a local person would be reasonably able to know about.

PaulWeaver (Mystery)

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Pitch: Firstborn of the original sinners, Cain lives a life in the shadows of the glory of his youngest brother, Abel, who is favored not only by Adam and Eve, but by God himself. After finding Abel entangled with a sinister presence, Cain begins to descend down a dark path of guilt, paranoia, and murderous rage. Learn the story of how Cain, the first murderer, and the first human being to fall was put under a curse, which we know now as The Mark of Cain. (untouched)

First Character

Name: Cain
Age: Early Twenties
Gender: Male
Race: BLANK
Role in Story: Protagonist

Physical Description: Shoulder-length, slightly curly raven hair. Thick eyebrows. Hooded lids (a slight puffiness on the bottom of the lids). Dark brown eyes. Angular, square jaw. About 6ft. Muscular frame. Coarse hands.

Personality: Introverted; speaks when spoken to usually. Cain is the type of person to bottle up what they are feeling, especially his jealousy and anger towards the favoritism towards his youngest brother. When his anger gets too much, he will clench his hands into tight fists to the point where his fingernails are cutting his hands to draw blood. Despite how much he holds resentment to Abel, Cain does care about him a lot.

Background: Born years after Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden, Cain worked as a farmer alongside his brother who tended the sheep. His relationship with his brother is strained and tense and his parents tend to overlook him a lot. Cain spends a lot of time with himself and his wife until Nur enters his life which is someone he is not sure about but warily talks to. Cain begins to notice that Abel is acting very oddly and leaves in the middle of the night to talk to someone. He soon finds himself torn between his personal issues with Abel and trying to protect him.

Key Relationships:

  1. Abel
  2. Nur
  3. God

Internal Conflicts: Cain is deeply jealous that Abel gets all the praise, while he gets nothing.

External Conflicts: Cain struggles between his own issues with Abel as he has to make a choice on how to save Abel.

Flaw: Bottling up his emotions, which only ends up with them festering into something even worse.

Goal: Cain tries to swallow his jealousy to help Abel not get his soul corrupted by the dark force that talks to him.

 

Second Character

Name: Nur
Age: Unknown
Gender: Female
Race: BLANK
Role in Story: Antagonist

Physical Description: Long wavy, raven hair, low slightly thick eyebrows, downturned eyes with hooded lids (slightly droopy at the outer corners), and a narrow face with angular, high cheekbones. About 5’ 6” with a petite frame. Slender fingers.

Personality: Just like a still lake, there is a lot going on beneath the surface. Outwardly, she appears calm and collected. Soft spoken, a bit playful, and is a great listener. She is very intelligent, which she uses in her own favor. Nur is calculating and manipulative; she is a subtle force that pushes you into your darkest desires. She hates feeling ignored and being alone, which can lead her to be quite violent.

Background: Nur is a primordial being who co-existed with God. While she was content with just having him around, God wanted to create Angels and the world in which humans lived. She tried to help, but her creations ended up becoming monstrous and tried to eat everything it can in contact with. She later slowly grew to resent God after he started to grow arrogant and casted her to the side.

Key Relationships:

  1. Cain  – She befriends Cain as she slowly pushes him to give into his darkest desire.
  2. God  – She is bitter with his treatment of her and wants his attention by toying with his playthings (the humans).
  3. Abel  – She speaks with him at night, and uses this to help manipulate Cain.

Internal Conflicts: She holds a deep-seated grudge at God for shutting her out and ignoring her in favor for his humans and Angels.

External Conflicts: She wants to punish God for being arrogant and leaving her for his playthings.

Flaw: She feels the need to punish those who do her wrong.

Goal: To get revenge on God by destroying what he cares about.

BlueLikeaTardis (Tragedy)

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Due to the ENORMOUS amount of work put into these Character Sketches by each participant there will be FOUR parts this Round. Take your time giving feedback for each character. This Round is probably the most crucial of all the rounds. Without a compelling character the story will fall flat. And seeing as how the next two Rounds are all about the story, it’s important we get it right.

