At this point in writing Null_Pointer I have to confess that the main character – Joshua is not as interesting as the secondary character – Dancia. In a way, that’s intentional. I started out wanting to make the main character someone who was normal and not very interesting in and of himself. He would be a everyman character that anyone could relate to and would not be distracted by his quirks and inconsistencies. But I feel that he is just plane boring and it could be hard for the reader to really care about him enough to follow the story through to the end.
I wanted his friends to be more eccentric and interesting because he would be using them and their expertise to help him solve the mystery. Not sure if this is typical in the mystery genre, but that was the original plan. I now find that I’m not very interested in him at this point and that he must start putting the clues together and taking an active role in moving the story forward. Perhaps I should not be too concerned about it at this point in the First Draft. Save the fleshing out of his character for the Second Draft.
Some ideas for fleshing out Joshua:
1. Make him not fully recovered from the death of his parents. Perhaps he thinks about them too much or maybe he dreams about them all the time. This is actually quite important for the later chapters.
2. Give him some kind of weird physical or mental attribute that he has to overcome or that gives him a unique outlook on life. That could be distracting and not have any real purpose.
3. I originally thought he was getting over a broken relationship with a girl, and that he does not see how close he is coming to Dancia, because he is always thinking about the old girlfriend. This one I will start bringing in and may even go back to add before the Second Draft. Not sure if I want to add her as a character though. I think it was a clean break and he never really talks with her again. Perhaps he could see her somewhere but that would be it.
This ex-girlfriend thing might have happened several months ago and he is just starting to get over it. It would explain why he shows no real interest in Dancia at the outset. As it is, you have to wonder why he has not made a pass at her yet in the story. :)
4. I want to show that he is not the kind of person who takes revenge or carries a grudge. This aspect of his personality comes to bare in the climax. He also finds it hard to let go of anyone or anything. His respect for living things makes him too pacifist for violent deadly action. Perhaps he has a pet cat who is slowly dying and he can’t bring himself to take to to the Vet to be put to sleep. Something like that.
Well, that’s all I can think of for now. Expect some changes in Joshua in the coming chapters.