In this post, I briefly talk about naming my characters in The Triplet and speak a bit about its layout.
I am the first born of three boys. My parents chose short names such that my legal name is Don, not Donald. They named the next boy down in the line Gil, not Gilbert; his middle name was Wesley. The youngest boy is named Paul; we sometimes joke that his name is Paul, not Paulbert.
Gil was killed in a freak motorcycle accident in Wichita, Kansas in a park on a pleasant Sunday afternoon in 1968 before he was married. Partly to honor his memory, I named my protagonist Gil.
In the book, Gil’s is a story of unlikely redemption, of God’s lifting him out of humble circumstances. In the narrative, he is an orphan who was adopted by a couple named Webster, such that his name became Gil Webster—again in honor of my brother, Gil Wesley McBurney.
I was raised in a small farming community and I am thankful for my heritage: it provided stability in both church and school. I was surrounded by people who cared, people who were long-term residents of our community, not just newly minted college graduates who were passing through our town and building their professional resumes. For example, by the time I graduated high school and left for college I had had only three pastors: V. B. Skinner, Jim York and Jack Inman.
I used composites of those names for two characters: Jack York and Vic Skinner. In other words, I didn’t feel like I had to utilize a random name generator as some do—I used various combinations of names that came out of my past while naming my characters; thus, I enjoyed opportunity to reflect on my past and the heritage it gave me.
Once I began, the initial draft of the book came fairly quickly. I only had a vague outline for it before I began writing but its plot developed organically as I redrafted the narrative the first three or four times. I had little notion of what I was doing but I am pleased to report that I experienced God’s guidance. I was and still am elated by that.
The Triplet contains a Prologue, Part I and Part II. The Prologue is what it says it is but Part I could be described as an extended introduction for Part II, which is the meat or the heart of the book. Various story lines converge and eventually resolve themselves in Part II as the story progresses.
At two or three locations, I mention a rock in space that is a harbinger of judgment; while it is exactly that, it also functions as a hint that additional volumes are intended to follow. At one point, I even use the phrase, “cool, green Earth.” An editor who looked at my narrative wondered what a “space rock” had to do with anything, which comment is entirely understandable since he/she was unaware that a trilogy is intended to follow.
My wife, Marilyn, was a bit put off by a scene that includes expanded vocabulary and a series of oxymorons but I left it in and explained to her that its purpose was to illustrate how intelligent, sharp and quick-witted these young people are.
God may choose unlikely people but Christians are not dullards and they should be portrayed as clear headed and right thinking. When you read The Triplet and come across this page, see how many pairs of oxymorons you can identify. Use my characters as examples who inspire you to strive for excellence. Don’t settle for mediocrity.
Life is full of miracles, some of which are major but often go unreported by news reports and media outlets. More than one of those miracles are contained in the section wherein I describe the Pentagon and its remodel. I was completely ignorant of the Pentagon remodeling’s miracles of timing of which I wrote until I researched this subject for my writing. Those discoveries alone made The Triplet’s writing fulfilling.
I pray that you will be blessed as you read and that your life’s horizons and view of God’s sovereignty are expanded.
Let me know if this is so for you and thank you for reading The Triplet.