I want you to think about the following questions when giving your feedback for each character sketch:

  • Can you “see” the character or get a sense of what the character should look like in your mind?
  • Is the character compelling enough to care whether or not they reach their goal? This applies to an antagonist as well as any other character.
  • Combining the Pitch and the Character Sketches, on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = not interesting enough / 10 = can’t wait to read it) how invested are you at this point in wanting to know more? Be honest and tell us why?

Characters | R03 (Part 3 of 4)

I can’t believe we are already at the halfway point of this Workshop! We started working on our “idea” through crafting a Pitch then we expanded on that idea by creating a world for it to exist in. Now we are adding people through sketches! I must confess, I do love the process of creating a story almost as much as I enjoy writing the story itself. I enjoy this process so much I can no longer stay on the sidelines, just facilitating the Workshop, I want to join in! So during one of these Parts you’ll find my two Character Sketches as well as my Pitch!

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Pitch: Disgraced former detective and current Private Investigator John Ackroyd spends his days chasing lost pets and following cheating spouses. When asked to investigate the suicide of William Stone, a banking tycoon, he accepts, happy to take advantage of the grieving. Ackroyd is quickly drawn into a web of intrigue involving Stone’s wife, business partner, and mistress. Against the backdrop of New York in the Roaring Twenties, Blood From a Stone is a mystery packed with intrigue and suspense. (untouched)

First Character

Name: John Ackroyd
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Race: white
Occupation: private eye
Role in Story: Protagonist

Physical Description: 5’ 10” but on the thinner side, still muscular frame from time in army, brown hair and eyes, generally has a stubble from laziness

Personality: very cynical and sarcastic, tends to see people for who they are, generally distrusting, usually direct because he doesn’t like to dance around things

Background: entered army for WWI out of high school, got sent over but sat in a trench and didn’t see any fighting, when he came back enrolled in the police force, got married became a detective, was on a major corruption case when it all rolled back on him and he was forced to resign or face prison, wife left with kids, is now a private eye

Key Relationships: he has no prior relationships with any characters in the story, which is sort of the point

Internal Conflicts: how to handle his relationship with Simone throughout the story, the combination of lust and pity and debating whether or not to rip her off.  Later on his passion to get to the bottom of the case, it had been a long time since he got to sink his teeth into a real case

External Conflicts: everyone working against him with half truths to prevent him solving the case

Flaw: cynical and refuses to see the good in people, thinks he’s an infallible detective, drinking and smoking

Goal: solve the case

Second Character

Name: William Stone
Age: mid-60s
Gender: Male
Race: White
Occupation: Investor
Role in Story: Stakes

Physical Description: Portly, balding with whtie hair around the ridges, a little over 6 feet tall, still had a youthful energy despite his age

Personality: brilliant man who saw things the way they were, generally very honest with people, emnated power when he walked into a room and didn’t take bullshit

Background: came from money but expanded that to become one of the wealthier people in the city,  slowly grew his empire with the help of his right hand man, has always been prudent in his investing, was a family man but grew apart from his wife after his children left the household

Key Relationships: Simone – his mistress who rekindled the flame in his life, Meredith – wife who he has grown apart from in recent years, Tony – business paprtner who he could always count on, though in recently they have had business disagreements, also a close personal friend, who he sort of mentors

Internal Conflicts: what to do with his personal life (Simone vs. Meredith), his feelings on the future of the economy and how to react

External Conflicts: Tony on the future of the firm,

Flaw: think’s he is infallible and can do no wrong, also thinks he is more clever than he is, “blinded by hubris”

Goal: to settle all of his conflicts and live out the remaining days of his life in peace

Nacho (Mystery)

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Pitch: Mark and Chandler Jameson defend a hermit who stirs trouble when seeking to trade much desired water for supplies. Things take a dark turn, however, when the Jameson brothers connect the hermit to their father’s death two years earlier. (revised)

First Character

Name: Mark Jameson
Age: 24
Gender: Male
Race: White (Full-blooded, horse-riding, cattle-ranching American)
Occupation: Sheriff of Golden Spurs.
Role in Story: Mark Jameson is the Sheriff of Golden Spurs. He is one of two protagonists in “Revolver & Quill” contrasting with his brother, Chandler Jameson.

