Characters | R03 (Part 1 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!


mit admissions essay Pitch: Investigating a distress signal from another spaceship containing no survivors happens from time to time for the members of the Starship Integris. But this time, after leaving the empty ship behind, Captain Dawson finds his team being mysteriously killed one by one and he must figure out who in his crew is the killer before it’s too late. (revised)

home page First Character Name: Edward Dawson Age: 41 Gender: male
best essays for students Race: human Occupation: Captain of the Starship Integris
how to conduct a business plan Role in Story: Protagonist Physical Description: Dawson is quite the regular man. He is not muscular, but he is not thin; he is not that tall, but he is not a short man. His well-shaved face is round and he looks trustworthy and serious. The wrinkles on his eyes show his experience, along with the gray hair on the sides of his head. His hair is not as black or as thick as it used to be, but Dawson still keeps it short, tidy, and well-groomed. He is the Captain after all.

writing college essays for admission Personality: Captain Dawson is a serious man. He believes fun is healthy — and sometimes crucial — to keep a small group of people such as his crew cohabiting peacefully and working together, but he also believes there’s fun time and there’s work time and one must know how to differentiate those. He is warm-hearted and comprehensive, but somewhat strict. Keeping this balance is a struggle sometimes. dissertation proposals in tqm Background: Edward was born on Altar-2, a human planet not greatly developed if compared with the older ones. His father had what he called a small interplanetary store. He would buy and sell all kinds of things from distant planets. When his father died he struggled a couple of years to keep it running before selling the store and buying the Integris. That was 12 years ago and, since then, he travels from planet to planet buying and selling every kind of weird thing.

page Key Relationships: The Integris is his baby. The people on the ship are not only his crew members but also his friends, especially Red, the ship’s medic. They’re together since the beginning. Also, Captain Dawson has a new assistant, Ben, and he is trying to make the kid his apprentice, but it’s not going that well. Internal Conflicts: Changing between good cop and bad cop is the struggle of his life as the captain. External Conflicts: Customers and bureaucrats can be a pain in the ass from time to time but lately his main source of headaches is Ben.

go site Flaw: He can lose his temper sometimes when he wants people under him to take things seriously and they don’t. He thinks he could be more open-minded about it.

Purchase Essays Online Goal: Save enough money to leave his current life and buy a big house on one of the upper-class human planets. It should be full of plants and have a great view of the city or the mountains or whatever it is. He misses living in a planet; he has been living in space for over 10 years and he is tired.

next Second Character

next Name: Benjamin “Ben” Presto
portrait of a writer essay Age: 20 Gender: Male
i need help writing a compare and contrast essay Race: human Occupation: Captain’s assistant
get Role in Story: Apprentice

Physical Description: Ben is not a fully grown man yet. He is thin and has long clumsy arms. His face is long and vertical and his eyes are bright with innocence and adventurousness. His disheveled hair is dark brown and thick, he cuts it irregularly from time to time when some strand is starting to get annoying. All in all, he is not a man yet. He is a boy.

Personality: Ben thinks he is funny and likes to joke around. He is friendly and curious. Ben likes to meet new people and get to know them. His time in the Integris is helping him with that.

Background: Ben never got to meet his parents. He lived with nomad salesmen on the planet Bunes since he can remember and that’s how he met Captain Dawson. On one occasion he was trading on the planet’s biggest commercial center and he overheard Captain Dawson talking with someone. He got interested because he always wanted to travel the galaxy. Ben helped Dawson with the local dialect and asked him to become part of the crew. After some hours, (the kid just wouldn’t leave) he said Ben could come onboard if he got his hands on a very rare rock called “the eye of Bunes”, they would be leaving in two days. Somehow the boy did it. That was almost two years ago.

Key Relationships: Ben never loved anything enough to care about leaving it. When he came on board of the Integris, he started a new life and, in this new life, he has many friends. He is very curious and spends entire days asking people about their jobs and helping them. His favorite is Captain Dawson, followed closely by Berta, the ship’s programmer.

Internal Conflicts: Ben wants to be a great man, like Captain Dawson. He doesn’t want to be as strict as the captain is but it’s like there’s no problem Dawson can’t handle. He wants to be like that, and he hates to think he is just a boy. He doesn’t want to be a boy, he wants to have his own starship and travel the galaxy. But he knows he’s still just a boy.

