Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Jobs by Morgan Mandel

While I was watching Chicago Tonight on Tuesday night, Phil Ponce interviewed a guy who took on 50 jobs in 50 states. He worked as a coal miner, a cook, lumberjack, among other occupations. That got me thinking about the tons of choices for jobs we can give our characters in manuscripts.

In Killer Career, the main character is a lawyer whose decision to change careers and become an author proves deadly. In Two Wrongs, the main character turns into a pro basketball player.

What about your characters? Tell us what they do for a living in your novel or manuscript.

Morgan Mandel


Adele said...

I'd be interested to know how plot restricts or informs career choice?

Deb Larson said...

I think the career or job a character has reveals an insight to them personally. One of my characters is a banker - and he is very formal, reserved in appearances, he wants everything just so. Another is a frontiersman - he has his own rules and is a bit of a loner. Yet another is a gambler and not afraid to take chances when others are afraid to try.

Maryannwrites said...

I think Deb is so right about jobs reflecting aspects of a character. Jenny, the central character in One Small Victory, is a florist. I originally gave her that job because it was integral to the plot that she have her own small business, but it could have been any business. I chose to make her a florist because I thought that reflected some of her innocence before she gets thrown into the world of drug dealers.

Other Lisa said...

In ROCK PAPER TIGER (the one that's coming out from Soho Press in a couple months), the MC is a former National Guard medic, very young at the start, and so she hasn't really defined herself by a career or job.

In the WIP, it's a character in economic distress, older, who is struggling with some of the same issue.

I think for me it's part of the larger question of how do you make your way in the world?

Cheryl said...

The boy and his father from my first children's book were shepherds outside of Bethlehem on the night of Christ's birth.

In my current WIP, a middle grade novel, I have a cook, a butler, and a stable hand. Each has his or her own personality, but I'm trying to see how that's reflected by their jobs. I'll have to do some thinking on that.


Bob West said...

My main character created the world! God has greatly gifted you
I enjoyed visiting your blog
God Bless;