Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Writing Workshop—Getting into Character

Character Building Exercise: A monologue of one of the main characters in my upcoming space opera, Where Pirates Go to Die.

Naria: Captain of the Tigerlily

The rumors are true. I have no man to complete me, nor a child to fulfill me. That is probably why I turned to pirating. If you believe that, I also have a moonshare to sell you. No one is going to tell me what kind of life a woman is supposed to lead. I bought the Tigerlily. I restored her and enhanced her. I also handpicked her crew—the best of the best at what they do.

You think I care what anyone thinks about how I live my life? I am the Captain of this ship. My ship, my rules. Don’t like them? There’s the airlock.

My ship is my pride and joy. Yes, it’s old, but she’s modified. What is so special about the Tigerlily? First, it has a hematite alloy bonded to the titanium hull. Gives her that pretty black sheen. Second, it can maneuver out of the Flyers’ laser snare. How? Like I’m going to tell you. Her secrets are my secrets. I’ll take them to my grave.

Why did I become a pirate? Well, it wasn’t because I woke up one day and realized how crappy my life was. I relish in the thrill of the heist. There is a certain satisfaction when your laser hits just the right spot to drop a man. Or woman. Though I do not rely solely on laser weaponry. I have a soft spot for the archaic weapons. Gripping the handle of a sharp piece of cold metal is an art form. When it rubs against warm flesh, veins shake nervously.

You don’t approve? My methods are very effective. Oh, you think I should have a civilized hobby. Perhaps gem setting? I do love the feel of jewels dripping from my fingertips. Maybe you meant something more mundane like robot coding. Where’s the fun in that? Besides, it doesn’t earn anyone an asteroid load of lons.

Lons rule the Galaxy. The more lons the better. Sure, a sextillion of zeros in your bank account won’t keep you warm in the vacuum of space, but it keeps the engines running.

I know that judgmental look. You want to judge me? You can do it with a laser thrust up your final frontier.


  1. I never thought of writing a monologue to connect with the character. I'm stuck over one character in particular now, so maybe I'll try this. I even wrote him a letter, and that actually helped. Thanks for the advice- you have a lovely site. Look forward to hearing more from you!

    1. Thank you so much. I hope it works for you. Getting into a character's head can really help propel a storyline. It also helps me to keep out any uncharacteristic lines or actions.

  2. Nice! Is this to an upcoming title? This piece makes me want to read more.

    1. Thank you. Yes, this is related to a current work in progress. I am having a lot of fun with it. With characters like this, how can I not?