He’s back, only this time he’s female. I have a recurring character, and quite frankly, he is beginning to get on my goat.
Since I read this article, I’ve been constantly aware of a recurring character in most of my stories. His age changes in each story, but he’s basically the same:
At first, he’s always called Sam or Pete. Then I think of a more interesting name and change it about 500 words into the first draft. He’s miserable: he doesn’t enjoy his job and his relationship is probably bitter and riddled with problems. Either that or his girlfriend has recently left him. He is melancholy, directionless, and feeling sorry for himself. He wants to get down onto his knees into the flowerbeds and bury his face in the dirt. This is because he lives in a smoggy city and he needs to feel the countryside. He wants to stand on top of a hill and scream into the wind.
Sometimes, he’s not even a character at all. He can be a general feeling of pervasive melancholy or a whimsical sentence… but he’s always there. Sam/Pete is indulgent, repetitive, boring and irritating and he won’t go away.
In the story I began tonight (draft 1 of TMA05), the main character is a girl of my age. She is also Sam/Pete. So is the story.
On the plus side, I think the Sam/Pete Effect tends to dissipate between Draft 1 and Draft 2. Perhaps it’s just something I need to get out of my system. I’ll keep you updated.
Does anyone else have a Sam/Pete?