Neil O'Donnell

Neil O'Donnell

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Buffalo, New York, United States
Nationally certified career coach with expertise in writing résumés and cover letters for professionals around the world. 15+ years of focus helping new graduates and seasoned professionals find good jobs.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Character Development - What works for me

When I develop characters, I consider everything I want to see in a hero, villian or throw-away character. Every character needs to be 3-dimensional for me to get hooked (as a reader). Characters need to have strengths, weaknesses and have his or her physical presence described. As a writer, I keep my reading preferences in mind. Sir Harrison of Corrington, from PEOPLE OF THE SWORD, was actually created late in the process of writing the book. The sequel (RISE OF THE CELTS) and its characters were prepared first (yea, kinda screwy I know). As for Sir Harrison, he was geared to be a hero with flaws. A knight that ignored protocol [riding to investigate a disturbance instead of riding to report to commander]. A man that was affected by anger and remorse. His flaws will be further explored in 'VLARA'S SONG' as will his strengths. The point is, I made him as real as possible. Admittedly, there are adjustments I would like to make to him now that the final copy is in circulation; I'm sure most authors feel that way. At times, I wish I had clarified certain weaknesses/strengths of Sir Harrison and other characters. Yet,I believe my readers walk away understanding why Harrison was impacted by the loss of those he commanded and why he was open to people of different backgrounds. For me, if an author can accomplish that, get readers to understand a character's motivations and actions, that author has successfully generate a 3-D character, which will ultimately get me to turn the page and read on.


Character Profile of Sir Harrison: Knight of the Church of Tropal. He is of Celtic heritage. Promoted to Captain during the events in PEOPLE OF THE SWORD. A Calvary officer, he is trained in the use of lances, pole-arms as well as utilizing a horse in combat maneuvers. Sir Harrison is also a master swordsmen and experienced in infantry deployment. A knight of the Church, Sir Harrison has received training in theology and medicine along with military strategy. This character class was developed with the Templar knights and Paladins in mind. Temperament/personality wise, Sir Harrison is thoughful, considerate and open to accepting anyone as a friend and comrade as long as he/she is of good character/heart. Sir Harrison is also seeking to find his place in the world; he is constantly torn between his service to the knighthood and his wish to have a family, living his days in peace.

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