I’m seeing life through late middle age, post-first marriage, eyes, wondering about the ifs and whens of my next. And, as a compulsive observer, I’m seeing the primal pursuit of happiness in a different light.
For those seeking trust, BDSM has its attractions. For those looking for love, sex is a reliable, if saccharine, stand-in. And those looking for a partner, friends with interlocking technical needs (e.g., shopping, assistance with living, a shoulder to reliably cry on), with or without benefits, fit the bill. And for the hunters, pursuit is their way of feeling their oats. Loners run the gamut of belonging, sitting in the corner of the ballroom of life and watch the dancing and mating games. From musicians to aesthetes, surface gregarians to profound hobbyists, they are present, if not true participants, living their lives in their heads to the expense of investing in the fickle chance of another.
What does this have to do with writing? Observations such as these are key, to me, in finding less-traveled ways to develop characters. In Consent (available at Amazon here for a mere pittance) my central character is cold and removed from her society, a sufferer of PTSD. Her re-entry into the “normal” society was, for me, the core of the story, not the technology or situation, however interesting they are.
How do your characters fit into the society around them? Are they stable in their milieu? What are they striving for? Who is their next ONE?