Character spotlight: Piper

This week, I wanted to try something new. Every writer struggles with something. We’re all just human, so we’re going to have shortcomings. However, creating solid characters has never been an issue for me. I won’t be doing these posts on a weekly basis, but I think doing one every other week would be fun. We’ll see how this first one goes, then I’ll continue from there. This week, we’ll talk about one of my favorite characters to write.


Piper serves as one of the main cast of students and also goes through the most development in the first book of my series Heroes and Vigilantes. She has one of the best relationships to Ellie who is the closest thing this book has to a protagonist. If you’re a bit confused on why she’s only close to being the protagonist, then you can read up on my unique writing style here. Moving on, what makes this character such a strong one, is because of her journey throughout the book. She makes a good first impression as the brightest character in this series. One of those characters you just instantly fall in love with based on just how nice she is. She contrasts Ellie’s more abrasive personality, which is what makes the duo work well. At the same time as being nice, Piper isn’t afraid to call Ellie out when she starts acting out of line. Surprisingly enough, she’s actually one of the stronger fighters in the series, because of her home life.

Many kids in my book have gone through a lot before enrolling at the high school of their dreams. Some have high expectations placed on their shoulders because of their last name and others grew up without a family. What Piper goes through isn’t something that’s happened before, but what’s currently going on in her life. A bit of a warning past this point, I will be talking about a serious topic. If abuse makes you uncomfortable, then I fully understand if you want to not keep reading.

Piper is a victim of child abuse. She’s grown up in a household with a parent who believes that superpowers are bad. He takes a strong stance against using them, and has hit Piper anytime she’s used her power. He validates his actions by believing that if she associates pain to using her power, she’ll stop wanting to use it. Of course it clearly doesn’t work on Piper as she’s still using it during orientation. I don’t want to give too much away about what she goes through, but I will talk about why I write a victim of abuse in the way I do.

Unfortunately in our world today, this is a very serious problem. Every day there is someone out there who is getting abused but is too scared to say something about it. I want to start off by saying get help if you need it. One of the reasons I write Piper in this way is to show that an abuse victim can move forward and become stronger because of it. The main focus for Piper is that I wrote her as kind. By a mile, she’s the nicest person in the series. She takes everything in stride and adds a positive spin to it. Someone who has such a dark home life focuses on only the positives. I write her this way because she’s seen how bad the world can be, so she doesn’t want anyone else to feel that pain. She has a natural desire to help people and in doing so, this makes her one of the most headstrong students. I want Piper to give people who have suffered from similar circumstances hope that they too can persevere.

My other focus will be on her relationship with Ellie. She plays the role of Ellie’s closest friend in the class. Having a best friend has always been such an important thing for me. Being someone who has lost someone I considered my best friend, I know the pain that comes along with that. I make it a big point to highlight this friendship because of my past experiences with this. I believe having a close friend is just as important as having a boyfriend or girlfriend. They say that sex sells, but I’m an avid believer in having close platonic relationships in my writing. It shows that you don’t need to be romantic with someone in order to be close. Piper needs Ellie as much as Ellie needs her and there’s beautiful poetry to that. Their friendship develops just as much as the characters themselves.

I don’t want to get too far into detail so I’ll only add those two points to this spotlight. Certain characters will have more detail than others depending on their relevance to the plot.

To finish this character spotlight, I’ll add an excerpt from a recent chapter she was in. I think this quote perfectly sums up the character.

“We’d all like to wake up and be a better version of ourselves, but every day we have to struggle just to achieve that. I don’t think I’ll be ‘cured’ tomorrow, so I’ll just have to try as hard as I can starting today.” -Piper

If you’ve made it to the end, just let me know if you’d like to see more character spotlights! If you do, you can also let me know which type of character you’d like to hear about next. A villain? Another student? Maybe a teacher?

