The Character Physically
1. What is the character's stature and build? Is he overweight? Thin? What is his height and weight?
John is five foot ten inches and one hundred and twenty pounds. He is almost frighteningly thin and thus looks taller than he is.
2. How old is he?
36, though he looks older. He is not aging beyond the age he reached.
3. Describe his posture. Is it good? Does he carry himself well? Is he crooked? Straight?
John stands erect – it is something he has maintained so long it is natural. But... he is ill and is sometimes less erect when he is feeling especially poorly. This is a natural effect of tuberculosis.
4. Is he in good shape or out of condition? Is he muscularly weak or strong?
He has very strong hands, but he is fragile and weak. He still does not give in to it but carries himself with will beyond his physical resources.
5. How is his health? Any illnesses or conditions? Any physical disabilities?
Well, obviously he has tuberculosis. And he was born with a cleft palate, but it is scarcely noticeable now, the scar beneath his moustache. His health is terrible.
6. Is he physically active or sedentary? A fast or slow mover?
He is surprisingly active for his condition. But again, he overextends himself and finds himself exhausted.
7. Is he clumsy, awkward, graceful?
Generally he is precise, every movement perfect with purpose. In most social situations he is nervous and his hands shake. When he is working or in emergency this does not happen. He can be extremely graceful, but only rarely, when he is especially happy. He is never clumsy.
8. Does he move in straight or curved lines? Is he physically tight or fluid?
He moves in shortest distances - everything optimised and measured. But he can dance and move in curves. He can
and wants to.
9. What are his chief efforts?
Efforts? It is an effort to breathe and so to engage in any vigorous exertion.
10. Is the character good-looking, pretty, beautiful, average, plain, ugly, disfigured?
John was handsome but is now emaciated.
11. Is the character aware of himself physically? His looks?
He knows exactly how he looks and is supremely aware of himself, as he is of others. He watches and watches himself as well. He can only look wryly upon himself, but there is no help for it.
12. Describe his complexion and skin. Dark, light, clear, marked?
He is pale. His skin is clear for he is given to soaps and lotions, but beneath his clothes he is marked by a multitude of scars. Many these are from tuberculosis, but by no means all.
13. Describe his hair, colouring, styling. Is it taken care of?
His hair is very fine and soft, blond and curling at the edges, turning grey. He is fond and proud of it. He takes great care of it. Gentle fingers in his hair – he loves that and tries not to dream of it. He has a very fine moustache.
14. How is his usual dexterity? Does he have good hands: Can he do things? Is he a worker?
His dexterity is extraordinary for he works at it all the day. His hands are strong and sensitive from cards and guns and dentistry. He rubs cream into them, keeping them soft and silky. They are precise and gentle, even in force. He works All. Day. Long. When he is not working he is training for work.
15. Is he physically tense or relaxed, nervous, controlled?
He is a see-saw, running from perfect relaxed calm and control to shaky nervousness. The more ordinary the circumstances the more nervous he is. He is also shy, despite himself. But the more he is needed, the more quick movements are needed in emergency, the more he can do and give, the less nervous he is and the more perfect his movements. But it is different with friends. Then it is like... if he can be good enough, move through the right puzzles, he can touch Heaven within them. And he is intrigued and looking forward into wonderland. He is less aware of tension or nervousness and he is controlled and sometimes relaxed.
16. What are his chief tension centres?
John’s tension is evenly distributed.
17. What part of his body would you notice first?
His eyes. They are direct and intent. And they are watching you closely, measuring.
18. Describe his basic gravity factor. Is there a downward pull or buoyancy?
It is as if a vertical line were running up through him, straight and true, and he is suspended along this line.
The Character's Clothes
1. How many clothes does this character have?
John likes clothes. He likes silk and fine wool and linen. He likes his warm coat and the long scarf he got for winter. Therefore he has quite a number of clothes in different colours.
