Week Two: Meta

My goal is to alternate POV between male and female protagonists as often as possible. My next character is Bess, which I just noticed means I’m going to have to keep this A, B, C thing up and next week is going to be Charlie, then Daniella, then Eb (he might be an alien), and so forth. Z is going to be hard. And because there are 26 letters in the alphabet and 52 weeks in the year, I’ll have to use each letter twice; maybe male letters will be female during the second round, and vice-versa?

Anyway, Bess is not the most cooperative character. Every time I check in on her, she is sitting in her math class. She’s a high school senior, and this is the only part of her life she’ll show me. No before school, no after school, no other classes, no lunch, no weekends, no extra-curriculars, no gossip in the hallways, nothing. It’s frustrating, to say the least. I’ve never had a character do this, but after four days I’m too invested to drop her and find another one. And I don’t usually have characters who can’t be outlined, or plotted around, or treated like a marionette, but Bess is certainly too strong-willed for any of that.

So I’m writing what she shows me. It’s tender, but only in the way ordinary things become tender when they’re carefully curated and shared with someone you trust. There’s a metaphor in there, somewhere, I think – and hopefully I can use it to string together the quiet moments of her life. Look for “Bess” on Monday, February 15.

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4 thoughts on “Week Two: Meta

  1. She sounds wonderfully stubborn. My theory is that all the best characters are… I tell myself this, hopefully… but seriously, I think she’ll be really interesting to read about.

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  2. I just read an advanced copy of a teen romance all about two kids who sit next to each other in Calculus class. They fall in love with other people. I don’t think Bess was in that class, although the entire class before the story arc of the book started sounds like Bess. No one revealed anything. Maybe whatever is going to be Bess’s story just hasn’t started yet. 🙂

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    • Last night’s event was really useful – I figured out why Bess was so hard to write and came up with some good ideas to save her story. I’m also pretty sure the “exercise” we did there at the end is going to be the start of my fourth short story. TSCPL to the rescue!

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