sorry I'm late to the party on this assignment. Life got a little crazy :)
**Pick another character who is unlike anyone else. Find one way to make that character even more odd, eccentric, outsider or unique. Reveal that as quickly as you can in the story**
My story is told from three POVs - the former juror, a chaplain and the convict. Here is part of the first intro pages of the chaplain. I feel like her character is unlike anyone else because she is a 29 yr old in a field that is often dominated by older people. Her story opens on the day of her 29th birthday.
Natalie wasn’t looking forward to the gigantic birthday bash for the two of them Holly had planned for later that night at the Cocktail Club. She’d really much rather finish her shift, order some Thai and curl up with a good book. For one, Holly had invited all of the other nurses and Natalie always felt like an odd girl out, being the hospital chaplain. She wasn’t an active part of the daily nurses’ station gossip, always relying on Holly to fill her in off-hours.
Another reason she was less than thrilled for the evening’s affair was the location. She hated bars. She hated meeting strange guys because when they found out she was a chaplain, they all got the big-eye and immediately looked for a cross dangling around her neck (which she didn’t wear) or asked her if she wore a habit, went to a convent, or took an oath of chastity (which forced her to explain that she was not a nun). And things always turned to the subject of sex once all the nurses downed a few cocktails. Once they started talking openly about their experiences and all their wild and crazy encounters, Natalie always secretly wondered if she was really bad in bed. She didn’t own handcuffs and she wasn’t into trash talk or Fifty Shades of Grey. It hadn’t turned her on at all. If she could choreograph it, she’d like a roaring fire and a glass of champagne and maybe a few chocolate covered cherries. But that made her sound a thousand years old, so she kept quiet, nodded along with her friends agreeing, yes, guys hate it when a girl lies there like a dead fish.
People never understood her. Not at bars and not at the hospital either.
Now, an irate seventy-seven-year-old man clutched his sheets, narrowed his eyes and screamed at his wife. “I told you to get me someone from the church! But you messed it up. Imagine that!”
“Ha-rold,” the woman moaned. “Look at her name badge. It says she’s the chaplain.”
The man squinted at Natalie, scrunched his nose. “I can’t confess my sins to her – she’s wearing zebra print shoes for crying out loud!”
I like where this ends up with the old man refusing to confess to a woman wearing zebra print shoes. Not sure though this makes her as odd or as eccentric as she could be. Is there something else you could reveal that makes her more than just a bit nerdy?
Pamela - thanks for your feedback. I do feel (or hope!) that as the scene plays out it shows Natalie's quite unlike most 29 yr old single women - but I worried if I pasted the whole scene it would be too long.
I like how Natalie believes she's a misfit, and yet she's (to me, anyway) a relateable introvert, if-not-completely-normal character. Who wouldn't want an occasional glass of champagne by a roaring fire to set the mood, right? You convey her surroundings very well by describing those she normally interacts with. Great passage!
I second Kristin's comment about Natalie's relatability. I find her a sympathetic character, and I like your humor in this passage. I'll bet that Natalie confronts patients like Mr. Grumpy-Butt every day.
I love a good courtroom drama, and will enjoy reading your novel when it's published. I'm intrigued by your choice of the three focal characters. So far, so good!
People never understood her. Not at bars and not at the hospital either. - Great line. Tells us so much more about Natalie...why doesn't she feel like she fits in at the hospital...perfect. The fact that she is a female chaplain right there makes her the odd man out, too.
The end of this where the old man (obviously Catholic since he wants to do confession) is priceless. She's not Catholic and wearing leopard print shoes! Love it.
Side note: My husband did a chaplaincy residency while getting his Masters of Divinity...quite the experience and very difficult for some patients when the chaplain was not of their religion.