External Conflicts: Captain Dawson likes to be tough on him and tell him he is just a boy. That infuriates him, but he shouldn’t say a word. Most of the time, everything is fine, but there are days when dealing with the captain is hard. There are other days when it’s even harder.

Flaw: He doesn’t remember to take things seriously enough. Most of the time he doesn’t ever want to take things seriously. But he knows he must.

Goal: Ben wants to see everything there is to see in the galaxy. Talk to every intelligent life form, step on every kind of ground on every habitable planet. He wants to travel and get to know everything there is to be known. He is just starting, but when he gets his own starship, everything will be easier.

SplinterFM (Mystery)


Pitch: While staying with her cousins as her family’s farm undergoes construction, Ashlyn Warren joins the neighborhood kids in playing a game of manhunt in the woods behind their house. When she ignores their instructions to perform the safe passage ritual, she accidentally invites a new player to the game, a dangerous entity intent on devouring the kids. Now Ashlyn must complete the game without being caught, or allowing anyone else to be. (untouched)

First Character

Name: Ashlyn “Ash” Warren
Age: 16
Gender: Female
Race: Human
Role in Story: Protagonist

Physical Description: Ash is of Irish-Korean decent, with her features favouring her Korean side. She’s tanned with muscular legs from her years of running track. Ashlyn stands at around 5’2” and carries the stocky build of the Irish side of her family. Her hair is black with the tips dyed electric blue. She dresses in a pair of baggy black pants, a stained grey shirt and a black leather jacket that’s far too hot for their weather.

Personality: Ash is fiercely independent. She is quick to anger and not afraid to resort to violence. Ash feels the need to question everything, and won’t do thinks if she thinks they serve no purpose. Normally, she prefers to be alone and hates when she’s forced to engage in conversation with others. Her image, though, is very important to her, and she’s always loved that her younger cousins looked up to her. Even though she doesn’t know them that well anymore, she’s very protective of her cousins.

Background: Ash grew up on a small farm out of town. Even though it was a hobby chicken farm, she enjoyed the fact she had all her classmates convinced she lived on a farm with a ton of horses. Always striving to succeed, she found happiness in the track team. During the summers, Ash’s family would have her younger cousins over for a week. She became something of an idol for them. Since the summer, though, she’s fallen in with the punk crowd at her school, resulting in her losing her place on the track team. Things got worse when her parents finally went through with construction on the farm, resulting in her being sent to live with her aunts and two cousins for the summer.

Key Relationships: With her cousins Finn (12 year old male) and Tia (11 year old female), and the Entity

Internal Conflicts: Independence versus public image

External Conflicts: Protecting her cousins and their friends

Flaw: Hubris

Goal: The survival of her cousins

Second Character

Name: “Belle”/The Entity
Age: 164
Gender: Presents as female in this current form
Race: Will of the Forest
Role in Story: Antagonist

Physical Description: Standing at 7’5”, Belle looks like someone stretched the rotting skin of a small, young woman over a massive skeleton. Almost all her bones are visible and she has no muscle mass. Her greying skin is covered with tracts of black veins, most notably showing under her eyes. Her hair is black and trails down to her waist. It is thin, but unwashed, matted together from years of being left uncared for.

Personality: Belle is hungry. She’s the very embodiment of gluttony, both in regards to food and knowledge. The most she eats, the more she learns. As she learns, she becomes more powerful. Though she’s as intelligent as her last sentient meal, a 14 year old girl, she cares little for ethics. She’ll do whatever it takes to get her next meal. The original Belle was vain and short sighted, and this has been passed onto the new Belle.

Background: The Entity, before she was Belle, was born out of the forest’s will to survive when local humans began to threaten the wildlife of her small forest. Originally weak, she learned to grow stronger by devouring intruders. She gained the intelligence of the people she ate and eventually grew clever enough to lure folks into her forest. Eventually, the people living around her forest learned a ritual to appease her. She would allow them safe passage if they offered her blood and secrets. She ate very little after that. One day, not too long ago, though, a runaway teen named Belle wandered into her forest. The Entity devoured her and became her. The human Belle had been near the point of starvation, and this had made the new Belle all the more aggressive.

Key Relationships: Ash as her primary target

Internal Conflicts: Desperate to learn more about the world and satisfy her hunger

External Conflicts: Confined to her forest and restricted by her pact the humans of long ago

Flaw: Hedonistic

Goal: To eat the kids playing in her forest

Kamary (Horror)


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?

