Another day, another rowdy college first-year happy to be at college and away from the claws of his domineering parents; enter, Reno Finnegan, a party-hard Freshman indicative of the stereotypical college partier.
Moving into his college dorm was an experience unlike anything Reno had experienced; finally, he was here– college! He had his own “place”, a neat roomie, and a whole campus to express himself and find new friends. It was great until the semester began and he quickly found himself far out of his depth; his classes were overwhelming, he didn’t really know how to write an essay to save his life, and his roomie and he turned out to be on polar opposites of the life spectrum. To compensate, he turned to partying and party he did.
Reno is my everyman. Or, he is my everyman at least to the audience which will likely comprise the initial readership of Enchanted Assemblages— young cis-hetero college males.
People expect certain things when they encounter a story set on a college campus. They expect self-discovery, classes, hijinks, and of course, parties. But they also expect young people, sometimes overly young people, making a fool of themselves; hence, why Reno exists. He is essentially a cipher, something which my initial young audience is able to bond with by virtue of him being so much like them; if my goal is to gain and keep the attention of the academically disaffected, then I need a character who resonates with them right away. Reno is that character.
To be honest, however, Reno is partly based on an actual person I know.
Reno’s inspiration came from a Facebook friend I recently bonded with over our mutual interest in Critical Theory. This real-life person, though very smart, was also a young partier; at just seventeen, he entered college and promptly began drinking everyday, attending parties on the weekends, and hooking up with people. Coming from a wealthy family, he was far removed from my own experiences (both college and otherwise).
It was an oddity talking to this young friend because his views on fashion, sexuality, and socializing were so outside the typical for myself. I rarely party, drink by myself (if I must), and lack any nuance on fashion, let alone whether it consittutes “art” or not (to which I still feel that it doesn’t). I don’t socialize with people unless it is in specific situations. Even so, I could appreciate his uniqueness insofar as we came from opposite ends of the pond though still shared the appreciation for the pond itself if you know what I mean.
In any case, I felt that he made the perfect embodiement of Reno, my everyman young college male. Now, to be sure, there is going to be aspects of Reno that I cannot get into here and that will take heavy departures from my real-world inspiration, but as a few fun-facts for you readers, I think it is enough to say that Reno will be a character that I enjoy working with for the next couple of weeks.