Blog 2055 – 05.11.2021
One of my favorite authors, Lee Child, introduced the world to the hero Jack Reacher in his first novel in 1997. Jack Reacher was a well thought out character from the beginning. In the 2012 new introduction to a new edition of that book entitled Killing Floor, Lee shares his motivation for writing and how Jack Reacher came into being.
As a writer I find the behind the scenes details of character and plot development quite interesting. Lee Child in the afore mentioned new introduction to his first of many published detective novels said that he always has a problem coming up with names for characters and that in most cases that he just picks names at random off book covers in his personal library. The name of his big and tall bruising hero character Jack Reacher came easily to him however when he saw a talk guy reaching for a book off a high shelf in a book store. And the first name Jack, not short for John, just Jack, seemed to him to go best with Reacher.
Child’s goes on in his intro to say it always tickles him, all the hidden deeper meanings that readers and reviewers find in the Jack Reacher name as he had few, if any, of them ever in mind. Another great writer, his particular medium song lyrics, Bob Dylan, once said in an interview that he allows people to interpret his words however they choose and that he never tries to explain what he meant, but let’s people see in his songs whatever they wish for art and beauty as well as their opposites are in the eyes of the beholders. That is not a precise quote but the way I recall what I heard. Though indeed the times they are a changin’ it seems the characters in the play stay pretty much the same. The plot develops, the play proceeds, we can only guess till it ends, who done it, where, and with what. Like the movie made from the board game, we can only follow the clues.
Your friend and fellow traveler,
The Times They Are A Changin