It took me some time to sit down and get going on furthering my thesis project this week as I had work in other classes that needed to be done. With that being said, I feel as though I am staying right on track with where I want to take my project. Once again, I do not want to go too far into the specifics of it all, but I will let everyone know what my process looked like this week. I actually took some time to continue developing the main character of my story, Kirk Ramsey. For those of you who have gotten a chance to read the work I posted within my blog last week, you know that this character is something that I have taken time to develop and am feeling closer and closer to him everyday that I spend working on this project. For me, the biggest thing is making sure the kind nature of my character gets across to the people that may one day decide to read this piece of work that I am putting together. How I did that this week was thinking back to how I came up with the character in the first place. It really is a reflection of me in many ways (not necessarily the kindness part.) Rather, more to do with the way that he keeps to himself. So, with this in mind, I felt it necessary to do some writing exercises to solicit what I mean. I approached this by thinking about how I am one to keep to myself and keep myself closed off from others. I would not say it is my best quality, but I am definitely someone who does not divulge too much of my personal life or struggles to others. In Kirk, I want to accentuate that feeling, and make sure the reader can see him for how good of a person he is while also being able to recognize the flaws that he may have. In doing this, I am hoping to make his story compelling and one where the reader feels as though they are cheering for him the entire time. As my story is built on the “wrong place at the wrong time” kind of scenario, I looked to a book I read in my childhood, Holes. I, of course, did not have enough time to read the book, so I did the next best thing and watched the film based on it. In this piece, the protagonist, Stanley Yelnats is a law abiding citizen, and is the victim of his own family’s bad luck and misfortune. Through the entire film, Stanley never really waivers, or feels bad for himself even though the circumstances are not fair and certainly not his fault. That is the kind of resilience I foresee with my character in this book. For the sake of the story as a whole, it is important that he comes across this way to me, as I want the reader to see his pain and feel his struggle as that kind of relatability is paramount for the progression of the story and the Kirk Ramsey character.
I also spent limited time looking up information about the place that I am setting to be the hometown of Kirk, which is Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Oddly enough, the inspiration for this being his hometown is also kind near to me. For those of you who do not know, during the spring semester, my entire family, including myself, caught the coronavirus. I was in my bed for two weeks, as was the rest of my family. While I spent those two weeks without a sense of taste or smell, agonizing body aches, and a fever consistently at 104 degrees, there was a song (one of my favorite country songs,) “Callin’ Baton Rouge” by Garth Brooks that I played on repeat from my google home in my room as I was waiting to feel better. It was constantly playing this song on repeat that I decided to incorporate the city in which the song is named for into my story. I know it sounds weird, but because of this, I feel a deep connection to that song. With all of that being said, I did light research into the city, and even spoke with one of my closest friend’s mothers, as she is a native of New Orleans (not Baton Rouge, but she can still speak to what Louisiana is like.) I found some information from my chats with her combined with my own research that I plan using to make sure that his character stays consistent with someone that might have come from that area.
This project is becoming more and more a part of me with every activity I do that relates to it and I am going to push on to keep the momentum going.