Friday, May 13, 2016

A Character Takes Form

Sitting back and listening to others talk always reveals thought in a new light.  While I was sitting on a bench yesterday, waiting for my afternoon class to start, I listened in on a conversation between two girls.  They did not even notice I was there.   

They were discussing an assignment they have on Peter Pan.  More specifically the concept of Peter Pan often played by a woman for on stage productions.  As they continued, discussing the need for Peter Pan to look younger as the reasons, I started to wonder about how different life would be for me if I had been the opposite of myself… like Peter Pan, a boy, acted by a woman.   

Would I enjoy searching for stories around me?  Would I care to sit still long enough to listen in on other’s conversations?  Or would I be full with a drive to be active in my surroundings?  Building friendships with many other guys and girls simply because I enjoyed having a busy schedule…  

James re-entered my mind.  He will become that version of me - the what if I had been the opposite… a refracted, altered, version of the me I am.   

James is a college student, at a big state school.  He received a scholarship for baseball because he had an amazingly accurate throw.    

His world is full of action, sports to play, games to win, people to hang out with.  People always notice James as he walks into a room because he walks with confidence.  He is tall, strong, sure, just as so many athletes are, right?  He goes up to new people and says hi, simply because they are new.  (You see that is so not me... )  

James is so sure he knows what is in front him, what his life holds that he doesn’t second guess many things at all.  He just keeps moving forward, knowing that while he is in school, he will play baseball, and then he will be an architect. He will design grand buildings where other people do important things.    

The thing is, life never flows the path one foresees, does it?    

You see, dear reader, I have been thinking about James, the refraction of the images around me, and building this story for so long that it is changing over and over.    

James has his life figured out - his college goals, his career goals.   

Now that the character is formed, I must focus on the conflict, the twist, the drama that will bring the story to life.  And that, my dear reader, is what I will leave you with - what twist draws you in?



  1. A compelling read often brings elements of self awareness and self discovery into play. Something a young person in college will be experiencing undoubtedly as they leave their nest and progress towards their futures. Trauma is often used as a compelling story vehicle, but be careful about writing about trauma you are not fully aware of, because as survivors of trauma will be drawn to reading, they will also be your harshest critics of how right you get the details of the trauma victims story and journey through their pain. Trauma simply for the sake of story propulsion is often viewed as damaging for real survivors of said trauma by the trauma survivors.

    Concerns about the future and reconciliation of personal beliefs vs societal notions is also a compelling read.

    Good luck on his story, and your character development. My personal pickle has always been dialog and flow of the conversations. I lean more to prosaic writing and free form poetry for this very reason, rather than stories told from a routine perspective.

  2. A very interesting and compelling character, with a vast expanse of life and living to fill in with details. With his goals defined, what scenarios will follow to see this to fruition? Definitely a complex task, and one that I do not envy. I shall definitely look forward to your next installment.


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