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Character Journals: Sean Wu

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In my last blog post, I mentioned that I'd learned a lot about Sean by writing a journal entry. Since a few of you requested to read the entry, I'm happy to oblige. Some of the original entry contains spoilers, so I've only included part of it below. Still, you should be able to get a grasp of his character. Small content advisory, on account of language. Enjoy!

Fucking bastard could’ve told me long ago that he was dying. We could’ve gotten him some fucking help—I don’t know where, but we could’ve done. Bloody selfish git.

I can't fucking believe it—first my parents, then my sister, now Jay and maybe Maia. Everything I love is falling apart. The only good thing I’ve got going is Melanie—the girl that I fancy beyond conscious thought. She keeps my world spinning. She and Jay have always kept me grounded.

If I lose him and Maia, I’ll lose some of the only people who remember me.

And I know Melanie will take it harder—though I hate to admit it, she’s closer to him. At one point, I know they fancied each other. Part of me wonders if I should let him have her. I love her, but I would do whatever it took to make him happy. If he knows how much he means to me, maybe he'll be keener to look for a cure.

I'm a total arsehole, but I can't fucking help it.

My best friend is dying, and I’m so scared of being all alone.

As you can see, it doesn't take much writing to make progress. Before this exercise, I saw Sean as selfish. I didn't see why he lashes out at everyone around him. Now, I understand. He's using anger to mask his fear, to keep his friends from seeing how terrified he is.

I understand Sean now. I can see why he acts the way he does. In turn, that helps me portray him more accurately; more authentically.

As writers, authenticity is something we should strive for.

What do you think of this exercise? How do you get to know your characters?

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Learn how one journal entry changed @brianawrites' perception of one of her characters. (Click to tweet)