Intros and all that…


Memories of that night were filtered on the smoke from my exhale, making me the one-man audience in a farce of my own creation. Two whole months of my allowance wasted on a one night stand that did not live up to expectations.

Inhalation brought the wispy images again, and that time they were complete with sound. Throaty laughter echoed in the cavernous room, and once more, my hand was on his bottle. His was on my chest, and his lips were brushing my ear unpleasantly.

The wrong lips.

The soft tap of my clove drew the moment away until the embers feathered to the pan. Eyes glowed eerily up at me until the fire was spent. Knowing and understanding were two entirely different things.

A year younger, but ages wiser, Ross MacKensie was the night I’d been searching for and left at the dorm. Left him watching me from the second-floor window; his hand pressed against the rain dropped glass. I’d been in love with him since he punched Jimmy in the nose for calling me stupid when we were in first grade. Ross wore a blue tee-shirt and pushed his hair back with his bloodied knuckles that day. It was a very clear moment in my life, but Jimmy’s last name had been lost somewhere in my brain.

Maybe on the exhale.

Character intros come in different ways. The one above, I wrote in first-person, which is not my usual, and it isn’t the whole scene. Just enough to introduce the MC, the problem, and the cause of the problem.

Introducing a character is hard. You don’t want to read: His name is Zach. He is seventeen, six-four, and has auburn hair and green eyes. I honestly prefer my MCs don’t introduce themselves like that, unless it’s to make a point of some kind(he’s sick, needs to feed, or he’s having a crisis and thinks he looks strange) It all sounds like a dossier.

I do have my MCs describe others, like this, further down in the chapter:

Ross had blunted his three feet of hair to his shoulders and shaved the sides today. One lock of raven was now a deep purple that matched the color of his eyes. The heels of his Doc Martens gave him a two-inch advantage and when he pulled me in for a hug, his lips landed just below my ear instead of on the curve of my neck. I discovered a brand new place that made me shiver.

Not perfect, but Ross and Zach have been introduced and hopefully the reader knows things about them both, by description and action. It’s the little things in my mind that define a character, and most of that is personality with a small slice of physical description- enough for me to paint my own mental image.

I find the important bits are in the personality, dialogues and actions. I mean, really- Biff in Back To The Future is cute, tall, a snappy dresser, drives an great car- but he is an asshole.

Get creative with the intros. those are important. And please remember that unless your character is looking in the mirror or some other reflective surface they can’t see themselves.

I pushed my brown hair out of my long lashes and watched him walk with my brown eyes.

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