What her story is, who she is, why she's a gypsy (or dressed like one ... hmm ... ). My mind instantly conjures up scenarios of how she came to be where she is and who she's running from ... or maybe she's hunting for someone. I already know that she is an expert swordswoman and that passion burns in her body. Passion yet untapped for the perfect man for her as well as passion in her, I was going to say mission, but that's not ringing true for me when I look at her. When I see her move in my mind. No, she's in her situation by accident, or by a tumbling series of events that is beyond her control. Let's see ... she does know how to belly dance. I'll make her outfit intentional. Perhaps she's tops in her particular brand of dancing and she was scheduled to perform when simultaneously there are shady dealings going on in the back of the room, or nearby. Or perhaps it'll be a classic switch scenario where she was supposed to show up at one location but got the address wrong, or the address was given to her wrong ...
The sword is not her own but someone else's. Or it was a decorative piece that she picked up when the situation turned deadly with the sub-plot. Or someone thrust it into her hand. Maybe it is hers and she uses it as a prop in her dancing (I've seen that before and it's really cool). Yeah, that would make more sense if she does know about swords to have her own. She keeps it sharp not only for the extra thrill to give her audience the "danger and sexiness" of her performance, but also as self-preservation. She's been hit on before and has learned to defend herself.
Ah, now I digress to imagining her hero. He'll be tall and dark (handsome? Of course. :) I don't know, but personal preference usually has me choosing a darker figure as a hero. But darker fits for what's swirling through my head. Maybe he's a good guy trying to bust whatever is going on with the subplot. Maybe he's a part of the deal but internally disagrees with the way things are going down. A bad guy with a conscious. Is he taken with the gypsy dancer right away, watching her with hooded eyes from the shadows while she dances, not knowing how she's captivating him? Or does he blow her off initially, his concern more on the deal that's going down? No, I like that he's taken with her. The lithe way her body moves and sways. Her perfection in her control and the bone-deep sexiness with every pop of her hip and sway of her arms. She is like sex molded into form and it makes him distracted, something that usually never happens. And the flash of the sword as she dances with it, balances it, moves it as though it is a natural extension of her body.
Maybe when the "deal" goes to hell faster than anyone would have thought, the dancer keeps her poise but begins to back off the stage when her way is cut off. He is torn between taking care of whatever happened where he is and wanting to save her, but is amazed - even though in hindsight he shouldn't have been - at the way she deftly handles herself and remains out of harms way. And when harm does come her way, how she slices and sways her way out of danger.
Whew. I think I made my point after all. Out of the crowds of people and ideas swarming through my mind, SHE has chosen to jump the highest to make herself known to me. She is already taking a more solid shape in my thoughts, her story invading my waking moments until I can hash through them on paper (or, ahem, on screen).
All writers begin in different ways. This is an example of mine. I don't always work this way, but I love it. The challenge, the "who's out there," I call to my inner self. And then the progression. Like a corporate brain storm, to let myself be free and open to a story yet untold, to let myself see where the characters take me without hemming them in right away. It's the most exciting ride ever.