Physical Description: Mark Jameson, though young, on account of his profession has taken on a very jagged exterior giving him the appearance of being much older than reality. He takes his title very seriously, despite a lack of any real threats, and it shows upon his countenance. Dust settles in the creases of his skin and scruffy facial hair reveals that he doesn’t shave often. His leather hat and boots are dry and cracked from the relentless sun, and multiple patches in his knee-length coat give him a tough appearance.

Personality: Despite Mark’s rough exterior, he is much brighter on the inside, but is hesitant to let it show outwardly. Growing up as an apprentice to his father, the prior Sheriff before he died, he learned to mask his emotions, especially fear. He would like to think himself an expert at hiding fear, but in reality has never experienced a life and death situation. Inwardly, he fears that he would not be able to stand under the pressure if he were presented with such an occasion.

Background: From age nine, Mark spent his days shadowing his father as Sheriff back when Golden Spurs was a booming gold-panning town; back when Chestnut Creek flowed generously. Even then, however, when the population was upwards to a thousand, Mark and his father never experienced any major threats personally. Keeping order and acting as judge for typically small fines were the bulk of their duties. Day in and day out, days remained the same. That is until Chestnut Creek completely dried up. Mark could see in his father’s eyes his concern for the future of Golden Spurs. Not more than a week later, his father was found dead, lying beside the dried creek bed. Immediately, at the age of nineteen, Mark took on his role as Sheriff of Golden Spurs never expressing his deep grief about the loss of his father. He was taught that crying was a sign of weakness. This caused Mark to further harden himself and the image that he presented to the remaining inhabitants of Golden Spurs.

Key Relationships: With no family left but his brother, who left for over four years to go to School in Savannah, Georgia, Mark has closed himself off to the option of letting anyone get too close to him for fear of losing another loved one. On account of this, he has chosen to remain free from the bond of any woman.

Internal Conflicts: Mark desperately yearns to be as great a Sheriff as his father was, yet fears that he will never amount to his accomplishments. As a result, he often over-compensates and becomes extremely cold and disconnected from the people. Additionally, Mark wants to give the people of Golden Spurs everything he thinks they deserve, but without water to replenish the town he feels helpless.

External Conflicts: The differences between Mark and his brother, Chandler, often leads him to question his own judgement. On one hand, he was taught to be the tough Sheriff who shoots first and asks questions later, but, on the other hand, his brother constantly conflicts him saying that he oughtn’t be so quick to judge. He doesn’t disagree, but his instincts take over at every instance.

Flaw: On account of his upbringing, Mark is often motivated by strength. He wants justice, but often doesn’t take the full details into account before ruling.

Goal: Ultimate, Mark’s goal is to protect the people of Golden Spurs. He realizes that in order to do that successfully he will need to provide water for the town or the population will soon die out or flee for more plentiful towns. His heart is attached to Golden Spurs. It is where he was born, raised, and matured under his father’s leadership alongside his brother, as well. It is where his mother died when he was young and where his father died. At all costs, Mark wants to rejuvenate Golden Spurs if it is possible.

Second Character

Name: Chandler Jameson
Age: 26
Gender: Male
Race: White American
Occupation: Recent college graduate.
Role in Story: Co-Protagonist. Chandler Jameson returns home to Golden Spurs from College in Savannah and, upon arrival, is immediately thrown into a mystery with his brother, Mark.

Physical Description: Chandler Jameson is much more refined than his brother, donning blue slacks and a matching vest over a button shirt and bowtie. His jet-black hair is always combed neatly to the side even in the wind and rain. His slender frame lends to his lack of athleticism and physical strength, but his stiff posture reveals much more about his intellect(at least his confidence therein).

Personality: Chandler is a bit over-zealous, especially concerning areas of interest such as grammar and chemistry. He will not skip a chance to discuss at length the reactions that certain chemical elements have with other, more unstable, elements. People often criticize Chandler for being conceited and arrogant, but it is only his volume and enthusiasm for all things knowledge that encourage this outlook upon him. Chandler, however, is far from arrogant. He is very warm and friendly once you get to know him.

