It’s all about Me! No, it’s about me! by Vicki Batman
In a book, secondary characters support the main characters, sometimes, as a best friend, a sidekick, a grandparent, or even as a bad dude. These characters can be fun to write, but when they take over a book–that’s a runaway train. Writers have to tame their creations and remember whose story they are crafting. Our plot focus is on the hero and heroine. Maybe the intruders can have their own book later on. Or maybe not.
In Temporarily Insane, I wrote a geek secondary character. But I wondered if I was on the right track about describing a geek. So I found this definition in Wikipedia: The word geek is a slang term originally used to describe eccentric or non-mainstream people. It is derived from the German word geck which means fool or fop. The term has evolved over time to mean something similar to nerd.
So what’s a nerd? Again, I returned to Wikipedia: Nerd is a descriptive term, often used pejoratively, indicating a person that is overly intellectual, obsessive, or lacking social skills.
Those definitions perfectly describe character Stuart Steems, an auditor. After he interviewed Hattie Cooks, my heroine, he manipulated her to take him to her birthday party. Not far from her own days in geekdom, Hattie had a dilemma. She had felt like a geek in high school (like most of us) because she wore glasses and didn’t have the favored blonde hair and blue eyes. And zits. Then her mother’s lecture on being nice played in her head. So she said yes and…
“We need to cover the ground rules.”
“Ground rules?” His brow vee-ed. “Is this normal?”
“Absolutely.” I nodded. “The ground rules are: No kissing. No hugging. No whispering lovey-dovey stuff in my ear. No nothing. Understand?”
“I understand, but I thought people in love do this.”
“Let’s set the record straight right now—we are not in love. And here’s another rule: don’t speak to anyone.”
“Don’t talk to anyone—why not?”
Noticing the bizarre look on his face, I relented. “Okay, you can talk. Just say one sentence.”
“Is this a weird family thing?”
“Nope. It’s a Hattie-who-is-being-nice thing.”
Stuart and his dating ineptness provided humor in my book, a definite element when writing romantic comedy. And he popped up with more fun bits throughout, bits that were important to the story. However, Stuart ‘s story was not Hattie’s story. I had to remember to dribble his pieces in the appropriate spots, to keep my focus on her.
But Stuart wasn’t the only geek.
Allan Wellborn, our detective hero and love interest, adored Hattie all his life. When younger, he wore Buddy Holly type of glasses, hadn’t grown, had zits, too. A math wiz, he wore white button-down shirts sporting a pocket protector with mechanical pencils, a highlighter, and a pocket level. He played the trombone in the band and served as the Treasurer in the Accounting Club.
Poor Hattie was surrounded by the type. Most of us grew out of geekdom. The zits and hair were tamed, we were praised for our work, and spend moola on cool clothes. Fortunately, Allan improved for the better. In fact, she described him as might-ee fine.
What is the Number One rule about geeks? They rule! In this technology driven world, lots of geeks and nerds abound. It’s cool to be a geek! Look at the number one comedy show on television: The Big Bang Theory. And one of them has the hot girl.
BTW, I married an auditor. He’s never been geeky.
Truth or dare – were you a geek or cool cat?
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Award-winning and Amazon bestselling author, Vicki Batman, has sold many romantic comedy works to the True magazines, several publishers, and most recently, two romantic comedy mysteries to The Wild Rose Press. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and several writing groups. An avid Jazzerciser. Handbag lover. Mahjong player. Yoga practitioner. Movie fan. Book devourer. Cat fancier. Best Mom ever. And adores Handsome Hubby. Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking “What if??”
Amazon paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Temporarily-Insane-Vicki-Batman/dp/1509209158/