Our Man Barnes

17 06 2011

Barnes was not supposed to be spelled like that initially by the way. It started as an error but quickly made itself a home.

I have started to develop Barnes in a strange sort of manner compared to the usual process. Normally I’d sit down with a sheet of paper and jot down some really basic things: height, weight, hair and eye color, ambitions, brief history, distinguishing features, etc. I found it wildly helpful when I took my first shot at NaNoWriMo back in 09. (Which I won by the way.) I’ve also done this for all of my short stories. In fact there is probably enough loose leaf character sheets about to fill a sizeable binder, somewhere. If I filed better. But not for Barnes. Barnes is different. He decided that he would just pop onto the paper from nowhere. And what’s worse about it all? He is developing HIMSELF! Independently from me and my careful planning!

And it just got him in trouble.

The wonderful young lady I live with, she loves to read. (What better match for a writer?) And craving input as I work I asked her to read the first half-dozen pages that introduced this fine fellow. She did. And of course, she picked up on it immediately. The entire second half of the scene in which Barnes is introduced has created chronological errors. We find him at first at a temple that hasn’t been in use for decades during the setting of my first novel length work. It is said in that work that the city the temple overlooks wasn’t even built until after the temple grounds had already wasted away into ruins. Yet Barnes finds himself in the second half of his introduction walking about that very city. This is the trouble with my characters who refuse to be planned. Damn you Barnes. DAMN YOU.





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