So what’s this guy look like, anyway

Writing is a great privilege. I don’t have to fight anyone but me to do it. Writing is like bodyweight exercises. Sometimes the stuff with weights is easier. I’m heavy. Lifting me is hard. Day 5 of putting something together.

Last time, I had this little spark of an idea. I lived in a condo building. Lately, I’ve noticed this guy smoking downstairs, hanging out for a while. A girl who lives in my building comes down to meet him, and they drive off. That’s probably not very interesting by itself. It matters who he is. There’s a mystery box there, maybe, but only if what’s on the other side is compelling. It matters who she is. It should be important not just who she is in relation to him, but who she is by herself.

It matters a little bit less who I am. It could matter, but it could just as well be that the I” in this story is just a cypher for the reader. I’m a fan of that character. It’s a good device, and not one I’ve used in my writing before. My main characters have been the focus of my stories. Maybe it’d be nice to be a little bit more of a camera to something more interesting.

I don’t know if I have a favourite novel, but the Great Gatsby is up there. Nick Carraway is used less as a full character and more as a lens to this world. The characters speak to him and acknowledge him, but his impact on the plot itself is not heavy. Did you know the Great Gatsby enters the public domain on January 1, 2021? That’s cool.

So what’s this guy look like? Heh. Of course. When it comes to do the actual writing, planning, whatever, I drop this text box and look at Instagram for fifteen minutes. Maybe I was looking for him? I think he’s big. He’s some kind of bodybuilder. Physically intimidating, but with a somewhat kind-looking face. He’s bleached his hair a lighter colour than his beard, which is sculptured and well cared-for. He’s handsome and he tries. At first, it’s difficult to tell if it’s boyish or manly confidence. His smile seems genuine and maybe a tad dorky.

Is it strange that a guy who cares about his health would smoke? Sure. Maybe it’s a vape pen? Maybe it’s weed instead of tobacco. He wears these bright shirts you see in magazines that seem obscenely expensive. Maybe that’s more my character speaking? Maybe he thinks it would be insane to spend $400 on a loud, flowery shirt you barely button.

Maybe this guy smiles when he sees me and it disarms me entirely for days. It seems to have less effect on her. Who am I, again? I should figure that out.


writing story planning


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