Background: As a child, Chandler used to ride along under the wing of his father, the sheriff of Golden Spurs, along with his brother, Mark, to shadow his father to one day grow up to become sheriff himself. That was his father’s intention anyway. Chandler was more interested in reading and learning about how things worked. He had once even deconstructed his father’s revolver to see how, when the trigger was pulled, the gun would fire and then rotate the next bullet into the chamber. Needless to say, His father didn’t like this about Chandler. He called them foolish endeavors. “Now how’s that ever going to help you when you’ve got bullets pelting all around you?” he would say. One day, in his mid teens, his father fastened his holster around him and called for Mark, leaving for his daily duties as sheriff without Chandler. His father, after much frustration, had finally given up on him. Even though Chandler didn’t want to grow up to be sheriff, it hurt him that his father was obviously disappointed in him. Distance grew between him and his father and brother. A few years later Chandler went off to college far off in Savannah, Georgia, never to see his father alive again. Through letters he grew close to his brother, Mark, keeping tabs on the discouraging situation in Golden Spurs.

Key Relationships: Chandler easily lost himself in his studies. He didn’t find it hard to connect to people, but, rather, chose studies over social interaction. The only person that he now cares about is his brother, Mark, back in his hometown of Golden Spurs. Chandler also longs for the companionship of a woman, but every woman he has ever talked to was disinterested in his overly zealous behavior.

Internal Conflicts: On the outside, Chandler appears confident almost to the point of arrogance. On the inside, however, he feels that he is less of a man for seeking after an education over the life that his father had worked hard to inherit as sheriff.

External Conflicts: Chandler wants to explore his new college degree and start his career in Boston, but wants to remain close to his brother whom he has grown close to in recent years since their father’s death. His brother, Mark, however, refuses to leave the town he was born and grew up in.

Flaw: Chandler Jameson may be smart and wise, but he lacks in his ability to be street smart. He trusts in his knowledge and fails to acknowledge that other people can be less than “good-hearted.”

Goal: Chandler has always been driven to furthering his education, hopefully landing in the field of chemical science. He has always known that he would have to leave Golden Spurs in order to pursue this endeavor, and with the population quickly leaving due to the water situation he has lost all hope for his hometown. When he returns to Golden Spurs, he intends to only spend about a week there with his brother before venturing off to Boston to start his career.

ArthurCole (Mystery)

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Pitch: Cassey Karter, a Changeling–someone who was spirited away by the fae and kept in captivity for years, has finally returned the city that was once his home. When he learns that a stranger has been living his life in his absence, he is faced with the reality that his family never knew of his disappearance. Meanwhile, other newly returned changelings are being picked off by malevolent beings, leaving others to wonder if this is the work of the Fae.

First Character

NameCassey Jones Karter (1)
Age20 (21 by the end of the story).
GenderMale/Non-Binary (Begins to question the gender binary throughout the story).
RaceChangeling (Darkling Mirrorskin; a.k.a.: Shapeshifter).
OccupationWas a student, and employed at a local mechanic’s shop. Is currently none of these and without a home.
Role in Story: Protagonist.

Physical DescriptionSeen through the eyes of humans, Cassey appears to be your average teen. He stands at about 5’9” with a lanky build, save for his arms, which are more muscular due to his work as a mechanic. His white skin is tanned from spending most of his time outdoors. His hair, which falls just past his shoulders, is a light brown. His face is oval in shape with soft features and wide, green eyes. And thick eyebrows which are always knotted with worry. His posture is terrible, and his clothes usually consists of shirts stained with oil and grease, jeans, and zip-up hoodies. Sometimes he appears completely different.

But to other changelings, Cassey looks… out of focus. Like a photograph, taken with an unsteady hand, mid-movement. Like a name that’s just on the tip of your tongue. You take double–triple–quadruple-takes, as you forget what you just saw as soon as you look away. Simultaneously looking like no-one and everyone. Maybe if you just get a closer look, you think. But no matter the distance, his appearance always remains just beyond your grasp.

PersonalityINTJ

Cassey has always been an introverted person, usually keeping to himself. He was often found reading a book rather than playing with other kids. Suffering from a lot of anxiety and self-esteem issues, Cassey grew into himself, having a hard time communicating with others and making close friends. Despite this, he still managed to teach himself the art of information gathering. A skill in which most people wouldn’t expect someone like Cassey to have.