Regardless, thanks for reading! I’ll see you next week. 🙂

Be A Man

First of all, don’t ask why I used Steve Rogers for the featured picture. I was thinking about potential pictures and Captain America just happened to pop into my head. I have a little more free time, so I’m going to try my hand at one of the ideas I’ve had stirring in my head. This week I’m going to talk about the phrase, “be a man”.

Most likely you’ve heard this phrase before–especially if you were born male with the gender expectations that came along with it. However, in a society where gender has become more of an identity for yourself rather than how you were born, these words don’t hold as much impact. My generation has expanded the term and even the official terminology has changed. Also, in the past, depending on what gender you were born as, how you’re expected to act has changed. Men no longer need to be afraid to act sensitive and women aren’t limited to motherhood or being open to their emotions. A woman can be bad at showing her emotions and a man can be bad at holding theirs back.

Now let’s shift our focus back to being a man and what that really means. This phrase is often tied back to what is becoming known as toxic masculinity. This can result in blatantly outdated sexism to being unable to accept yourself because you believe you aren’t acting as you should because you’re a man. Sexism is a huge problem in our current society. Even in 2020, there is still a pay gap between the two sexes and no matter how hard you try, sexism will still exist. This goes to men and women alike. Telling someone to be a man sounds like a now sexist term; or is it? I’m going to quickly share my ideas on how the phrase can be spun in a different way.

First, let’s think about a couple of instances where you can be told to be a man. The most common one is when you’re a male and you’re acting in a disappointing way with the stereotypes placed on your gender. You didn’t act strong enough or maybe you didn’t keep your last name after marriage. With how society has labeled it, you haven’t lived up to your expectations of manhood. You’re talked down upon because of this and that doesn’t feel too good, does it? It makes me think back to all the times that I was bullied in school because I was quiet or too small. I spent time in the library or hanging out with girls. (Keep in mind, this was in grade school. I’m sure if I only hung out with girls in high school, I would’ve had different assumptions about me.) Early on, I knew I was too small or timid to be seen as a “man”. With that thought in mind, let’s move onto my second point.

There are a lot of bad dads out there. Dads who walk out on their responsibility or do worse things. I’ve personally been blessed with a father who stayed in the family as well as two grandfathers in my life. (Even if that’s just down to one now.) In my mind, I’ve always equated being a man to taking responsibility. Doing what’s right and being responsible for your actions isn’t always easy. I don’t see being a man limited to your sex. If I compare it to doing what’s right, then a girl can also be a man in a situation. With same-sex couples and people now identifying as nonbinary, those words can mean something else. No matter what your gender is, I think being a man doesn’t need to be a sexist term. If you own it then maybe one day it’ll become something else. This isn’t meant to give excuses for those who say it as an insult, but an alternate way of thinking. After all, our words do have a way of changing how people think. That’s the main reason I wanted to write this post.

With that, that’s all I got for this week. Hopefully, it was better than the previous few.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week. 🙂

An Update (5/6/2020)

This is going to be an extremely short update post. First I’ll talk about how I’ve been sick for quite a few days and only just started feeling better, so I decided to skip on an actual entree this week. Instead, I’ll just do a small update on how I’m going to do things from now on. The biggest change will just be the day in which I post. I’m moving from Tuesday to Wednesday because I’m now taking Tuesdays off from work and on my days off, I’m more likely to forget about the upload. I’ve already tried and I’ll schedule a post here and forget to share it on my social media pages. Moving to Wednesday will guarantee that I don’t miss a post. The next topic I want to talk about is work. I’m not working on just a single project, I’m now working on two projects. This means my time is very limited and that’ll reflect on my posts. I may have a handful of decent ideas in my head, but I if I can’t find the time, I won’t do them. This may mean shorter posts when I don’t find the time for longer ones. There really isn’t a final point, I think that’s about everything I needed to talk about. I’ll wrap it up for now and I hope to write more meaningful entrees in the near future.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week with a real post. 🙂