Pilot Program – Let’s Pick Our Characters!

It’s been decided. You voted, and the majority of you chose Pilot Program as the book we’re going to write together. But we’re not done with the set-up just yet.

Here’s the very first lesson in writing a book: The idea is just the beginning, and it’s the easiest part. One thing that happens to authors frequently is that when people find out what they do for a living, it’s followed by, “I’ve always had a great idea for a book. Maybe if I told you the idea you could write the book. I’ll split the proceeds with you.” But coming up with the idea is the easiest part of writing a book. It’s everything that comes next that’s the challenge.

We’re going to skip the step of picking a setting. It’s not that it isn’t important, because it’s immensely important, but because I want to make the setting modern day – or modern minus coronavirus. I purposefully want to write in that setting as opposed to post-apocalypse because, quite frankly, I don’t want to think about the end of the world right now. I want to remember how things used to be, and how they’re going to be again eventually. I want a distraction from the end of the world!

Generally when coming up with a main character for your book, you want to pick someone who has flaws, and usually it’s good for those flaws to tie into the story you’re telling. It’s boring to read about a perfect person who never makes mistakes. We subconsciously want the characters we’re reading about to experience some change through the storyline. Keep that in mind as we explore some characters. Usually this is tied to a lie that the character believes. For instance, in The Hobbit, the lie that Bilbo Baggins believes is that Hobbits belong in The Shire, and aren’t meant to go on adventures. Over the course of the book he realizes the lie he believed was wrong, and not only that he likes adventures, but that he’s good at them.

Now help me pick our Main Character!

Name: Ernesto Kline
Description: Ernie’s a dork. Always has been, and always will be. He’s socially awkward, introverted, and a little agoraphobic. Okay… Maybe more than a little. He’s designed his life to revel in his solitude. He has a stay-at-home job, orders his food to be delivered, and all of his friends are online. Some members of his family visit from time to time, and are always trying to get him to go out and meet people, but he has no interest. That all changes one day when he receives a text from an unknown caller telling him to walk out into the hall. When he does, an event occurs that propels him into a wild adventure that will make him miserable at first, but eventually change his life.
The Lie: Ernesto believes he’s not worth getting to know. He’s been told enough, especially as a teenager, how weird and unlikable he is. That’s one of the reasons he’s lived such a sheltered life… until now.

Name: Aurora Winters
Description: Aurora comes from a long line of witches, but she’s never had any interest in the family business. She left that life behind a long time ago, and carved a good life for herself – or so she thought. After a series of unfortunate downturns in her life, she is forced to consider moving back home to accept the help her parents are offering, but this is a life she desperately wanted to escape. Then comes the voice, like a part of herself whispering from the back of her consciousness, telling her it’s time to go home.
The Lie: Aurora believes it’s best to stay in line with the world around her. She doesn’t want to make waves. She doesn’t want to stand out. She believes life is better when you fit in with the crowd.

Name: Camper Joe
Description: Camper’s never bothered telling anyone his real name. After running away from home when he was a teenager, and heading west, he became known by the locals in the town he ended up in as Camper Joe. The name stuck, and he made friends despite being homeless. He isn’t poor – or at least he doesn’t have to be. He isn’t an addict, and rarely asks for a handout. Instead, he earns money doing odd jobs for people around town, and lives life free of debt, stress, and responsibility. Things for Camper are going relatively well, until one night as he lay asleep in his tent he hears someone whispering to him, telling him to run. Run. RUN!
The Lie: Camper thinks he’s smarter than everyone else. He’ll freely admit that other people know more about things than he does (doctors for instance), but he firmly believes that if he put his mind to something he could become the best at it.

Name: Sinny Elms-Roberts
Description: Sinny spent the first forty one years of her life doing exactly as she should. She worked hard, saved her money, and was faithful to her husband. Then one day her husband of nineteen years never came home from work. In a panic, she went to his office only to discover he’d been fired nearly two weeks earlier for inappropriate behavior with a co-worker – a female co-worker. Soon she discovers that her husband drained their shared account, and left the country with his girlfriend. After wallowing in self-pity, Sinny lets a friend convince her to visit a psychic despite not believing in such things. The session goes about as she expected, poorly, and she laughs as she leaves. But then she keeps thinking about a piece of advice that the psychic gave her, and she follows that advice. It works, but when she goes back to see the psychic she finds that the woman has closed her shop and left. She eventually gets ahold of the psychic, but learns she’s terrified for her life. Someone’s trying to kill her! The psychic gets off the phone in a rush, and the very next day Sinny discovers that the psychic was found dead – murdered. That night, Sinny hears a voice… The psychic’s voice, calling to her from the dark.
The Lie: Sinny thinks she deserved to be left. She thinks she let herself go, and that it was her fault that her husband lost interest. She blames herself for it, and for most things that go wrong in her life.

Now go vote HERE!

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