Introducing our Main Character (Crashcourse, Day 4)

Welcome to Day 4 of Crashcourse!

Yeah, yeah … I know. But remember, I don't know this character yet. That will change soon.
Meet Randy Wolf!

Yesterday, I sought to create a situation for  Crashcourse and ended up with a premise instead. Already the trailblazing method is yielding unexpected results! Today, we’re going to take a closer look at our premise, specifically the role of our main character.

Who is Randy Wolf?

Before I get started, let’s revisit our premise:

Crashcourse Premise: After the world’s foremost magic school falls to a ruthless villain, a dropout must discover his inner magic in order to save the institution that once scorned him.

Hmmm … I still like it! That isn’t always the case so we’re off to a good start.

As I mentioned a few days ago, I believe this story, characters and all, is already buried in my imagination. In order to find it, I have to do a little trailblazing. So, where do I start? Well, I’ve got a premise in mind and now, a character is starting to form as well. It’s just the bare essence for the moment. But as I write Crashcourse, this character will begin to take shape and eventually, become a full-fledged person with thoughts, dreams, opinions, secrets, and the like.

Meet our hero, Randy Wolf. He’s that stick figure guy over there. He looks a little … skimpy? That’s to be expected since I barely know him. So, why is he a guy? Hmm … no particular reason. It just feels … right? Why is his name Randy Wolf? I actually thought of this name awhile back and it was the first thing that popped into my head. So, we’ll go with it for now.

We’ve already established that Randy is a dropout from an exclusive magic boarding school. But why? What happened to him? Many people drop out because they want to do something else. Others drop out due to financial concerns or personal tragedy. Do one of those reasons work for our hero? Hmm … no. I don’t think so. In fact, I see Randy as an exceptionally poor student. The kind of guy who couldn’t hack it. Ultimately, he was given a choice: expulsion or become a dropout. He chose the latter.

Now, a typical dropout might return home or at the very least, move on with his or her life. But not Randy. No, I see him as the sort of guy who really wants to be a part of the school. He doesn’t have a ton of confidence and being associated with the place makes him feel important. So, after dropping out, he begged to stay on …

… as an employee.

Ahh, that’s interesting. Can you imagine facing your former peers everyday? Ignoring their smirks, their whispered insults? Yikes. And Randy’s troubles don’t end there. After all, he’s got a job now. What sort of job might a failed wizard take? Hmm … I see him as an Orienter. I just made up that name, by the way. So, what does an Orienter do? Simple … he goes out to meet prospective students and test them for magical prowess. If they pass inspection, he helps orient them to the school. He takes them around, answers questions, etc. I used to do something like that back in high school, which might explain why I thought of it just now.

As an Orienter, Randy will be forced to help promising new students adjust to the school. A school that is, unfortunately, beyond his abilities. So, is that it? Is that enough for me to start writing this book? Hmm … not quite. As I think more and more about Randy, I realize he’s unsatisfied with his position. In fact, I think he’d like to return to school someday. Maybe he spies on classes or studies in secret. Regardless, he just isn’t cut out for academics. But that doesn’t mean he can’t be a great wizard …

This is a good start. Of course, Randy will change and grow over the coming weeks and that stick-figure drawing will change and grow as well. But for now, let’s sum things up …

Crashcourse Main Character Analysis: Randy Wolf is a magic school dropout. He’ll do anything to get a second shot at an education, even if it means helping new students succeed where he once failed. But while he’s not cut out for academics, he’s far from helpless. And when a ruthless villain conquers the school, he’ll discover his inner magic is the only thing that can save the institution that once scorned him.

Not too bad! Well, that’s it for today. Be sure to come back tomorrow when I start writing Crashcourse … see you then!

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