Nowadays, characters are what REALLY make a story. Let's face it, most stories have already been told. What makes them new, exciting, and different are the characters. And since our protagonist is the main character, we really need to like her. We should identify with her, want to be her, and root for her to win the whole time.
This is easier said than done.
Those of you who are writing friends know this. Our protagonist should be awesome...but not too awesome. Because no one likes someone who is perfect. So our character needs a flaw--and a real flaw, not the lame "I work too hard" answer we all give at interview when asked what our biggest weakness is.
I actually started a spreadsheet just for capturing character traits, including weaknesses, and whatnot. I'll fill that out on my own, but for here, I want to try to capture some high level ideas, and brainstorm a little.
To be honest, I can't wait to see what your comments are!
So I've already decided to align the protagonist with Morrigan, the goddess of war. In fact, on babynames.com. the name Morrigan means War Goddess. Like most Irish myths, however, she wasn't a one-trick pony (no Ares here). She also cared about sovereignty, and would predict the death of warriors in battle. She appeared often as a crow (but we're going to use ravens, because then I can feel like Poe as I write). She was crafty to a fault, and with her ability to prophecy, she was very powerful indeed.
I like the idea of her as an outcast--she was instrumental in the death of Cuchulain, one of the greatest Irish mythological heroes. So if every druid has a "sponsor" deity among the Tuatha de Danann, the Morrigan's druid would meet with a lot of dislike, hostility, and opposition among the community.
To me, this makes sense. The person who has to do what is right (protect sovereignty) even if it isn't popular, and who can see and predict the death of brave warriors in a martial society would certainly be...well, not the first picked for the dodge ball game, that's for certain.
Now for the protagonist
So our protagonist should be sympathetic enough with the Morrigan that they connect, and it makes sense that the Morrigan would sponsor her. But I feel like there should also be some conflict--some pieces that don't connect, as that would make DRAMA (which we need) and help make things difficult for both characters to get what they want.
The character should also be able to be a druid--meaning perfect memory, able to learn lots of language and memorize codes of law, sing, and just be very smart.
I think the foil of having the Morrigan not care about death, but just about results as opposed to someone who is sensitive and cares a great deal about life would make for a difficult relationship--but would also make the character a perfect druid (they are, after all, usually pacifist).
I also like the idea of Morrigan being very calculating, whereas the protagonist is more impulsive.
But they should both be fighters at heart, who will not back down.
And for the name:
I'm thinking Carrigan. It's nice that it's spelled like and rhymes with Morrigan, which will help link them together. It also means pointed, or spear, which highlights that she is more blunt, more direct, more impulsive than the calculating Morrigan. It also makes her Morrigan's spear, and an instrument of the goddess's mission to maintain sovereignty and balance. This will tie in well with where I think the plot is going.
Don't forget to comment!
Tell me what you like, what you don't, what you want to see.
Also, I would LOVE some suggestions for a last name for Carrigan. It should be Welsh, Scottish, or Irish if possible. If I love your idea, you DEFINITELY get a free book, and a note in the acknowledgements!
If I don't pick yours, keep commenting--you'll get that free copy if you interact with enough blog posts!