In high school, I wrote a story for class called, “Egg Day”, about this egg festival that takes place in New Orleans on the hottest day of summer. I really loved writing it, and I tried twice to turn it into a short screenplay, but it never really turned out, and I pretty much just discarded it.
That said, as difficult as the story was to write, the characters were a joy to create.
In starting my screenplay of “Egg Day”, I created a four-page doc of my six main characters. In it, I had their birthdays, life aspirations, flaws and strengths; it was great!
But I was told by my professor almost immediately that all I had made of my people was useless. And so I have been by each professor since… That it is distracting, it is useless, it is a waste of time to dive so deeply into your character’s lives.
But two of my storytelling heroes, J.K. Rowling and Quentin Tarantino, basically live in their characters, and have produced some of the greatest people of all time doing so.
Where would the world be without Harry Potter? Or Colonel Landa? The lore of these characters is what made these stories so powerful. Their realness is what people connect to.
So, I am going to keep doing what I do, because it is my favorite, and that is what life is about.
Doing your favorite.
Without further ado, here are the Elias and Park kids! I do not know what their stories are or where they will go, but I do know who they are and what they are all about, and the kinds of people they are.
First, here is a bit of background…
Wendy is the protagonist.
Wendy and Garrett are best friends.
Garrett is the younger brother of Genevieve, the antagonist, who dates Walt, the youngest of identical triplet boys, who are all named Walter after their father, Walter.
Also, there is a Disney theme for no reason other than that I named the triplets Walt; their last name is the middle name of Mr. Disney, and Geneviève and Garret’s surname is “Park” because, theme park!
Protagonist: Wendy Elias, 12 (DOB December 5)
Positive Traits: spunky, natural leader, loud, extremely competitive from having three older brothers
Emotional Void: lack of stability
Greatest Fear: losing, fear of being alone, of not knowing what’s next, of the unknown
Fatal Flaw: over-confident; talks herself up and often comes up short
Social: she is known in school as, “the girl with triplet older brothers”
Physical: skinny and small, pre-pubescent, sensitive to the sun
Intellectual: average intelligence; she’s in middle school
Institutional: wants to go into accounting to have a stable job
Financial: parents both work odd jobs that generate income randomly; lower middle class, she does not quite know what her parents do, but they make enough money to get by
Emotional: generally happy, borderline anger issues
Walter “*WALT” Elias Jr., 17 (Youngest Triplet)
Positive Traits: ambitious
Emotional Void: identity crisis from being the youngest triplet; Lack of Identity
Greatest Fear: fear of judgment
Fatal Flaw: feels he has no identity, being a triplet; brags and boasts his girlfriend Geneviève Park, is a jerk to his family
Social: jock, popular among friends, known at school “for being a triplet”
Physical: fit, can run a mile in just under 5 minutes (4:55)
Intellectual: average; favorite class is PE
Institutional: plans to go to Louisiana State College, the backup college choice of everyone in Louisiana
Financial: parents both work odd jobs that generate income randomly; lower middle class, he does not quite know what his parents do, but they make enough money to get by
Emotional: borderline anger issues (slightly more angry than Wendy), general teenage angst
Walter “*JUNIOR” Elias Jr., 17 (Eldest Triplet)
Positive Traits: smart, calculated, well read, loves science and space, loves Disney movies and often watches them with Wendy
Emotional Void: lack of connection with most of his family, he is too smart and can’t hold a conversation with any of them for very long
Greatest Fear: getting less than 90% on a test, quiz or homework assignment
Fatal Flaw: no street smarts, holds himself responsible for every problem, creates unnecessary stress, he puts a lot of his own problems on himself
Social: he’s a geek, and so are his friends. He blends in at school, but people still know who he is because he is a triplet.
