Short Story: Character Basics

In a valiant attempt to focus on nano this year, I decided to chronicle my journey creating a humorous short story as a series of blog posts I could schedule over November.   See…  Catching two dragons with one net.

I am writing a short story, so the character doesn’t need as much depth as I would need in a novel. Here are some basics to get the juices flowing.

  • Give her a hobby, relationships, desires, and/or an attitude
  • How does her mom describe her? Her best friend?  Her shrink?
  • What does she like to eat and drink?  Why?

I want to be funny, so I chose idea #1 from my list of ideas.

Undead Soccer Player in the middle of Hell must find his head to play soccer.

My main character is a skeleton. Let’s call him Max Femur.


  • likes to grow flowers
  • obviously soccer


I literally groaned. This means I need to figure out how undead work in this world. Do they even have families? Are they people from our world who died or a completely different creature with their own genesis? Time to make some decisions.

Let’s say they are from our world, but remember nothing. They literally pop into existence. There are the Mindless and Mindful ones that have different jobs.

Stopping here.  This is just a short story.


Max is obviously obsessed with soccer. What if he is on an undead soccer team? So not just play with the kids kind of soccer, but a professional soccer player. It’s his life. (hehe)

BFF views him as being scattered. (Bah da dum)

Mom – well with my decision above I can dodge this? Okay, okay – what does the team manager think of him? I came up empty on this question. I’m gonna to circle back later.

What does Max like to eat and drink?

How do skeletons get energy? Long pause as my mind goes blank. I think I better do a list of ten for this question.

  1. The sun – photosynthesis
  2. Ancient gem that connects everything and feeds life energy to all of the undead in the city
  3. Souls
  4. Flowers
  5. Sauerkraut (This is pretty random even for me)
  6. Flesh/brains
  7. Laughter
  8. Each other
  9. Recharge stations at the Undead and Go
  10. Going into a grave and the ground does the rest

Another one I need to think about. I like #9, but have to see if it works.  That one seems the funniest.

In summary, I have Max Femur a flower and soccer loving skeleton. His best friend Tom Tibia thinks of Max as scattered, but a good set of bones. He popped into existence twenty years ago and is the star soccer player on the tri-area soccer team (Sin, Pain, & Sloth).

I still have no idea where his head went to or really much about soccer. Time for research.

What do you do to brainstorm ideas?

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