How A Main Character was Born Part Two

Continued from Part One. 

So I was playing Alice in the campaign.  The Hunger Games had come out several months after I had started playing Alice.  While Alice was fun we need a different, new character to move the story along.  I had played two characters at once before in Dungeons and Dragons and so I was trying to come up with a new character as we were lacking players.

Now, I was resistant to reading/watching The Hunger Games.  This was because all everyone ever talked about was that it was a story about kids killing each other.  First off children killing each other doesn’t really interest me.  Secondly Japan had already done the kids killing kids competition thing with Battle Royale which I had heard about several years before The Hunger Games. 

I was part of a team at a trivia night and as one of the door prizes was the trilogy of the books in paperback.  Someone on our team won it but had already had a copy.  So they gave it to me.  I broke down and read it.  People pay attention to the stupidest part of the story.  The story is (for those of you who have already read it knows) a nuanced and complex plot of a dystopian America where a revolution happens.  I am now a fan and am in love with Katniss the main character.

Since I was young I have always loved Archery but the school I went to didn’t teach archery not even in Gym Class.  This was one of the reasons Katniss appealed to me.  In fact now that I am thinking about it, I can’t really name any of the other reasons.  Mostly it was her skill with a bow.

Going back to creation of the second character for the vampire campaign I used Katniss as inspiration.  There are many times a character has been inspired for me by a piece of literature, a picture or in the case of Alice, a TV show.  Some people use inspiration in a boring way.  Instead of being loosely based off of or inspired the player tries  make the character exactly as the author/TV show/Movie portrays.   When I am inspired by I make the character completely my own.  Yes, there will be a base similarity but I soon move the character far from that base, building my own take and background.

So I used Katniss.  She has a younger sister.  She uses a bow and hunts.  Though the author of The Hunger Games never named states, from the description of Katniss’ district I chose West Virginia as my character’s home state because a large chunk of America’s coal mining in the early 19th and 20th century was done in West Virginia.  In a moment when I get into my character’s story there are two other characters from The Hunger Games that I pulled in.

These few similarities are where it ends.  My character is a long lived Demon Hunter.  Long lived are humans who have a long lived race (elf, dwarf, demon, etc.) in their bloodline.  In her case it is elf.  Being long lived means the person lives longer than an average human.  She uses a special bow that she shoots elemental arrows from.  When I built her I made her a Ranger and I was adamant about the fact she would NOT be turned into a Vampire.  At the time I didn’t understand why but it was a definite thing.  Slowly I developed her and again like Alice I still play her character in our long running champaign.

Going back to my opening paragraph, as I stated I have never connected with a character to write more than a glimpse of their life.  Until Katnes.  She is the long searched for muse.  The long wanted character who wants her ENTIRE story written not just a scene.

She is named Katnes because by the time I realized she was speaking to me and wanted to be written her name was stuck.  In game it was fine to use the name Katniss and even use that spelling.  But of course for publication I could not use it AND the fact there are those few similarities.  Yet, no other name fits.  I have tried Katelyn, Cathy, etc.  and none of them feel right.

Changing the spelling is not the only difference–obviously–she is quickly a departure from her namesake.

Katnes Marie Chasseur  born June 21, 1930 in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia.  Katnes and her sister, Amelia Viktoria Chasseur, born May 19, 1932, are first generation Americans.  Her father Bernard Chasseur comes from a France.  His family is a long line of Hunters.  There is a Network of Hunters and Ladies throughout Europe who Hunt supernaturals (Demons, Devils, Magic Users, etc.) that would cause chaos to the commonwealth.   His, wife, Katnes and Amelia’s mother comes from Germany, Adelle Heiler-Chasseur.  Her family is also part of the Hunter Network, though her family is better known for their talents as healers and researchers.  The Heiler’s run a vineyard in Germany.  Katnes goes back to Germany with her sister to her mother’s parents after the death of her father and mother.  Katnes becomes the Lead Hunter over all of the clans/families of the Hunter Network.  That is the start of her backstory.

The rest you can find out as you read my story coauthored with a friend of mine, Harlow Hunter.  I am also working own Katnes’ stand alone backstory as well though it is not publishable yet.

So that is how Katnes Marie Chasseur came to be.  The rest of my RPG characters may never be put into books but I will talk about them in future posts.  Hope you enjoyed this insight into my writer’s brain.