About E.L. Drayton

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

    Nartan Lackland – very good job of reconciling his background with his personality, I think I “get” him. Only question is how much of that background will come out naturally through the short story?
    Tontian – is he fully anthropomorphised? Seems compelling but maybe make him a bit more sympathetic, I can understand him wanting to survive but I think we the readers need to want him to survive.

    Captain Dawson – How close is he to buying the house/does he have any other motivation towards it? I’m just trying to understand why he’s still in space if he doesn’t like it.
    Ben – what is his role on the ship? Just a general assistant? I like him as a character but am not sure what he provides the ship.

    Ash – seems like a really interesting character, what kind of arc is she going to have through the story? I think I have an idea where you’re going with it but am curious if we’re on the same page
    The Entity- great imagery, that’s going to be very off-putting. In terms of her background and ‘the pact’ will any of that be explained in the story or just used to inform her behavior? Because I feel like often the less that is explained in horror the better.

  • SplinterFM

    All in all, the sketches look good but I feel the flaws would fit better as internal conflicts, especially Tontian’s. Other than that I don’t see any plothole. On a scale of 1 to 10 on how interested I am, I would have to say 4. The story is well constructed, but the anthropomorphic animals and 400 years old humans don’t really work for me, it’s not my thing. 🙁

    This one is mine and, although it sucks, I’m very interested.

    I’m not sure I like Ash, she looks like an annoying teenager, although she does seem to have good values. The Entity, though: I loved it. She’s terrifying! A character doesn’t have to be likable to be interesting and I’m sure Ash is gonna push the story forward, she is strong. And Belle is a horrifying counterpart. This is gonna be good. Combining the pitch and the character sketches: 9.

  • Arthur Cole

    1) Grover
    Started off a little slow, but picked up soon enough. I particularly like Tontian’s sketch, especially the simplicity of his ending goal: Survive. My one critique, thought it seems he is developed enough, Nartan seems a bit on the dull side. After 412 years and an assistant active life of the Templars, I would hope for a little more life and excitement from him, but still good overall.

    2) SplinterFM
    No offense, but I feel Edward Dawson is a very conflicting character. First, his physical description is a lot of “he is not this, and not and… And his hair is not…” I think focusing on positive attributes (what he IS like) rather than negative (what he is NOT) would be better suited here. Secondly, and, in my opinion, his fatal flaw, Dawson’s “baby” is Integrity and crew, but his goal is to leave his “baby” and crew?

    I like Ben a lot! He seems interesting. I hope the viewpoint will be his because I think it would be a great read. There still are a lot of negatives, though. You keep saying “he isn’t… He doesn’t…” I would suggest to change this into positive statements instead.

    3) Kamary
    Your characters are well developed, I think. From the pitch i had a different view of Ash, but I guess that’s on me. I also loved the mystery of the entity in your pitch, and, while done well, I had hoped to keep the entity a little more mysterious. All-in-all, they’re good character backgrounds.

    -Arthur Cole

  • BlueLikeATardis

    1.) Grover – After reading your characters, I like them quite a lot. It helps me connect better with the plot and the anthropomorphic style you have going on. I do have to say that I wonder how you are going to Nartan’s backstory organically flow into the story. It seems like quite a lot that would be better suited for a novel. Tontian’s character sketch was simple, but it was very effective. It was like being placed inside the mind of the character. Overall, great job.

    2.) SplinterFM – I spent a lot of time focusing on what Edward Dawson did not look like then what he actually did. It would be better to be more descriptive of what he looks like currently. If he’s not that tall, how tall is he? He’s not all that muscular or thin, so what exactly is it? A regular man could really mean anything depending on the person, so it’s best to clarify what it means in the story. Does that make any sense? Besides that, Edward sounds like a father figure on the ship and I think this pairs quite nicely when his crew begins to be murdered. If the Integris is his baby, why would he want to leave it? Is it the aftermath of losing everyone on the ship that taints his view of it?

    Something about Ben’s character sketch makes me suspicious. Maybe it’s the hints of being seen as a boy (it kind of came off a bit aggressive, was that your attention?) and not wanting to be or the way Ben and Edward are struggling with the whole apprentice thing.

    3.) Kamary – As much as I love a good bitchy character, I dunno about Ash. She comes off as bratty/snobbish, but there are good qualities too. So, I am sure I would most likely come to like her more in the story.

