The first thing is the idea. My base story ideas are usually from dreams, so I’ll go with the one I had recently.
Here’s what I can remember of the dream.
The captain of the ship had his brain altered by an advanced alien race. A white-haired older man, he apologized to the crew if he acted more robotic as time passed.
Then this little pink and white flower spider creature, like an orchid mantis, slobbered slime or web fluid that glistened in the light.
A woman on the crew in the hydroponics lab backed up to a white and pink flower bigger than herself. A stamen hung out of the flower, and the tip glowed a light blue. A big, ugly, dull rusty-red, and wrinkled alien approached her. She backed up closer to the flower in fear of the alien.
That’s it for what I can recall. So let’s work with that.
The first thing will be the characters. Five seems to be a standard number for team-based stories. Create a Bio for each one.
1: So we have a Captain. I imagined him as older with white hair. I’ll keep that. He apologized, so I’ll base his personality around that.
We have a polite Captain who must be in touch with his emotions enough to realize they might be slipping away and he may behave in a less caring fashion as time passed. Obviously a concern for him.
His background could be from a nice home on Earth.
I would say, not a military Captain. (Not that Military Captains can’t be polite.)
Since there was at least one alien plant in the hydroponics lab, I’ll pick Scientist as his profession.
I’ll search on a name site. http://www.behindthename.com/ I’ll type in Respect, switch to search meanings, and search. Erhard looks good to me, so I’ll go with that one.
Sometimes different sites give entirely different meanings for names. So be careful if that matters to you.
I’ll search Google for German surnames. I’ll click on the first thing that shows up https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_most_common_surnames_in_Germany and I’ll go with Schreiber as in a scribe.
2: We have a woman in the hydroponics bay. I’m imagining her as a brunette. Can’t remember if she was in the dream. Maybe a little on the shorter side to contrast with the large flower.
Perhaps have her as a Botanist.
She wasn’t screaming or running from the alien who was bigger than her, but she was afraid of it. Will remember this for when writing her character.
I’ll search on a name site.
http://www.20000-names.com/index.htm I’ll type in Botanist, scroll down to “Flower Names page 2,” CTRL-F to find Botanist, and pick Dahl as the surname.
I’ll go back, scroll down more, search through “Flower Names page 3” and pick Linn.
Because of the meaning of Linn, I will have her be a twin, and the other twin is not on the ship. It could lend itself to some emotional storytelling.
3: There were other crew members on the bridge for the Captain to be talking to. I’ll go with three more on the bridge to bring the character total to five. I’ll figure these out later if they’re needed for tutorial.
Next time, we’ll move to the setting. In this case the spaceship.