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!

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

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)

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

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)

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

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)

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

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.
Bookmark the permalink.
  • Nacho

    Nacho – that’s mine

    Mark Jameson – real interesting character and good protagonist. What is his personality like when he’s around his brother? It seems like that’s the only time we meet the “real” Mark.
    Chandler Jameson – great foil for Mark, his intellectual side sounds intriguing and I can’t wait to learn more about it.

    First off I have to say great premise, especially making the replacement a focus of the story too
    Cassey Karter (1) – seems like a strong character, what a tragic backstory
    Cassey Karter (2) – most of his personality works in contrast to 1, so its tough to get much of a read on him, but I feel like his actions throughout the story will show his true colors

    • Arthur Cole

      #2 here. That’s very intuitive of you! That’s what I had intended for Mark that he is this kind man with a “tough” shell he puts on for the town in order to appear a “stronger” Sheriff. The only time he is himself is around his brother.

    • artisticBard

      Thanks, Nacho! I would have written a bit more about Cassey (2), but I was pressed for time. I’m glad that you enjoy the characters. 🙂

  • Arthur Cole

    1) Nacho
    Like I had mentioned on a previous round, Ackroyd reminds me a lot of Harry Dresden (Dresden Files) in his cynicism and jagged exterior. He’s a good character, but a little cliche, but, then again, it’s sort of a genre convention that may be necessary. I particularly like his background. It rings very authentic to his personality and interesting as well. I hope you can bring that into a short story (<7,500 words). One critique I have is what seems to be a contradiction. He is thin but muscular. When I read thin, I see small framed. Muscular I see bulky. Perhaps maybe short and bulky, but I don't know. William some is great! Background is well done and had real and relatable conflicts and he will be a great counterpart to Ackroyd. Good job!
    Rating: 10/10

    2) This is mine. Let me know which of the two y'all like better. I haven't decided which viewpoint I am going to go with.

    3) ArtisticBard
    Your story reminds me of a movie (I think from the 90's) called "6th Day," (I think) starring Arnold Schwarzenegger where this company took some of his DNA and made a clone of him who took his place. Turns out (SPOILER ALERT!) He was the clone! Mind blown! Anyway…
    Cassey 1 is wonderful. There isn't anything else that is necessary to know about him. You've done well in introducing him and where he comes from. Good job!
    Cassey 2 is cool that, based off of different circumstances, had his own characteristics. Very interesting rather than the cliche EXACTLY THE SAME.
    Rating: 10/10

    -Arthur Cole

    • artisticBard

      Aah, thank you very much! I was worried that I was lacking in a lot of places because I was rushed. And lol! I’ve never heard of 6th Day, but I can see why my characters made you think of it! 😛

  • SplinterFM

    Nacho
    I got curious about the background on John Ackroyd. When you say his wife left with the kids, did they run away? Did he ever saw them again? If not, that’s gotta be rough on him. I wonder how recent it is and how it affects his behavior.
    William Stone is also a solid character and I like how his goal is to “live out the remaining days of his life in peace”. If he wanted to live his life in peace why did he commit suicide? Things start to point more clearly to murder instead of suicide and that’s the mystery.
    I like how you made your characters dwell in a gray area. They are neither bad or good, they are just human. 9/10.

    ArthurCole
    Your revised pitch is much better than the old one, it makes me really interested. I like your characters but they are really deep and well-developed and it makes me worry. I can’t stop thinking how you’re gonna fit it all into such a short story. I hope you can do it because your story gets more interesting every round. 9/10

    ArtisticBard
    I like the description of your characters. Reading their sketches makes me realize there are details about your world I still don’t understand quite clearly and I’m curious about them. It makes me want to understand more, it’s a good promise and makes interested in the story. Looking forward to reading it. 10/10

    • Arthur Cole

      ArthurCole here. Thank you very much! My last pitch was criticized for being too long and too much detail so I went for a little more simplistic pitch this time. And I hope I can extract all of their depth in a short story as well!

  • Grover C Rockwood

    Since I can’t contact you any other way, and these post are moderated, then I’ll place this here. Please remove anything relating to my short story from the site. If this is ignored, I will escalate to a DMCA takedown.

