Monday, April 6, 2020

#atozchallenge Education - Character Insight #writing

#AtoZChallenge 2020 badge

My theme this year is blogging about my author brand. Mondays' are posts are about characters.

#AtoZChallenge 2020 Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter E

Education - Character Insight

One way to distinguish between characters in fiction is to look at education. Not just how and where they were educated, but how they feel about education. As an example, I'll discuss a few of my characters from the Existence series.

Five of the main characters of Fractions of Existence had attended the Apollo Cheever Academy (a fictional school) in the late 1980s to the late 1990s. The school becomes a setting again in a later book in the series, and in some of the short stories that are floating around the web.


  • Apollo Cheever Academy
  • Harvard

Xavier was a good student, but not the best student. He wanted to be done with school and move on to doing, to living, and to changing the world. Xavier was bored with school because he remembers more than the others do. He feels everyone should have as much education as they desire.

  • Apollo Cheever Academy
  • MIT
Heath is a fantastic student who excels at anything he studies. Were his parents around to give permission, he would have graduated from the Academy in seventh-grade. Luckly, it's a very good school, so he was able to take college-level courses while there.

"Why do people always underestimate how much I know? My IQ is in the ninety-nine point ninth percentile. TNS!"

Heath has multiple degrees, but rarely ever mentions it. He believes learning is a life-long pursuit. Oppressing people by denying them knowledge, or by teaching inaccurate information, angers Heath. No one realizes it, but Heath uses his power, influence, and money to get a lot of people into college. Especially women who are fighting for it. Heath would have you believe that he's going to the private room of a strip club for sex. In reality, he's back there helping the lady with her math homework.

His love of knowledge is his most guarded secret. The porn collection he leaves out in plain view. The floor below his apartment? Only Xavier and one building employee know that it's one of Heath's private libraries.

Gwendolyn (Wend)

Wend is in college because that's the next step in the plan. She majors in music at Moorpark. She didn't attend Apollo Cheever Academy. In fact, she's never heard of it. Wend went to public school. She thinks the current system is fine, that everyone is getting just the right amount of education. Actually, she's never given it a lot of thought. Like most political matters, she doesn't think she matters enough to change anything, so she simply doesn't think about it. (At least not in book one.)

There you have it.
Three characters, three different viewpoints on education. It's one of the many ways that similar characters can be different from each other.

#AtoZChallenge 2020 badge

Do you feel that every child should get the best education possible? Should access to knowledge be restricted based on family income?

#atozchallenge 2020 @JLenniDorner Blogging my Author Brand


  1. Absolutely every child should get an education as per his/her potential and not be restricted by family income. Not just every child but also adults who've missed out due to whatever circumstances. No two ways about it. In a just world that would not have to stated even. Okay I'm getting off my soapbox now and going home :)

  2. From Toffee the cat: My old woman read this with great interest. She said she learned a lot.

    1. I am pleased that she enjoyed it. Here is a gift of fresh fish and catnip.

  3. I've never given it much thought but you are right. The way people think about and have experienced education greatly affects their outlook on life, their ability to continue learning, etc. I found your blog through the A to Z Challenge. I'll be back!

    1. I'm glad I could make you think. That is the super power of any decent writer. :)

  4. Interesting topic choice for "E"! Educational background can really influence a character (and, indeed, a person!). It would be great if everyone had equal, just access to whatever education they want, what's right for them. I really wonder how many people don't or can't pursue their dreams simply because of the cost of getting the necessary education. Good luck with the rest of #AtoZ!
    Operation Awesome

    1. The post comes back up in a few days in my Friday storytelling!

  5. Access to knowledge should never be restricted by income, if it is available to one it should be available to all. And all children should have access to a good education. There is no excuse for failing the next generation, even though so many school systems seem to be doing just that.
    I honestly don't consciously thing about education of my characters often unless it has particular baring on the plot, but I totally see how I probably should.
    Tasha 💖
    Virginia's Parlour - The Manor (Adult concepts - nothing explicit in posts)
    Tasha's Thinkings - Vampire Drabbles

  6. Great way to look at characters! I feel that education shouldn't be restricted and that everyone should get as much education as they desire (and those who don't want to learn how to read and write should be dealt with in a Darwinian way. Mwha-ha-ha).

    An A-Z of Faerie: Vila


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