For my novel, I’m making some changes to one of my central characters, Butch. His character data remains essentially the same (he now has an assigned hobby), but his family, specifically his parents, are now different.
Butch’s biological mother, Polly, died thirteen years ago, when he was two. Unlike his seven older siblings, Butch has no memories of Polly. She was killed by a gunshot wound suffered in the woods outside the Goodman’s home; Butch has been told by his father, Cyrus, that the shooter’s identity has always been a mystery. Thirty-nine at the time of her death, Polly had been a stellar basketball and track athlete at the seminary college where she had met Cyrus.
Two years after Polly’s death, Cyrus married Faith, a former parishioner and daughter of a Bark Bay policeman and nurse. Much younger than Cyrus, younger even than the two eldest Goodman children, Faith is 31 at the time of the novel, and has no children of her own. She is 5′ 8″ (like Polly, notably taller than Cyrus), 135 lbs., and while she appears slender and graceful she is actually quite clumsy. Faith volunteers with several charities associated with her husband’s church.
Cyrus and Polly had five sons:
- Asher (32), who lives in the city and works as a surveyor
- Levi (29), who has been in trouble with the law since his teen years, and now works in a Bark Bay convenience store
- Simeon (26), who lives at home
- Naphtali (20), a seminary student
- Benjamin (16), who has always been called Butch
All five sons are active hunters, and were taught how to track and shoot from their father, who has not fired a gun since Polly’s death.
The three Goodman daughters:
- Dinah (31), who fled the Goodman home immediately after Cyrus and Faith were engaged; now married and living in the city, she is completely estranged from the family
- Rebecca (27), a stay-at-home mother to three children and wife of a minister in a town north of the city
- Sarah (23), who lives at home