Now that I’ve managed to get a concept locked down and underway, I’ve been able to complete the overall outline of my Cyberpunk project and am now working on the finer details of each act. Act I and Act III are complete, with only the finer details of Act II needing to be locked down. I find Act II the hardest section in terms of timing considering it is the majority of the story. It’s easy to think of the start and the ending, but filling everything in between can be a real struggle.
Something that helps me greatly is a character sheet template to fill out for all major characters involved in the story. One, such as the one you will find at the end of this post, is a great tool to get to know your characters better. After filling out details such as their physical appearance, history, childhood, relationships, etc. it becomes far easier to think of different avenues and problems for your characters to overcome or face. This line of questioning also allows me opportunities to ask myself what drives character X to do things the way they do, and how it might affect the people around them.
Process aside, I have a new story pitch to throw out into the world. Of course, there will be changes and alterations to this, but I am further along in the development stage now, so there should be less and less differences with each iteration.
The Pitch 2.0:
Vittoria Lerrella, better known as Vit, is a 17-year-old living with her 20-year-old brother, Issac. In the year 2033, Vit and Issac are forced to live alone, as their parents were deemed enemies of the state by the Corporatocracy known as The Collective. Fearing that their parents are dead, the pair have no choice but to live day-to-day in the overpopulated city of New Vista.
On Vit’s 17th birthday, everything goes from bad to worse when The Collective comes knocking at the door to their tiny apartment. Heavily armed brutes from The Collective Security Authority bash down the door and declare Vit and Issac to be resistance members to a potential uprising brewing within the city.
Instead of being arrested, Issac is forced to remain still while a tiny computer chip gets implanted into the back of his head. When Issac comes to after a few minutes, he is no longer the same person and looks upon Vit with a hatred she has never known.
Before the soldiers apply the same fate to Vit, she manages to escape thanks to a panic switch her father taught her to use in the event of an extreme emergency. During her wild flee through crowded streets, Vit is shot in the arm by her pursuers. Before she passes out from blood loss, a stranger helps Vit into a car to freedom.
When she wakes up a day later, Vit is surrounded by the hardened faces of the elusive resistance fighters that exist within New Vista. Upon waking up, Vit is told that her brother has what the resistance is calling a neural encoder implanted in the back of his head. Essentially his memories have been altered in such a way that he will think whatever The Collective want him to think. This new development is reserved for high-value resistance targets. Vit and Issac have been placed on that list.
Before Vit has a chance to react to this, she realizes her left arm feels bizarre. The doctor tries to explain to Vit that her wound was too severe. She discovers that her left arm has been replaced with a cybernetic implant from the elbow down.
Wounded with nowhere to go, with her brother lost to The Collective, Vit turns to the resistance for help, hoping there is still a chance that Issac can be recovered before his new memories become permanent.
End of pitch:
This is the long-winded pitch at the moment. I’m finding it hard to compress to a catchy blurb, even in my head, but that can wait.
Inspiration and Character Sheet Template:
With the pitch out of the way, please enjoy this week’s inspirational artwork from Pinterest. Below that, you will find the character sheet template I use. I found the template a long time ago from a source I can’t quite remember.
CHARACTER SHEET TEMPLATE:
Place of Birth:
Any Other Physical Distinctions:
Relationship with Mother:
Relationship with Father:
Relationship with siblings:
Relationships with other relatives:
Almost family members:
Reason for closeness:
How would you describe your life overall?
What is your most memorable moment?
What has been the most important event in your life?
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
What is your number one regret?
When were you the most afraid?
What is your greatest fear? Why?
What is the most honorable or “good” thing you’ve ever done?
What is the most “evil” thing you have ever done?
Have you ever been in love? If so, describe what happened.
Do you have a notorious or celebrated ancestor/relative? Does that affect you?
Do you have any secrets? If so, what are they?
What three words would you use to best describe your personality?
What three words would others probably use to describe you?
Why are you risking your life to adventure?
Do you tend to argue with people or avoid conflict?
Are you a listener or a talker?
How long does it take for you to trust others?
Do you hold grudges?
Do you tend to take on leadership roles in social situations?
Do you like interacting with large groups of people?
Are you generally introverted or extroverted?
What makes you sad? Happy? Mad? Why?
Do you have any biases or prejudices?
What do you think of love?
Do you believe in self-sacrifice for the greater good?
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Who is the most important person in your life and why?
Who is the person you respect the most? Despise the most? Why?
What are your goals?
What goal do you most want to accomplish in your lifetime?
Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years? Twenty years?
If you could choose, how would you want to die?
What is the one thing you would like to be remembered for after your death?