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Monday, February 19, 2018

Monday Morning Musing: Character Sketch - Jack

For the past three weeks, I've been sharing bits and pieces of my work-in-progress, a romantic suspense tentatively titled Unpredictable Nature. It started with sharing a snippet on Weekend Writing Warriors (WeWriWa). Then on Mondays, I shared a little about the main characters. Last Monday was Drew's turn. Now, it's Jack's, Drew's best friend and Maggie's brother.

With his younger sister, Maggie, Jack Sinclair grew up in a typical Midwestern subdivision. At age 8, Jack and his family relocated to a Grand Rapids (Michigan) suburb because of their father’s job. The first kid Jack met was Drew Campbell who knocked his block off, just to get the point across that he was in charge of the neighborhood. That’s how their lifelong friendship began. The two boys were inseparable, except for camping and Boy Scouts. Whereas Drew bailed out of Cub Scouts after a disastrous first campout, Jack earned every badge and became an Eagle Scout. Of course, he did. Jack always finished what he started.

Jack and Drew were college roommates and only after graduation did they go their separate ways—Drew as a lawyer and Jack, an accountant. Five years ago, Jack left a big accounting firm and with his friend Ben Voorheis formed a partnership. They each had their own clients. But when Ben’s motorcycle accident sidelined him, Jack took over.

Numbers never lie. They were black and white, no in-between. That suited Jack perfectly. He liked when things made sense. Which made his audit of his partner’s client disturbing. Certain things didn’t make sense. If what he feared was true, he and Ben were in big trouble.

Here are a few snippets from Maggie’s point of view that give you a glimpse into Jack’s personality:

His combination Christmas and birthday gift to her a couple of years ago was a sophisticated sound system. After he set it up, he’d left detailed—printed, no less—instructions for its use. That was Jack. Always covering the bases. Heaven forbid, he leave anything to chance. Even his sister’s CD player.

She looked around Jack’s perfectly neat living room. She always complained that he’d taken minimalism to new heights. Nothing, not even dust, marred the surface of the lamp table. No knickknacks, no forgotten glass or coffee cup. Magazines neatly stacked on the coffee table. The yellow National Geographic provided a splash of color next to copies of The CPA Journal.
All perfectly normal, perfectly Jack.

As she turned to leave, she saw that the pantry door wasn’t firmly shut. Nothing inside appeared to be disturbed. Everything looked the way it always did, cans and jars lined up perfectly straight, an inch from the edge of each shelf. Categorized. Vegetables with vegetables, pasta sauce next to alfredo sauce. She didn’t bother to check the spices. They’d be in alphabetical order. Her OCD brother wouldn’t have it any other way.

Are you intrigued? I hope so. As you can see from the progress meter on the right of this blog, I’m over 2/3 finished with Unpredictable Nature. Come back next Sunday for another snippet from the first chapter. Next Monday, I’ll share a little about Jack’s business partner, Ben. Have a great week.


  1. Sounds great, Diane. Someone I love suffers from OCD, but other than the movie "As Good As It Gets," which featured a pretty extreme case, I haven't seen the disorder highlighted in fiction.

    I'll be interested in reading more about Jack.


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