Monday, October 22, 2012

Appearances Matter

Starting a new story is interesting.  I think I've expressed this sentiment in prior blogs, but it's really come home with this writing class I'm taking.  [Did I mention I signed up for Popular Fiction II, that started two weeks ago?]

Last week, the instructor had us write -- I outlined, because I'm not great at writing on demand -- a pursuit scene, but not necessarily a typical pursuit-car-chase-scene.  The homework was to clean up what we wrote and turn it in this week (tomorrow night). I already had a scene in mind, where the guy (yet to be named) asks Beryl out on a date. 

See Mr. Yet-to-be-Named, well I don't know anything about him. And I'm learning as I go along. In some ways, these characters actually build themselves based on the situation I put them in, with Beryl at the center of the story. Tonight I wrote the guy as a teacher, but I haven't decided at what level. I'm thinking Jr. College, which in my mind makes him more interesting, less stereotypical.  He falls in that zone between the possibly younger, possibly jock-ish high school teacher and the likely old and stodgy university professor.

Anyway, he's not the only one.  Basically I know two characters right now: Beryl and Jeryl, and they're twins.  All the others are still forming in my head.  My friend Barbara starts by imagining what type of shoes her characters would wear, but then again she's in competition with Imelda Marcos. I can see Beryl (and Jeryl), but I've got to come up with an image of all the other characters, especially Mr. Yet-to-be-Named because he's the second most important person in the story, the antagnoist.  He the one who changes Beryl's life.

I found a great website:  The blogger says this site documents "how the people of Seattle express themselves through the way they dress." Everyone knows that Seattle started the grunge aesthetic, but that's not all that Seattle is.  It has it's own unique style, maybe competing with Portland.  [If you've seen Portlandia, you know what I mean.] Anyway, this site lets me browse through "looks" and find one that resonates with the character I'm building.

So, you see, appearance matter.  At least that's what my manager, at my real job, keeps telling me.  I think she and I are talking about different things though.

With that said, I have homework to finish.  Off to write that pursuit scene...

1 comment:

  1. Love the link! "...these characters actually build themselves based on the situation I put them in..." so true!!
    Keep up the good work, Nellie, you're not alone!