||[Jan. 20th, 2007|01:51 am]
How did I come up with Preston?|
Well, originally Preston was going to be a ridiculously pretentious intellectual type with the face of Macauley Culkin. Yeah, seriously.
And then I stumbled across Freddy Diaz, and my whooole image of the character got revamped. In part because - I really wanted to play a character from a slightly different background and culture. There aren't enough of them. I wanted him to be an intellectual, still, but his interests and worldview became very different. (I am still worried, occasionally, about turning him or his family members into a stereotype. I trust someone to thwap me if I do.) I also wanted to give him a happy family, because that's something that has been relatively rare with my RP characters, as well.
I also think that once I decided to make him a bassist, a lot of him got stolen from Oz from Buffy. But with bonus idealism.
Speaking of which: worldview!
Preston, as we all know, is an idealist. He believes in the basic decency of human nature, in the basic benefits of civilization, in democracy and freedom and all that jazz. He believes in reason; that thinking about things rationally is always better than thinking about them emotionally, and that it will get you somewhere better, in the end. He was fascinated by philosophy, by sociology; probably would have majored in one or the other of them if that wouldn't have trapped him in the academic track after graduating, and he wanted to have the chance to influence the world more directly. He wasn't blind to the flaws that existed in society as it was, but he wanted to change them. He really thought that maybe he could.
If the world hadn't changed, he probably would have ended up as the aide to a diplomat somewhere - doing small acts of decency, maybe, and influencing things in small ways. Respected. Very uncomfortable with the larger problems, though; either he would have kept trying, and felt obscurely guilty for participating, or stopped trying, and felt obscurely guilty for giving up. Not guilty in a haunts-him-forever kind of way. Preston's good at coping with things. But guilty, all the same.
As it is . . . he really does think the world will get better. He wishes he knew how to speed it along, but practical planning is so not his strong point.
The fact that he belives in humanity brings him a lot of trouble. He wants to be a human. Embracing the wolf goes against pretty much everything he believes in, and he keeps as tight a leash on the whole emotional understate as he can. Ironically, this stops him from getting anywhere near as involved in fixing things as he'd like to be, though he doesn't realize it; because he keeps himself at a very low key, trying not to get passionate about things, he lets himself slide by on a sort of vague optimism without doing a great deal to facilitate change.
He might be beginning to realize this a little, though. Starting up at the Wasteland was exciting enough as a musician, and enough of a step for civilization, to keep him happy for a long time, but he feels like the next should be happening, and he doesn't know how to make it.
Gwen and Salla are his best friends, obviously. He doesn't think about it this way, but I think that one of the main reasons for this - on Preston's side, at least - is that they're both people who are changed and have chosen to live as humans, rather than as a sort of new species. They understand, to a certain degree.
This is a good part of the underlying reason that Gwen/Russ makes him uncomfortable. Wolves are pack animals. Preston doesn't want to acknowledge it, but it's true. If Gwen joins the Pack, that leaves Preston as a lone wolf, and it's not . . . a comfortable feeling. (There's Jenny and Shay, but Shay has the puppies and Jenny has the vampires. It's not quite the same. Besides, neither of them is alpha like Gwen.)
Also, he's younger than Salla and Gwen both, and he never remembers it except as a joke until he does. He doesn't feel younger than them, but he is. He's fairly sure they don't forget it as often as he does.
He's got a crush on Karla. This isn't news. He is absolutely determined that Karla's not going to find out about it. This is not because of shyness or insecurity; pre-wolf Preston got dates fairly easily, and had had one or two reasonnable-length relationships (quite apart from Journey). A large part of this is the wolf thing - he doesn't know all the restrictions, he doesn't have it anywhere near as under control as he would like to, and he doesn't think it's fair to make anyone else deal with that. He is also worried about making her uncomfortable, because, let's face it, large things with teeth are threatening. The part that he doesn't acknowledge, so much, is the fact that Karla is about the age of the oldest of his younger sisters, or only a very little older. Rationally, he knows it doesn't make much difference, and that the age difference between them is pretty negligible. He feels guilty about it anyways - like he'd be abusing his position as an older, trusted male to make any kind of move, especially since he's so used to playing the brotherly role with younger girls.
