A character sheet for Josh

Sunday morning, classical music playing, fresh-roasted-and-ground coffee (courtesy of my husband) and a cat next to me. What more could I want?

I want to get back to writing about Josh and Jeanne, and I’m still struggling. The old Josh was problematic, and so I’m doing some tweaks to the character, and I’m not sure who he is yet. I know his basic stats:

Age: 25

Appearance: about 5’7″, slender build but physically fit due to bike riding and aikido; brown-black hair that threatens to fall into his eyes, dark brown eyes, wide but almond-shaped. Half-Asian. Moves gracefully. (I have no picture of Josh. I know what he looks like from doing one of those fun internet searches that writers do, but I don’t think it’s right putting up a pic of a real person here.)

Speech: Thoughful, tenor voice; frequently tinged with humor

Personality: Calm, a little reserved, friendly. Perceived as “a really sweet person”.  Tends not to show anger — most of the time. A bit bookish; perhaps a little eccentric (see below)

World view: Josh believes in folk Shinto, a belief system where objects of nature, such as trees and rocks, possess spirits or kami. As such, he believes that Jeanne’s “green thumb” comes from kami who are attracted to her. This remains to be seen. As a practitioner of aikido, he is also a pacifist, but will defend himself and other people.

Vocation: He is an instructor of creative writing at the University where he did his undergraduate work. He’s pretty new at teaching, and makes hilarious mistakes at times. He is the faculty advisor of the Slam Poets club, having once been a member. He thinks about getting his PhD and becoming a professor, believing it will give him more flexibility in the job market.

Hobbies: As said before, he is a practitioner of Aikido, having reached 2nd Dan. He writes poetry and stories in his spare time, and uses a bike for transportation three seasons a year. 
Mannerisms: brushes hair out of eyes.

Favorite saying: Some things defy explanation.

Family: Only child. Father — Doctor; Mother — now working part-time at a florists shop. Mom is underemployed, as she is very artistic. Relationship to father is close but reserved; relationship to mother is slightly difficult because she can be nitpicky. He has cousins on both sides of the family, but both sides are older than him and not close.

This is all fine and good, but I have to make a more complete character out of him.

There’s more, there has to be more. This is the part I’m struggling with: this is a romance novel. How does he deal with falling in love? (I’m expecting he sits in the friend zone and things happen slowly until “Oh, wait a minute, where did this come from?”) But how romantic is that really? Does it matter?

I’m a bit more bewildered when it comes to sex (although I’m not going to get explicitly sexy in this book). I’m assuming he’s a virgin because he wanted to be deliberate in his choice and because he has the patience to wait. I also assume he’s read up on it. A lot. So he wouldn’t be totally ignorant, but a bit clumsy.

What’s missing is actually writing in the character’s voice. I’m not sure I have a feel for that yet. 

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