Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A sketchy character

For my writing class I'm supposed to be developing a character sketch.  The instructor has us filling out this form - sort of like an "interview" of our character, if they were actually a real person.  I'm trying to decide if the difficulty I'm having with this assignment means I should stick to some kind of non-fiction writing.

First of all - I cannot predict what my own friends and family think, or what their "motivations" are, and I am with them 5,000+ hours EVERY SINGLE DAY. What does my character like to eat?  I don't know - ask him! (or her!).

Secondly - Why does my "character", let's call him "Bob" have to have "motivation"?  What if his "motivation" is just the overuse of quote marks?  What if he's lazy?  What if smokes a lot of weed and his motivation involves finding some Doritos because damnitiknowtheyareheresomewhere?

Third - It seems very...I don't know...inorganic (unorganic?) to come up with this character and assign poor Bob a "look" and a "personality" and "other character-y stuff".  Maybe Bob would like to come to me.  What if Bob is shy?  What if Bob likes girls that are a little more subdued?  Well, if that's the case - he's going to hate me anyway, so I might as well make him stupid and take away his Doritos.  How does that feel Bob? 

Anyway, I'm home sick (AGAIN!) due to the fact that I live in baby-germ-warfare-ville, and needless to say, I'm not working on my character, or his motivation, or my own motivation.

Maybe I'll just write a book about my own life, which has lots of "characters", none of whom I understand in the least, but at least they do funny shit.  Or start doing stand-up.  Everyone says I should do stand-up.  I bet you have to find motivation for that too.  Someone please tell me there's a career that does not involve motivation.