Five Things I Never Knew I Needed to Know About My Main Character

So I’ve completed my first fantasy novel and am in the process of writing a second. It’s an exciting time. I’m new to the writing world, completely ignorant of all the “dos” and “don’ts.” I’m just constructing a new worlds from my imagination and having a blast. Then I discover “writing Twitter.” I’m excited to connect with other authors, and I can’t wait to play one of these “writing games.” (If you’re not part of the Twitter #WritingCommunity, a “writing game” is a series of questions that a host asks writers about their books, characters, or personal lives.) That’s when I discover there is a whole lot I didn’t know I am supposed to know about my main character.

To give a little context, my main character is an 18-year-old male named, Beau. When he young, he was turned into a human and hidden on Earth, only to later discover he’s an alien species of bearfolk. He’s not really happy about being returned to his home world…or being Berardian, the name the bearfolk go by. So here it goes, I’m going to try to answer 5 questions about my main character (MC) in HIDDEN KNIGHT: A Novel of a Bear.

  1. What music does your MC listen to?
    I’ve tried to give my world depth by creating songs, poems, and folklore, but I didn’t exactly go so far as to compose an entire piece. I’m not even sure what their music sounds like. For that matter, I forgot to create instruments. Oops! Can I really claim to be a fantasy author if I skipped such an important piece of culture? Never mind that no one in my storyline plays an instrument, and music doesn’t have any major part in the plot, I must remedy this at once. Beau’s favorite song is… You know, I don’t think he really likes music all that much. He definitely expresses a clear dislike of poetry.

“It is the ancient curse,” [spoiler] said. “The engraving says: The Curse of the Fortress of Itzal, A Song of the Wolves:

“Fortress built of stolen stone
In a forest not your own
Waging war disturbs our peace
May this castle be your doom

The path is split, eyes will fail
How to choose that which is right
Scent is twain, the nose can’t tell
What is dark from what is light.

Fortress built of stolen stone
In a forest not your own
Waging war disturbs our peace
May this castle be your tomb

But if it be you agree
And chance to work together
To find your way when you’re lost
Lose your pride, trust each other.”

Beau snorted. “It’s nonsense. I don’t like this place. You read silly poems, but I’m leaving.” Without waiting for a response Beau turned around.

  1. What is your MC’s favorite outfit?
    Latest fashion isn’t on top of the list of important concerns for my characters. Presently, they are just trying to stay alive. As a Berardian, Beau doesn’t typically wear clothes. He’s covered in fur, so no worries, but sometimes he wears armor. Few things are more terrifying than an angry, armored bear.

Angry and snarling, the grey bear rose to his full height. He wore a hideous helm that extended across his snout ending in a spike like a rhinoceros, and bore rings on each of his forepaw digits that extended past his natural nails, giving him great metallic claws. With a quick snort, the grey bear charged, and Beau met him halfway, grappling with claws and teeth. A metallic claw dug deep into his shoulder, and Beau grunted with pain as the large bear flung him to the ground.

  1. What is your MCs favorite meal?
    Finally, a question I can answer. Well, actually it would be easier to describe all the food Beau doesn’t like. Unusual foods from a nonhuman culture, scavenging for anything sorta edible while fleeing mortal enemies, you know, that sorta of thing. Beau might be Berardian, but he doesn’t eat like one. Something the other bearfolk are quick to notice. But Beau’s always down for salmon and honey cakes—just be sure not to sneak in any dish containing “bugs.”

“Why, Beauregard, that was always a favorite of yours. Your mother made the best ant pies I’ve ever had. Don’t you remember?”

Beau glared at the general for a moment. An uneasy feeling crept over him at the mention of his mother. “No. I don’t,” Beau said as he got up and walked out.

  1. If your MC was turned into an animal, what would it be?
    Funny you ask. Beau was turned into a human… and then back into a bear. And while Beau is bearfolk, Berardians aren’t really animals in the truest sense. They are intelligent beings with souls. It would be best to never let a Berardian catch you referring to them as an “animal” because the last thing you want to do is make one of them angry. They aren’t exactly known for being forgiving, as the saying goes:

“Berardian as friend will be loyal till death;
ne’er will you ever repay the debt.
But Berardian as foe, that debt that you owe,
will they ne’er forgive, till your last breath.”

  1. Does your MC speak any other languages?
    Ha! So here’s a question I did give some thought. I’m no J. R. R. Tolkien, and the last thing I wanted to do was try to develop a language. Yet, it made no sense that the Berardians or others of their world would speak English or any language of Earth. So I made it real simple. Their world never had a tower of Babel event. I’ll let the duke explain it. He’ll do a better job at it than me.

“Unlike Earth, Altremon only has one language,” Abel said, as he pulled out his pipe. “It has only ever had one language that has remained nearly unchanged since the beginning. Until I came to Earth, I would never have believed that such a thing as multiple languages could even exist. That was one of the major difficulties we faced when we arrived on Earth. We could understand no one, and they could not understand us.”

“But, how is it I can understand everyone here?” Chloe said in a bewildered voice.

“It would appear,” Abel said, “that on Altremon it is impossible to speak anything else, so you gained an immediate understanding when you arrived here.”

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Read the follow-up post: Five MORE Things I Never Knew I Needed To Know About My Main Character.

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