Fleshing out my Protagonist for NaNoWriMo

leather bag pouch purseFor today’s Postaday2011 post I’m going to write a short story / Vignette / Piece of Flash fiction to include my protagonist from my future NaNoWriMo novel.

This story can be any number of words, but it does have to take to take place in the same world as my novel, use the same characters, follow the same rules and laws etc. As for time-line, this should take place before my novel starts, just in case I want to use it.

This should help me flesh out my main character and in theory make him more believable when I write about him in November.

So here we go.

(I’ve just re-read this out loud. It’s mostly awful; names used too many times, and rather bad flow, I’ll use this as editing practice for another day. It did help me get to grips with Bedywr though. )

***

“Yaaaaargh!” Rinn threw himself onto Bedwyr, knocking him on his back and pinning him down. “Ha ha! I rule, I rule!” Rinn pointed into Bedwyr’s slightly pained face.

“Do you have to do that?” Bedwyr wheezed.

“Well I wouldn’t, if it didn’t work every time.” Rinn got up and offered a hand out. Bedwyr pulled himself up and tucked a lock of brown hair behind his ear. “You’re an ass.”

“Some women have made such comparisons before” Rinn grinned, and wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.

Bedwyr smiled and sighed then started walking back towards the large wooden gates of the village.

“Wait!” Rinn grabbed Bedwyr by the shoulder. “Let’s not go back yet, let’s have a look around.”

“A look around what?”

“I dunno. We don’t get out of the village much, and once we get back we’re looking at more training, tests and rituals.” Rinn performed a theatrical yawn.

“You mean into the woods? I have always wondered what lies outside the village. There must be so much in those woods that…”

“Whoa!” interrupted Rinn. “I’m not gonna go into anywhere forbidden, I thought maybe just a walk around the village. Maybe head to the beach and look for ‘wash-up. If we go now we might find something interesting before everyone else shows up.”

“Oh, ok then.” Bedwyr sighed. “Why not?”

The village walls were 15 foot high, and constructed of thick tree trunks. Any outsiders would have no idea what the village was like. The only clues visible from the outside were a number of smoke plumes billowing out from above the wall, and the sound of people.

It took around half an hour for them to walk round the outside of the village. They could have walked through, it’s only a five-minute walk but one or both of them would have been set back to work, or encouraged to continue their training. They both knew the responsibility that going through the ritual forces upon them, and neither of them were too keen on rushing towards that.

The sun was starting to rise. Fresh light shone over the orange sand, and the tide licked at the shore. A lone crab staggered over a rock; the beach freshly decorated with bits of wood and dead plants.

Rinn pointed off into the distance. “Bed? Looks like we may have something.” Bedwyr followed Rinn’s finger. It pointed far down the beach to what looked like a bundle of purple clothes.

“Mine!” Bedwyr called and sprinted off towards the heap.

“Naxit!” Rinn swore and chased off after him

As Bedwyr ran down the beach and got closer towards the bundle, it began to take form. It was somebody lying down. It was somebody dead.

Bedwyr ground to a halt, shortly followed by Rinn. Both just stood there looking at the body. His pallid milky eyes staring back. The man was dressed in a tattered and sun bleached purple robe. The gold cord around his waist matted with sea-weed.

Bed and Rinn didn’t say anything. Seconds passed and they just stared at him, occasionally looking at each other.

The silence was broken by Bedwyr. “Who is he?”

“Dunno. I don’t think he’s from the village.” Rinn scratched at his neck.

“Not with those clothes. He must be from beyond the forest.”

“Yeah. You should check him.”

“For what?” Bedwyr shot a confused look at Rinn. “I’m pretty sure he’s dead.”

Rinn rolled his eyes. “No, you should see if he’s got anything on him.”

“Why don’t you do it?”

Rinn took a step back “Because you’re closer.”

“Fine. Pass me that stick.”

Bedwyr poked at the corpse. It wasn’t until his stick got caught on the robe that they noticed a soaked leather satchel underneath his tunic, tied around the man’s neck.

Bedwyr knelt down next to the corpse with Rinn looking over his shoulder. He reached inside the cold and damp tunic, fumbling with the clasp, keeping his eyes fixed on the man’s face out of a paranoid fear that the corpse would come back to life.

Bedwyr undid the clasp and slowly removed the satchel, still convinced the corpse would move.

“Raaaaaaaaaaargh!”

Bedwyr jumped up, and yelped. The satchel flying behind him, and spilling its contents all over the sand.

Rinn laughed his boisterous laugh. “I got you again. Boy you are just too easy.”

“For nex sake! You could have killed me.” Bedwyr bent down and breathed slowly, grabbing a handful of sand. With no warning he leapt up and threw the sand right in Rinn’s mouth. Rinn spluttered and choked as he spat.

“Ok, I probably deserved that.” said Rinn.

“You did.” Bedwyr agreed. “The satchel?”

“Oh right, yeah. The satchel kinda opened. So ‘Scavenger’? Lucky dip rules?”

