View Full Version : Some feedback on a character?

06-07-2013, 09:54 AM
I was hoping to get a little feedback on a potential character in one of my works in progress before I start writing him.

The character in question is, I guess you could say, a major minor character. African-American, somewhere between 28-30 years old. On the quiet side, intelligent, likes to hang out at the library. I imagine him to be something like if the character Mack from Daria was about ten years older, and in a more well-rounded and serious setting than that was. Lives in the city (the story takes place in Portland, Oregon.) and is pretty squarely middle class. His parents may be divorced, but if they are, it happened when he was a little older- like 14-15 maybe. In any case, both parents are part of his life. His background probably won't get any deeper than that. (Aside from the main character and I think one other, I don't think most of the other characters are going to have a lot of deep background, as the story largely deals with her and her coping with a few mental health issues and some losses in her life.)

He's working part time in a computer repair shop, and going back to school to study network administration or something along those lines. He's a long time friend/with benefits/lover of the main character (she's a non-monogamous bisexual, for what it's worth) and a sort of stable presence in her life (someone who she's known for years, they met when they were ilke thirteen, he might have been her first boyfriend. Their relationship can be described as whatever happens, they're there for each other, love each other without being in love, and sometimes they have sex or snuggle on the sofa and watch movies or take his dog for a walk. In another universe, they might be in love and married, but in this one, there's her non-monogamy, and while he wants to have someone to settle down with some day, right now, he finds it nice to know that he can enjoy the company of someone that he cares about and who cares about him without having to worry about being pressured onto something he isn't ready for.

Does anyone see anything problematic here that I may have missed?

06-07-2013, 10:14 AM
The only problems I see is:

1. You haven't started writing. Get to writing.
2. The demographic in Portland is like 5-6% Black American (which isn't that small). But, in some towns in Oregon, blacks hold a very small percentage of the demographic and can get the cold shoulder (In my experience). Just keep that in mind.
3. I don't see how you're hesitant with writing this character. As long as his race doesn't play a strong role in the story, just write him in like any other character.

06-07-2013, 10:30 AM
Disclaimer: Not Black. But I'm pretty well plugged in to representational discussions, and I don't see anything you've missed that might be problematic . . .

I'm sure others will weigh in if they catch anything :)

06-07-2013, 06:21 PM
Sounds cool to me - Just don't name him Jamal. :D

Kim Fierce
06-08-2013, 02:41 AM
sounds interesting!!

06-08-2013, 05:54 AM
Thanks for the comments so far, all!

Will- I actually had started writing, I got to the point of this character's entry. Before posting, I'd also been talking about the story overall with a friend who's response was "that guy doesn't exist, not in this city anyway!" (He's a black guy, "this city" is Baltimore, for what it's worth.) so I posted to get a bit of broader feedback. Thought I mentioned that bit in my original post, but guess it never got to be more than a thought in my head.

that aside, I do like your point about his race not really being a major factor here.

Lavern- I think his name is Jason. Or possibly Kevin.

06-09-2013, 04:14 PM
... African-American, On the quiet side, intelligent, likes to hang out at the library.

Oh yes, he does exist.

I married him 26 years ago. ;)