2. What items are in his wardrobe?
Fine wool suits with thorough buttons, mostly grey; silk brocade waistcoats in many colours; linen shirts in pastel colours, many with stripes; long linen drawers; silk cravats in many colours; socks; spats; dress shoes, riding boots, a black western dress hat, a grey round-crowned hat, a straw hat for summer; white nightshirts, rich and embroidered in white; a huge warm greatcoat of thick wool, lined in satin with collar and cuffs of black curled wool; a long warm winter scarf.
3. What are their favourite articles of clothing?
All his clothes please him immensely.
4. What colours are the clothes? Is there a wide range? Bright or dull? What are their favourite colours to wear?
John’s woolen clothes are grey – for the Confederacy and because gamblers in black and white were a cliché. His shirts are soft pastels and his waistcoats and cravats are all colours.
5. Are their clothes bright or dull?
Wasn’t this the last question? A contrast of soft and rich.
6. Were they bought or home-made, hand-me-downs, expensive?
All John’s clothing is expensive and tailored.
7. What is one of his favourite items to wear?
Hasn’t this already been asked? John loves all his clothes and has no favourites.
8. Do his clothes fit well?
Yes, they are tailored to do so.
9. Is he comfortable in what he wears? Does he "fight" his clothes?
Yes he is comfortable - he loves his clothes.
10. Is he confident about the way he dresses, or uneasy?
He does not think about it in this way. He knows what he likes to wear, he likes to be elegant, and he buys and wears his clothes accordingly.
11. Does he care for his clothes? Keep them up and neat? Is he worried about how they look?
He keeps them very neat and is very careful with hanging, folding, creases, marks. He does not worry – he simply keeps them as perfectly as he can, having them repaired and cleaned professionally.
12. Does he have to dress a certain way because of his job or position? If so, do his usual clothes fit his real, basic character?
He has no job or position. He dresses as finely and formally as he can conceive. He thinks of it as respect for himself.
13. Does he dress according to a self image of himself? Is that self image conscious or unconscious? At what age was this self image made?
He dresses to please himself with no regard to image.
14. What kind of underwear does he wear?
Long linen drawers. Why did you want to know?
The Character's Voice
1. Does he speak in a high or low pitch voice? When might he be higher than usual? When lower?
He is technically a tenor, and he loves to sing though he can’t keep it up for long. He keeps his voice low for conversation. It is higher when he is angry.
2. Is he a loud or soft talker?
He speaks quietly but definitely. But he is not beyond shouting and can surely project when it is warranted.
3. Is there a wide range in the voice in volume, pitch and/or quality, or is the voice pretty consistent and even?
John has different voices for different things. Conversation is consistent, low, calm, warm. He loves to talk with his friends and this is natural. If he is angry his voice changes in pitch and the volume rises. He makes no attempt to control it for a certain lack of control makes anger more effective..
4. Is there good resonance to the voice? Is the voice throaty, chesty, heady, nasal?
It is interrupted by coughing and even choking. Sometimes it becomes raspy but that is evened out by the scotch. He can summon good resonance, but again cannot keep it up for long. He keeps his voice quiet when talking – both for warmth and to avoid coughing.
5. Is there tension in the voice? Anxiety? Emotion?
He allows emotion if he cares for you – it is respect. If not, he is courteous only. If he is amongst strangers he simply does not care.
6. Is there an accent? Anything unusual in pronunciation? Emphasis? Phrasing?
He is from Georgia and retains his accent. There is also a slight difference to some of his consonants, which a medical professional would recognise instantly – he was born with a cleft palate.
7. Is it a trained voice, or just natural?
It has been carefully trained over years
, but it was trained with the aim that the difference not be noticeable, that it sound natural. He very nearly succeeds. His voice is smooth and educated.
8. Does the character "try" to speak well or just "how it comes out"?
John tried so long that he naturally speaks well. He is well-educated and his words and grammar show this. Some of his turns of phrase, and again his grammar, are a little antiquated now, but he is from 1851.
9. Is the speech clear or muddy? Does he mumble? Is he distinct?
John never mumbles. Sometimes he hesitates over word choice. Often he wants to convey things perfectly and precisely and he always wants to be as honest and truthful as possible, even descriptively.
