I ♥ my character Cooper! He’s:
- a quick wit
- will mess with you to stir things up
- expresses himself with ease
I’ll let him share his own backstory:
“I have to know,” Eric said, “being a fan of the ethnicity of names, how you got yours.”
“My name? There’s a snoozer. Doctor Dad from El Salvador meets California Barbie Mom. Pretty soon they get news that I’m going to be a permanent house guest so they get married and shove off to Idaho to be a perfect family. Only they can’t agree on a name. The Doctor wants to name me something sounding South of the Border, but Barbie? She want a Hollywood name. So she gets mad at him on the way to the hospital and puts Cooper on the birth certificate. A year later they’re divorced and I’m on my way to owning that sweet driving machine out there.”
“Guilt car, huh?” Eric asked.
“But why should that anger your father? Isn’t that a common name?”
Joey and the others started snickering. Cooper’s grin got wider.
“‘Cause Alice Cooper was playing on the radio, dude. The Doctor was pissed!”
Earlier this year I shared my prologue and first two chapters with a workshop class. A woman critiquing my work said, “And what’s with this dweeb, Cooper?”
Cooper? A DWEEB? Noooooo!
I realized that I have to be careful when representing my characters. You don’t get the benefit of knowing them the way I do. I may have to show their weaknesses as well as strengths, but there is a responsibility in making sure a character is not misunderstood. The wrong grouping of words can put a whole different twist on a character that might damage his image with a reader forever.
Sorry, Coop. It was just a rough draft. Better luck wooing the ladies next time.
Cooper sounds pretty cool to me. Love the Alice Cooper reference. What you say is true, though, it can be trickly to represent a character fairly or accurately. We know them so well, we can see them almost – we are biased in their favour in a way. Why is writing so full of pits and troughs? Can’t people just see what’s in my head 😆
I wonder what it would cost to install a window in our heads? *HEE*
Yes, I now vow to be much more alert to my how I represent my dear children! 😀
It can be tricky as well. Although if it’s raining there is a trickle effect. Me and my typos 🙄
lol – I knew what u meant. 😀 Thanks! XXX!!
How horrible that someone thought your character was a dweeb when you didn’t mean for them to be. You’re so right – we have the whole picture of what our characters should be like in our head, but writing them is a different story. You’re the second person I’ve ever heard of with the name Aine – the other one I met this June and she is a writer too. I really like the name.
Thank heavens for rewrites, eh?! 😀
Oh… and I’m happy you like the name. Me too…. which is why I can’t bear to use a pen name! :S
Oh my gosh – Aine. Completely ignore my last comment. I didn’t realize you were the same person – you’re whole website is different or this is a different one. Duh. I’m an idiot – now you know. I don’t think Cooper is a dweeb.
lol – I don’t think you’re an idiot. I haven’t advertised this one much because I feel very naked on it…. taking a deep breath and letting myself use my name. For real. Eeek!! 😉
I agree with Selma. Cooper seems cool to me to. His quick wit and ease of expressing himself comes thru in that excerpt.
Thank yooou. I’m so glad to hear it! Dialogue seems to be my biggest struggle! 😉