A Lesson by Ardeth Lane

How would Chris react if...


So again I find myself with nothing to do. Why does this seem like a reoccurring pattern here? Well, whatever the reason is, I have decided to construct another lesson for all you kiddies. So far in our journey we have fought through the main creation of Chris, and then dove right into where he lives. Well, now we need to work on him as a person again.

                Gee, what are we doing now?

                Excellent question Johnny. The answer lies beneath this sentence underlined in big bold letters.


                Yes! It may look like a stupid thing to do, but (as I frequently say) it has a lot to do with his personality. So, get out your pencil/pen and paper so we can get started. J


                To begin I want you to imagine Chris (Your character) at a beach. He’s had a very relaxing day and is laying on a soft beach chair with a red and white striped umbrella looming about him to keep the sun off him. It is warm and the way the waves sound on the shore is almost hypnotic. His mind is clear and he’s loving every moment of it. Then, all of a sudden a zombie walks up and bites his leg off. How does he react? On your piece of paper, write it out. I even give you permission to write out the little story to go along with it if you really want to.

                The fact is, Chris won’t just sit there and go: Oh, thank you Mr. Zombie man for eating my leg. Are you still hungry? Would you like an arm? An ear? How about a liver?

                So the question is, What would he do? Would he jump up and scream bloody murder? Would he beef it out and beat the zombie with his chillin’ chair? Who knows. Oh wait, that’s right. You do. So write out what he’d do while I come up with another scenario.





                 So this time Chris is in a café that sits right off a lake. Well, more like a coffee shop. It’s a small town one made of red bricks and has a friendly glow to it. It’s evening so the red from the sunset reflects off the water and once again he is relaxed. He’s wearing his favorite blue jeans and the loose black t-shirt that he got from his brother for his birthday. His unzipped hoodie is resting on the edges of his shoulders . He bought that sweater a week ago when he was out for a morning run and realized it was a little too cold. He’d run into a Wal*Mart and bought it only to realize it was a woman’s sweater. However, it was comfortable so he kept it. During his daydreaming, the waitress comes up holding the streaming coffee that he’d ordered. It was a spin-off of an Americano so he thought, why not? As she nears him she trips and the coffee falls right on his lap, to which he-

                What does he do? You tell me?

                Now, a reaction is usually what someone does before they can think about what to do. Acting before thinking some might say.

It’s that split moment when you don’t have that ‘What are people going to think of me’ thought circulating through your brain and just…react. It's an emotional responce.

                In poker, players try to read faces to see any reactions in order to know what other players have in their hand. Maybe Chris will be like Cal Lightman and be able to see reactions like they were a fly in a bowl of milk. Which reminds me, interrogations also involve reactions. They need them to determine whether someone is lying or not.

                Reactions, like math, are a universal language. They’re the same no matter where you go.

                So, knowing that, think back to Chris.

                How might past experiences effect how he reacts?

                If he was verbally abused as a child, would he react differently when someone is yelling at him verses someone who had a normal childhood? The answer: Most likely.

                If he was raised in a tough family would he cry at a sad commercial? No, probably not. Now if he was raised in a house of women…yeah. He might. No shame in that though. Facts like that can make him seem more real.

                Now, let’s put him in the ghetto. He’s lived there for thirty years. Now put him in Beverly Hills. How will he react to it?


                I honestly don’t have too much more to say on the topic of reactions but if you’d like to ask something, toss a comment in the box below or shoot me a message. Thanks ;)

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Added on December 28, 2010
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Ardeth Lane
Ardeth Lane