Monday, 4 February 2013

I Don't Care, I Don't Care If He Comes Round Here

You have an idea that develops into a plot. The story may take many twists and turns with a big reveal at the end, but its not going to happen with characters who have no substance.

My central character in Ephesus, Fairfax Freeman, is on a zero to hero journey. The task I have is to make my readers want him to be a hero. He is a mother's boy, and a bit wet behind the ears, so he hasn't got a lot going for him.

He has spent most of his leisure time in the local library, which has put paid to him having any sort of social life. If he has an eye for the opposite sex, he hides it well. Women are like fast cars, he can admire them from a distance but he doesn't necessarily want to try one.

I have tried to imagine Fairfax coming round to my house. What would we talk about? Would we talk? Maybe he wouldn't speak at all, as I hand him a cup of tea with five sugars and two custard creams in the saucer, conveniently placed for ease of dunking. He might clear his throat sufficiently enough to murmur a thank you, but he wouldn't be uncomfortable, it would be me that would be uncomfortable. After all he's happy! I'm not. After coming round to my house once, I think I would be danger of getting into a lifetime friendship with this man. My act of generosity in giving him two custard creams would have been two custard creams too many. I would have bought his loyalty, and Fairfax is very loyal. I would have to move house to get away so that he could take his loyalty elsewhere. The public library, perhaps.

Fear not, dear reader, I am not going to subject you to such an inconsequential being such as Fairfax, without there being dramatic change, and believe me there will be plenty of drama. Fairfax will be challenged and he will pick up the gauntlet. I hope Fairfax will grow on you.



  1. I enjoyed reading that John,"Zero to hero" —Interesting! Not sure I could cope with Fairfax as he is at the moment but love the way you introduce him to us and promise big changes.I just sent a short story off that I woke up thinking about the other day. Just sent it to a magazine I have been published in before, so who knows. I read something today about not submitting something just because you can't be bothered to read it once more and want someone else to see it, hoping they spot a gem in there. I fear I have several more read throughs of my latest novel before it goes anywhere. I hope Fairfax comes through for you! :-)

  2. Good luck with the short story Deborah. When it is published (when not if) let me know and I'll get a copy. I too have a short story that got commended in a writer's magazine, but did not make the top 3. I'm torn between entering it for another competition or submitting into a magazine.
    I think there is no way round reading over and over again until you believe this is the best you are going to do. Other than writer's circles are good for collective critique, limited to just a few pages, (and even that's the luck of the draw, whether or not you hit on a good one that will give objective criticism and not jaded by their own individual agendas.
    After Ephesus is out there, it will be time for me to work on my big novel, 'Midnight at the Alhambra.' I think that will be the time that I may try my chances to find an agent.

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