“Yep, lucky dip.”

Bedwyr and Rinn gathered the items, trying not to pay too much attention to what they were picking up. “I think that’s them all.” Bedwyr had a quick look around but couldn’t see anymore.

They dropped the four items into a pile in the sand and sat down next to them.

“You first.” Rinn gestured towards the pile.

Bedwyr closed his eyes and reached into the collection of items. His hands brushed many different textures, wet cloth, smooth and cold, sharp, woolly.

His hands found something. It felt like a leather pouch with things in it. “This one.” Bedwyr stated. He opened his eyes and looked at the object. It was as he expected a leather pouch.

“What do you reckon?” Rinn asked “Herbs? Food? Stones?”

Bedwyr reached into the pouch and grabbed the contents. “No none of those.” Bedwyr said visibly disappointed. “Just a load of metal disks with someone’s face on them.”

“Oh it must be some kind of game.” Rinn suggested “We don’t need a kids game.”

“No we don’t. Well, that was my turn wasted.” Bedwyr sighed and threw the pouch over his shoulder; the disks scattered over the beach and sparkled. “Your turn.”

Rinn closed his eyes and ruffled through the items.

“I’ll have… this.” Rinn opened his eyes and looked at what he’d picked. It was a small metal knife with a lion’s head for a pommel. “Nice.” Rinn’s eyes sparkled as he looked over the weapon. He ran his thumb over the blade to check it. “It’s a little blunt, but Jesse should be able to sharpen that up. That’s a good find.”

“Aw, that is so unfair. I get a bag full of useless disks and you get a knife.”

“Ha ha. Maybe it’s the moon-wolf telling you you’re not ready for a weapon yet.”

“That’s quite a small knife, you sure he’s not trying to tell you something else?” they smiled at each other. “I gotta get something better this time.” Bedwyr shut his eyes once more and reached into the pile.

“Tada!” Bedwyr opened his eyes and say that he was holding a small toy human. It wore an old ragged dress and one of it’s button eyes had been swallowed by the sea.

“Excellent, choice.” Rinn gloated.

“Let’s just move on shall we. You’ve got the last thing.” Bedwyr threw the toy to his side, where it remained face-down in the sand.

They both looked down at the final item. It was small vial of yellow liquid.

“What is it?” Bedwyr asked.

“Dunno.” Rinn uncorked the bottle and held it under his nose. “It smells of Pinefruit.” He brought the bottle to his lips.

Bedwyr reached out and grabbed Rinn’s wrist. “Are you crazy? You can’t just drink something you found on a corpse. You don’t know what it is.”

“Well, I’m not going to know what it is unless I drink it.” Rinn wrestled his wrist from Bedwyr’s grasp and swigged at the bottle.

“Rinn! No!”

Rinn gulped down the liquid and burped. “That’s tasty. It reminds me of the stuff I used to drink as a cub.”

Bedwyr eyed his friend up cautiously. Was it him or did Rinn look different? His eyes seemed to shine.

“You ok?” Bedwyr asked.

“I dunno, I don’t feel so…” Rinn’s eyes became a bright yellow. “…good.”

Rinn stood up, his head back, eyes pointing towards the sky. Rinn opened his mouth to scream, but what came out was a solid beam of bright light arcing into the sky. His eyes glowed magically, and light poured from every orifice.

The light became brighter. Within seconds the light was so bright that Bedwyr had to look away.

The light stopped as quickly as it had begun. Rinn dropped to the floor exhausted.

“Rinn? Rinn?” Bedwyr leaned over him. “Are you ok?””

Rinn blinked a couple of times. “Yeah, I’m good.”

Bedwyr helped Rinn up and batted the sand off him.

Rinn rubbed his eyes. “That was an experience. One I’m not very keen on repeating.”

“It must have been some kind of light potion for when you don’t have fire maybe.”

“Yeah probably. I’m just glad it wore off.”

“Yeah, it would have been difficult to explain. Let’s just go back to the village.” Rinn gingerly walked back to the village. Bedwyr grabbed Rinn’s knife from the floor and caught up with him.

Rinn looked at Bedwyr and gave him a weak smile. “I guess we can call it a draw.”

“Yeah” Bedwyr agreed. “But at least we know one thing.”

“What?”

“That the sun really does shine out of your…”

“Don’t!” Rinn interrupted “Just… don’t.”

  • Angelique’s NaNoWriMo survival guide (angeliquemichaels.wordpress.com)
  • NaNoWriMo (inurbase.wordpress.com)
  • NaNoWriMo! (girlwiththefez.wordpress.com)
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One thought on “Fleshing out my Protagonist for NaNoWriMo”

  1. Actually, I sort of like this. That’s a good idea for reading it out loud though.

    The only thing is that for a scene that you use to flesh out Bedwyr’s character – there is a lot of action. You might want to outline a more quiet moment to add depth.

    Good luck with NanoWriMo – hope you have some fun with it.

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