While busy with other things, I’ve been thinking of my characters. Wendi has developed nicely, with strengths and flaws, goals and, well, she’s a character. A bit intimidating in her demand to get started, but I think that’s going to happen whether I like it or not.
The problem is Mike. Actually, I’ve developed Mike fairly well as well, and he has strengths and weaknesses as well. The problem is he has no goals. Mike’s the guy you know who got a college degree because it was easier than working, who barely passed, who will forever be on the bottom rung. He has no ambition, no drive, nothing. Mike has no passion about anything.
Actually, all that isn’t the problem. I could work with that as a supporting character. The problem is that Mike is supposed to be the main character.
The easy answer would be “just use Wendi”. And I’m tempted. The problem with that is, well, Wendi’s female and I’m male, and I’m old enough to have learned men and women don’t (usually) think the same way. The idea of writing a female lead terrifies me as I’m almost sure I’ll wind up with a man in a woman suit.
The next answer is to create yet another character and replace Mike wholesale. That’s more tempting, but it means completely redoing several scenes that are roughed in my mind. Heck, more than one turn on the fact Mike’s a slug. His “meh” attitude is the reason some of the problems get as bad as they do.
What I’m probably going to have to do is do a pop psych analysis of Mike and find out two things: what he’s passionate about, and why he doesn’t do anything about that (or hopefully those) passion(s). It’s somewhat the opposite of what I had to try last time; finding his flaws. He’s got them, and they do cause things to happen. It’s just he doesn’t have goals; there’s nothing for the story to move TO.
So, just an update on nowhere for now.