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When I start a new novel, the first thing I do is create my characters. I love doing this -- it's one of my favorite writing tasks. As I create the people who will populate my novel, I have to decide who my point-of-view characters will be. Though I love writing from multiple points of view, I can't be inside every character's head and so while all of my characters will speak, some of their inner thoughts will remain a mystery to readers.
But not to me.
Though I don't work out inner thoughts for everyone who appears on the page, I sometimes delve into the feelings of the characters who interact with my main characters. Occasionally, I even write little mini-scenes from the perspective of the secondary character. This helps me to make their interactions with the primary characters more well-rounded.
Last week, when I shared "5 Things I Know About Todd Fitzpatrick" (Charli's first boyfriend and her best friend Anna's brother), I teased that I might have a little more to share about Todd -- a scene that would have made it into book three (currently in the works) if Todd were a point-of-view character.
Curious? Take a look.
Todd tossed his backpack onto the sofa and slouched onto the cushion beside it, nearly knocking a soda out of Anna’s hands in the process.
“What is wrong with you?” his sister said. “Ever since you and Charli broke up...oh.”
“Not oh. No oh. This has nothing to do with Charli. This is just how a guy sits on a sofa.”
“Uh huh. Sure. A guy who’s too stubborn to admit he’s heartbroken, so he’d rather act like a neanderthal.”
“I am not heartbroken. Geez, Anna. You’re so dramatic.”
Anna stood up. “Okay. Whatever. So I guess I don’t need to warn you that Charli’s sleeping over tonight.”
Todd shook his head and shrugged one shoulder. “Couldn’t care less. Just don’t think you’re gonna get the good TV in the basement.”
Anna smirked. “Already cleared it with Mom.”
“Yeah, well, we’ll see.”
“I guess if you want your phone confiscated two days after you got it back, that’s up to you.” Anna turned on her heel and took her smirk upstairs.
Charli was sleeping over. Great.
The first thing he’d done when he'd gotten ungrounded from his phone was to text her the news that he'd rejoined the twenty-first century, hoping Charli would tell him how much she’d missed him and how stupid she’d been to break up with him. But no. Instead, she’d texted back, “That’s great, Todd! Bet you missed it!” like an hour later.
Message received. And now she was coming here to spend the night, making it impossible to avoid her until these feelings — these stupid feelings — went away.
After Charli broke up with him, Brad trash talked her and told him he should just get another girl. It wasn’t like there weren’t other girls who thought he was cute.
But they weren’t Charli.
Zander had defended Charli, telling Brad to shut up, even though Brad could shove Zander into a locker with one hand tied behind his back, which made Todd wonder — not for the first time — if Zander liked Charli. If Charli went out with Zander….man, that would suck.
Todd pushed his backpack off the sofa and onto the floor. The thud was satisfying, especially since his mother wasn’t home to yell at him about backpacks on the furniture or being shoved onto the floor.
Well, if Anna had plans tonight, he’d just have to make some, too. And he certainly wasn’t going to give her and Charli the satisfaction of leaving his own house. If Anna wanted to invite Charli here, then she’d just have to deal with the fallout of having both of them in the same house. He certainly wasn't going to let a couple of stupid girls ruin his night.