This week, we continue our exploration of the character mannequins presented in Story Building Blocks II and Build A Cast Workbook. Remember, each mannequin has a male, female,transgender, or androgynous counterpart.
Joss wants recognition for his intelligence and skill. He usually gets it, in the short-term. His derring-do draws them in, but eventually drives them off. He might enjoy experimentation. He places a permanent relationship at the bottom of his list. He struggles with routine and commitment. He thrives on new experiences and new partners.
Joss is exciting and intense for short bursts. He is the ultimate hard-to-get partner. He is the man or woman of action and few words. He resists routine and strict schedules. He hates being controlled by other people, particularly his partner. He spends a lot of time exploring his interests without his partner.
He is happy to provide basic needs and the kind of dating behavior that keeps a relationship humming along. He isn’t free with his opinion, but open to someone else’s. He is in information gathering mode and may evade answering questions by asking more questions. This frustrates his partner when she needs a direct answer. He doesn’t feel he owes anyone an explanation and never asks for permission.
He is protective of his emotions and avoids deeper feelings. His level of intensity can vary from day to day and that can leave his partner feeling unbalanced. He has problems with the traditional expectations of behavior.
All is fine until Joss becomes bored or the other person becomes too demanding or clingy. He moves on and won’t stay to fix it. He remains in a life-long relationship by taking it one day at a time. His partner is never entirely certain he’ll stay. His air of aloofness may draw his partner in, but could drive her away.
Joss views sex as recreation. He is sensual and enjoys experimentation. He is spontaneous, creative, and enthusiastic for as long as it lasts. He sets the mood and makes it fun. He loses interest if it becomes routine. He breaks up and makes up for the novelty it provides.
Kelly is enthusiastic. Life with him would be quite a ride, full of ups and downs, and lots of spinning. He is extremely charming and superficial. He offers his partner the world and she attributes him with a big heart. He loves life. He makes those in his orbit love life too. The problems start when his partner realizes he can’t make a plan and stick with it.
Kelly has a problem with commitment and behaves in ways that are detrimental to the relationship. He is shocked when his partner objects. As soon as he is restricted or bored, he finds someone else to play with. Kelly considers sex as a physical carnival ride. He makes things exciting. He is a sensual lover. He goes for the big moments, once in a while. He is oblivious to the emotional content. If his partner needs emotional closeness to feel loved, she probably won’t get it. She may tell him and he may try, but he can’t sustain it. He isn’t good with positive affirmations. He won’t grasp the neediness of a feeling partner. He is master of the grand gesture, but grand gestures aren’t always enough.
Greer wants recognition for his competence. Since he is usually competent, he receives it. When he forgets to take care of things around the house, his competence might be questioned. He isn’t looking for a permanent love connection. He honors a commitment once made, but may not remain emotionally present.
Greer takes his relationship seriously and analyzes it much like he analyzes everything. He is low-demand and easy to get along with. His problems stem from the lack of emotional engagement and low need for social interaction. He would not be natively drawn to BDSM. He isn’t big on traditional trappings. He can’t relate to high-needs people. He is straightforward and honest. He won’t play games or manipulate his partner. It is hard for him to open his heart and he retracts at the first sign of danger. He feels passionately, he just can’t verbalize it. Of all the types, he is the hardest to have a relationship with. It’s a good thing he is a rare bird.
He usually runs at the first sign of messy complications. He avoids conflict and deals with it in an analytical way, ignoring the emotional component. He defends his commitment by saying, “Of course I love you. I’m here aren’t I?” If his partner reads him as distant and disengaged, she might move on.
Greer is imaginative and loving, but not overly demanding. He is quick to sublimate his needs or loses track of them when focused at work or on his hobbies. His intense passion may not be apparent to his partner. He isn’t in tune with his partner’s emotional life. He misses the hints and emotional cues she exhibits. His displays of affection may be out of sync with his partner’s desire for them. He isn’t good with the positive affirmations and praise some types need.
Taylor won’t walk away unless a serious core violation occurs. She could walk away over it, but tends to stick with unhealthy relationships where she does all the giving. She hates conflict and ignores her partner’s slings and arrows to avoid it. She gives in rather than extend the fight. Ignoring problems turns them in to bigger problems that eventually become explosive.
Taylor is enthusiastic and creative. She is warm and fun. She sees sex as a direct expression of her love. She works hard to make her partner happy and doing so makes her happy. She pencils it in as often as she needs to. She won’t express her own needs. She needs loving affirmations, but won’t ask for them. She is hurt when the sweet words aren’t forthcoming.
Next week, we will meet the final four.
For more about how to craft characters, pick up a copy of Story Building Blocks II: Crafting Believable Conflict, available in paperback and E-book and Story Building Blocks: Build A Cast Workbook, available in paperback and E-book.