What better way to find an MC for a new story than placing an ad. The response has been overwhelming with applications flooding my inbox. I’ve narrowed it down to the final four applicants.
APPLICANT 1: Austin Havner. Male. 12 years old.
Highly gifted. Bored with school. Understands the work, but there is something internally offensive about doing the work.
Positive Characteristics: “None that I can think of. I’m pretty much a failure.”
Other Thoughts: “Maybe I’m crazy – no one else feels that way – something must be wrong with me.”
APPLICANT 2: Luisa Duran. Female. 11 years old.
Perfectionist. School doesn’t interest her since she can never be as perfect as her older sisters.
Positive Characteristics: “I’m organized and push myself harder than my friends.”
Other Thoughts: “My work is never perfect so I don’t turn it in. Mistakes are humiliating and horrible. Once I find perfection, everything will change.”
APPLICANT 3: Micah Kidd-Gilman. Male. 11 years old.
Visual learner. Words just don’t work in his head. Prefers movement. Does not do well in a sit and listen classroom. His two moms refuse to medicate him despite the behavior phone calls from school.
Positive Characteristics: “I can build anything, including a rubber band/paper clip exploding trap for anyone who tries to put their hand in my locker.”
Other Thoughts: “I keep seeing my teacher’s head explode. I mean, it’s not real but it seems like it is. She’s that mad. Her head has been exploding a lot lately.”
APPLICANT 4: Rachel Burns. Female. 11 years old.
Has been in six different foster homes in five years. Doesn’t even know why she was removed from her real parents home in the first place. Has no energy to concentrate on school.
Positive Characteristics: “I don’t think I have any. Never really thought about it.”
Other Thoughts: “I’m going to run. I can’t get hurt anymore.”
Yes, it would be nice to have your potential characters fill out an application, but in the end the writer must do the groundwork. For this story that meant researching underachievement, thinking about kids I work with who are like this, and developing character traits for each. I have stacks of books, papers, and thoughts on every applicant, though filling out an application for each of them helped organize the process.
Who did I choose to be the MC of my next story? All four of course, and the fireworks in bringing these characters together are just beginning. It’s going to be a fun ride for THE MOHAVE DROPOUTS.