Speaking of which: Jenny and Vanessa. Preston feels totally brotherly about them. He misses his sisters. He's trying not to make Jenny and Vanessa into substitutes for them. He wants to watch out for both of them anyways - without, of course, impeding their freedom of choice, because Preston doesn't Do That.
He's glad Vanessa isn't scared of him. If she was, it would make him a lot sadder.
Shay is a bandmate, and that pretty much sums up her relation to Preston as far as he's concerned. He likes her, feels comfortable about her, can joke with her easily; he's not protective about her like he is with Jenny and Vanessa, but he does want to help her out where he can, 'cause, you know, that's what you do. He sort of feels the same way about Armand, even though he isn't really a bandmate yet - with of course the added slight awkwardness of Pack tensions, or rather, of trying almost too hard to make sure there won't be any Pack tensions.
He does the same with Russ. He likes Russ, pretty much, as a person. But he doesn't trust him or the Pack lifestyle in any way; essentially he thinks it's dangerous and irresponsible and a glorification of gang life, that it plays into negative stereotypes. (Nevermind that there hasn't been much time to build up stereotypes yet - worrying about negative stereotypes is something Preston spent a lot of time doing, in college, and old habits.) He's pretty sure it's a hindrance to rebuilding civilization, and to any kind of intermutational tolerance.
Although he gets along with Russ more easily most of the time, he probably has more respect for Claire, and her way of running things, than for Russ. Her views on the way things ought to be in a civilized society are a lot closer to his. The ribbon system . . . disgusts him, but he also sees the sense in it, and he wishes he couldn't.
If Preston wasn't as much of an idealist (and was a better planner), he might be a lot more like Claire. He knows this. He feels sorry for Claire for not having that idealism, and he tries to make his conversations with her as unaffected by political considerations as possible.
He also feels sorry for Helen. He'd like to help her feel more comfortable, if he can.
Daniel and Anna are friends, he would say; he likes talking to them, but he wouldn't exactly come to them with his personal problems. That being said, he knows Daniel better than Anna, and respects his views a lot.
Father McKinley Preston finds very interesting to talk to. He also thinks that as a priest McKinley could wield great influence on the slowly re-emerging society, and watches him a little closely for that reason. Preston doesn't think that people should rely on religion - he's very much a reason-over-faith kind of guy - but he's a little conflicted, because he feels like religion could also be a great positive influence for people who have lost hope. It is, in a sense, an ethical dilemma for him.
As for Les - Preston thinks Les is a great, nice, useful guy, and tends to forget he exists a lot of the time. This is because Les is a techie. As a musician, Preston trusts that he'll be there to set stuff up, and then wanders off to play.
Preston reads nonfiction about 80% of the time, often political history and biographies. (This is the part of Preston that I probably least identify with.) If he's going to read fiction, he likes critically acclaimed books with lots of character exploration and deep moral and ethical concepts. Alternately, he likes stuff that will make him laugh.
He has, however, seen a lot of movies. Alma loved romantic comedies and anything with crazy impressive special effects, Kit really liked old movies, and Elena was still in the Disney years - between all of that, it's fair to say that he's seen at least bits and pieces of a ridiculous array of films that he probably would not have chosen for himself. Some of them far too many times to count.
Musically, his tastes are pretty broad, and he probably knows a lot more than I do. He likes classic rock a lot - anything well-known he's probably heard, but he's especially fascinated by all the anti-war music of the sixties. He also likes rap. He thinks it's an interesting expression of our culture. Yes, he really does.
Also, a brief note on Preston's family: his mother died when he was about three years old. All of his sisters are half-sisters. He always got along very well with his stepmother.