Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bringing the Quirky to My Characters

My writing began with a failing effort by my main character, J Dub Schroeder, at a PGA qualifying event in Texas. Also known as Q-School to professional golfers, the week pits the best golfers in the world against each other to distinguish which new rookies will play on the professional tour. If the players finish in the top twenty after six grueling days of competitive golf, then they earn their badge and take their place on the tour.

J Dub falls just short in his bid to play on the tour. He then becomes a local club pro and operates a public golf facility known as Prairie Winds on the east side of suburban St. Louis. The southern Illinois course is popular with the golfers from Missouri and is one of the busiest stops for local golf enthusiasts. Without J Dub's disappointment at Q-School, Prairie Winds would have been a very different place.

One of my favorite tasks in writing is creating diverse personalities that have quirky character traits, as I think it makes the people on my pages more memorable . . . and it's just fun! My stories are filled with dysfunctional men and women. They chain smoke, overeat, suffer from a variety of afflictions, struggle with sexuality, and have unusual ways of handling the circumstances in their lives.

A barber who hails from Beirut is in the clubhouse at Prairie Winds frequently. A Hispanic landscaper from Chihuahua, Mexico is also a regular. A Japanese businessman spends time in the clubhouse whenever he is in town and has developed strong friendships with the local guys. There are retired and ornery old-timers and a professional comedian that uses his friendly audience to relive his vaudeville days.

There are so many unique individuals with whom we have the opportunity to come into contact every day. How often do we take a chance to strike up a conversation with someone new?  Maybe you can start by meetig some of the characters in my books. And, you just may find one who reminds you of someone you know.

James Ross
Author of Lifetime Loser, Finish Line, Tuey's Course, Opur's Blade, and Pabby's Score
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Gerry Wendel said...

Haven't met anyone with the quirky attributes that characters in your books have yet, however, I certainly know of some folks in real life!

MOV said...

great post, james ross! will be back to read more.

found you on the a to z, feel free to check out my blog too if you have time (when you take a break from creating those awesome characters!!).


Unknown said...

hmm gotta try quirky