Struggles in Character
by Nicholas Roiz
I was born on a warm summer's day in the middle of the night, 12:36 to be exact. I awoke to my mother’s beautiful eyes. My dad? Not so much. Nevertheless, even with my chronic lack of a father figure, the setback did not stop me from uncovering my TRUE power. The ability to-
“Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.”
“No. Absolutely Not.” “Damn…”
Sitting in a cafe were author Kirby and his editor Alex, working on the next big story. Kirby decided to take the first-person route this time as third-person was getting boring and second-person just sucked. “Y’know Kirby…” Alex put two fingers to their sinuses, rubbing a little too much in response to Kirby’s writing.
“You really have fallen off… you should’ve just stuck to the Insurrectionist series, you were being praised for Jackie and Daniels! C’mon, who doesn’t love alien and robot duos!" Alex exclaimed. Kirby sighed. Sometimes he wondered if he even fully read his books. Then again, BARELY anyone reads his books nowadays. Kirby’s been on a rapid decline since he finished the Insurrectionist series. His audience grew with him, forcing him to use the little fragments he knows about his audience. He was always a man of simple writing, why must he suffer now? What god is poking his rib? Removed their favor from him?
“They’re a mutated octopus and robotic suit-slash-life support system duo dude. Everybody knows this,” Kirby said. “Yeah, yeah whatever. Get back to it, try… try going older, we’ll work on the baby part later," Alex replied. “Sure, sure alright…”
I discovered this power when I was a freshman in college when I was doing a kegstand on --
“Woah, woah, dude! What on EARTH are you writing about?” Alex interjected. ‘What? My audience is older now! Don’t they like this stuff?” “Do- do you not have Instagram? Or like… TikTok? That’s the WORST thing you could write about! If you wanna do memories, do something much more… dude I don’t even know, just do better!” “Alright Alright damn, Alex! Jeez.” Not even he knew why, but he felt… reluctant to write. What used to be fun now has become a slog, especially with this trek into unknown territory, where now he must make a character from their perspective and no one else's. Their story.
After a bite of a Yaya BLT Hoagie and a second-long sip from his soda, Kirby dove back into his work, lurking through his head with another way he can start off this character.
My normal daytime job was nothing special, just a casual 9-5 working at a local 6-7 selling smoothies, but in the nighttime… in the nighttime, I was something more, something people FEARED. I confined myself to my goals, and I would carry out my duty as a functioning human being to benefit not only the people around me but society as a whole. The world was damaged, people were no longer entitled to their own opinions, presidents were no longer respectable human beings, inflation and climate change plagued the world and it felt like no one could do anything about it.
So I decided to put myself to the test, a quest to save my people, I decided to use the only weapon I had…MY-
“THIS SUCKS DUDE.”
Alex just gave a deep sigh, shaking his head.
“Kirby, as much as I love you, there’s no way anybody’s gonna read this.”
Kirby hated that. He hated when people would tell him that. Ever since he was a little kid people would tell him that. He put so much passion into what he made, and people would just belittle it. Even in his glory days, he would receive no compliments, just critiques.
He was just about done with it. He couldn’t even set his mind straight.
“Dude, I’m sick of this. Why is this so hard? I used to be a legend at writing and now I’m a chump! I should just quit…" Alex said.
Kirby snapped, just about fed up with him.
“It’s not that deep. It’s your autobiography.”