February 25, 2014

The Stabby-Minded Musketeer: Defining Changing Characters


From a writer's point of view, I knew Darling Donna Devereaux would be an entire new breed of pirate in my collection of class-based personalities. Destiny Soultamer, who I was tasked with writing the other night, has a very complicated moral system surrounding her impatience towards everyone and everything but her own magic, whereas Dead-Eye Destiny Devereaux is quiet and skilled, expressing more with her sword than she could with her voice. What would I as a writer gain from this shooty-trappy creature, however?

I'll be brutally honest. The first shot Donna fired was dodged, and so was the second. I think it was the impact of those events that influenced my journey as a stabby-mined Musketeer the most. And thus, a character was born from my perspective alone: She'd be quick on her feet yet clumsy to a stop, fumbling with a Sparquebus and striking the bull's-eye at only the last chance to. She'd be rather giggly going about it, but with it tote enough optimism to make the Monkey King (and likely both Destinys) cringe.


It brought me back to think, however: How did I assume the personalities for either Destiny in the first place? Since I've worked with her longest, I know that Soultamer's true characteristics didn't emerge until very recently when I got to pick her back up. I had always sensed something in her grave tones and constant ignorance of others in fan-fiction bits of the past, but it was only until the past few weeks that I could realize that this was her impatience. Dead-eye is still very much in the making...I'm guessing that the burden she carries with her past has an influence on why she can be so quiet. Also growing up in Grizzleheim may have been challenging for her, especially being the lightfoot around the tougher bears. There's probably more to Donna that I have yet to see as I level her.

What have I learned? Maybe it's something close to the importance of letting characters grow and evolve and being brave enough to pick something back up after so long in order to truly embrace the changes. As I continue working on my current projects, I know that I'll one day long from now look back at Dead-eye Destiny wondering what in the Spiral I was thinking while writing this very post. Then again, I'll also wonder what in the Spiral I was thinking by writing this post at all. Just as my characters do and will, I will continue to evolve as a writer and character in my own way. It isn't about new perspectives entirely, but about checking in and wondering if your ticketed seats have moved for the next act.

Keep Traveling


The most recent picture from Wizard101 on my computer,
taken on August 15th, 2012. I was invited to P101 Beta two
days after this shot. 

8 comments:

  1. Roslyn SilvertalonFebruary 25, 2014

    Once a swashbuckler, always a swashbuckler, is how I see it. My first pirate was a swashbuckler, and I've never been any good with the other classes. I often have the feeling though, that my musketeer has a similar stabby-mindedness, as he is strangely very dodgy. (For some reason I prefer playing girl wizards, but boy pirates.)

    As a writer, do the personalities of your characters evolve as you continue to work with them? And how do you know when they're "finished?"

    On a completely unrelated note, how well does Donna's Claw Trap work? My musketeer's trap doesn't actually do anything for some reason, although I've submitted a bug report several times.

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  2. Roslyn,

    Hi! Thanks for the questions.

    My characters never, ever stop evolving. That's a truth. I can revert their personalities and tweak things as needed for my fan-fiction, but they always change with their own experiences. When I'm free to, Soultamer is very changed by her learning Astral magic. Other events carved out her personality. Dead-eye is definitely a work in progress...her story has only just begun with A Survivor's Word and the events there will continue to help me find out what makes a good dead-eyed Swashbuckler. It's not about the character as a person changing, per say, but it's about creating a face for the name that's more and more useful.

    Donna's Claw Trap is working very, very well. It's KO'ing enemies in one hit. I hope your problem gets fixed up soon.

    I really appreciate that you've left questions for me to answer...it's a very wonderful feeling to be asked for more information from readers. Have a good one!

    DSD

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  3. I can sympathize with Donna's early experiences as a musketeer, as my musketeer (Brave Maria Mitchell) missed more frequently than not too. She's getting better, but her pet still downs more villains than she does! :)

    I think Anne and Donna would get along very well indeed: Donna is optimistic; Anne is resilient. And both have their comical bits -which I think is easier to write for a 'sanguine' character than a 'melancholic' one, don't you?

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  4. Anne,

    Your vocabulary truly tickles me; it's a joy to read your comments! Yes, I think that Anne and Donna would get along quite well...when she at last realizes some level of despair or difficulty, I imagine that Donna will fall hard. She'll need Anne's rough-and-tough to get back up as fast as she can. Meanwhile, Donna can force a little more light into Anne's perspective.

    I have a feeling that I'll quickwrite a little bit of Donna in the near future; stay tuned!

    DSD

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  5. Well, then...I'm sticking with my swash. I picked her from the first sunny day I started playing the game. When I finished, let's say I got bored with waiting for updates and decided to try the other classes. Results:
    Privateer: No
    Buccaneer: No(even thou the look looks awesome).
    Witchdoctor: Nope
    Musketeer: Yes!
    We have a winner!
    I actually think musketeers and swashbucklers have a lot in common.

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  6. Anon,

    I started with a Swashbuckler, too! Even after beta, I never became sick of it, though having some experience as a Musketeer is tons of fun.

    Musks and Swashes are both classes that are theoretically fast on their feet and have Agility as a damage-increasing stat. They both have special AoEs that I find somewhat similar. They both have their differences, however, and that makes them fun to play.

    On another note, I've always wanted to play a Bucc or a Witchdoctor...

    DSD

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  7. Yup. They are just cool that way. As for the Buccs and doctors...well buccaneers is easy, but they don't have my personality like swashes do. As for witchdoctors...kinda having a hard time with my Underwood.

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  8. I know that there are quite a few community members who are very experienced with the WD field...you should try Autumn Walker's blog, Secrets of the Spiral! Good luck.

    DSD

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