April 26, 2011

Weekend Workshop: The Dark Visitor

For this week's Weekend Workshop Crashtest and I have decided to shift away from scenery and on to characters instead. I've had some experience with this doing my characters for my book "The Zone: Life and Death" so I was pretty excited to take on the new challenge.

Though I was rushed for this one, I pulled it together at the last minute (literally, I finished edits at 11:59pm my time) and believe that I used my 90 minutes to the best of my ability. I think that the characters I came up with will work well for next week's Weekend Workshop and are interesting enough that they could really bring any story to life. No more stalling now, I gotta get this thing posted before this Easter-candy hangover makes my brain explode! Here are the parameters I was given:
  • You must write 3 base character profiles, around 200 words each. 
  • The characters inhabit a world upon the brink of doom - both due to conventional `real world` issues and means, but also the threat of ancient conspiracy, occult fanaticism and transdimensional beings. 
  • The setting is contemporary 
  • The 1st character is a protagonist type. someone who shouldnt be a typical hero - try and make this happen through a mix of their past, flaws etc etc. 
  • 2nd character. a disposable `bad guy` - but not neccesarily the nemesis of character 1. just have fun with this one. 
  • 3rd character. a transdimensional being - some spirit, old god or great evil given corporeal form. get WEIRD AND ABSTRACT on this one. check hp lovecraft, alan moore and grant morrison for reference. 
  • Ill produce some thumbnails / sketches for each and develop ONE into a `final` design. 
  • 90minutes minimum 
This week he did several teasers for the concept which can all be found on his blog, so be sure to check them out as well as the step-by-step process for this week's concept below!

See it's creation on Crashtest's Blog


Here are the 3 characters I came up with:

Thomas Page


A typical brown-eyed brown-haired male in his 30’s. Currently un-employed, he struggles to maintain any job he can but, due to insomnia, PTSD, and other forms of as-of-yet undiagnosed mental illnesses he tends to drift in and out of reality, making it difficult for him to remain focused on a task for any extended period of time. He lives in a small, decrepit apartment in a normal city where he is just another typical person as far as anyone is concerned.

Abused as a child, he struggles with relationships of any kind, finding it difficult to express himself emotionally or physically to others. Though he is full of emotion, thoughtful and even friendly to most people, they quickly find that a long-term relationship is impossible due to a lack of reciprocation. He does not maintain contact with any family and it is supposed that they have severed ties with him.

It is common for him to wake up screaming in the middle of the night for no apparent reason and to believe that, though awake, he is still in the nightmare. It is reasonable to believe that he suffers from paranoid delusions and hallucinations. All attempts to further diagnose his mental health have been unsuccessful.

Ron Edward 


A state politician quickly working his way up the political ladder thanks to his rising popular vote. An ex-cop, he is an idealist and a visionary, using promises of prosperity and security to propel his campaign forward. He hopes one day to be president and, with his current track record, it is likely that he will succeed. Though he is an older man it is merely a disguise for his notable physical and verbal strengths. He is both an expert in public speaking and martial arts. Most people have come to idolize him as the embodiment of the 21st century man; strong in every aspect.

On the surface it would seem that you could want nothing more in a leader or a man. This fact has practically erased all his past blemishes from the public eye, such as reports of his past occult activities, falsified police reports, and even rumors of human sacrifice. All attempts to uncover any evidence of such activities have been met with utter failure, almost as if the information has been completely eradicated from all forms of existence.

The Dark Visitor 


A mythological creature buried under millennia of denial and fear. Like most ancient records, the details are vague and highly speculative. Though there are many opinions and conflicting truths, there are some commonalities which lead to a generally accepted version of the creature to the few who believe in its existence. Most accept it is a dark, shadow-like being that appears in times of great despair. Some like to think it is the physical embodiment of the “Grim Reaper”.

It is said that its appearance marks the beginning of a cataclysmic event, and that it has appeared many times throughout history as far back as written history itself. Most do not know what it is, where it comes from, or why it chooses to present itself, but it is believed by some that its appearance is a warning or even a mockery of impending destruction.

There have been a few isolated reports in recent times of its appearance in dreams on the night before a major disaster. Reports state that the affected individuals witness a premonition of the event to come in which they are an active participant. That is to say that, they are offered a choice of whether or not the event they are a witness to is allowed to take place or not. The specifics of this are not elaborated on and the subject tends to drift into a trance-like state shortly after revealing this information. Most subjects are admitted to mental institutions shortly thereafter.

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