10. Is the voice comforting or irritating? Reassuring or disturbing?
His voice is comforting and reassuring, but his words are not.
11. Is he self-conscious when he speaks to others? How large a group could he speak to before he became self-conscious?
The number of people makes no difference to him, it is who they are.
The Character's Mind
1. Is the character smart, dumb, naive?
He is intelligent and diligent with insight into others.
2. Does he think quickly? Slowly? Is he quick-witted? Dull?
Very quickly. He has a mathematical mind and uses it.
3. What kind of education has he had?
He was privately educated well, then went to a fine school and then to dental college.
4. What subjects does the character have knowledge or expertise in?
Dentistry! Guns, cards, history, mathematics, chemistry, metallurgy and fine metalwork, rhetoric, classical literature, French, Latin, Greek, ‘science’, some medicine, some biology, anatomy, general literature including poetry (up until 1887), silver mining, boxing, horses, growing cotton, the dry goods business, education, peaches, games, hunting, swimming, tracking, survival, battle tactics, reading people, etiquette, music and the piano...
I am sure there are more, but this is starting to look silly already.
5. Is the character impulsive or deliberate in reaching conclusions? Is he logical, rational, or emotional?
He is supremely rational and logical right up until he is overwhelmed and then he becomes emotional. Though... it is more as if there is switch within himself that he can move himself or that something within him compels him to move.
Alone it is different and he allows himself to feel, especially in illness and fever when he can do little productive but feel, dream and perhaps
think, though his thoughts are not ordered.
6. Does he think out things before he speaks or can he "think on his feet" as she is speaking?
John thinks carefully and
7. Does he have contemplative times? What does he think about when alone?
John often has a fever and dreams strange things. He thinks long and hard about his friends, after all ‘loyalty is the cardinal tenet of his perverted creed.’ When he works it is in almost transported serenity and he contemplates. He is always arranging and rearranging his values and looking within himself to try to find insight into others and into himself.
8. Is he an idealist? A pragmatist? A dreamer? An idea man? An action man?
John is all these things. Perhaps he is an absolutist. He weighs actions with ideals. He is unafraid to act in accordance with his ideals, which he is always weighing. And he can completely
back anything in which he believes. He is capable of destroying himself if he believes it is right.
9. Is his life motivated chiefly by abstract ideals or practical rewards?
Abstract ideals. He doesn’t really have much hope for practical rewards. He doesn’t expect anything at all and tries not to want, let alone to need.
The Character's Emotions and Personality
1. Is he an introvert or an extrovert?
Strangely, for all he likes to talk he is an introvert. He is an introvert until he finds someone he values.
2. Does he get along well with people? Does he have charm? Are people attracted to him? Does he like people?
Some people are all the world to him. Most are nothing. He has charm... yet people are not attracted. He cannot understand it.
3. Does he have many friends? Any close friends?
Some very few people have him as a very close friend. He has fewer friends than this number. He is serene about this and tries to let it simply wash over him, his given friendship unchanged.
4. Is he hot-blooded or cool-headed?
Again he is only capable of extremes. He is cool-headed to the point of being a pure logician. Yet he can apparently go up like flash paper at the slightest thing.
5. Does he have a narrow or wide range of emotions? Do they show often?
He has an extremely wide range of emotions and tends towards the ends of the spectrum.
6. Does he indulge in emotional peaks, outbursts, or valleys? Often?
He tries not to, but... he does. And sometimes... he lets himself show his feelings almost tactically. In rage or pain or enchantment. But he does not have as much control as he thinks he has, poker aside. Emotionally, by himself, within himself, he is capable of ecstasy and almost suicidal depression. He does not hold this back when he is alone, but only hope and want and need. These he tries to repress within himself, not just not to show but not to feel. So that lack of them does not break him.
