Nyk Merril is the third member of the Merril/Noir family I brought to life, following his sister Agatha and his aunt Fireya (and my Empress Tatiana is also related to them by marriage now). When I came up with the concept for Nyk, I wasn’t really sure of who I would use in terms of claim, but eventually choose Kris Holden-Ried, thus adding – and not on purpose – another Lost Girl cast member to my zoo. Since then, I changed his image claim and settled for Josh Dallas, who fits the character better.
I had bits of his background because of what I knew of his youth and family thanks to writing his younger sister Agatha, but I hesitated for a while between having him become an imperial or join the Hutt Cartel. I knew that he had served in the Chandrilan military for more than ten years but had eventually left because he felt that this wasn’t him anymore and he needed new horizons.
I eventually went for the Cartel option – including because of how I didn’t feel like writing a Navy character as I knew this would be his path if he had been imperial. I also had the great possibility of having him begin to work as a team with his uncle, written by a friend, so they could be smugglers together. Establishing a team as such is a bit of a different approach in comparison to the non smugglers among my Cartel characters who tend to mostly operate on their own when it comes to contracts for their employer.
When I started Nyk, I was a bit concerned that he might turn into a Tonyh 2.0. but I easily got his personality figured out and my worries vanished. After so many characters, both active and deleted, the lack of renewal can be an easy and natural fear. Thanks to the early threads I did with Nyk, I was able to find his own voice and thus enjoy writing him as his own person.
Working on him reconnecting better with his sister, aunt and uncle is an interesting element of his development. Though he doesn’t regret the time spent serving in his home world’s military, he knows that it also estranged him from his own self and from people that mattered to him. It was also a way for him to put his past away and not look at older scars. Indeed, he was once engaged to his teenage years’ sweetheart, but she believed that they only had marriage plans because they had a child on the way, which she lost, leading her to break things up between them. Nyk didn’t let anyone get too close to him afterwards, including on a friendly level, for his ex fiancée had married one of his childhood friends within the year following their separation.
This is also why having Nyk realize that the life he had thrown himself in for the past decade wasn’t the one for him, both on a professional and personal level. With both familial support and new people in his life, he was thus able to move on and bring positive change to his life, regardless of how well aware he is of the existence of unexpected detours and hardships. It was important for me that while he had made mistakes and stuck his head in the sand for a while, he wasn’t an immature and whiny person, as it would have driven me crazy to write someone like that. Flawed characters are the best to write, but they have to eventually make something out of their life and live with their choices, past and present. Early on after the character’s creation, he also met a woman with whom he quickly connected, and I am very excited to see his relationship develop with her.
- Do members of the same family tend to be business partners as well, among your characters?
- Do your characters keep secrets, even from their close friends or relatives?
- How important can honor be to your characters?