WritersBeat.com
 

Go Back   WritersBeat.com > Writing Craft > Writing Help & Issues > Character Clinics

Character Clinics Come and discover new things about your characters


Shanna Dexter

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 12-18-2012, 10:09 AM
Webgoji's Avatar
Webgoji (Offline)
The Next Bard
Official Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Kansas
Posts: 402
Thanks: 64
Thanks 67
Default Shanna Dexter


I've been through so many of these things, I just can't remember what I've told to who. Anyway, I guess I'll start with childhood. Most people would say it was normal; Dad, Mom and a big brother Jerry that was always picking on me. I grew up in a small town in Washington, maybe you've heard of it? Seattle?

Anyway, when I turned 18 ... I mean the day I turned 18. I signed my contract and BAM!, I was a Mary Kay lady. The great thing was that my Mary Kay money put me through college. I majored in Business and it went so well I got a Masters as well. But really, the Mary Kay worked out, so I just kept going with it and recently got my fourth pink Cadillac.

I met Derek when I was thirty-one ... er ... twenty-nine. He was kind, a little sad and, quite frankly, a nice guy. Someone I would rather settle down with than just, well ... try to forget the next morning. So after a whirlwind romance of 2 years, hehe, we got married. Nothing like walking down the aisle for the first time when you're thirty ... uh ... twenty-nine.

We moved into my house and had been together for a year. We were even starting to consider having a child, but then Derek got into the car wreck. He said it was an animal of some kind, but he didn't really remember.

That's when things got ... weird. Derek was more ... the books like to say withdrawn, but really he just didn't talk quite as much. I was worried it was something with me, but he assured me it wasn't and he was fine. Then there was the basketball team at work. That's when it really dawned on me that something was wrong.

See, Derek played for the Huskies. He didn't miss ... ever. I watched him fumble around that court like an old man. But it wasn't that he didn't know what to do, he knew, but he just couldn't do it any more. It was like ... I dunno, he was someone that watched the NBA, but never played.

I confronted him after watching his game. I wanted to know what was wrong, but he assured me it was nothing and not to worry about. There were several other episodes that didn't seem right, but it all came to a head when the police arrived.

Derek's body had been found.

I went with them to the morgue to identify him and, there he was. I ... hysterical ... that's probably the best way to describe how I felt. I had kissed him goodbye on his way to work and there he was. Then they really dropped the bomb on me.

He had been dead for over three months.

I was stunned. Who ... or what was living with me? It was Derek, but just not quite. I was just shaking and staring at Derek's body when I was approached by Agent Domenic Carter and my world unraveled even further.

He was following someone or something that had been killing people and taking over their lives. I told him I would talk with Derek. Something wasn't right, hadn't been right for a while.

Derek was there when I got home, sitting on the couch watching the Oklahoma Thunder play the Boston Celtics. He wanted to talk. Good, so did I. But before I could start, he looked me in the eyes and sighed. He told me ...

Sorry ...

He wasn't Derek. He said he was soooo sorry for what happened and pleaded, begged me to hear him through. I couldn't breath, I ... sorry ... I couldn't even think. He told me he had been running from Agent Carter for years. They, he said, they wanted to experiment on him, cut him up.

I wanted to scream, wanted to push him away and call that FBI agent, but he ... it was Derek's eyes! It was like Derek was there pleading with me. Begging me not to let them cut him up. He told me he could change into anyone he touched, he didn't even remember what he really looked like or what his real name was ... or even if he was really a man at all.

By why did he have to kill Derek!? MY Derek!?

He had to eat Derek's brain he said. That way he could get his memories and hide better.

I remember losing it. Hitting him and kicking him. He just let me wear myself out. I must have gone through the entire twelve ... or is it six ... five? Anyway, I went through all those grief steps they talk about in about the next five hours. Then it dawned on me ... would it kill me too?

He said he really didn't want to, but if he had to, he would.

That was another five or six hours of freaking out I think. Maybe it was only five minutes, time got all messed up.

Anyway, I hate him for what he did, but I can't just let some scientist carve him up either. Hell, I still call him Derek! Like my Dad used to say, "Killing another person doesn't bring back the person you lost." Or something like that anyway.

