In the first part of our two-parter, I explored why John would think Trishna was the prettiest girl imaginable in “The Story.” Now it’s John’s turn. He could be pretty, but let’s use the masculine equivalent for convenience. I’ve always like how hermoso and hermosa have one letter difference in Spanish might mean handsome and pretty respectively. There are many desirable traits that are neither gendered nor strictly romantic, but they are the main couple.
Spoilers?: Minor [exploring character motivations]
The trait that Trishna likes the most about John is his steadfastness.
When she first saw John posting on a message board, which is probably about something like a fictionalized version of videogames we have in real life or something more generally pop-culture oriented, she liked how clear and sharp he wrote. There’s would be a certain degree of wish-fulfillment here except for how often this happens now. “The Story” is a bit anachronistic between the technologies of our 1980s to the 2010s and maybe even beyond, primarily, so what might seem out of place in the early 2000s might be fine in 2020.
After a few posts, Trishna decides to reach out to John.
He is cautious at first, maybe because others had reached out but had acted rudely, so for her to act in kindness is a little weird for him. I like to think that John is capable of expressing his opinion and standing behind that opinion when the barrage of criticism seeps in. There’s a notion that many people in life will fold as soon as they have any degree of pressure, and maybe this is what I like about John, but he seems like the type that would hold the line until it becomes clear that he’s wrong or it’s just too much effort to keep defending.
Trishna might find this sort of attitude appealing.
She has her own steadfastness so she sees this and admires the resolve that maybe she feels insecure about. As they become friends and then lovers, John would hold this sort of soft-spot for Trishna, being the first person to show him any degree of kindness, so while he would fight everyone else, he would not fight Trishna. That’s the prevailing personality trait that I’ve imagined, but of course, that means nothing until I actually start to write.
Is that the only thing about John that makes him handsome?
I think through his rugged upbringing and learning to exercise in college, he might appear physically attractive as well, but I don’t think that’s the only side of it. He might still operate his life with his sword unsheathed, if you will, until shortly after he moves in with Trishna and learns that being polite is easier than fighting everyone. He might still have an edge to him until he learns better through talking to a therapist about some of his deepest unresolved issues, maybe with Trishna, and through interacting with more nice enough people to where he realizes that not everyone is after a fight.
That willingness to hold back from a fight is an attractive quality.
Especially if John is willing to fight for ‘the right things’ rather than just his opinions, I could see him being popular with Trishna’s family, the friends and acquaintances they make along the way, along with even being respectable in most social situations. Defending Trishna’s honor has some easy traits of attractiveness, so there isn’t much need to write more about that. For others, though, that might range from helping them in situations to admitting when he’s wrong.
This is where gender norms can be weird.
Many of these traits apply for people that have primarily masculine and feminine traits, along with everyone else, so it’s not like John is handsome because he operates with integrity. That should be a basic human trait, yet those were the thoughts I brainstormed. It gets weird because Trishna’s traits are more in regards to her kindness, which is also a basic human trait, yet tends to be more feminine-leaning.
I would assume, then, that John and Trishna have many shared traits.
Both positive and negative, they share more things in common than they don’t. I know the norm is that opposites attract, but they seem to think and act similarly enough to where separating their traits can be tricky sometimes. Whenever I think about how I’ll write “The Story,” invariably what makes the most sense to me is writing one section or chapter from, say, John’s perspective, then writing the next from Trishna’s perspective. It would have to be clearly denoted, but from what I’ve imagined, there isn’t much personality difference between John and Trishna.
I’ve even imagined their personalities mixing and matching through…
…Well, this is the part that might be major spoilers, so hey, here’s the last chance.
OK, so I’ve imagined that when they sleep together, they enter each other’s dreams, especially as they develop this sort of thing. At first, they might just comment about how they shared similar dreams, and then over the years might study and refine this. I’m not sure if this is a direction I want to go with “The Story,” but it’s been enough of a lingering thought to where it seems like a viable option. If so, then their personalities might actually intermingle enough to where some of Trishna’s traits might rub off on John’s, and the same with John’s, but this would mean figuring out the nuances of their personality differences and having believable magic behind this or otherwise reasonably explaining how this is possible.
Until then, I think it’s safe to say that they’re more similar than different.
Then they both like each other more than they dislike parts of each other. For Trishna, she might like aspects of John that she feels insufficient in, or maybe John exhibits traits that she has but maybe does better? Similar for John.
However their psychological make-up is applied to their characters, I look forward to the challenge.
|Sources: The Story’s Imaginarium. Definition for Hermoso in the URL/slug.|
|Inspirations: Exploring some of John’s positive traits as a sequel to “Prettiest Girl Imaginable.”|
|Related: Essays building “The Story.”|
|Written On: 2020 May 10 [10:02pm to 10:32pm]|
|Last Edited: 2020 May 10 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|