My main character from Rochelle’s Briefcase popped into my head the other day and boy did she give me serve!
It took me a little by surprise. I mean, it shouldn’t have. Who else’s head would she be in?
It was an interesting exercise in character development. Here’s what we had to say to each other:
Rochelle Summers: Oy! What do you call that?
Richard Leonard: What?
RS: My life! That was pretty pathetic. I don’t know anything about myself apart from what happened in those five days. And that brief flashback to when some little girl almost got abducted. I don’t even know if that was me or not. I think it was. It’s what I told that Ashley guy and I had to make up the rest. What were you thinking?
RL: It’s a first draft —
RS: Better hope so. You made me out to be some horny, man-chasing tart when I wasn’t stressing about that stupid briefcase! I’ll have you know I’m a far more interesting person than that.
RL: I don’t doubt it, Roche. I plan to build you up more in the second draft.
RS: Do NOT call me Roche. It’s Rochelle to you, Mister. Only my friends call me Roche. Speaking of friends, I want more friends. Tina’s pretty cool but I do hang out with more people, you know. Or didn’t that occur to you?
RL: Sorry, Rochelle. I didn’t want to bore people with too many irrelevant characters. That’s a big no-no.
RS: Irrelevant? You think my friends are irrelevant?
RL: Of course not. It’s just that they didn’t share this particular part of your life.
RS: Oh, right. Isn’t that up to me? Don’t I get to decide who is involved in my life? Like Ashley. Hmm?
RL: You saw the messages. You weren’t meant to tell anyone about the briefcase. Bad enough you told Tina.
RS: Tina is my bestie. We share everything. Although I can’t seem to recall much else we shared…
RL: So you want more friends involved. If I give you more friends I’ll need reasons for them to be there.
RS: Great. Thanks. But that’s not all I want.
RL: <Sigh!> Go on.
RS: My mother. I don’t know anything about her apart from my early life, but nothing since. Everyone has had a mother at some stage in their life. I want to know what happened to mine. And my father, too.
RL: Er, okay, fair enough.
RS: And my job. I don’t even know what I did for a job. It seemed to be an office job but that’s all I know.
RL: The job was covered in the last chapter.
RS: Yeah. After you killed me off! How was I supposed to know what I was doing? I was dead! Why did you let me die? I was very upset about that. It really hurt.
RL: I’m sorry. I explained my reasoning in a blog post which you can find here.
RS: I can’t read blog posts in your world from mine. You should know that. Besides, I’m dead.
RL: Of course. Okay, in summary, you want more friends, to know about your parents, your job. Anything else?
RS: Yes, I’m far from finished with you. Hobbies. What am I interested in? I have no idea. Apparently I like guys and dresses and going to the gym, but come on! I’m not that shallow. Although that Ashley guy you hooked me up with was pretty hot. I suppose I should thank you for letting me pash him on Sunday. That was pretty awesome. But there’s more to me than that. like… like… see? That’s my point. I don’t know!
RL: Right. You want to be more three dimensional, deeper.
RS: Yes! You catch on quick.
RL: I like to think so. Anything else?
RS: Yes. More of my past. You touched on it briefly but you can’t just leave it there. I want more.
RL: Got it. More history. But not too much. People might not care.
RS: Run it past me when you’re done.
RL: Oh, you’re calling the shots now?
RS: Absolutely. It’s my life, hun. You can cut it back later but first you have to know it so I can know it.
RL: Good point.
RS: And… I’d really appreciate it if I survived.
RL: I’ll think about it. It depends on your attitude.
RS: Oh, really?
RL: Yes, really. You let your attitude run away and it will get you killed. I can’t help that.
RS: You’re the writer.
RL: What I write has to be believable. If you jump on a land mine because you’re in a bad mood all bets are off.
RS: Fine. Now get on with it. I want to be back out and alive pretty soon.
RL: Yes, Miss. Right on it.
RS: Oh, and Richard?
RS: Maybe you could up the romance a bit, too.
RL: Romance isn’t my thing, really.
RS: Your loss. I was thinking of that tradie guy. He was kind of hot, too. Girls like a bit of romance. Especially when there’s indecision and conflict. Maybe they can fight over me or something. That would be lovely.
RL: There was tension in the second last chapter when you were all heading to where the briefcase was hidden.
RS: That wasn’t tension! Jake was mildly annoyed with Ashley and Ash just ignored Jake. Boring. You can do better than that.
RL: I’ll give it a shot. Now get outta here!
RS: Goodnight, Richard!
RL: Goodnight, Rochelle.
RS: Oh, Richard, one more thing.
RL: What’s that?
RS: Could I have bigger boobs?
RL: No! Goodnight, Rochelle.
RS: Aww. Goodnight.