I’m working on a new story tentatively titled “Survivor”. It’s premise is:
1. One of the boys is stranded on a planet that has just been invaded by the Goa’uld. Daniel or Jack was cleaning up the camp site while their teammates were waiting at the gate to go through together.
2. Death Gliders buzz the area, then Ha’tak vessels show up. Whoever was cleaning up the camp site gets cut off from those waiting at the gate and is forced to remain behind or risk getting captured.
3. That person then goes through an effort to remain undetected while trying to figure out a way to get offplanet.
4. The only problem is that it can’t be through the stargate because it’s now guarded by a platoon of Jaffa.
At first, this was intended as a Daniel story. He’s the one stuck on the planet. But then I switched it to Jack. The reason is that the majority of my stories, if not nearly all of them, are Daniel-centric. I write in 3rd person (99% of the time), so it’s from that aspect, but it’s still Daniel’s POV.
I rarely get a plot bunny for Jack. He doesn’t speak to me as much as Daniel does. I do understand Jack, however, since I’m a veteran and know the thinking. And anything else I understand, I extrapolate based on similar data. Jack’s known loss, I’ve known loss. Et cetera.
So anyway, I was plotting up the story in my head, seeing how it would work, what would be plausible (even given the Alternate Reality Stargate SG-1 sci-fi, because for all intents and purposes, Stargate SG-1 is contemporary science fiction/fantasy, which means it’s fantasy that’s based in real-world setting, such as Earth, North America, America, Colorado, Cheyenne, etc., etc.).
Daniel was the feature in my head. But I decided to put Jack in his place and set myself in his head to see if I could make it work. To see if he could talk to me. It’s so annoying, depending on the author, to pigeon-hole yourself into writing from only one character POV.
Jack is a tough nut to crack sometimes. But I also understand him. He’s rather hard-edged and very dysfunctionally stoic. For example, the only emotions he’s capable of expressing around others are anger and happiness. He believes that if he shows anything else, it makes him look weak. It takes a lot to get him let his guard down, and Daniel is the one who generally gets him to drop his defenses so they can have a romantic relationship.
Jack’s dysfunction ruined his marriage. He didn’t know how to express his grief with his wife and when he just up and left for the Abydos mission, she’d had enough and she left him for it. They came to an understanding later, but it’s still hard for him to share those kinds of hurts. His upbringing was severely extremely limited in emotional growth.
So, while that’s easy to see, he’s also hard to figure out if you want to get him to learn how to open up. So, in turn, he doesn’t open up to me. And If he’s not going to speak to me, I have to accept that I’ll only be using him as a second POV from the focal character’s POV.
When I say I understand him, here’s what I mean:
- He’s emotionally dysfunctional. Expresses only anger and happiness to others.
- He loves both men and women, but society forced him to stick with women until it, and the military, grew up and accepted all sexual orientations.
- He has master’s degrees in Engineering and Math (Trig/Geo/Alg), plus an English minor with an additional study in Astronomy (post-Abydos). Astronomical calculations, however, are part of being a pilot because when you’re flying at night, you need to know where you are based on star placement because you can’t see the ground–especially when you’re over water. It’s no different than piloting a ship and using a sextant(which is both astronomical and mathematical–trigonometry and geometry).
- He’s a career combat pilot and Special Ops investigator for the Air Force. He’s been trained for combat, and survival in difficult situations. He uses quick thinking and rapid action as part of his skill set.
- He’s been a POW after a secret mission in Iraq went sideways and he was left behind. As a result, he won’t ever leave others behind.
- He is unfailingly loyal to friends and family. If you betray him, it would take an act of God to make him trust you again. While he forgives mistakes and momentary acts of stupidity, he holds grudges for those who’ve wronged him (not the same as betrayal) in any way. It can be as simple as cutting him off to take over his parking spot, or as complex as going over his head to speak to a superior.
- Jack likes fast food, beer, street and ice hockey, wrestling, and car racing. He also likes watching joke sports like mud/jello wrestling.
Lastly, on Jack’s characterization, and this is conditional upon whatever fic I’m writing:
Jack will fake stupidity when the situation calls for it because he mistakenly believes it’s better to downplay his abilities in the assumption that this will make your opponent/enemy underestimate you. This odd character trait was a canon trait b/c RDA, who plays Jack, decided levity and comedy should be part of who the character is. IMO, he was wrong. That’s hubris, I know, but he disrespected the character by not taking him seriously. If you’re not going all-in for a dramatic character in a science fiction *drama*, then maybe you shouldn’t have borrowed him from the film in the first damn place.
Ahem. This is what you do: You don’t inform your enemy/opponent about how much you know. That goes from education to facts about a specific situation or people. *That* is how you get them to underestimate you. What you *don’t* do is make yourself look stupid, because then you’re doing their job for them.
Now, given all of that, I still tend to not write from Jack’s POV. But I thought it was time to force myself into it and he finally spoke to me. I *think* I’m making it work. Should be less than two weeks when I post the story, so you’ll be the judge.