Character Work

I’ve started a new project. Hopefully, it won’t turn out too long. I’m about 1.5k in right now and I hope to finish off at 5k. The narrator is mentally unstable, and he has a strange way of thinking–he lingers on his therapist’s breasts for a whole paragraph, and whenever someone tries to be his friend he frames them for sexual assault. The main point of the piece is to paint an accurate character portrait of this guy, with a secondary indented bullet for to mess around with a new way to tell a story.

I’m writing this narrative in the first person, something which I find enlightening. It lets me know a little better how my own brain works by trying to figure out how other people’s brains work. I can say, “I think like this and knowing that I think like this I can modify how I think to make my character’s voice unique.” After all, I want my character to be a distinctive person from me. If I let him think the same way I do, there would be a discomforting melding of personalities. I want to keep this character as far away from me as possible–not because I think his misogyny or hyper-sexualized sense of violence will rub off on me, though. Quite the opposite. I’m afraid that I’ll rub off on him and give him redeeming qualities. I don’t want this character to have redeeming qualities, or at least not many. I want him to be absolutely despicable.

~~La Stranezza


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