Thursday, November 4, 2010

Demon Soul the making of part 3: surprise characters

En français
On the last part of the making of, I introduced the notion of surprise characters. Now I think I should explain a bit more about them. As you start writing the story, you have few characters’ lives evolving in a certain environment. Of course they are going to encounter other people and react to them, they will become enemies or friends. As you start writing a paragraph, either you have planed it a long time ago or you know the character really well, either the character is a stranger.
It is a bit like in real life when you meet your friend’s friend and you already have the feeling that you know him because your friend has been talking about that guy for month or you arrive to a new place and someone start talking to you.
When Sahel has to go to the demon world, I was already prepared to make him meet the bad guys. That was the obvious thing to do, my bad guys were all ready and I knew them so well, the one that appear just for a minute but could have become important if needed or the one that were already there to make trouble. What I didn’t realize at first was that I was going to create a new world call the demon world and that it needed to be as diversified as the world where Sahel was coming from. When Sahel takes his first look at this world, some of the people present are just as foreign to me as they are to him and I will call them "surprise characters". Some will stay basic and never interact with him, in that case he is just observant and the characters aren’t really developed. Some will start interacting with him and in these cases I just have to go back to my questions and lists to build them up while Sahel was discovering them.
Those characters are a surprise for me, they are something that the story is giving me because they need to be there and I didn’t realize while planning. The main reason why you can’t realize everything while planning is because the part that the characters decide to bring to the story is their own and even if it follows the main line of the plot, all the details can only be worked out while actually writing the story. That is a good thing because if you already knew everything about the future of your characters, the little drop of mystery that makes the story interesting would be lost.

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