Alas, I didn’t get to work on Eternal Camping on Friday. I could give you excuses: I had too many errands to run in the morning then I had a flight to San Antonio but they are just excuses. Throughout the weekend, I was with family. Luckily, I jumped right back into the project today with Odessa.
Odessa is the only female character in the script. I would add more but I think I’m already stretching credibility by having ONE female scout to an otherwise exclusively male organization and I don’t really want to add a girl scout troop to the story. That would add too many characters and really divert attention away from the main story. It would also mean that those girls would simply not have their own character arcs really undermining their position as characters. It is thus best to have one female character in this story.
Which is why it’s so important that I at least try to create a good one. I don’t say strong: she’s about as physically strong as any 13-year old can be. No, she’s a character who I put a lot of thought into. Like her twin brother, Laredo, she has two arcs. The first is her relationship with Laredo. How this relationship develops throughout the script is key for both of them throughout the script. After all, they are the only family they have left and yet they are driven into conflict by both of their insecurities.
The second arc does have to do with her gender: how does she fit into the scout troop? Like many girls before her, she feels the need to prove her place within the troop from the very beginning. Her own competitive nature demands it. As we get into Act Two, she also has to find her place in the new world. She’s not one who is satisfied with cooking and doing laundry: she wants to play a vital role. It’s important to note this arc doesn’t define Odessa but I feel like it is important for her to shape the role in this new post-apocalyptic world for herself without limiting herself to her gender’s typical roles.
As to her personality, I think I’m pretty happy in creating a female character that can stand on her own. I kind of modeled her after what makes Peggy Carter such a great character. They are far from the same person but you should be able to see Odessa be feminine, be masculine, be strong, and even be vulnerable.