Day 19: Character-Time to get to know the characters in my story a little better. The World Building website has a series of questions to answer about the protagonist, additional main characters, and the antagonist. Due to the length of this exercise, I’m going to do a part A and part B. I’ll be posting King’s Shadow today and Avignon tomorrow.
King’s Shadow: Danielle “Dani” Glasgow
Describe Danielle’s physical appearance, age, educational background, and speech patterns:
Dani is 5’4, bleached blonde hair that reached to the middle of her back, hazel eyes, oval shaped face, fit. She’s a 22 year old college graduate who has a degree in writing. She also spent time researching military history. While capable of polite conversation with strangers, she tends to avoid that kind of conversation when necessary. She lacks a filter when with her friends. When around her family and close family friends, she tends to be reserved though she occasionally has the need to put her foot in her mouth.
What would a stranger notice 5 minutes after meeting Dani?
Dani may appear reserved, but she is confident and knowledgeable when she speaks. She also prefers actions to words.
What would a companion notice after 5 days of travelling with, working with, or being around Dani?
Dani will often act without waiting for help or backup if she believes that immediate action is needed to achieve something. This has yet to blowup in her face, though she’s aware afterwards that she should have waited. But when she’s uncertain and there is no ticking clock, Dani will turn to those with more experience for help.
Who are Dani’s parents? Are they still alive?
Dani’s parents are Ronald “Ace” Glasgow and Stephanie Comstock. Ace and Stephanie divorced when Dani was eight, and her mother married the Duke of Northlynn when Dani was twelve.
What if Dani met her parents? How would she behave?
Dani is relaxed around her father, though she’s careful about what she says. Part of that comes from loyalty to her friends/protecting their secrets, and causing her father to worry. She might feel hesitant about revealing things or asking questions, but she knows that she can completely trust her father. She isn’t as relaxed around her mother. Stephanie has been very vocal about her dislike for Dani’s involvement in the Royal Forces. Dani knows that her mother loves her, but she feels like her mother is always thinking about the potential danger for soldiers. Her stepfather stays out of that conversation for the most part, though he will step in on Dani’s side if her mother gets carried away. While Dani isn’t 100% relaxed around him because he is a Duke, she knows that he’s in her corner and that she can trust him.
Where did Dani grow up? What if Dani had grown up somewhere else? What if she didn’t like her home?
Dani grew up in the palace alongside the Prince and the children of family friends. From age eight onward, she lived with just her father. If Dani had grown up elsewhere, it would have been with her mother and father in Northlynn. She would have lived as the daughter of a Duchess, making friends with other members of the upper class whenever they visited. But due to Northlynn’s remote/frontier location, she would have been much more of aware of being an only child. She would have been just as resourceful in survival in outdoor situations. However the military would not have been as feasible of a career option.
What if Dani wasn’t born there?
If Dani wasn’t born at the palace, she wouldn’t have had an insight into the real people that made up the Royal Family. She would see the Royal Family more as their status than for the people they were.
Who is Dani’s biggest hero? What if Dani met her hero?
Dani’s biggest hero is her King. While she’s never mentioned it to him and she doesn’t think she treats him all that differently than the other family friends, she trusts his word even if she’d require evidence from others. She admires his ability to be fair even if he doesn’t want to be, along with his willingness to admit to being wrong and to ask for advice when he needs help.
What if Dani met her nemesis in a neutral public place?
If Dani met her nemesis (not the antagonist) in a neutral public place, she would assess the situation to see if she could alert members of the Royal Forces or if she could gain the upper hand. If they were face to face, she would pretend not to notice him or at least not make any movements that would cause him to target her. She’s intimidated by him and his reputation though she wouldn’t hesitate to stand her ground if she felt herself or anyone else was in jeopardy.
What if Dani had a family, kids, etc.? What if Dani’s kids were part of Dani’s problem?
Dani doesn’t have a family or kids yet. But all of the commotion surrounding the marriage of the Prince has made her consider the troubles of marriage and children for a Royal Guard Officer. She won’t admit that she’s nervous about finding someone who isn’t intimidated by her or her family as she’s already noticed this with dating. As a result, her mind starts to consider a close friend in the context of a romantic relationship.
How does Dani fit into your speculative element? Does she not believe in it? Is she an expert in it? Is she an outsider?
Dani is a regular user of Suture-X due to her position as the King’s Shadow since she can’t maintain the secret with constant injuries. She’s a firm believer in the use of Suture-X for the Royal Forces, and she doesn’t have much of an opinion on it outside of it. She’s used the bandage herself and the King’s Guard medic applied it to her multiple times.
What if Dani encountered something she didn’t believe could happen? How would she react? What would that something be?
Dani would be completely unsettled if she encountered something that she didn’t believe could happen. She’d quickly analyze the situation before taking action. She may seek advice and/or instruction from those with more experience. However she may make the wrong decision. If the situation was extreme enough, she’d shut out her emotions in favor of actions. That situation could be a successful military coup.
What secrets does Dani have? What if her nemesis knew her secret? What if a love interest knew? What will Dani do to protect her secrets?
Dani’s biggest secret is that she’s the King’s Shadow. If her nemesis knew her secret, he would hold onto the secret to use at the most opportune moment. He might use it to force her out of the palace and an increasingly critical situation. If Dani’s love interest knew, he might be intimidated by her. Dani will do anything to protect her secret of being the King’s Shadow as that position can mean life or death for the Royal Family. She is even willing to be labeled a fugitive/criminal and go on the run in order to preserve the secrecy.
What does Dani not know about herself? What if Dani wasn’t who she thinks she is? What if she learned about herself? How would she take the information?
Dani doesn’t know that she has the ability and ingenuity to survive as a fugitive. She can successfully navigate life outside the law, committing crimes in order to further her goal of protecting the Royal Family (so she rationalizes). She learns that she could be successful and incredibly wealthy as a mercenary, which is an outlawed profession. That information would be interesting to her, slightly scary, and reaffirm her desire to stay on the legal side of the law.
What if Dani left home? What if she returned? What if Dani became an outsider or outlaw?
If Dani left home, she would go to a city where she could easily blend into her surroundings. She’d feel most comfortable somewhere busy. If she returned, she would have a greater understanding about life outside the confines of the capitol city. If Dani became an outsider or outlaw, she would remain as anonymous as possible. Ace’s status as a famous soldier and her own reputation for being a rising star in the military would make her a prime target for both the Royal Forces and the criminal element in the country. She would also receive offers from criminal organizations to become a mercenary, though she wouldn’t take those offers.