Character development progression…

Not all characters come from the same place. Not all are based on a person we know and not all are created directly from our minds. Some characters are taken from bits and pieces of other characters, perhaps a personality trait, internal demon, or other factor is taken from a third party source and incorporated into a brand new character.

In a previous post, I mentioned Lia’na. Part of her personality and reactions to certain situations came from my life… some, but not all. The rest was just my own original creation.

The above image is a character that I’ve written into one of my other stories… or perhaps a couple of different stories. From left to right; Darth Malyse, Xaphan rough, and Xaphan final. I created these concept images as I worked. I’m using this as an example of how I drew upon an old character that I created to make a new one.

The first character, Darth Malyse, was a character that I created for my friends’ Star Wars RPG. She was a young woman who was once a Jedi Padawan, but became disillusioned with the Jedi order. No one knows where she came from or who her parents were. All they knew was that she was a force sensitive and a particularly powerful one.
She was forbidden from learning about the dark arts, though she viewed the teaching as essential in order for Jedi to be able to defend themselves against the darkness, and on her first mission away from the Yavin Academy, she falls to the dark side and murders someone.

Malyse Personality:
She is young and angry. Her abilities and dark tendencies made her stand out and earned her the scorn of almost everyone at the Jedi Academy. She is extremely powerful, but has a tenuous hold on her emotions. The result is that she often is unable to control her powers. She despises most Jedi and views that as imperfect impostors of the what the Jedi order was during the days of the Old Republic. Her one weakness is her friend, her only friend from the academy, Thaidani. Circumstances force her into facing him down. She is far more powerful and easily defeats him, but each time, she finds herself unable to kill him. She finds herself constantly fighting between the darkness and the light. It’s a struggle that would eventually culminate into one final showdown where she has to choose a side and her decision could result in the death of Thaidani.

This was one of the more dynamic characters that I’ve ever created. She was everything I wanted in a villain, but I knew that her story could never see the light of day in published form for 2 reasons;
1. I couldn’t afford the Lucasarts royalties.
2. My story fell outside of what was considered ‘canon.’

So I abandoned her all together.

I admit that this haunted me for a while. I wanted to use this character in some form and eventually came up with Xaphan. I borrowed some information on this demon from an earlier religious source that dealt with the Celestial Wars in Heaven when writing one of my stories and then built a dark angel, borrowing nearly everything from Xaphan. So now she was a youthful angel that didn’t have control over her abilities… but that didn’t make much sense for this story.

So eventually she turned from being a young angel with no control to a more matured one who had control, but was very powerful and very wise… then it went back to her seeming youthful, but still brilliant… needless to say, I went back and forth a few times.

The end result:
Xaphan – 
A skilled military leader and tactician in the army of the Most High (God). She faced off against Saint Michael and almost won. She is angry and extremely arrogant. She functions under a code of honor, but still sided with Lucifer. Her only weakness is a human soldier that she met during her time on Earth.

As you can see, some of the elements are still there, but much has been changed from the original.


2 thoughts on “Character development progression…

  1. shanechall says:

    I went through big shifts in my first novel character-wise. I actually intended for a character named Ken to be the protagonist. He was very strong, confident, capable, bleh. Ultimately, as I examined Ken as a person, I realized he was a big blank slate of nothing as a protagonist. Being on the side of someone too powerful and in control didn’t work for my story, which was about struggle against an entire world. I needed a tone of suffocation and fear. So I turned Ken’s positives into logical negatives (so strong that he’s abusive, so confident that he’s controlling, etc.) and made him an antagonist toward his ex-girlfriend, and she became the protagonist, which gave both of them a strong role in the story.


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