A Galaxy of Possibilities: Discussing Character Writing, Diversity, Star Wars and Fandom – Week 33: Nyk Merril

GalaxyofpossibilitiesLOGO2Nyk Merril, The Hutt Cartel
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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?

9 thoughts on “A Galaxy of Possibilities: Discussing Character Writing, Diversity, Star Wars and Fandom – Week 33: Nyk Merril

  1. Chris Mac

    Well Derakai and Rel’Avauld have a lot in common, though it’s too bad Rel’Avauld doesn’t see it.

    Derakai is a man of honour, never to turn down a formal duel, and would fight to its end, unable to leave even a foe in mortal danger(not caused in a duel, though he might still try to save them), as well keeping his word. Rel’Avauld is sort of like Derakai in this way, always saluting his foe before a duel/spar, and would put himself in danger to save an ally. His honour is derived from his notion of Derakai stealing his previous future, that of the revenge against hist father, an now it is his wish to fight Derakai in his place. Honour dictates it! Rakai only knows honour from his memories of Derakai as a Jedi Padawan to Jedi Knight, and doesn’t show any foes that he has that sort of thing.

    I would say every character should have some secrets, like Derakai keeping the fact that he knew he would probably die “soon” from Amalia and N’yssa, as well as the rest of the Jedi. He also kept the fact that he felt ready to become one with the Force, having already given up before the fight started. That of course all changed after his daughter was born, and he knew he had to live to see her grow, to be there for her, meaning he was going to fight his “destiny” to the very end.

    Rel’Avauld again is similar to Derakai in this exact fashion, as all his secret plans are leading to his eventual battle with the Nagai, in which he feels his demise is almost assured. As well as the cost of his plan is secretly emptying the Penumbra’s coffers, refilling it when he can or helping others at his expense to try and make up for the eventual loss in his mind. He’s of course set up contingency plans to make all the money back he spent, selling his plans for upgrades and equipment, if he should die in his quest. He is more concerned about other members, tied to him, stopping him from fighting Derakai that he is of them finding out he’s spending all this money on his plans to possibly die.

    Rakai has no need to keep secrets of his own, but will keep those of others should they need to be kept as such.


    1. Natacha Guyot Post author

      I was expecting your comment! I love learning more about your characters! I am glad to see Derakai a father and how this plays out in his life/with his destiny. This is a very interesting development. I like how all your characters are closely tied together and yet so different from one another. 🙂


  2. Chris Mac

    I have this insatiable need to discuss the topics you bring up after reading about your own bevy of great characters. It is my favourite Tuesday work morning pastime. Though I usually spend the day reloading the pages to see if you responded and wasn’t expecting a reply so soon :p. I enjoy reading about your characters too, and I am happy you aren’t sick of me talking about mine pertaining to the topics you wish to discuss. So far I think every topic has had some meaning in at least one of my character’s background or foreshadow story. Like I’ve said before, I’ll be sad to see these stop and not get to read or discuss such topics with you since I greatly appreciate your feedback


    1. Natacha Guyot Post author

      I am thrilled that you find these topics so great to discuss! The more people participate in the discussion, the happier I am! I have 2 more weeks to go, character wise, then in 3 weeks, there will be a small wrap up and announcement for future follow up. 😉



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