If anything, I’m sure I’m going to need to study some basic anatomy if I’m going to try to visualize my characters like this. These images aren’t necessarily going to be in the book…they’re just reference for myself, so I can at least get the basics right.
Kaffi up above is a teenage alien tintrite (pronounced TIN-treet), one of the many different beings that live in the apartment complex that comprises the main setting for my new project. He’s kind of a dragon/lizard hybrid, long and sleek but also muscly and winged. He’s an excellent flier, but he’s also reckless. Teenage immaturity seems to be a universal constant in this world. Anyway, he’s one of two main characters, the other being his human BFF, Diwa.*
*Note – I had to do a bit of homework to get Diwa’s name right, which is a rarity for me. Diwa is mixed-race — his father is Caucasian and his mother is Filipino — and I wanted a Filipino name that was a) gender neutral, and b) kind of unique and unexpected. It means ‘spirit’ or ‘essence’. I hadn’t expected to find one that fit so nicely with the story, but I’m not complaining!
It’s mainly Kaffi and Diwa’s story (and it’s an enjoyable one about love, friendship and trust), though there are other characters who’ll pop up throughout. There are humans, mandossi (tallish sleek aliens that are built for running), hedraac (humanoid vampiric aliens), minotaur-ish beings (I haven’t got a name for them yet), and I’m sure I’ll come up with more as the story unfolds.
My idea here was that I wanted to have a world where humans coexist peacefully with all kinds of different beings, so the conflicts in the story weren’t about sentient-versus-sentient but more mundane. Teenagers trying to figure out who the hell they are and what they want to do when they grow up. Old men worried about the new generation coming in and taking over. And how much energy, creativity, and dedication it takes to keep a community active and healthy. [See, there’s a reason why I keep calling it ‘my Studio Ghibli story’!]
So yeah, you could say I’m having a fun time with this project so far! Now if I can only come up with a decent title for it…