Okay, I have three characters so far, and that's about it. They don't even have names yet, so I will refer to them as The Composer, The Brother, and The Best Friend.
Character Number 1, by far the most interesting, is a crazy, deaf composer. Due to a childhood magical mishap, he CONSTANTLY hears (what he thinks, at least, is) the Music of the Spheres. This is what drove him round the bend. He is obsessed with it and with somehow keeping a record of it. He is in a government mental institution.
(Note: I've had this idea for him for years, but when I told Carol about him, she said he reminded her of Scriabin. Having researched Scriabin and found out he's fucking BRILLIANT, I am going to model my composer slightly more after him. Scriabin had this masterwork called "Mysterium"--more a performance than a piece of music. Mysterium was to be played in the foothills of the Himalayas, and Scriabin required, among other things, "an orchestra, a mixed choir, an instrument with visual effects, dancers, a procession, incense, and rhythmic textural articulation," Some of the necessary instruments included church bells suspended from clouds. He also wrote, "The cathedral in which it will take place will not be of one single type of stone but will continually change with the atmosphere and motion of the Mysterium. This will be done with the aid of mists and lights, which will modify the architectural contours." Scriabin intended the Mysterium to be a seven-day long performance which would bring about the apocalypse. He's basically badass.)
Character Number 2 is the composer's older brother. It is his fault the Composer is there, because it was his magical mishap that caused his brother to be deaf to all but the Music. He is kind of secretive--he's not telling me much about himself--but he seems like a real sweetheart. He visits his brother as often as he can and sometimes brings him little presents (which the Composer doesn't notice). He has massive, massive guilt. I'm not sure what he does for a living, although I think he may be a scholar; in any case, it has something to do with magic.
Character Number 3 is the Brother's best friend. He's basically an onmyoji (in Japan's Heian era, onmyoji were civil servants who performed exorcisms, did geomancy, calculated auspicious days, and read fortunes). He knows what the Brother doesn't: The government mental institution where the Composer is for all intents and purposes imprisoned is actually a front for secret research about developing the ultimate magical weapon. Best Friend knows this and he knows that their highest hopes are for the Composer and his work. Best Friend of course cannot tell The Brother about this. Another thing The Brother doesn't know is that The Best Friend is in love with him.
I don't know what the plot is yet. I'd also like to have a Lord and a Loyal Retainer, but I'm not sure where to fit them in.
Thoughts? Questions? Comments?