While I’m a little sidelined, and taking to pen and paper instead of Word, I’ve decided to brief sketches of some of the characters in Brown River Blues.
I’ve done this extensively for a few of the characters. I have 16 years of history about Lorenzo Williamston. I have a short story that gives some background into Nicole Cobb. I briefly had a companion book that delved into the life in the Imperial City Herald newsroom.
One thing I really didn’t have was what some of these people looked like.
It’s no secret that Lorenzo is strongly based on me. In fact, I’ve described the universe of Imperial City as being exactly the same as the real world. The only difference is that my family is exchanged with his, some people have been reapportioned to create Imperial City and Wessex County, a couple names and people have been adjusted at to not (fully) offend anyone and the Hampton Roads metropolitan area is a New York-style city of seven boroughs named Gosnold’s Hope. It makes writing it a little bit easier because we share a few points in time and friends.Obviously, I know exactly what Lorenzo looks like: Not quite like me, because his description is based on his family history and my attempt in high school to hide that he’s virtually me.
As for some of the other characters, I know what they look like but, I don’t.
I can picture them all but there are very few detailed descriptions in the text. This is on purpose. I want to give cues, but I want people to conjure up their own Yumiko Makino-Montclair or James Cecil Wheatley or Marian Moreno or Timothy Lyndon Johnson.
Well, in those examples, it’s a little easy to figure out the ethnicity of at least three of them.
I’m considering sharing the sketches of some of the characters. I like to think of their childhoods, their hopes and dreams, their most embarrassing moments and their favorite things in the world as I guide their thoughts and actions. I have a particularly extensive background for a minor character. It stems from an idea I’ve had for a very long time that someone has possibly covered but I haven’t seen an example. Allow me to digress for a moment.
Ever since I was little, I’ve wanted to see a horror movie aftermath film. No, not a sequel where the kill comes back to rampage again. A serious movie that tackles one of the survivors coping after some deranged man goes on a killing spree for 90 minutes of unceasing gore. I guess it comes from reading newspapers as a child and wondering what happens to those people who face that terror in real life. Currently, a survivor of not a horror show but something almost as crazy is packed into a sentence or two when the character says something weird. The rule in real life and fiction is that you can’t drop a bombshell like that and just walk away. I fully intend to.
It’s partially because I feel I lack the writing chops to tackle and have no business tackling the situation.
But, long story short, I want these people to have motivation beyond being the person who can say the right sentence at the right time to move the story along (or slow it down for a second, because that’s life).That motivation include what they see when they brush their teeth in the morning. Perhaps, when I can get back to working what I was calling the Final Draft, I’ll add some of the cues I’m fleshing out now. Or at least enough to ensure that I don’t cause a continuity error.
Or I’ll leave it as-is and be as outraged as you if and when there’s a move adaptation and an obviously porcine man is played by Vin Diesel.