Character Insight "Kids With Guns" Blog #1

While 'Kids With Guns' was one of my most controversial series I’ve written to date, there was a lot that went into it. Character development was huge and I wanted to make sure that these characters were believable and relatable. Whether you liked them or not, I want to bring out the best with my writing when it comes to all of them I wrote.


This blog series will share how and why I wrote certain characters. I want to share my purpose and reason for writing the characters that I did. It’s something I feel is important so you can really get some inside scoop into how an author’s mind works. 


Alright, here we go!


Lena (Student)-You never hear the young kids perspective of a school shooting, the feelings and emotions that they go through while it’s happening and the aftermath. If you watch the news, it doesn’t give you the full feel of what these young kids go through when something this tragic happens and this is where Lena comes in.


She’s inquisitive, smart and intuitive to a lot of things as a young adolescent. It’s something you’ll see as the series progresses and I did this so you can focus on a young character in this series. She pays attention to detail and you’ll come to like that about her. 

Charles (Student)-an athlete and popular jock, it was fitting that I write a character like this. But his run-ins with Matthew and Max will come to light in the series. While he’s on his way to a great future, this school shooting changes the landscape of his life and derails a lot of his dreams. I write things in a realistic fashion and he’s someone that you’ll feel and emote with throughout the series. 


Jerry (Teacher)-He’s surely someone who you’ll come to love but after this school shooting, his mindset on life changes. You’ll start to see what I mean when you read his character in the series. He’s conflicted, emotional, mentally tired and questioning his purpose in his life after the school shooting. An elder statesman in the series was necessary and it's a fresh perspective of what a teacher feels and goes through trying to protect those he teaches when a school shooting is happening. There’s a lot that goes into it and I’m glad I was able to develop a solid character like him for the complete series. 


John (Police Officer)-Imagine being a police officer and throughout your career you’ve saved countless lives, helped people in their time of need, protected those in your community and then….you get a call from dispatch that there’s an active school shooting in your community. What goes through a police officer’s mind at that moment? That’s what I wanted to write with John and you’ll learn who he is, his backstory along with his family. This is what the news doesn’t report, these are the stories that aren’t told and this is why I write character’s like John. He’s an important component to this series and you’ll surely see why as time goes on.


Lenny (Task Force Officer)-Think of the life of a task force officer, a lot of training, staying in shape. Going into emergency situations but think of him going into the middle of an active school shooting. Think of the adrenaline that these task officers feel. 

They may train for these situations their whole career and they never go into a school shooting. Now, at the drop of a hat, you get the call and now you’re putting on your armor, getting your guns ready and going into one of the most dangerous situations of your career. 


Once again, another story and situation that doesn’t get reported on the news and another story I felt I had to tell. Hearing Lenny’s words will make you think and feel something. That was the goal in all of this and I’m glad that I incorporated him into the series. 


Joanne (EMT Worker)-Life of an EMT worker is to be ready, alert and helping people in emergency situations. Think of Joanne being alerted to an active school shooting and what she’s thinking about in her mind. Riding with your partner to the school, the adrenaline that’s going through your body as you have to calm and relax yourself so you’re coherent and able to help whoever needs you the moment you walk into that school. 


This is what happens in real life but you don’t hear it from these people. The ones who sacrifice their lives to save other ones. Seeing bullets and blood all over the floors and walls of a school building and sacrificing your safety not knowing if the shooters will come back. Scary isn’t it? That’s the whole point, to write all of this to make you feel and think about how precious life really is and how tragic events can happen in the blink of an eye. 


Hearing Joanne’s account of the events that happened that day, you’ll really understand how crazy life is. How much we take for granted those who go into fields that are hard, stressful and affect your mental health daily. After reading Joanne’s story, there’s a hope you understand things a little better. 


Jocelyn (Doctor)-A normal, average day at work all of a sudden turns into kids and adults being rushed into your hospital on gurneys full of blood. Yes, that’s what happens with Jocelyn, a doctor at a hospital for years who would never think that something this horrific would happen on her watch. But it did. 


These are moments in time that you can’t ever prepare for but you just know that things happen suddenly. Think about her having to be calm, focused and knowing what to do for every patient that comes through those doors. Not easy, but it has to be done and this is her story from that day. 


I have to write this from a realistic standpoint so you fully understand what goes into me writing all of these characters. It’s the love and passion I put into it and how necessary it is to tell these stories and help people to understand what happens outside of what’s reported to you on your television screen. With Jocelyn, I feel that I provided that. 


I hope you enjoyed reading this blog about the characters in 'Kids With Guns' series. Stay tuned for blog 2!


Be good everyone and go accomplish your goals!


Jamell Crouthers


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