Casting Call Character Bloghop: FIRST PERSON SHOOTER

Hiya folks!

This is my post for the Casting Call Character Bloghop!  The point of this bloghop is to share images and other media about the characters and settings in my NaNo project.

As you may have gathered, my story for NaNo this year is one I’ve been thinking about for several years now, since my return from a year in Baghdad in February 2010, but this is the first time I have collected images to try to solidify the pictures I’ve been carrying around in my head all this time.

To orient you to my story, I offer my logline:

When a shy and diffident U.S. Army soldier fighting in Iraq guns down a local shopkeeper and suffers a loss of confidence, a fellow soldier with the innate ability to pacify the aggression of others aids him as he strives to defy his intolerant squad leader, bring the fight to the enemy, and restore his own sense of self worth.

Next, a few shots to give a sense of the setting.

The story takes place in a fictional district of Baghdad in 2005, when the fighting against the insurgents was at its worst.

We’ve seen a hundred and one war movies–many recent ones about the Iraq war in fact–so the challenge as a fiction writer will be making my descriptions as vivid as the explosive realism of current films, while also capitalizing on the advantages of fiction: better visibility of characters’ internal conflicts.

Now let’s talk characters.  My MC is PFC Jared Christianson.

Caucasian, Scandinavian descent. 24. Blonde hair, blue eyes. Built like a marathoner.

He’s a bookworm, and very intelligent. His heart is in the right place, and he tries to do the right thing when the circumstances call for it. He doesn’t always succeed. Considered a nerd and minor player by the rest of the squad.

The ‘fellow soldier’ of my logline, the one with ‘the innate ability to pacify the aggression of others’, is named PFC Michael Sedo.

PFC Sedo is from Utah. Caucasian, vaguely Nordic. 26. Almost like an albino in appearance, with piercing gray eyes. Narrow waist, broad shoulders, trim but muscular.  He’s very quiet–almost never speaks, except to those he trusts–but supremely calm and confident. He remains so unruffled in difficult situations that it’s downright scary.  His influence over the people around him is a major catalyst to the action of the story.

Finally, we have the antagonist, Staff Sergeant Richard ‘Gut Punch’ Brody.

He’s an Army careerist who’s been around the block a few times. His outlook, which once was “We have a hard job to do. Ain’t no use in bitching about it.” has morphed over the years into “You’re either with me or against me.” He believes sincerely that dissent within the ranks endangers the unit’s ability to execute the mission.

He demands unconditional loyalty and respect, and cuts anyone who does not give it to him down to size.  He rules the squad with an iron fist.

So I’m pretty excited about this story, so excited that I spent some time putting some cover/splash art together.  I thought I’d share it with you:

Did that in MS Powerpoint, yes I did.  All those hours doing slides at work isn’t a complete waste after all!  😀  And that tag line is MINE!  Came up with it myself.  You take your hands off!  😉

So that’s my line up.  I have plans to spend the weekend tuning up my treatment/outline and will be an ‘up round’–ready to charge to 50k+ words–on Tuesday Morning.

How go preps for NaNo?  Are you ready to go?  

For the non-NaNoers among you, do you select pictures for your WIP characters? What else do you do to get your characters clear in your mind?

Have a totally groovy weekend, and thanks for stopping by!

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  1. Melodie said:

    Wow – I had no idea Orlando Bloom (that IS Orlando, right? Or am I hallucinating?) ever played a soldier. Your MC's description fits him in that role.
    And your story sounds great. The Iraq War is sure to be the subject of many novels in the decades to come, as it should be. Thanks for being part of our blog hop!

    October 28, 2011
  2. I thought this was really powerful, the idea, the photos, the cover, the descriptions of the characters. Definitely a worthwhile story to tell–I'd be very interested in reading this! Awesome post.

    October 28, 2011
  3. Joshua said:

    Excellent casting choices. Love the Eric Bana and Jason Isaacs.

    October 28, 2011
  4. JeffO said:

    Great work, Jon Paul. It looks like an intense story.

    October 28, 2011
  5. DL Hammons said:

    Now I'm gonna have to watch BLACK HAWK DOWN this weekend! :)

    October 28, 2011
  6. Wow! It all looks great, Jon Paul! I'm really, really impressed. :)

    Thank you for participating!

    October 29, 2011
  7. Liza said:

    Outstanding tag line! The story got me, but the tagline really yanked me in!

    October 29, 2011
  8. Jon Paul said:

    Melodie–Yep. Orlando Bloom in (DL nailed it) Blackhawk Down. In fact, all of the pics are from that movie (an unintentional development) because it had such a large cast.

    Lisa–If you're serious, I'll take you up on that offer. I will be looking for readers around April 1st. You have my email address (finally!) so let me know. 😉

    Joshua–Thanks. I lucked out on those choices, didn't I?

    JeffO–Thank you kindly, Sir!

    DL–Yeah, 'bout once every six months or so I watch that flick. Great job all round IMHO.

    Carrie–Thanks, and you're welcome!

    Liza–Yeah, it came to me out of the air. My muse was smiling on me that day. 😀

    Thanks Groovers for stopping in for a visit. Stay groovy and have a rockin' week! 😀

    October 30, 2011
  9. Jon Paul said:

    Oops! Sorry Bonnie! Didn't mean to leave you out. Thanks! 😀

    October 30, 2011
  10. Dawn Malone said:

    Wow, you're definitely ready to go!!! Good luck to you during November. Oh, and thanks for the follow!

    October 30, 2011
  11. Donna Hole said:

    I love the character choices and the pictures. Vivid storytelling through them.

    OMG: what a brilliant tag line, and the picture is perfect. With your background, I know you're going to make these characters, and the storyline, come alive. I'm sure it will be a book I can't put down. When you're looking for readers, I hope you keep me in mind.


    November 18, 2011

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