This week, I started a new short story for the 1st Anthology Volume of “Tales of Agrobathe” series. While prepping to write the story, I realized I have not been keen on all my characters nor do I have an easier way of creating new characters for my story. This led me to looking up a few quick commands and attempting to create an HTML5 character generator. Right away I had some issues with getting this to work properly on a local machine, as I do not want to host my generator anywhere but my local computer. Being an advanced user of Microsoft Excel from a previous life as a Manager, I decided to try a few formulas to see if I could get a theory to work and was quite surprised when it did. I created an Excel Fantasy Character Generator!
I was quite pleased with myself and am continuing to expand and improve it. My first test was to have the main ‘Character’ spreadsheet. This would be where all the stats were collected into one area and could be printed off or screen captured if need be. Next, I created a ‘Names’ spreadsheet where I put different columns for first male and female names and another for last names. If I wanted to later give additional middle names I could just do that myself on the fly to keep it a little simpler. I also created a formula where it would randomly choose male or female gender. When I coded it in there and entered the names and genders on the other sheet, I then pressed F9 to refresh the spreadsheet…and it worked the first time!
I couldn’t believe I had gotten it to work on the first go, but my theory of how the formulas and spreadsheets would react were correct. I then went on to add Race, Age, and other character statistics. And will continue to refine and improve those. I also need to spend many days of adding more fantasy-like names and race-related names. However, now if I need a character, I just pull up the random fantasy character generator in Excel and presto! I have a new character complete with stats and setup for my worldbuilding of Agrobathe.
Last night after getting about 2,000 words into the new short story set within Agrobathe, I realized I needed to update my Character Bible, which I have separate from the World Bible. I opened it up and realized it has been years since I last updated this document. So tonight, instead of continuing with my writing, I am taking a step back to go and read all the shorty stories I’ve written for the new anthology and am picking out all the Protagonists, Antagonists, Secondary Characters, and Minor Characters and adding a quick blip of details in the Character Bible. Not only will this help keep my stories unified across all of the short stories, but I even found a mistake in one of my stories where a character’s name changed towards the end of the story. Having this Character Bible will hopefully save me from such misfortunes in my future writing for Agrobathe.
I’ve not yet built a cohesive timeline for my world of Agrobathe yet as there is still a lot to flesh out, but if I get enough characters within the same timeframe I can have them mentioned or cross over into other stories. I’m looking forward to those types of possibilities as before each story was just a one-off and stand-alone only having the world of Agrobathe in common.