7. Would you say he is basically sensitive or calloused?
Sensitive... and callous. He is either all one or all the other. But even though he is callous, he works for people’s general good. Just in case. He lets himself feel sensitive with those to whom he wants to give sensitivity. He need expend no effort at all to be callous towards those to whom he does not want to give sensitivity. Callousness is not something he needs to summon – it rises within him to fill him unbidden.
8. Is he suspicious, cautious, trusting, or naive about new people or situations?
He tends towards despair, but there are times when he is all hope – he looks for hope, not expecting to find it. He is none of these things.
9. Is he an aggressive or reactive person? Is he a pusher or a puller?
John does what is needed tactically.
10. Does he take positive or negative action?
He does his absolute complete best to take positive actions.
11. In a danger or emergency situation would he go to it or run away from it?
John thrives on emergency. He becomes a model of efficiency, citizenship, kindness, even heroics.
12. Is the character basically nervous or calm?
He ranges from nervous to calm. He is rarely neither.
13. Does the character have a sense of humor? Does he appreciate jokes? Can he see humor in unfunny situations? Can he laugh at himself?
John has a terrible sense of humour. He is always slightly suspicious of humour – not laughter, that is different. He is not one to tell a joke, and he is one to take wit with intense seriousness. He is capable of sarcasm and is much better at it than I am, alas.
14. Can he tell a funny story or joke? Do others find him amusing?
He is always earnest and sincere, yet is sometimes found funny. This confuses him.
15. Is he a practical joker? What is his opinion of tricks or jokes played on other people?
Absolutely not. But he is indulgent of people unless the jokes are aimed at his friends. Then, er, beware for he will take them seriously and probably angrily.
16. Is his humour ever cruel?
Never. As I say, he can surely be sarcastic and bitter and caustic, but he does not regard that as humour.
17. Under what conditions could he be harmful or mean or cruel to another person?
He is completely capable of killing or any defensive or pre-emptive offensive action. And furthermore, he would feel no hesitation nor regret nor care for the other person at all. John cares about what is needed. If cruelty should be needed he is perfectly capable of it. And he is not beyond vengeance.
18. Is he a loving person? Is he full of love and giving or rather bound and tight in this area? Is he capable of relation to others in a loving way? Is he capable or relating to one specific person in a romantic way?
John is very loving. He feels deeply and tries hard to show it. He feels wonder and wants to share the wonder that he sees in others. If he loves he gives everything. He yearns to be loving. He hopes to love. Love is not pretty valentines for him – it is truth and it is hard and it is darkness become light. It is recognition and embrace of the worst and best of another, twining them together into wonderland. He wants to see; he wants to love. The more there is to see the more he loves and if there is no darkness he doesn’t feel anything or care at all. But oh, he wants to see it. And then he is very good at loving.
19. Is he loved by any other people? In what way?
Gabriel loves him, and that in all the ways. He cannot ever lose Gabriel so he dares to know that he is loved.
20. Is he romantically in love now? With whom? Is this a happy, rewarding or frustrating situation for him?
See above for ‘romance’, but... The love between him and Gabriel is finally peace after a life of pain - it is a deep and fulfilling knowing of Gabriel and caring for him. It is happy, rewarding, everything. It fills everything, changes the universe and the cosmic whole of existence. And... there is something else, and... He is still learning what he feels; he is gradually feeling what he learns.
The Character's Wealth, Power, and Influence
1. Does this person have much money? Does it provide position or respect from others for him?
John has heaps of money but no position or respect. He is a sporting man and very very good. I suppose that grants him grudging respect. In this time he has sold what was a fortune in 1880s rare currency at $50 to one.
2. Is he generous or selfish with his money and possessions?
He is generous.
3. Is the character socially prominent? Is he prominent from wealth, position or office, family history, ability or accomplishment?
Prominent in infamy.
4. Does the character rate high in the "pecking order" with his household? Town? Area? Nation? World?
He has no household, town, area. He is the best at cards and guns and dentistry. He does not say this. He knows Wild Bill Hickock, for example, is better. But he hears it.
5. Does this person wield much clout? Over whom and by what means?
No. No he doesn’t.
6. Can he command others to do his bidding, by word or manipulation?
No. No he can’t.