Maybe there's someone that can capture him, keep him from hurting other people. I don't know, I feel like one of those confused victim girls you see on the movies, but ...

Yeah, I have to find someone to keep him safe, but that will lock him away so he can't hurt anyone else. That's got to be it.

__________________
Creating a kinder, gentler world by flinging poo.

Check out my Blog at:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Webgoji For This Useful Post:
Mutawintji (12-19-2012)
  #2  
Old 12-22-2012, 05:50 AM
Emerald's Avatar
Emerald (Offline)
Intellectually Fertile
Official Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Dublin
Posts: 189
Thanks: 18
Thanks 27
Default

The story is definitely interesting, but I'm not sure if your choice of protagonist is the best. She's kind of irritating, especially with those... frequent hesitations which just make her seem like a dumb blonde (despite the off-hand reference to an MBA). She also seems really passive: she has her suspicions about Derek's odd behaviour for three months, but never does anything about it and lets her concerns be readily dismissed; then she lets her husband's murderer talk her into helping him, despite realising that he's just as likely to kill her too. She also reacts with panic and irrationality to almost every situation.

Finally, she doesn't even seem to be the protagonist, despite the story being from her point-of-view. The plot is actually driven by the men: Derek gets in a car wreck, the doppelganger takes him over, the agent reveals what is going on, the doppelganger appeals for help. The only choice Shanna actually makes is to help her husband's murderer evade the FBI's capture, which is a monumentally stupid decision.

Conclusion: Shanna's difficult to sympathise with and seems like she was written the same way that Melvin from As Good As It Gets writes women: "I think of a man, and I take away reason, and accountability."
If you want her to be a relatable protagonist, I'd try to make her smarter and less prone to "hysteria".
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-26-2012, 05:14 AM
Webgoji's Avatar
Webgoji (Offline)
The Next Bard
Official Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Kansas
Posts: 402
Thanks: 64
Thanks 67
Default

Thank you for the response Emerald, I'm not sure how to respond in character soo ...

Shanna is modeled after many of the Mary Kay women I know personally; intelligent but very emotional. But I'll take your advice and see what I can't do with her.

Thanks again!
__________________
Creating a kinder, gentler world by flinging poo.

Check out my Blog at:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-26-2012, 12:22 PM
Emerald's Avatar
Emerald (Offline)
Intellectually Fertile
Official Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Dublin
Posts: 189
Thanks: 18
Thanks 27
Default

Originally Posted by Webgoji View Post
Thank you for the response Emerald, I'm not sure how to respond in character soo ...

Thanks again!
Ah, I'm sorry I didn't really realise how "character clinic" was supposed to work. I thought it was just like, 'review a character'.

Your character is interesting, and there's definitely people like her in real life. I'd just be careful having an over-emotional protagonist, especially if she's the only woman in the story. It may be construed as misogyny, which as a male writer I'm always worried about, since about 80% of readers are women.

You even use the word "hysteria", which was originally a "psychological malady" thought to be caused by an out-of-place uterus which resulted in women acting crazy. The treatment (I shit you not) was for the doctor to massage the patient's genitals until she orgasmed.

Point being, I'd be mindful of pissing off feminists. They run this town...
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Emerald For This Useful Post:
Webgoji (12-26-2012)
  #5  
Old 12-26-2012, 06:33 PM
Domenic (Offline)
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 467
Thanks: 24
Thanks 84
Default

You have a great story. Well written. A thriller with humor. Very original. I would not change one word.
I love your style…it’s fresh.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Domenic For This Useful Post:
Webgoji (12-27-2012)
Reply

  WritersBeat.com > Writing Craft > Writing Help & Issues > Character Clinics


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Dexter would be kinder Nick Pierce Poetry 29 02-23-2018 03:10 PM
Novel Concept - "You Are Me" Webgoji Writing Help & Issues 7 01-09-2013 08:16 AM
Dexter the Poet... JohnConstantine Free Writing 3 11-08-2011 07:47 AM
Revenge of the Templar - Afghanistan 1879 sportourer1 Fiction 0 01-30-2011 04:54 AM
Does anyone here watch Dexter? Dougmysticeye Writers' Cafe 2 10-26-2009 04:59 PM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:47 AM.

vBulletin, Copyright 2000-2006, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.