This is my post for the Casting Call Character Bloghop! The point of this bloghop is to share images and other media about the characters and settings in my NaNo project.
As you may have gathered, my story for NaNo this year is one I've been thinking about for several years now, since my return from a year in Baghdad in February 2010, but this is the first time I have collected images to try to solidify the pictures I've been carrying around in my head all this time.
To orient you to my story, I offer my logline:
When a shy and diffident U.S. Army soldier fighting in Iraq guns down a local shopkeeper and suffers a loss of confidence, a fellow soldier with the innate ability to pacify the aggression of others aids him as he strives to defy his intolerant squad leader, bring the fight to the enemy, and restore his own sense of self worth.
Next, a few shots to give a sense of the setting.
The story takes place in a fictional district of Baghdad in 2005, when the fighting against the insurgents was at its worst.
We've seen a hundred and one war movies--many recent ones about the Iraq war in fact--so the challenge as a fiction writer will be making my descriptions as vivid as the explosive realism of current films, while also capitalizing on the advantages of fiction: better visibility of characters' internal conflicts.
Now let's talk characters. My MC is PFC Jared Christianson.
Caucasian, Scandinavian descent. 24. Blonde hair, blue eyes. Built like a marathoner.
He's a bookworm, and very intelligent. His heart is in the right place, and he tries to do the right thing when the circumstances call for it. He doesn't always succeed. Considered a nerd and minor player by the rest of the squad.
The 'fellow soldier' of my logline, the one with 'the innate ability to pacify the aggression of others', is named PFC Michael Sedo.
PFC Sedo is from Utah. Caucasian, vaguely Nordic. 26. Almost like an albino in appearance, with piercing gray eyes. Narrow waist, broad shoulders, trim but muscular. He's very quiet--almost never speaks, except to those he trusts--but supremely calm and confident. He remains so unruffled in difficult situations that it's downright scary. His influence over the people around him is a major catalyst to the action of the story.
Finally, we have the antagonist, Staff Sergeant Richard 'Gut Punch' Brody.
He's an Army careerist who's been around the block a few times. His outlook, which once was "We have a hard job to do. Ain't no use in bitching about it." has morphed over the years into "You're either with me or against me." He believes sincerely that dissent within the ranks endangers the unit's ability to execute the mission.
He demands unconditional loyalty and respect, and cuts anyone who does not give it to him down to size. He rules the squad with an iron fist.
So I'm pretty excited about this story, so excited that I spent some time putting some cover/splash art together. I thought I'd share it with you:
Did that in MS Powerpoint, yes I did. All those hours doing slides at work isn't a complete waste after all! :D And that tag line is MINE! Came up with it myself. You take your hands off! ;)
So that's my line up. I have plans to spend the weekend tuning up my treatment/outline and will be an 'up round'--ready to charge to 50k+ words--on Tuesday Morning.
How go preps for NaNo? Are you ready to go?
For the non-NaNoers among you, do you select pictures for your WIP characters? What else do you do to get your characters clear in your mind?
Have a totally groovy weekend, and thanks for stopping by!