7. How does he get his wishes daily?
Wishes? John doesn’t expect much.
8. To whom is he subservient? Is this submission willing or unavoidable?
John would do anything for his friends and loved ones – anything. But that is not obedience, rather it is that he would risk everything to do his very best. It is by no means subservient. John is submissive to no one
. He is always his own and can’t even conceive of anything else.
The Character's Activities
1. How does the character spend his time?
Working, practicing, studying, learning. If he is lucky he spends it talking with friends.
2. What does his daily routine consist of?
John wakes at noon and drinks a pint of whiskey. Then he readies himself for the day, clearing his lungs, engaging in ablutions and dressing until two when he is brought breakfast. He eats and goes out, variously working dealing Faro, practicing patience, practicing shooting, walking, riding, investigating the possibilities of a poker game. At dinner time he dines at a restaurant and afterwards may go to the theatre, if there is a performance. Until four he spends his time in a saloon, working, practicing cards, playing poker if he is fortunate. He stays up as late as possible for sleep is difficult, painful and fever-ridden. He is always willing to make time to drink and talk.
3. What is his profession or work?
Dentist, Sporting Man, Gentleman, Friend.
4. What things does he really like to do?
John loves to drink and talk with you, more than anything. And he loves to eat and talk with you, walk and talk with you. He loves to listen and watch and ask. He is very keen on writing letters and corresponding. He loves to work. He loves to work on teeth, he loves guns, he loves cards. He loves to practice and study. He loves to learn. He loves swimming and bathing and ablutions generally – shaving and brushing his teeth.
5. What things does he hate to do?
John never does anything he hates to do. He hates labour and housework. Now, he may
cook for you, but then he does not regard it as work, and it is a pleasure.
6. What are his leisure time activities? Pastimes? Recreation?
John likes to work. He likes to study and train his mind and hands. He likes to go to the theatre. He reads. He is not much for recreation.
7. Does he play games? What kind?
John is very very good at cards and never passes up an opportunity to teach others Faro.
8. Does he like to eat or drink? How important to him are food and drink?
John loves to eat and especially drink. He always has scotch, which he offers freely. It is very good scotch and he can drink a phenomenal amount. Eating pleases him immensely and he is conscious of every bite, savouring every flavour and combination. He has many favourite foods and eats correctly and politely for all he enjoys it so much. He is generous with food, glad to share and to buy food for others.
9. How important is sex to him? What sexual activities does he partake in? Anything unusual?
John likes sex. It lets him feel human. He likes to touch and be touched. He likes to hold and be held. He likes sex itself, to feel and to be felt. Giving or receiving, and above all both together, he finds deeply satisfying. He would try nearly anything at least once. Sex is talking without words, it is telling, it is giving, it is being open, it is feeling another open to him, it is sharing magic of primal physical body. It is being trusted, it is placing oneself in another’s hands. It is demonstration of thought.
10. Is his exactitude about sex healthy or disturbing to him? Is sex a rewarding, enriching part of this person's life or is it frightening, anxious, or frustrating? Is sex a positive or negative factor in his life?
It is positive, healthy, to be desired, but... John doesn’t dare to desire. He tries not to think about it. He does not dare to ask - for this, for anything. As I ask him, he admits that it makes him feel deeply sad, and he doesn’t want to waste time with hope or with sadness for which there is no help. And he knows his illness and thin scarred body are not... inviting.
The Character's Favorite Things
1. Colors? Grey, green, blue, orange, red, white, yellow, black. All colours.
2. Food? Caramel peach sauce on ice cream. Steak with potatoes, beans, and mushrooms, with almonds and glaze.
3. Drinks? Scotch! And lemonade with ice. And almost any liquor. Peach schnapps.
4. Smells? John weaves smell into everything. He is quite sensory, though he doesn’t show it.
5. Time of day? John has no preferences. He likes to pause and watch them all, from dawn to midnight.
6. Season of the year? Summer! He dislikes being cold.
7. Books? Harris’ Principles and Practices of Dentistry
8. Kinds of literature? Good literature, also non-fiction, also the classics, history... He kept up with dental and medical journals and innovations.
