Some of you might remember that I really like the story that comes with the running app, Zombies, Run! by Six to Start. The characters are awesome, the world is well-developed, the pacing is well executed in most places. The standard for their storytelling is very high.
In this app, you are playing the part of Runner Five, a newcomer to Abel Township. This means that in the fandom (yes, this exercise app has its own fandom, and it's very active) everyone has their own version of Runner Five. It's seen as normal and even accepted to make Runner Five a self-insert character. You, or you but better, or you the way you would want to be. The fact that this is the standard makes it very easy to slip into the fandom. It's extremely accepting.
But I have such a powerful knee-jerk reaction against making self-insert characters that it's honestly taken me more than a year just to get to the point where I'm willing to lay down some details about my own Runner Five.
Recently, Six to Start released a New Adventure (unrelated to the main story line) that takes place in Victorian London. And I guess this is what it takes for me to feel confident enough to make my own Five. So here you go.
Now, I want to point out that this is not a very good character introduction. I don't share a lot of information about her, but I do share some of her motivation, which I think might be more important at the beginning of a story, as it's not the characters that draw you into a story, but the potential for good conflict.
Let me know in the comments if you agree or not.
"And you..." The man was grubby, overweight, and was missing at least half his teeth. That wasn't too unusual (except for the overweight part) but that just made the disinterested look in his eyes that much more of a relief. Concealed in loose trousers, a rough tunic, and a jacket that had once belonged to her father, the girl looked as much like a boy as a young woman could - that is, only enough to pass as a barely pre-pubescent young man. The grime probably helped, too.
"I'll find some space for ya. There's a new project on the east side of the compound. You quick on your feet? A decent runner?"
Her heart leapt, thinking that this might be her way out. A messenger wouldn't attract a lot of attention, and she'd be able to pick up enough extra work (hopefully) to make ends meet until the factory opened back up again. Eagerly, she nodded.
"Good." He threw a piece of dark fabric at her, and gestured with his pen without looking up again. "Sign in at bunkhouse 13. They'll tell you what to do." Looking down at the fabric, she saw it was an armband that had the number 5 stitched in red thread on one side. Very ominous. With a shrug, she pulled it on and headed toward the fence, passing Bunkhouses 8 and 9.
There were still a lot of things that could go wrong, but at least this was a place to start.