meeting the mentor

The romantic hero in my current WIP has a mentor that has always been very clear in my head. Imagine my horror when I arrived at the scene where this mentor, Dave appears and there were no words on the page that described him. Dave is an important player in the story and was introduced as a faceless, formless, energy who tossed out a few words and the hero gallops off after his lady-love.

This is the point where a novelist must giggle. It is also the point where we thank our stars we are revising (again!) prior to handing our text over to more than a few trusted friends.

At this point in the story, the reader knows Dave is in his 50’s and the father of one of the other characters.  He will be described again through the eyes of another character but here’s how the reader first sees him:

In his standard uniform of brown twill pants, and a green, beige and white plaid flannel shirt, Dave seldom gave the appearance of a master mechanic. Grease and oil barely ever stained his clothes and even his fingers bore few traces of stain in the calluses or around the nails. It took little effort for Dave to change from marine mechanic to jaunty sailboat captain for the monthly romantic rendezvous Dave stated were requirements to keep his prostate healthy.

It doesn’t quite do justice to the image I have in my head, and some of the words are really lame, but what do you think?

About Terri Patrick
Writer of Romance and Memoir. Life is an adventure, take that journey.

5 Responses to meeting the mentor

  1. The fact that Dave wishes to keep his prostate healthy says a lot – this makes the mechanic sound more mechanical than romantic to me.

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  2. Mike’s comment made me laugh! But I like the way you describe this guy.
    Trish

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  3. Prostrate??? Really???
    I do nto really gete a good image of him from that. I getthe feeling you are not happy with it either. Keep working, I know you can do it.

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  4. Lisa Nowak says:

    Last fall, when I started writing Dead Heat, I was struggling to get a picture in my head of one of my secondary characters. I started doing an internet search for photos, and then I got totally engrossed in this character collage project. That’s so far from my normal MO it’s not even funny, but it worked. I just did a post about it on the Chrysalis blog. Maybe it will help you, too. http://chrysaliswomenwriters.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/making-a-character-collage/

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