Character Sketch

Okay, so I mentioned a few posts (and weeks) ago that the novel I’m plugging away at is a fantasy about a kid named Roger who has power over the earth. He’s got to find an ancient power source before his antagonist (unnamed and really quite fuzzy at this point.. maybe that’s the next writing exercise…) gets to it.

Thing is, I need a friend for Roger, who goes by Roh. Pronounced like the way you say salmon eggs. (Roe) Roh is turning sixteen and is not the most popular of people. He’s marvelously overweight and has a great home life, so he hasn’t needed friends much. But he needs to have one I think.

So today’s writing exercise is a character sketch of Roh’s friend. I have some ideas, but as I put them down here, I hope to expand on them. Please, if any readers have thoughts or suggestions, pass them on. Umm.. wait a sec.. Pandora is playing “The Lady in Red,” which doesn’t get my creative juices going at all.


Nice. Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin”

Okay here goes.

Character: Roh’s friend.

  • Name: (I’ll get back to this.) Okay, his name is Aiden Pope.
  • Gender: (If I typed ‘sex’ here would I get more hits?) Male. (Roh’s a shy sixteen year old boy.)
  • Age: Fourteen or fifteen.
  • Description: Blond, usually messy hair. Blue eyes with a nose that looks like a boxer’s but is actually a family heirloom. About 5′ 7″ and lean. Long arms. Avid reader and a great debater. Has a high voice. Wears contacts because he hates glasses. Always wears khakis and T-shirts. Round face with a square chin that is flat in front.
  • Family: Mom and dad still married. Two sisters, both pretty. Roh likes the older one.
  • Goals: Wants to go to Evergreen State College in Tacoma, Washington for two reasons: he hates the heat of Arizona (where the book takes place) and wants to study liberal arts, especially writing and literature. Problem with this is that Evergreen students have a reputation for the use of liberating substances and Aiden has strong morals. Wants to be friends with people and is good at making friends because he’s a good talker and can always think of interesting things to talk about. Sees what is going on with Roh, doesn’t understand it and doesn’t get why Roh doesn’t just tell him everything. Notices the changes in Roh’s physical appearance and is scared but intrigued. Makes an extra effort to be there for Roh after the tragedy with Roh’s parents.
  • Overall: A good person who is generally liked. He has a crush on the English teacher, Ms. Spendlove, who is unmarried and very smart. Unfortunately, he is not very brave and when something dangerous happens, he loses his head, not physically. This bothers him, but he is scared of being in another dangerous situation, because he doesn’t know how he will react. Aiden is actually very religious and sometimes has trouble understanding how God could let some things happen.

Okay, that’s good stuff. I like his goals and how some of them are in conflict. I think I should do this every time my story happens upon another character. Any thoughts? Have I left anything out? Sure, there are some pay-offs that I’m not getting into, like his crush and his fear, but that will come out in the story.

Probably next time I will do this for the antagonist. Alrighty then.

Carpe somnium!

About jaredgarrett

Jared Garrett is the author of Beat, a YA scifi thriller, and its forthcoming sequel, both published by Future House Publishing. A new series, debuting in January 2016 and also published by Future House, kicks off with Lakhoni, a fast-paced rescue adventure in a world reminiscent of Aztec culture, to be released in January 2016. He self-published Beyond the Cabin, a novelization of his childhood in a cult, in December 2014. Both Beat and Beyond the Cabin were Whitney Award nominees, and his story Song of the Wind, received honorable mention in the Writers of the Future contest. In addition to writing, he's spent fifteen years in adult education and is an accomplished public speaker and workshop leader.
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