#WriterLearning: Character ARCs-
I published Dragonsown on Amazon a year ago today. I remember thinking- Whew! It's finally done! I couldn't have been more wrong. This year has been full of learning about all the things I didn't know or do while I was writing a book. I never wrote a synopsis, didn't know what world building was and WTH was a character ARC?? Unknown to me at the time, it is the character's journey, from where they are at the beginning of the book to where they end up, their learning, their development. So while I am writing the Dragonsown prequel, I've been back filling and doing all the exercises for the first book. This is the draft ARC for my main character, Kael.
Character Key: Kael of Renwick, age 14, at the beginning of Dragonsown.
Appearance: Approximately 5’7, slim build with muscle tone- active lifestyle. Blondish, brown hair with some wave to it, pulled back in ponytail. Blue eyes, longish nose, thin mouth, prominent brows, thinks he’s average looking but really resembles a young Hayden Christensen. Average cleanliness for a teen boy, not bothered by dirty nails since it’s hard to stay clean while working with horses. Sparse facial hair. Light on his feet but can still have awkward, clumsy moments. He walks quickly because he wants to get where he’s going and doesn’t like to draw attention. Voice not fully matured but is low and masculine, he’s past the puberty squeaks. Speaks purposely but can get lost in thought, say the wrong thing or ramble.
Dress: Son of a duke so his clothes are well made and durable. Prefers neutral tones because he doesn’t like to stand out. Wardrobe includes tunics, breeches, boots. White dress shirts with wide sleeves, open at the neck. Will occasionally wear vests. He wears a silver Dalmace family ring, the only possession he has from his mother’s family.
Health: Overall good. No serious illnesses. Some broken bones from childhood falls.
Family/Relationships: Complicated! Raised by their father since their mother “died in childbirth” but father has always been distant, uninterested in Kael’s upbringing and borderline abusive. Kael spends his days walking on eggshells and staying out of his father’s way. Keaton is Kael’s twin brother, he’s more dominant and outspoken than Kael but they balance each other out. The brothers have a stepmother, but they think she’s mad, so they tend to steer clear of her. No grandparents in the picture. Their father’s parents are dead, and he drove away their mother’s relations. Their closest relationships are with their pets and the servants who raised them. The boys are not spoiled but they’re sheltered, their father likes to keep them alienated from society.
Identity: Kael is the son of a duke, so he expects to take over as the Duke of Renwick one day. He hasn’t contemplated any other path and accepts this as his future.
Beliefs: Kael believes his path is laid out before him and he has no choice in the matter. He believes his father will one day accept him if he works hard enough and does all the right things. He believes he is overshadowed by his father and Keaton. He believes he has little to no family so he would like to be married at a young age and start his own. He believes no one pays him any attention and that he gets by unnoticed. He believes he is of average intelligence and skill.
Motivations: To be approved of and accepted. To be seen as strong and as Keaton’s equal. To do his duty and to reach adulthood relatively unscathed by his father. He would also like to marry Letana, a neighboring duke’s daughter who he’s had a crush on for many years.