FOWC: Team Building Excercise

In this post I will be talking a little bit about my creative process and the creation and development of some of my recurring characters.

The characters are grouped together under the collective umbrella title of The Bloodhounds (originally the Greyhounds) and have featured in several narratives here on WordPress. The characters are Dr Benjamin Webster, Arthur Fransure, Liz Radcliffe, Corporal Lucinda Bell and Miss Julia Sevenpenny.

The first three are long term creations of mine and first appeared in a pilot script for a student project, which sadly never materialised.

The central protagonists were Dr Webster and Arthur, the good doctor being a rather bored young intern who would stand in for the local police surgeon and that would be foot in the door for the stories. Arthur Fransure worked for the secret service and the conduct between the two would be a source of dramatic tension as the stories would unfold. Liz was a nurse and friend to the doctor and would often be the middle group between the two. The pilot dealt with Webster working on a body drawn from the river who had died of hypothermia in the middle of summer. The body was one of Arthur’s field agents and the case lead them to illegal experiments in cyrogenics.

I developed a few more stories early on and decided that in a way Dr Webster and Liz were like distorted reflections of one another and this is what probably lead to the creation of Corporal Bell. She was loosely based on a friend and I originally christened the character with her middle name “Marie”, I subsequently dropped this as Marie Bell was a bit too similar to Mary Bell, a rather famous murderer from the UK. My idea was that Bell would be the female reflection of Arthur and I also felt this could have quite a few interesting twists with pairings of various characters. She was also there to have someone who legitimately carry some of the action sequences.

While working on these stories it became obvious to me that the Dr Webster character would soon be difficult to use in the plot lines and I thought of various ways to phase him out. This lead me with a problem, who would now be Arthur’s sparring partner? The first answer was “Corporal Bell obviously” but I think that there were limitations there due to the similarities in development, plus I felt the character could hold her own and be more intersting as a lone unit.

So I went with Liz, had her go into training to be a field agent and therefore became Arthur’s partner.

Then I hit upon the idea of a gadget man as it was a good contrast to the previous characters, and I then thought about what would his relationship with Arthur be? If Dr. Webster was antagonistic this chap should be different and I came up with a bro-mance approach with a mentor-student echo. So I set upon the first story to introduce him and I put in a young female who was an office junior in the service who would be the dogsbody to bring Arthur to the new guy. So I wrote her in… And then I thought why not make her the gadget loving partner and have a reluctant Teacher Student/Father Daughter approach to the relationship.

Her name went through several variations and I settled on Sevenpenny, as it has a loaded element to it. Seven could be translated as lucky 7, and Penny could be a lucky penny or a bad penny. Also seven could be read as seven years bad luck or the seven in a seven year itch… It also benefits from being a totally made up name.

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Partner

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