NaNoWriMo – Character Change

So I’ve been struggling for the past two weeks to connect with my female protagonist in my head and emotionally. I’ve struggled defining her and giving her depth, like a real relate-able person, but trying to come up with scenes and actually formulate her as a person.

I can’t even picture her. I mean I CAN, just that she can’t come off as real to me.

So before bed, my mind was racing as the night was winding down, and I was panicking a little bit that I couldn’t grasp an overall feel to my story idea.

I began thinking that red-headed antisocial and kind Dori was just too boring. She was not interesting enough to be my protagonist. I couldn’t even picture her to DRAW her, and that’s when I really knew I was in trouble.

Ultimately… I changed her. Dori is now no longer a white redhead with long hair. She’s now a Mexican-American with short shoulder length, soft brown hair and deep dark brown yes. She smiles and engages openly with people with sarcastic quips, but she’s still guarded. She doesn’t commit to relationships, but she’s open about her sexuality- an independent and free-thinking woman. She has friends, but she doesn’t consider them close, just fun acquaintances. She’s even coming out more fleshed out in my head, and I can’t wait to draw her!

So… I think I have my character. I’m going to take a few character tests I’ve seen floating around online and flesh her out. But it’s amazing how she became more fleshed out in one night of pondering rather than two weeks of pulling my hair out, trying to make Dori Version 1.0 fit!


H.K. Rowe

Behind Unbridled – Character Sketches

With the upcoming release of my novel “Unbridled”, I wanted to share some of the processes I went through to breathe life into my story. One of my favorite things to do, and most essential, is to sketch the characters that come alive in my mind. I did a variety of character sketches, doodles, and even a colored work of my characters and the personalities I wanted to convey.

By sketching them out, I find I can come closer to their nature, learn about them, and solidify their true personality by putting pencil to paper without words.

Here are a variety of artworks created for “Unbridled” which helped satisfy my muse as well as shape these characters.


I seem to be lacking in Brian sketches. I felt that after sketching him once within the group picture, I was satisfied with his personality. My favorite of the mix is Staisha, with her calculatedĀ resolve as her hair draws back a little to reveal the scar on her neck.


I had fun making a color “manga cover” out of this at one point. Another one of my obsessions come to life.


At one point “Unbridled” had its own website with the first “un-drafted” eight chapters up for consumption. This was the header. Website building is another passion of mine that was partnered with this story. It was known as “Unbridled Aria” then and Howin was actually Hay Lin, named after one of the characters in the Disney W.I.T.C.H. show. Through the drafting process though,the title and that character name changed.

I hope you enjoyed some little treats from the process of making this story. More to come soon, such as a cover reveal! Thanks for stopping by!


– H.K. Rowe