After exploring most main and some second-tier characters, I’m coming around to the story of forging the very MC – and definitely the longest ‘making of’ story.
As the very first idea of my story came to be, so did the MC. In those early years, it was daydreaming I saw through the MC’s eyes and so I admit I had very vague idea of how he would appear and no idea of the name.
What I knew since the start was that he was to be a young warrior around late teens or early twenties, though some of the scenes were a bit closer to mid-teens. He was an orphan, his parents dying in combat and leaving him with inheritance that would make Harry Potter’s stash at the Gringotts’ look like a beggar’s hat.
Yet, he wanted to be self-sufficient, which led him to take part in gladiator tournaments – and gave his ego a major boost to the point he was secretly courting the Princess (more on the ‘Princess topic’ in my story). Outside of that, he was a lone wolf fighting any kind of danger in a mercenary-like way.
It wasn’t until some time later when I decided to try making up some major enemy – the demon armies. At that point, the reason why his parents died was that they sacrificed themselves to stop some major attack by the demons and caused so much damage the demons were set back so much it allowed him to grow up relatively undisturbed.
Eventually, I began creating a hint of backstory and came up with the idea of an (at that point unnamed) Order of which his family was a part. In those stages, the MC was a rebel, pretty much disregarding the rules.
Second stage concepts
I don’t know exactly when this changed but, eventually, I started backing away from the somewhat-spoiled rebel towards something else. I added the friendship between the MC’s father and the King, which led to some changes about the relationship he had with the Princess and eventually took turn to him being a kind-of diplomat connecting the Order and the royalty. Yet, he was still a mercenary-type character.
Eventually, I dropped the ‘marry the princess at the end’ type of ending and slowly finished the 180° by making the MC a champion of the Order instead of a rebel. His skills were also in a flux and while he was mainly warrior, he had some magical skills, for which I considered pretty much anything from ‘normal’ magic to shape-shifting.
Around this time, I started coming up with the ideas for the Eternals, though I had just two: Sagittus and Aphelia (the latter having her first placeholder name already).
Third stage concepts
The third stage had seen major changes. I’ve finished the concepts of the Order, discarded the orphan concept (and changed it to capture, thus giving the MC a motivation to free his family), and made some early attempts at world-building. I’ve also started putting some rough storyline together and came up with the Cult as the secondary antagonist. Yet, it was still an one-man show by a great deal.
It was somewhere around this stage when I actually thought about his name: I loved how names starting with “Tyr” sound – whether it’s Tyrael from Diablo seires or Tyrande and Tirion from WarCraft universe. Yet, I had no idea what to put after the ‘Tyr’ for a long while – and I discarded several ideas on the way. The one I used for quite a while was ‘Tyrsyal’ which I used for my paladin character in WoW. It was also in this stage I finalized his ‘ability kit’ as a defensive-style paladin (with no small amount of Warcraft influence).
Even as I wrote the demo, I still had much to finalize. At this stage, I finished some rough idea of his appearance, though the early description wasn’t much more than ‘tall, green-haired elf male’. I also started working on his personality a bit, even though it was to go through several adjustments. And, after the demo, I finally finalized his name.
There isn’t as much story to the eventual drafting stage – the per-draft changes were not that big. What I had to do was to finish his personality: to slow him down, I made the once-rebellious and confident one-man-army into a brooding character with his own doubts and fears who’ll need to grow into the role the story will demand of him.
The major change was that his parents were no longer captured off-screen, and thus the early story (specifically, the first book-to-be) gained significant coming-of-age elements as I explored the ties Tyr’eshal has with those closest to him.
There might be things I’d like to say, regarding his development as I wrote the early drafts of #2 and #3 but doing so would cross the line into spoiler terittory.
So, that’s it for today – the story behind the main character of my story. I hope you liked this retrospective – and I might make more about other aspects.
Feel free to ask me anything on the topic – and see you next time.
You have a great character in the works here. I should do a post on Pepper Slyhart sometime.
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I think it’s good to sometimes reflect on the process – especially for the characters that took several iterations – and see how they evolved.
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