With a knack for problem-solving and intuitive know-how, Cassey took a liking to mechanics and engineering at a young age. He has a habit of constantly tinkering and fidgeting with things, and is often thinking of new projects. Though he never seems satisfied with his own work.

BackgroundCassey comes from a family of three with his mother and younger sister. His father passed away when he was young due to illness. His childhood was relatively normal, though he never really had any close friends, he was very close with his family. When he was around sixteen, he started working at a local mechanic’s shop, the owner of which acted as a mentor to Cassey. About a year later, while working on a personal project at the shop late at night, he was approached by a stranger despite the building being locked up. Before he knew it, he had fallen unconscious, only to wake up in a strange place not of this world.

Cassey’s memories of the fae are hazy at best. Memories of an unimaginably dark and murky forest, and of an indescribable entity haunt his nightmares. Molding and shaping him into whatever his kidnapper wanted. His time in the fae changed him, not only psychologically, but physically. He had become a changeling. A being created by the Fae out of humans they’ve whisked away to use at their leisure.

Key RelationshipsMother, sister, and mentor.

Internal ConflictsIntense dysphoria from his time in the fae. He has a hard time feeling that he deserves to take back his old life.

External Conflicts: Facing the person who took his place and trying to take back his life from them.

FlawExtremely anxious and lack of self-confidence.

GoalTo return to his normal life, living with his family.

Second Character

NameCassey Jones Karter (2)
Age3 (Appears to be in late teens).
GenderMale
RaceFetch (A construct).
OccupationStudent, employed at a mechanic’s shop.
Role in StoryAntagonist/Anti-Hero/Sidekick.

Physical DescriptionCassey appears to be your average teen. He stands at about 5’9” with a lanky build, save for his arms, which are slightly more muscular. His white skin is tanned, and his hair–which falls just past his shoulders–is a light brown. His face is oval in shape with soft features and wide, green eyes. And thick eyebrows which are often furrowed with worry. His posture is slightly less terrible, and his clothes usually consists of shirts stained with oil and grease, jeans, and zip-up hoodies. Though in reality, he is composed of nothing more than a couple of sticks and loose thread.

PersonalityESTP

While Cassey was made to replace the original, and has all of the memories and know-how of the original Cassey, during his time in the world, Cassey has sort of developed a personality of his own.

Unlike the original Cassey, this Cassey thrives off of being around others. With everything being so new to him, it’s hard to keep his attention for long periods of time. He finds it rather easy to express his feelings, but isn’t so good as picking up on subtle social cues.

He still shares the original Cassey’s love for mechanics and engineering and has even been able to expand and improve upon the original Cassey’s old projects, being able to look at them from a different perspective.

BackgroundEver since he came into existence, Cassey has picked up where the original Cassey left off. He graduated high school and decided to take a year off to just work and experience the world. A decision that Cassey’s family thought was strange, but supported him in it anyway. Once he had taken some time to really settle into the original Cassey’s life, he applied to a local college to start a major in engineering. Which was going really well until the original Cassey showed back up.

Key RelationshipsCassey’s mother, sister, and mentor.

Internal ConflictsConflicted feelings of whether it’s right that he continues to live a false life.

External ConflictsFacing the person that he had replaced as he tries to fight to keep his place in a world that isn’t his own.

FlawHighly ignorant and easily influenced.

GoalTo keep his place as Cassey in his family’s home.

ArtisticBard (Mystery)

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Due to the ENORMOUS amount of work put into these Character Sketches by each participant there will be FOUR parts this Round. Take your time giving feedback for each character. This Round is probably the most crucial of all the rounds. Without a compelling character the story will fall flat. And seeing as how the next two Rounds are all about the story, it’s important we get it right.

I want you to think about the following questions when giving your feedback for each character sketch:

  • Can you “see” the character or get a sense of what the character should look like in your mind?
  • Is the character compelling enough to care whether or not they reach their goal? This applies to an antagonist as well as any other character.
  • Combining the Pitch and the Character Sketches, on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = not interesting enough / 10 = can’t wait to read it) how invested are you at this point in wanting to know more? Be honest and tell us why?