    The description for Belle reminds me of the Wendigos in Until Dawn. Those gluttonous monsters could eat on forever and I love the way you wrote your monster. Since Belle was once vain and short-sighted would this serve as symbolism for Ash’s own vanity? If so, I adore the concept.

  • artisticBard

    Grover (Mystery)
    Nartan: If Nartan is human, then how has he been able to live to be 412 and still be able to work a physically demanding job? What does his peacekeeper armour look like? You should be able to describe his personality in more than two sentences. This does not give nearly enough depth to the character to be considered an actual person. How does he deal with stress? Does he have any bad habits? Ticks? How does he treat people he cares about vs. strangers? Keeping the topic of the story in mind, what are his feelings towards kids? (And who are “the gods”?) There are some confusing elements to the background as well. What is this templar order? They seem to have a lot of political influence. Why did he choose to retire from such an influential position? Beastiality is legal in this universe and humans have the ability to procreate with animals? Animals can have jobs? And what happened during the time between getting the job in District 12 and the first events of the books? Jala Oldham is a fox, but who is she? “Nartan can’t tolerate seeing children being abused. He will act, despite the consequence.” is not a flaw. Try again. His goal is too big for a short story.

    Tontian: Animals where clothes? How does he wield the wand? In his mouth? How is he able to move with robes on? Again. You can’t convey your character’s personality through two sentences. If he is skittish around adults and defensive against children, then how does he manage to convince anyone of anything? It sounds like he has a lot of social and trust issues. While the characters in the story may not know anything about Tontian, YOU as the writer should. Write it down. This background is confusing and I don’t understand a word of it. Who are these street kids that he’s so attached to despite being defensive against? “Frightened child in a scary world fighting to survive.” in not an internal conflict. It’s an external one.Why is he not eating? Why is he getting sick? How does his flaw play into his interactions with the world around him?

    Overall 1/10. There is both simultaneously too much and not enough information with your characters to determine anything that’s going on.

    SplinterFM (Mystery)
    Edward Dawson: I would like to have a small description of what his uniform looks like, but it’s not necessary to get an understanding of the character. His personality gives a good idea as to his priorities. His background is short and comprehensive. Though I’m curious as to what some of these “weird things” are. I like that his key relationships are expanded upon and isn’t just their name. His flaw is very humanizing to his character, as it is a common flaw we often see in the real world. It’s really nice to see a spacefarer’s goal that is to settle down. It’s not something I see often.

    Benjamin Presto: I like that you really emphasis that Ben is still really young, in appearance and personality. I would have liked to get a bit more out of the personality section, though. His background is simple yet speaks volumes about his character. I like that. I find that fact that someone who is such a jokester has such high aspirations compelling.

    Overall 10/10. Your characters are very well developed and seem very real. I really enjoyed reading about them and look forward to reading your synopsis.

    Kamary (Horror)
    Ashlyn Warren: Her bio does a really good job on conveying what kind of person Ash is. She feels very much her age and is a really compelling character.

    Belle/The Entity: With Belle being a type of creature that is not commonly known, you do a very good job at conveying what she is and the purpose she serves. Although she plays the antagonist, I can sympathize with her and find her a really interesting character.

    Overall 10/10. Very well done. I really enjoy these characters, and your descriptions give me a good sense of who they are and what I can expect from them. I’m excited to read your synopsis.

    • Grover C Rockwood

      Thank you for the blatant, biased attack of a critique.

      • artisticBard

        There are elements of your story that have changed drastically from round to round. There are many people in this workshop. And I do actually have a learning disability. You can’t expect me to remember every detail about everyone’s stories in this workshop. I admit that I sounded harsh, and for that I apologize. I’ve been under a lot of stress and it’s affected my ability to communicate. But my questions do come from a genuine source of lack of understanding. Your bios were lacking in a lot of areas. If you think this was an attack on anthropomorphics in general, then you’re wrong, and I’m sorry that you saw it that way.

  • PaulWeaver

    Grover (Mystery)

    Very detailed and complex characters, I hope these work out for you but are they too complex?

    SplinterFM (Mystery)

    These characters are both very strong, well written and very complex. Can you get this to work for you in a short story?

    Kamary (Horror)

    A strong pair of characters,I wonder if they are too complex for a short story.

  • Heracorn

    Well worked characters with lots going for them.

    Again really well worked and strong characters. But maybe to much for a short story. Possibly.

    Might be a little to bitchy to make a connection with but i’m sure you know what you’re doing.