Monday, November 17, 2014

Character development: The Rosetta Project

Unless you have been stuck in a cave somewhere, you have probably heard about the Rosetta Project. A mission made more famous by the shirt of a scientist than the actual accomplishments of taking ten years to land on a comet.

 


Quick background
Rosetta is a robotic space probe built and launched by the European Space Agency to perform a detailed study of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (67P) with both an orbiter and a lander module Philae. It was launched on the 2nd March 2004. It landed, with a bounce, last week.

It became (very) famous when the head scientist went on TV wearing the most dreadful shirt ever made—it was covered in half naked women.

Tom T. Lay
Now, in one of my earlier posts, here, I talk about always looking out for new and interesting characters, and if this guy is not interesting, I don’t know anyone who is. So, let’s create a character: Tom Lay, his nickname is “Tart”—Tom “Tart” Lay.

Our Tom Lay is a brilliant if not slightly rude scientist. He has an IQ of 177 and is one of only one hundred and twenty members of the Prometheus Society. He is a PhD in aeronautics, speaks Japanese (he learnt for an ex-girlfriend), and plays the flute (I said brilliant not cool.)  He is currently single and in love with at least two Anime characters, nude pictures of whom provide screen savers for all of his five computers.  He has tattoo of naked women on his arms and back and the name of one ex-girlfriend, which he added after they broke up. He has a tattoo of frog smoking a joint next to his… The bottom of his snowboard is covered by a painting of a blonde Amazonian woman, carrying a sword and riding a dragon. He is a secret trekie and wants to be Commander Riker (which explains his thick beard). His next favorite program is Futurama. He played Minecraft until it was brought by Microsoft and became uncool. He subscribes to at least three web sites with the word “Geek” in the URL and six with the word “Anime”. He hasn’t had a girlfriend in eighteen months and goes on live TV wearing a shirt with scantily clad women on it. He’d love more women in the sciences. He is learning Hindi because he fancies an Indian woman in the soil analysis department. If he had spoken to her, he might learn she speaks Marathi. He lives in a one bedroom apartment and he has a soiled plate under his bed that has been there two months.

There we go, not a full break down of our new character but a good start. Things we might expand:
·         Family
·         School years
·         Best Friend
·         Work place traits (paranoid, bossy, avoids conflict)
·         Music: Favorite band, concerts
·         Hobbies (beside flute)
·         Moments of greatest regret
·         Hidden guilt … these are good ones.
·         First kiss
·         How did he lose his virginity (regrets, guilt)?
·         Pains or illness
·         Charity work?
·         Boy scout?
·         Bucket list
·         Kinky habits
·         Campaigns for equality in all walks of life?
·         Hates cats?

What would you add to the Tom T. Lay list?