Writing Lonely Characters

I had an epiphany the other day. I had just gotten back from a social media conference and was all excited about the things I’d learned. With all of the zeal of a newly ordained minister, I was telling some friends about the various tools and platforms and all of the cool things you could do on Twitter. About half way through the conversation, I noticed their eyes starting to glaze over, so I just slowly stopped talking. It was obvious that the didn’t really care and for a brief moment, I felt kind of alone. Don’t get me wrong, my friends like ME and are fun to be around, but they just didn’t get it and the disconnect made me a little sad.

On the way home I started thinking about a character I’d been developing. In my notes I’d described him as a loner who was hoping to make a friend. But what if he wasn’t alone? What if he was surrounded by kids and parents who loved him, but just didn’t get his passion for (fill in the blank)? What if he was the only one at his school who thought (FITB) was awesome? What if no one else even understood (FITB) much less got excited about it? Wouldn’t that make him feel lonely? And what if a sinister adult started to pay attention to that one thing? Now I’ve made my character lonely AND vulnerable.

I’m not going to lie, it kind of freaked me out to think about it. Because I LOVE my daughter and I’m interested in her life, but there are some things I just don’t really care about. What if someone else filled that gap? Yikes! Which is how I found myself discussing Star Wars/Clone Wars for 3 hours.

Lonely characters are good, lonely daughters are not.


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