Physical: pale, stays inside mostly, but loves to play soccer (indoor soccer preferred, but almost never offered)
Intellectual: the smartest kid in the family, and in the top 3% of his class
Institutional: wants to become an astronaut, for real
Financial: parents both work odd jobs that generate income randomly, but not much ever. He tutors after school and makes good pocket money
Emotional: stressed from schoolwork, but otherwise happy
Walter “WALLY/*LOLLY” Elias Jr.; Wally Elias, 17 (Middle Triplet)
Positive Traits: wilderness man, loves to fish, makes friends anywhere, loves New Orleans and hopes to move there after high school
Emotional Void: lack of connection with his brothers; lack of ambition, but is best friends with his Dad
Greatest Fear: his parents finding out about his grades, his lack of ambition will get him in trouble
Fatal Flaw: no ambition, hates trying new things
Theme (if… then… Statement): if no one needs me, then I’ll be fishing
Social: tends to be friends with people who are older than him, doesn’t really have any friends at school, goes off campus for lunch, ditches school for hippie reasons like going hiking or fishing
Physical: pudgy, wakes up around 5:00AM every morning to go fishing, but naps in the afternoon and stays up late. People wonder how much sleep he actually gets
Intellectual: “forgets” to do his homework, careless
Institutional: wants to be a fisherman in New Orleans after high school
Financial: parents both work odd jobs that generate income randomly, but not much ever; he works as a part time fisherman after school (though sometimes during…)
Emotional: free spirit, laid back, stress and problem free
*One note I did actually take from my screenwriting professors is that it is confusing to have characters with the same lettered name; unfortunately, I love the idea of matching kids names, hence all the W’s. I compromised by keeping the kids’ W’s by giving them nicknames with different letters to stop the confusion. Thus are Walt, Junior and Lolly.
I would think that Lolly comes from Wendy’s infant inability to say Wally, so she called him “Lolly” instead, and it just stuck. Plus, it’s a good nickname for a pudgy kid.
Though the boys all look the same, they each feel like they are the “odd one out”, even though if anyone was to feel like the odd one out it would be Wendy, being the only girl in the family. However, Wendy is a natural leader, and has no problem controlling her brothers. Except for Walt. Walt is a wild card, and overly emotional, just like Wendy. So they explode at each other a lot.
Antagonist: Geneviève Park, 17
Positive Traits: smart, well thought out, clever, observant
Emotional Void: lack of connection
Greatest Fear: fear of abandonment, of being alone
Fatal Flaw: overly clingy, clings to one person and usually ends up hurt
Social: the most popular girl in the whole school since freshman year because she exclusively dates senior boys. Also she is rich
Physical: tall, a part of the volleyball team
Intellectual: of average intelligence, manipulative
Institutional: wants to work for her dad’s company and become CEO by 25
Financial: Dad is always working somewhere in Europe; Mom died when she was 9, raised by Grandparents
Emotional: generally unhappy, unfulfilled
Garrett Park, 14 (DOB June 6)
Positive Traits: friendly, outgoing, extrovert, natural athlete
Emotional Void: lack of satisfaction; he’s lived a life where everything has always been given to him and everyone tells him he’s great
Greatest Fear: fear of normalness, of a life already lived
Fatal Flaw: takes too many risks, each one more dicey than the last
Social: the most popular and youngest 10th grader; he should be in 9th grade but his birthday is in June. Also because of his sister’s popularity, and because RICH
Physical: tall, lanky, voice is cracking
Intellectual: average intelligence
Institutional: straight A student, is told he will work for his dad’s company after he goes to an Ivy League college; but what he wants is to explore the world
Financial: Dad is always working somewhere in Europe; Mom died when he was 7, raised by Grandparents
Emotional: bored, unsatisfied
Walter “Walt” Oscar Elias, Sr. (Dad)
Positive Traits: loves to fish, loves New Orleans, studied physics in college before dropping out
Emotional Void: lack of stability
Greatest Fear: failure, of letting people down
Fatal Flaw: he is guilty of the life he has burdened his family with, dosen’t start or finish things
Social: Kind of known as a failure to the community
Intellectual: smart, but nowhere near Walter; he can still talk to his son for a couple of minutes before being completely overwhelmed with science lingo and such.
Institutional: college drop out
Financial: works odd jobs, mostly mechanical
: always stressed, always nice. When he’s working, he wants to be with family, when he’s with family, he knows he should be working; guilty
I tried to give Walt Sr. traits that all of his sons inherited. He loves to fish like Wally, and is pretty smart like Walter; but he relates the least to Walt, whose nickname he shares.