  • Kamary

    Nacho (Mystery)
    John: Not to say I disliked him, but John is exactly what’s expected of a private eye. I’m a little disappointed by this. I thought there would be a bit more to him. I guess you don’t want to go for anything too complicated.
    William: He too suffers from being a little bland. I guess if the story focuses more on the women in his life than him, it makes sense.
    Overall: Since this is a mystery, I can understand why you went with simple characters. the pitch is still really promising. I just hope the plot makes up for the lack of depth in this character. I’ll give is a 5/10.

    ArthurCole (Mystery)
    Mark: He seems to be defined by his flaws, which I really like. However, I was expecting a little more depth to his personality. He contrasts well with his brother though, and I’d lover to see how he develops at the story goes on.
    Chandler: There was a lot more about this character that I could since my teeth into. He contrasts his bother very well, being much more emotional and intelligent. I like the fact his relationship with his father was a little strained. I think it’s a bit odd that his interests are so varied. What did he study at college?
    Overall: I liked it for the most part. I think the contrast between the two characters is good. I am quite interested in the mystery as well. Over all, I’ll give this a 7/10.

    ArtisticBard (Mystery)
    Cassey (1): Oh boy, I very much like this one. I’m really interested in how different Cassey is from who he used to be. His powers make him so extremely interesting! I’d love to hear more about changeling society.
    Cassey (2): This Cassey isn’t as deep as the other, but I was really glad to see him here. I think the contrast between the tow of them is good, but more than anything, I’d like to see the two team up.
    Overall: Seeing the characters, I’m much more interested in this story now. I didn’t think the other Cassey would show up at all. Maybe just in the background. Now I’m imagining a buddy detective mystery between the two of them. Giving it a 9/10.

  • Heracorn

    Nacho:
    Pretty good cast you’ve put together.
    John: While a little cliché a more stock-ish character can be used to tell a great story.
    William: Again cliche. But I hope you can use there standard characters to form a great mystery.

    ArthurCole:
    Mark: Very well detailed character. Though he was kinda lacking in the actual personality section. But the character has plenty of room to grow in the story.
    Chandler: Really different than, Mark. It’ll be interesting to see the two play off of each other.

    ArtisticBard:
    Cassey (1): Nicely constructed. I feel like he’ll work incredibly well for your story.
    Cassey (2): Obvious you made this one to be the exact opposite of the first. A fitting antagonist.

  • artisticBard

    Nacho (Mystery)
    I really like your character bios. The information given really helps me get a sense for who they are. I like that you went a bit more into Ackroyd’s time in the army instead of just glossing over it. The fact that you’ve empathised that he’s a detective with nothing to lose really nails down the low point that he’s hit in his life. I would like to know more about this case that blew up in his face, but it sounds like something that will come up later on, in the actual story (for which I’m looking forward to).

    The biggest problem with Stone’s bio is that there are a lot of grammatical, tense, and spelling errors, which makes it a little difficult to get your intent across. But seeing as how this isn’t going to be published, it’s not big deal. 😛

    Arthur Cole (Mystery)
    I really like that the brothers act as a foil for the other, and that there is this conflict of wanting to be close to each other, but unwilling to compromise on their locations. You did an amazing job on making your characters have a lot of depth to them, making them feel real. Just reading this has gotten me reinvested in your story and has even pulled on my heartstrings. I can personally relate to a lot of their troubles and I can easily sympathise with their situation.

    ArtisticBard (Mystery)
    Mine.

  • BlueLikeATardis

    Nacho – I dunno. I feel like your description of John seems kind of like a cliché, you know? Your description of him is exactly how i would imagine any private investigator, which is not exactly a bad thing. Was John always so cynical even with his wife or was it after? How did he feel about his kids? William also feels like another cliché’d character, “arrogant investor”. Despite these feeling a bit like typical characters found in a private investigator story, I do enjoy them a lot. I can’t wait to see the story develop with these characters.

    ArthurCole – I really like your new pitch! I also really enjoy your characters! How does Mark feel about his brother? I am really excited about reading Chandler in the story. I think you written him really well and I find him to be very relatable. I can get very passionate about topics and could go on for hours. I think you did really well because adjusting your pitch helped me become even more interested and made these characters come alive. It also helps that I am totally for contrasting characters.

    Artisticbard – I am not sure if I mentioned this before, but I love the concept of Changelings. I enjoyed your characters and especially the contrasting behavior of the two. As nicely developed as the first one is, I somehow found the second one to be missing a bit of something. I do know you said you didn’t have enough time, so I think that is where it stems from.