Saturday, September 24, 2011

A moment to develop character (no, not my own)

pen and paper
Yes, I missed my Wednesday blog alright.  Teacher, school, homecoming/spirit week/end of term grading: these are my excuses.  I missed my blog and didn't even notice. But I also missed writing further on my current short story and that I noticed constantly. I managed to ease an hour out of my mad grading schedule one day, but it was not enough.  In my Creative Writing class, I even made my self sit and work on the same exercise my students were working on.  Well, "made" is probably not the right verb.  It was more along the lines of excused myself from moving about the room and reading over their shoulders or grabbing a quick moment of grading while they tried to find the words to explain how their characters would react under certain given situations. So I sat and did the same, then stuffed it in a safe place on my desk and turned back to teaching.  So maybe five minutes eked out just for my story.  I just spent three solid hours grading a stack of work and am rewarding myself with sitting here and typing on this blog. After this, I am going to work again on my story, a science fiction wrapped about a boy who was released (a requirement for three-year-old boys) to be a scrapper, i.e., an apprentice teamster on a desert planet. 

I now know the following things about one of the characters after sneaking that five-minute opportunity:
  • he's 44 and a truck stop owner who wishes his wife and son were still alive
  • he would laugh - thinking about what his wife would say when supplies run short
  • afraid - that he might start to care for someone else
  • angry - thinking that someone else may also have been important to his wife
  • ashamed - that he has not lived up to the promise he made to his wife before she died
  • tender - the leap that occurs in his consciousness that this child they took in values his wife as much as he did and that honors her
Some of this may make it in to the story, but mostly it helped me get some depth on a character that is important to what happens to the boy he is giving shelter to at the request of his now deceased wife.

So off to writing.

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