I found some questions to ask to build your character. I’m going to answer them here to see if I can shed some light on what makes Rick tick.
“Rick tick.” Funny. Maybe Rick is kinda witty … or at least he thinks he is. See, I’m getting started already and I haven’t even started yet.
What do you know about this character?
Whew. Who knows? I mean, am I supposed to? I guess that’s what this is all about. He’s late twenties, American, has traveled quite a bit, but hasn’t really lived anywhere outside of the U.S. for an extended period of time (although he’d like to).
His mom worked for the US embassy when he was little and they lived in Paris when he was just a toddler, although he doesn’t remember much of it. They say he spoke French extremely well, but he doesn’t know if it’s still in his brain. Maybe it’ll come back to him.
Who are they when the story starts?
Although he’s in his late twenties, in many ways, he’s a young teenager. He has that American confidence combined with a naivete that makes him think he is unstoppable. He’s willing to work hard and take advice. He knows enough to know that he doesn’t know it all, in fact, he knows enough to know that he actually knows nothing.
When he was younger, his grandfather used to tell stories to the kids and they always sounded so exotic and worldly. He doesn’t know quite how to create such a life or might not even see it if it were standing in front of him, but he’s up for trying.
Where do they live?
Hmm, good question. I’m going to have to say somewhere on the west coast of the US only because I don’t know what things are like on the east coast. Let’s just make it San Francisco. There. Done.
Who do they live with?
He lives alone. Has lived with girlfriends, one of them for a few years, but right now, he’s on his own.
Although he’s happy on his own, he believes in Better Together and would rather share experiences with someone else. He’s trying to broaden his horizons by opening up to other types of people who are different from him.
Who do they love?
Like, which pop star kind of love? He’s secretly a fan of Justin Timberlake, although he might admit it at a beer-drinking party. Other than him, his love is fickle and he loves whomever he’s with at the moment and has something of a hard time with longer relationships. Maybe this month will be the beginning of something different.
He truly wants to love and he wants to experience a deep love, but he either hasn’t experienced it yet or if he has, he hasn’t recognized it as that. He’s hoping it’s one of those “I’ll know it when I see it” but maybe if he doesn’t know what he’s looking for the how is he going to find it? Yeah, there’s that.
Who do they hate?
He hates people who have no interests: blobs, wastes of space, slackers. Although he’s not so much an A-Type personality, he has fire and passion and wants you to have it too.
But honestly, he doesn’t hate anyone. Unless someone were to threaten someone he cared for, then he’d show his teeth and fight to the death. After he killed them, he’d probably hate them. Although not for long because he’s much more of a lover than a hater. Hating just takes too much energy and does no one any good. Done.
What do they like to do?
I’m not sure he really knows yet. He likes to write, he likes to travel, he likes women. Hmm, could be a good month!
He likes a challenge. He likes what he doesn’t yet know. He likes what’s ahead although he doesn’t know what that is.
What annoys them?
Lack of action. He’s quite impatient and isn’t sure he knows how to slow down so well–although he’d like to learn. In fact, he’d like to be less annoyed by people who know how to slow down. Maybe Sally can help.
What do they do with their time? (Work, school, etc?)
Ooh, good question! I think he works somewhere I don’t know about just yet. Maybe it’s a little mysterious. Not so far as the CIA, but maybe something where he doesn’t always let people know what he really does and he can’t tell you why.
Maybe his grandfather (the one who told the exciting stories) worked at the CIA and Rick was always intrigued by it. Maybe he does work there, although that would be so cliche. What could be a little mysterious, but not necessarily on the international crime scale? In other words, he’s not an accountant or a bank manager–nor would he even want to be.
What does their family look like? (Mom/dad/siblings, no family, foster family, cobbled together family?)
Geez, enough with the questions! 😉 He has a very close-knit family, but he also wants to be more of a free spirit. He wants to travel the world and get lost in it. But deep down, he knows how important family is and wouldn’t do anything to harm that.
Are they a flee-er or a fighter?
Definitely a fighter. He’s in it until the end. He’s a good loser, though, and will concede defeat if he’s met his match. But he won’t give up and won’t give in until there is no other option.
How do they manage in a crisis?
He hasn’t had too many real crises as of yet, so this is unclear. His life has been pretty easy so far, so this might be a test of his crisis management. Maybe this is why this month in Paris is happening: to test him. Maybe he’s flirted along with life for most of his years and this is now going to be a real challenge, maybe where he truly has something–or someone–to lose. That would be a crisis he wouldn’t know how to manage.
What are their flaws? (Even a hero has flaws.)
He tends to blurt out whatever is on his mind and go with it until, like a match, the flame fades and he might not even remember what that extremely important point was that he was making to begin with. He’s rather stubborn, too, and won’t back down until he knows he really should.
What makes them heroic? (Even an antagonist has a hint of heroism in them.)
His heart. It’s bigger than he even thinks it is and it’s overflowing with boundless love that he can’t wait to share. It’s a bit like a lawn sprinkler in that it shoots out everywhere and he’d like to reign it in somewhat. Maybe more of a garden hose, but still on the spray mode. Not stream, that would be too confining.
He’s also extremely protective of friends and family. Once you’re on his good side, he will stick up for you in the nastiest of battles. You want him on your side.
What is their deepest secret?
Sheesh, if we all knew this, we wouldn’t have a reason to keep reading?!
OK, OK. Hmm, I don’t have anything right now. Maybe this will come out during the month.
How have they been hurt?
People haven’t seen him for who he really is. (Yeah, that’s original.) But he just hasn’t been living the life that he thinks he should be living (although he’s not sure what that real life looks like) and maybe this is time to make that change.
He’s mostly only been hurt by himself. He doesn’t let people in close enough to hurt him. This is what he thinks is his defense mechanism. If he doesn’t stick his neck out, it won’t get chopped off. If he doesn’t risk anything, then there’s nothing to lose. But he’s a little worried that if he doesn’t take risks, he won’t get anywhere.