I wrote about my favorite character, Charlie Porter, when I blogged about muses a couple of weeks ago. Here is what I said:
When I wrote Scout’s Honor, I knew that I wanted to have a main male character who was everything that I find to be good – in not just a best friend – but also in a man. So I created Charlie Porter. I knew what I wanted him to look like, his personality, the way he saw life and people, his own internal struggles, but more than anything, I wanted him to serve as the very definition of love. It know that’s a tall order, certainly in this life, but if I get to be the “God” of my story, then I’m creating this guy. My book is not a “Christian” novel, meaning it isn’t Christian literature or meant to be about Christianity in particular, although it does play a role in the story because Scout’s family is Christian.
1st Corinthians 13 in the Bible is generally known as “the Love Chapter” because it defines love in such a way that it encompasses all types. You can read it and see friendship. You can read it and see marriage and romantic love. You can read it and see parental love. It runs the gamut. I wanted my character Charlie to be that kind of a fixture in Scout’s life – someone who truly loved her – in every way a person could be loved – for her entire life.
Charlie Porter is a boy Scout befriends when they are only five years old. I tried to describe their first meeting in a way and at a place in the story that would evoke a lot of warm feelings within the reader. By the time you learn how they meet, the reader should be long invested in both of them already.
Charlie is from a single mother household, abandoned by his musician father, and basically lives in poverty. He is sensitive and thoughtful because of how he witnesses his mother’s struggles but he is also strong because he has had to be the man of the house for basically his entire life. Charlie loves profoundly but quietly and he respects others – he is respectful of women. He isn’t flashy or full of himself, but he has his own brand confidence… instilled in him by his mother, his friendship with Scout, the fact that girls like him, and the times in which he came along. He isn’t overly driven and goal oriented, like a lot of young men aren’t when they’re young, until he gets out and does some things and figures some of those things out for himself. He’s not quite sure what he wants in life for himself – he has some ideas – but he does know who he loves. And he knows he wants who he loves in his life, however he gets to have her.
His personality is one of genuine kindness. He likes to talk, he is friendly and nice to everyone he meets. People say that Charlie doesn’t know a stranger. I wrote him as the kind of boy/man who people trust right off the bat because his goodness shines through every single thing he does. He doesn’t make enemies. He only makes friends. He is never cruel or hurtful and he stays true to himself. Always.
I hope that the readers will love Charlie Porter as much as I enjoyed creating him.