Homebody Characters: There Are Wolves Out There

Actions and adventures help to mold characters when it comes to fantasy.  Even if they aren’t on the road, they get involved in home issues like politics or social problems.  It causes conflict that they grow from.  Unfortunately, not everyone is big into going out of the house even if they have an important role in the plot.  Withing the pages of War of Nytefall, you have quiet a few homebodies like Gregorio Roman and the nobles.  They don’t leave their lairs very often, so what are ways to include them in the overall story and help them grow?

  1. Bring the action to them in some fashion.  I don’t necessarily mean a fight, but have the other characters go to these homebodies for help.  Just because they don’t go out doesn’t mean they are useless.  You made them for a reason, which is probably more for intelligence and advice-giving.  For example, it could be a mystery that their knowledge can bring clarity to.
  2. Give them a method of communication to the outside world.  This can be a magic item in fantasy or a communicator in science fiction.  Heck, a cellphone works for modern day tales.  This allows them to interact with scenes that they are not physically present for.  It might not lead to growth because they aren’t able to touch things and might only be a voice, but they will know what is going on.  This also eliminates any future ‘report’ scenes to get them up to speed.
  3. Have them venture out at times.  They might prefer to be home, but there can be specific events that they’ll leave for.  Saving their friends or a once in a lifetime experience are examples.  Homebodies aren’t necessarily agoraphobic.  They simply don’t have an interest in going outside for various reasons.  For example, Gregorio Roman doesn’t leave his lair that often because he’s been alive for centuries and feels that he’s seen it all.  Yet, he will leave if he has to confront someone for the sake of vampire society or he thinks he’ll experience something new.
  4. Fear isn’t a bad reason to have them stay at home, but this becomes a crutch that needs to be overcome.  For heroes, they’ll need to be faced with a decision to leave their home or let others down.  The decision is a turning point, which either open them to the outside world or lock them in forever.  Failing to do so once pretty much seals their fate with the audience.  For villains, the fear is shown more to be caution and is covered by the use of minions.  You can shrug it off as them feeling that the heroes aren’t worth getting personally involved, so they are able to get away with being homebodies more than heroes.

Any tips that you can think of to keep these characters growing and/or in the action to some extent?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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19 Responses to Homebody Characters: There Are Wolves Out There

  1. ospreyshire says:

    “It’s dangerous business walking out your front door.” I was tempted to use that LOTR reference even though my generation might only know it as an Underoath song, but that’s besides the point.

    I’m an introvert and being around people for several hours is tiresome for me. Those are also good tips for homebody characters. There’s also an anime that deals with someone who’s a hikkikomori (an extreme case of being a homebody) called Welcome to the NHK and it uses a couple of your tips.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. L. Marie says:

    What a cool idea for a post! Great tips. I like the notion of people (like those others seek for wisdom) who remain in a certain place. I can’t help thinking of Leonard of Quirm who is the Leonardo da Vinci of Discworld. He’s always inventing something new. He can’t leave where he is. His mind is always active. What he invents is usually tied to the plot somehow.

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  3. The act of leaving the home for some is a great act of courage. Facing the dilemma of not leaving and knowing someone will die or be harmed, as a result, is a great conflict. I could see someone with Agoraphobia facing a decision like that as a super plot point. Good post, Charles.

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  4. Great idea for a post. I like John’s comment up above. I have cyber shut ins in my new story. I detailed a couple of them. One is simply older and handicapped. The other prefers his online worlds, and turned his house into a place that caters to his gaming needs. Everything is delivered, so he doesn’t need to leave the house.

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  5. With very powerful characters, you do have to limit how much they’re personally involved. In some of my Minstrels of Skaythe series, powerful characters are linked to a certain place (their mage towers) and would have to give up some of their mojo if they got too far off.

    Besides, if the most powerful are too readily available, you have the “Help! Superman!” problem where he solves everyone’s problems and it’s easy for him, so he doesn’t grow, but it’s also easy for them, so they don’t grow, either.

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