, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Character Development Exercise…

The following are partial (censored) excerpts of Blue Lines antagonist Blue Hurt’s character Development Worksheet(s).

Basic Attributes
* Given Name:
Blue Hurt de Gonzales
* Nickname(s):
* Appearance: 
–  gender Male
–  age 20 years old
–  height  5”10’
–  weight 180lbs
–  hair color/style long braids, either in corn rows or long braids
–  eye color            Brown
–  clothing style usually sweats, since he is at school, or a hoodie and jeans and a hat.
* Race/ethnicity: Black/Cuban American

Make sure to keep in mind:
–  How did your character get here from there? He transferred from NYU.

–  What was their life like before the story began? He was a junior at NYU, but after the passing of his maternal Grandfather, he focused most of his attention on providing mental and moral support to his family, almost learning how not to feel.  That time and effort spent tending to his family negatively affected his junior year, and the subsequent year he transferred to UNC Chapel Hill, to begin his junior year again.  His best friend Renee Turner also transferred to UNC that year.

–  What was growing up like for them? Growing up for him was not bad.  His parents were married until his freshman year of college, and the family unit were all in the house for the years prior.  Also having a family base in New York, he was able to see a world different from that of 80’s 90’s Atlanta, Georgia.

–  Did they have a good or bad childhood? Regardless of the challenges (many he was unaware of) she would emphatically say that it was a very good childhood, and that his parents did a good job.

–  Has their life worked out like they expected? Very loaded question, too early to evaluate expectations, but the direction of life is pretty good in his opinion.

–  Were they forced into their current path, or are they here by choice? Choice

–  Do they have regrets? Prior to the story of this phase of her life beginning, his only regrets were that he did not feel as if he had taken advantage of all the opportunities that he had been presented, thus far.  Also he regretted that love seemed fleeting, and he always met the wrong person.
–  What special circumstances have made them into who they are today? At an early age Blue learned that to value what he had, and that poor care for his belongings did not warrant their replacement.  He learned to put value into things, his possessions, family, and experiences, because the concept of the inability to easily replace physical possessions was applied to family and friends, and his experiences.  He also learned that experience is a great teacher and adversity builds character.

* More thinking or feeling?: He is a thinking person, who acts only after consideration of that action.  With that being said, not every action he makes has a positive outcome, nor does it have the intended result, but the decision was made with thought.

* What do you see is the biggest contradiction(s) your character lives out?: He seems docile and thoughtful, but when provoke displays an unknown character.

* Tends to be self centered? No, and more selfless with people who are close to him. Selfish? Tremendously unselfish, and sometime misses opportunity because of the lack of selfishness.  Selfless? Very.

* Favorite and hated foods/drinks:
Starbucks Frappuccino drinks, orange juice, – anything with artificial sweeteners, cheese danishes,

* Education or important learning experiences:
College Junior (Mass Communications Major), death of her Grandfather was the first family member that she was cognizant of their death.

* Most hated activities:
inactivity and shopping 

* Most enjoyed activities:
Writing poetry, Rapping,  Running.  Performing his poetry at World Wide Lounge  Hanging with KYW or his friends.  Reading.

Who is your character’s hero, or who do they admire or emulate? Primarily his mother.

Attitudes toward:
–  self – pursuit of constant learning.
–  friendship – treasure true friendship
–  love – “Personally I think love is the only pure notion, idea, or entity in this world…love is pure…when a man, or woman knows that everything in their being is directed to the person.  And it is to know that those feelings are reciprocated in full from that person.  How can I say it?  It is to know.  It cannot be bastardized because as hard as you may try, you can’t lie to yourself.  And, it can apply to anything.  Besides a man and a woman, it can be for nature, well being of man, anything…you can’t lie to yourself about it.  You feel it everywhere.  You feel it here,” he pointed to her head, “because you think it, and you feel it in your stomach, especially in the beginning, you just feel it all over.”
–  Family – the most important part of his life.
–  Marriage – would like to get married, but wants to make an informed decision after a valid courtship.
–  country – needs work.  Politicians are full of shit.
–  the world – needs to be taken care of, and it’s people.  She feels leaders of other countries are just as full of shit, but try to put themselves across as higher than thou, in relation to Americans.
–  religion – is a spiritual person and he believes in a higher being he just does not believe in organized religion, and does not go to church(es).
* Political philosophy:
–  public causes supported/protested: Walked to raise money for AIDS research, HUD, Breast Cancer, March of Dimes (anything for children’s health).
–  politically active/apathetic: active, both at home, and locally including student government.

* Catchphrase that defines their worldview?  (examples:  “What goes around comes around.”  “Live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse.”  etc.): “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  – George Santayana

Closest friend(s): Renee Turner
* Job/career/occupation: Writer, Journalist/Activist
–  Attitude towards job: Regardless of whether you like the work or not, be the best at what you are doing.
* Noted accomplishments:

* Favorite music or group/favorite TV shows or films: Wu-Tang Clan, The Professional

Your character has the chance to meet someone with whom they can have the most satisfying love imaginable – the stuff of dreams. Sadly, they know that in six months the person will die. Knowing that pain that would follow, would they still want to meet that person and fall in love? What if they knew their lover would not die, but instead would betray them? If her relationship had ended due to infidelity, then no, he would omit that opportunity. [In love, is intensity or permanence more important to them? Validity weigh more in Blue’s value of love and the concept of love. How much do they expect from someone who loves them?  Blue has lofty expectations of love, the value for him also plays into the reciprocity that he experiences in that love.  If the “commitment” matches his own to that woman, then that is a component of keeping the relationship fresh, pure, and always evolving.   What would make them feel betrayed by their mate – indifference? Yes, because if there is love there should be no room for indifference.  There is a difference between acting indifferent to prove a point, and just not caring, thus is/was it really love?  Dishonesty?  Dishonesty is just as bad as infidelity, lies add up to become larger lies, until the next lie leads their relationship down the road to ruin and possible infidelity.  Infidelity?  There is no repairing infidelity.  Not only does it encompass lying, indifference to his feelings, and disrespect, it is also the willful knowledge of putting his life at risk.  Vaguely, because of KYW status, Blue’s initial concern with KYW surround this concept.

The manuscript Blue Lines is a fictional period piece, written by Kenneth Suffern, Jr., that takes place at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill between the years of 1997 – 1998.  Loosely based on true events, and experiences during that time, told through the eyes and voice of the main female protagonist, a freshman first attending the school.

Always feel free to give your comments, and/or suggestions.