Characterization As Series Fuel

I start any series by creating a cast of characters. I might have an idea of what I want the basic plots to be, what themes I want to tackle and what the larger world looks like that I am setting the stories in, but ultimately, characterization is king in my work. That is because whereas the setting and themes may not change much, characters are constantly changing and growing as they interact and face different challenges. This makes them a constant source of new stories. The best example I have of this in my own work is likely Catherine Farrows, the criminal analyst protagonist of the Black Mask series. Catherine starts out the series in a state of burnout, having had so much trouble coping with the corruption in the justice system back in her home state that she’s on hiatus in a new state across the country trying to deal with her feelings. She ends up having a tryst with Thomas, her neighbor, not knowing h’s actually the vigilante the police are hunting. As the clues start to pile up, she is thrust into the police investigation of this vigilante. But she, along with many members of law enforcement, feels the same helpless anger, and they actually end uprooting for the Black Mask more often than not, because h’s doing what they want to be doing. As she learns more about this vigilante, she finds herself agreeing with him, and realizes that she’s about to leave her past by-the-book treatment of law enforcement behind. By the time she discovers that her lover Thomas is the Black Mask,...