By Alexander Ballard
Published July 2, 2013
Well I’ve gotten the first few bits of feedback back from one of my beta readers and I’m still looking for an artist do the cover art for my book Legacy but it is all coming together now. In the meantime I’ve started planning my next novel and begun compiling the world building into a wiki like structure. And one thing I’ve found is not only has doing this sparked a few new ideas but it has also let me catch a few mistakes I’ve made in my novel Legacy.
So far the mistakes are minor I’ve used two different spellings for the same material or in the beginning I said the Archon had his stiletto concealed in his right arm guard but then later on its in left. They are all the kind of little errors that add up and need to be smoothed out before the book will be ready.
Which brings me to character bios. Now I’ve taken different approaches over the years to them. Some times I’ve written nothing beyond a brief description of the characters purpose other times I’ve written detailed descripts and I’m still not sure which is better. Clearly the brief approach has led me to make at least one small mistake when it comes to consistence. But I feel gives you flexibility to adapt the character as the story develops. While a more detailed approach is more up front work but gives you a more solid ground and idea of who you are dealing with.
In some ways I’m almost tempted by an alternative approach to the bio format and that is the post novel bio, which is a description of the character not as how they start but how they end. To give people a better idea I’ve put together an example of all 3.
Brief – Volton Falstis – From Legacy – Book One of the Black Prince Saga
- The omnipresent threat of the Praxis Republic
- High Ranking Black Coat
- Most of his people wiped out by the father of the last emperor
- Looks a bit like Guy Fawkes
- Carries a bandoleer of different glass vials and a brass pistol
- Devoted to protecting the Republic and its people.
- Ruthless in the execution of his duty but an honorable and respected commander.
Detailed – Archon Kane – From Legacy – Book One of the Black Prince Saga
Master of all seven forms of the Kundye and the highest ranked member of the Emperor’s personal guard. He is a tall imposing figure with a strong but agile frame and a black goatee speckled with silver. He wears a loosely fitting silver shirt and a Katalyn Silk vest that is strong and flexible enough to protect against even the sharpest of blades, long black pants, and an indigo sash around his waist.
Cautious and calculating he is devoted to the prince and the Empire and will go to any length to defend them. His eyes are appraising seeing any dangers around him and capable of sizing up an opponent with just a glance. He can read the truth in the slight facial expression and sense an opponent’s intent to strike before they’ve even made it.
He wields a long curved blade called Kingslayer that stands half a man’s height and according to legend is almost as old as the Empire itself. The guard is rounded and made of a frozen sunlight with a row of blood stones embedded in it. The blade shines of moonlight and is a hand’s length across, made from an ancient long forgotten metal. Kane also carries a thin deadly stiletto sheathed in his left arm guard.
Detailed Post Novel Bio – Tessa Rhodes – Wednesday’s Child
Her thick blond hair is matted and wild. Eyes that once sparkled have now taken on a sunken and haunted look. The deep circles signs of a many sleepless nights. To the casual observer she looks like someone who spends most of their time partying hard. But those days are long gone. While Tessa tries to eat regularly everything that has happened to her the last 6 months has left her with a gaunt waif like appearance. The once well-fitting designer black dress now hangs a bit loosely and despite the quality it is starting to look a little worn. She idly toys with a silver cross hanging from a black choker, the only piece of jewelry she wears apart from silver chain around her right wrist.
Until 6 months ago she was an up and coming ad executive and socialite from a well off old money family. Not big money these days but still enough to afford the privacy and benefits that befits someone with a name old enough to care. Her family expected great things from her and had many plans for her future. They fully expected her to grow out of reckless early twenties lifestyle. And as long as she kept her indiscretions private, short, and out of the public eye then things would fine.
All that was until shortly after she turned 25, then the dreams began. At first it began with just waking up in cold sweat and panic. But gradually more details began to seep through she still couldn’t remember much. Just fire, pain, and a claw like hand reaching out for her. Occasionally she’d wake up with the odd bruise or what looked like a burn. And since the incident when Jacob a long-time friend with benefits woke her in the middle of the night because she had been thrashing and screaming in her sleep from the nightmare she always sleeps alone.
The nightmares where bad enough but when she started to peel back the layers and seek help from those her around her things quickly began to unravel. Tessa began to see the world around her in a very different way. There were things all around that no one else seemed to notice. Call them demons, horrors, spirits, monsters whatever but they walk amongst us and there effect can felt even if they pass unseen. She quickly learned that as long as she pretended she couldn’t see the things around her then they wouldn’t see her either. But if they did catch sight of her then it was time to run and hide.
Of course she like those around her thought she was going insane and cryptic remarks from her grandmother about these things coming from bad breeding, soon lead her to uncover a dark family secret. Her parents were not who she thought they were. Her Eldest brother was really her father and her mother had died recently in an asylum where she had spent most of the last 20 years locked away and heavily sedated to stop her constant tortured screams and ramblings about fire and the beast.