Three-Step Character Model
Three-Step Character Model
Vignette One--Placid Waters
Chapter 1 shows your Central or POV character operating fat dumb and happy in the story world of your novel.
Kindred was his father's only son and that meant someday he would be King over Emberwood. He had never wanted for anything. He was raised as a private study under the careful thumb of Theo. Kindred had always had a personal servant and the most beautiful horse in the kingdom was his. His father was a good King and Kindred wanted to follow in his footsteps. Everyone in the kingdom admired Kindred's father. They worked hard to keep Emberwood flourishing.
Kindred was tall and muscular for his age. He had gorgeous straight brown hair that touched his shoulders. All of the young girls in the kingdom swooned when his big beautiful hazel eyes glanced in their direction. They all had dreams of someday being picked as his queen.
Kindred was always cheerful but lately his melancholy mood was starting to show. His father and mother told him that he needed to find his queen. They had planned a ball for the following weekend so he could meet all of the young available girls in Emberwood. Kindred knew he would have to pick a queen but he was not interested in doing it now. Why not later when he was ready to take the thrown. He wanted to marry for love, not duty.
He had been walking the hallways of the castle all day. His restlessness was building the closer it got to the ball this weekend. All he could think about was how he could get out of picking one of the girls that came to the ball. If he didn't pick would his mother and father? He felt trapped.
He reached the top parapet and looked out beyond the walls of the castle. He had traveled many times outside the castle walls but never alone. He wondered if he traveled abroad if he could find his future queen. His mother and father would never agree to it. If they didn't know until after he had ventured forth on his own they couldn't stop him. They would be furious at him for leaving by himself and second for not attending the grand ball they had planned.
Maybe he could find her out there. He knew almost all of the young girls in the kingdom and he was not interested in any of them. They were all beautiful but none of them gave him that heartache and longing he felt he should have. He wanted a queen who was compassionate, intelligent, and beautiful.
Kindred sighed as he turned and headed toward his bedchambers. He would quickly pack what he needed and take his trusted horse, Darius, and head out to find his queen on his own.
Vignette Two--Caught in the Current
Chapter 2 shows your Central Character getting sucked into a vortex of unexpected events.
He stood looking out over the forest beyond. His father told him to never leave the walls of the kingdom without his charge. It was dangerous for a young prince, or a King for that matter, to go beyond the walls alone. There were not only enemies that would capture him but there were wild animals in the woods. Kindred had heard the wolves crying at night and caught glimpses of them but had never seen one up close. He had also seen the remnants of deer the wolves had attacked and ravished.
Kindred knew he would be going against his father's wishes and he would be taking a chance going out on his own. He needed to find his own queen, not one he had to choose or one that was chosen for him. Maybe he wouldn't find her but he had to try.
He tied the bag with his supplies to Darius and mounted him. Without hesitation, he led Darius out the castle gates. The warm evening breeze blew over him as Darius trotted across the moat's bridge and headed into the darkening forest ahead. He wasn't quite sure where he was headed yet but went westward toward the river. He could follow it to Ravenwood. It was quite a distance but if he traveled all night and into the morning he could probably get there by early evening. Ravenwood was hospitable. He had been there several times with his father. He could stay at the inn for a few nights and visit while deciding where he was going next. Who knows, maybe he would find his bride in Ravenwood.
He led Darius toward the river as the sun was just going down on the horizon. The air was still warm but it would be getting cooler soon. He heard wolves starting to howl to the right of him. It sent chills down his spine thinking about the slaughtered deer he had seen. They ripped the poor animal apart. He understood they needed to eat but it was so brutal. If they were hungry they would attack anything.
Darius suddenly started to bolt. Kindred held on tightly trying to calm his steed. Darius stood on his back legs and threw Kindred. Kindred felt his body going airborne. He landed on his side about twenty feet from where he was dismounted with a hard thump. Even though he was stunned he quickly looked around for Darius who was nowhere in sight. Kindred knew Darius would return to the castle and would be alright. He could easily outrun the wolves but Kindred couldn't. Still trying to compose himself from the fall he surveyed his surroundings. He didn't know if Darius had been startled by a wolf or some other animal but he didn't see anything.
Slowly, he stood and brushed himself off. He wondered what to do next, his supplies were on their way back to his homeland with Darius. He now didn't have any supplies, it was almost dark and he could hear the wolves approaching.
Kindred stood atop a large boulder and saw a young girl pushing a boat into the river. He frantically waved his arms trying to get her attention. He could hear the wolves barking and coming his way. Kindred saw no other choice but to jump, he was trapped. Maybe if he jumped in the river the wolves would give up their chase. He took a deep breath and jumped feet first to the churning river below.
Kindred tried fighting the current but was fast becoming exhausted. He was fast approaching the falls and frantically paddled his arms and legs trying to swim against the fast current that pushed him toward the edge. He saw the girl in the boat fighting the current. Kindred knew he was losing the battle against the current and was being pushed to the edge of the falls.
He closed his eyes and felt the water pushing him forward. He suddenly felt nothing under his feet. He kicked and clawed the air as he fell. He tumbled for what seemed like forever in nothingness. His feet searched for something to land on and he clawed for what, he didn't know, just something with substance. The water's mist was hitting him in the face with force. It felt like a million pieces of sharp glass hitting him all over.
Kindred coughed and spit as he slowly came to and found himself in the bottom of the boat with the most beautiful girl he'd ever seen.
Vignette Three--Life Changing Event (LCE)
Chapter 3 shows your POV character experiencing a Life Changing Event.
Gasping, Kindred waved toward the small beach to their right. The girl rowed the boat to the beach and struggled with her wet skirts to get out of the boat. Kindred bent over the side of the boat coughing and spitting up water as she tugged the boat ashore. She helped him out of the boat and he stumbled forward, dropping to his knees.
Kindred began to regain himself. He glanced up at her and was fascinated. Her pointed ears and sensuous lips; she had curves none of his father's subjects had. Her eyes were captivating, she was beautiful. They stared at each other for a long moment before she spoke.
"I'm sorry I took your boat." She shuffled back and forth with a guilty look on her face.
"I would've done the same thing." Kindred stared into her spellbinding gaze and was mesmerized. Shaking himself from her spell he carefully stood. "The wolves would've eaten you alive m'lady. What choice did you have?" When Kindred fully stood he was a foot taller than this interesting girl. He gazed with interest at her. "Besides, it isn't my boat."
He could tell he was making her uneasy with his stare so he looked away toward the waterfall he just went over without a barrel. "I guess we can't go back the way we came."
The girl quickly glanced around, "You don't think there are any wolves here do you?"
"I don't know." Kindred kept eyeing the surrounding area. What are you called?"
"Pandora," she said as she tried straightening her skirt. "I'm called Pandora."
"Pandora," Kindred bowed, "I am Kindred." He still felt slightly lightheaded but was regaining his composure, "We'd best figure out how we're going to get through the night. The wolves are on the hunt and we have no shelter. I lost my supplies back there so we need to find cover for the night."
Pandora looked startled at this. "M'lady is not spending the night with you."
"M'lady doesn't have a choice if she wants to get through the night."
Pandora jutted her chin in the air, "M'lord, I shall sleep here on the beach until morning. You may do as you wish. So just trot off without me."
Kindred wasn't moved. "I shall not leave m'lady on the beach alone. We shall find shelter until morning. You can stay awake all night if you wish."
Pandora knew he was right. She could not stay here by herself all night. The wolves would find her.