Tag Archives: voice

Finding a Voice for Wulfric

Wulfric sprite and face graphics

Wulfric

Meet Wulfric, the huntsman from Memories.  Wulfric was unique out of the whole cast of Memories characters because I just couldn’t get a feel for his character.  Like Alexis, Alea, and Albert, Wulfric was one of the pre-made RPG Maker VX Ace characters (he’s the one I always seem to use for huntsmen-type characters).

When I was originally choosing the characters for Memories, I decided that there should be a huntsman character of some sort.  My reasoning was that Memories is fairy-tale like in many ways, and fairy tales often have a huntsman in them.  And that was it; like so much of Memories, I really didn’t have much of a plan and just kind of went with everything that came to mind.

Wulfric was always one of the first characters that the player got to see, but that was pretty much the extent of his role in the game.  He’s the one who found the avatar (player character) wandering around and brought her to the house where everything takes place.  Once he did that, he disappeared from the game entirely.  When I figured out an ending for Memories, I added him into it, just to make him more present in the game (plus it seemed fitting that he was at both the beginning and the end of the game).  But I was never sure if it was fitting that he was there, rather than someone else.  But it did put him into the game more, so I figured I might as well leave it as him for now.

Once I started working on the characters’ voices though, I knew I had a big problem with Wulfric.  I couldn’t get a feel for him.  His role was more important than Alexis, so I didn’t think I should cut him from the game (and if I did, I don’t know who could have replaced him.  So I needed to figure out what his character was like, including why he is here (and why Edric would have hired him since he has no family connections to any of the other characters).  I found this article on A Writer’s Perspective that talked about the importance of medieval huntsmen; while I admit that this was the extent of my research, it sounded good enough for my purposes, and underscored how Wulfric would have been an important part of the household.

But it still didn’t help me with his voice.  I started thinking more about what his character might be like.  I came up with some ideas, like how he’s a loner, and how he butts heads with Albert, the butler (Albert doesn’t like that Wulfric is able to do whatever he wants outside of the house; Albert likes to think of himself as in charge of everyone).  But that didn’t really help me in terms of how he sounded.

And then I stumbled on this graphic thanks to Pinterest, which talks about minor character development.  In the point about character voice, it mentioned that some characters talk in short sentences; that ended up being the key to finding Wulfric’s voice!

Once I had a tentative feel for what his dialogue would be like, I started implementing it, playing around with it until it sounded right to me.  I also added him to the game a bit more; in one of the rooms there were wood piles that were supposed to increase as time went on, implying his presence.  Instead I explicitly put him either in the entrance way or around the wood piles in the house to show that he’s actually bringing stacks of wood in.  This also helped with another problem: I realized that there was nothing happening at the front door when you went  there (originally there was supposed to be a small scene with the wizard, but it wasn’t triggering). Now Wulfric and his piles of wood block the way so you can’t get to the doors to leave.

With that done, I then had to decide if he was the one who should show up at the end or not.  I ultimately decided that job should fall to someone else, and so Adalyn (Lyn, the housekeeper) took over from him.  I’m happy with this change; it seems like a much more fitting role for Lyn. 🙂

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Blog Progress

I’m rather proud of myself: I’ve managed to successfully post on Sustainably North weekly for over a month!  When I first started that blog, I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with it (considering my track record on here hasn’t been great).  I don’t know that I’ve managed to find the proper voice for the blog yet, but it has been getting a bit easier to write posts.  I don’t want to stretch myself too thin or get overwhelmed (I have a really bad habit of that because I always seem to take on too much or try to work on multiple big projects at the same time), so I’m going to keep Sustainably North going at one post a week for now.

With that going well, I need to start adding in other things too (but nothing too big because I don’t want to get overwhelmed).  Specifically, I think I need to start working on some of my goals for the year.  I’ve already managed to read 16 novel-length books (8 were actual novels), so I’m not too worried about my reading goal.  So that means it’s time to either work on one of my RPGs or look at writing a short story.

Oh, thinking of short stories: I WAS working on one back in early April.  I found a market that sounded intriguing and started writing something for it.  But by the time I got through most of a draft, I realized the story wouldn’t actually fit the market very well.  So that got shelved and unfortunately I haven’t been working on anything else since.

So I think my plan of attack for this week is going to be to start working on another short story.  I need to either find another market on Duotrope that interests me, or else pull out one of the stories I’ve shelved and actually finish it.  I’ll see what catches my interest over the next few days. 🙂

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New Blog

So recently I started a new blog, called Sustainably North.  I’ve been worrying a lot about the future lately (mainly global warming, but also the sheer amount of plastic that’s everywhere); rather than just endlessly worrying, I decided to try to do something to help work towards a better future.  I specifically decided to focus on trying to live a more sustainable life locally because I wanted to feel like I was making a difference (even if it’s just in a small way).  I also get upset and overwhelmed with the way things are here…like we’re a small city with terrible transit, and the city has long had a weird mentality that since we’re so isolated with lots of space we can just sort of do whatever (and move the dump if it gets full sort of thing).

I started the blog in earnest in early April (I planned for it in January/February, but due to other commitments I didn’t actually launch it until this month); I thought April was a fitting month because that’s when Earth Day is.  I’ve decided right now to aim for one post a week – I didn’t want to over-commit to posting in case I wasn’t able to keep up the momentum (I figure I can always add another day if I feel like I can keep up with it).  Right now I’m really struggling with the fact that I don’t quite know what I want the blog to really be; plus I don’t have a voice nailed down for it, nor do I know what the posts should look like.  But I’m sure these issues will resolve themselves with time, so I’m not really worried about them (I just need to keep writing and see what happens!)

Even though Sustainably North is on the go, I will still be around on here, since this is my blog for my writing more generally.  I’ll probably be talking a bit more about Sustainably North in the future, too, as I work on developing a format and voice that I’m happy with.

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