9. Authors? I have no idea what John read, though he surely did. I can make guesses, but I am not prepared to do that just now.
10. Places to visit? He likes the ocean, he loves Georgia. He is curious and loves to go almost anywhere as long as it is neither cold nor very dirty.
11. Kinds of music? He likes songs of the Confederacy and long ago. He likes classical music, brass, piano... He is also learning of modern music.
12. Musical Instruments? He plays the piano and sings well. And he loves
the trumpet. He is thinking of taking up the accordion.
13. Composers? Chopin. Beethoven (who was not f___ nuts!) (!!!)
14. Metals? Silver
15. Building materials? Stone – it is permanent and serves archaeology.
16. Fabrics? Silk, fine wool, linen
17. Pieces of furniture? John has no furniture.
18. Plants? Wisteria
19. Flowers? Starfish (Carrion) Cactus
20. Trees? Cedar
21. Birds? Crows
22. Animals? Rabbits!
23. Miscellaneous? Handkerchiefs (well, I asked him and it was the first thing he said)
24. Modern Fairytale? Damon and Pythias. It is timeless.
1. What are his specific religious beliefs? Does he belong to a specific sect or creed? Does he advocate that group's beliefs?
He is a Catholic, as of Colorado. He wraps Catholicism around his own beliefs. John believes in doing his absolute best, using every moment to learn and improve and love, and to build as a good citizen.
2. How important is religion to him?
The thought of God comforts him and keeps him sane (from suicide or disintegration.) He has perfect Faith in God and all the Angels (with swords
) and in Heaven. He is always on the point of death so it means a great deal to him. But... But he could not endure a moment of a church social. John’s beliefs aren’t really for public consumption. Not really. Oh, he will tell
you, but he believes in light come from darkness and that people do not even exist without having experienced darkness, and that forgiveness is so complete it lies at your feet with innocence every moment new... Let’s just go with his beliefs not really being for public consumption. But he would love to talk about it over scotch.
3. Is he pious, devout?
He has perfect faith. But it is not a conventional one.
4. In what religious activities does he engage? What percentage of his time is devoted to it?
He likes to go to Mass. On the other hand he found lighting the menorah to be quiet and meaningful. But he believes that religion is living - what he does every moment - so he devotes 100% of his time to it, without seeming to do so.
5. How does religion motivate his actions or affect them?
For John everything he does, everything he says, everything he believes, everything he feels has a reason, and those reasons are
religion. The reasons are not blind but come from causes and effects he has experienced, from looking at the world and thinking, from looking into others and judging what is right, what is best, for them and those like them, for those like him.
1. What things frighten him?
Harming his friends or losing them through his own speech or actions. That is all that frightens him really, and it frightens him very much. He is, as Wyatt said, his own worst enemy. He was once afraid of being beaten to death, but that time has gone.
2. Is he motivated by fear?
No. And he ensures that his fear does not prevent him from trying
3. To what extent is he motivated; never, occasionally, usually, constantly?
Very little, until he panics, apparently.
4. What would this character think were the three most terrible things that could happen to him?
a. To harm his friends or lose them through his own speech or actions (see fears, above.)
b. To set a bad example
c. To end up in Behan’s hands in Arizona.
5. What would he think were the three most wonderful things that could happen to him?
a. To be with everyone he loves in Heaven, in their time, until the end of days.
b. To understand his friends completely that he might impart the love he has for them so that it will shine in them also for themselves.
c. To leave a legacy that has made the future better for those people to come that he would have loved and respected if he knew of them.
6. What is the one thing he doesn't want anyone to find out about him?
John is extremely honest. The darkest thing about him is that there are actually very very few people he likes or respects. At all. And these are not necessarily those who like him. On the other hand, he does not expend any energy hiding this. And if he does
like and respect you, he will tell you directly. In fact, you are unlikely to be able to stop him telling you, sooner or later.