#secondthoughts: The Big Bang Theory and Generating your Characters


My mother loves nerdy TV and she it was who introduced me to the joy that is “The Big Bang Theory” (TBBT). I think we laugh at different bits, but it matters not, she deserves the credit for the intro. The show has played another big part in my life in that it inspired my now partner to contact me when he read of my preference for its nerdy humour in my online dating profile. And yes, we do share a lot of laughter, and giggles, and chortles. We also still watch it together and laugh … frequently out loud!

Growing up, no-one taught me about clever men (I’m looking at you again Mum), only about tall, dark and handsome men. Not that my Dad wasn’t clever, it’s just he wasn’t a geek or a nerd. And with the passing of years, I’ve discovered just how much tickling the brain cells matters to me in terms of attraction. Sapio-sexual I believe the term is, which sounds way more outré than it is, by the way.

I mean, look at the line-up on TBBT: Sheldon – completely neurotic, controlling, Mama’s boy; Leonard – short, speccy, massively lacking in self-confidence; Howard – skinny, sex-mad, spoilt Mama’s boy; and Rajesh – rich, hugely in touch with his feminine side, spoilt Mama’s boy. Hmmm … is there are another theme emerging there? But I digress. Let’s be honest, there’s not a looker among ’em …

And then we have the girls: Bernadette – hot but scary, domineering and downright clever; Amy – gawky and awkward, but patient, kind and also downright clever; lastly Penny – pretty, blonde and not (clever that is). Except that after dating Leonard, she realises that she can’t tolerate stupid men anymore. And all her friends are clever too. Clearly not that dumb, eh Penny …?  Again, I digress, my point is those guys are really lucky to have these girls.

One of the many things I found laughable was how these incredibly clever men with their serious academic jobs could get so caught up in gaming and role-play (and I realise I’m not just talking about TBBT). I’ve never tried it and I’m perfectly willing to acknowledge the potential for addiction … but I just don’t see the draw. It’s like gambling. I understand it’s addictive possibilities … I just cannot be bothered to try it. It’s too damn dull.

I think the first time anyone ever suggested games other than Scrabble (best game ever), Monopoly (dull, dull, dullest) and Trivial Pursuit (fun, if frustrating when played against those clever men) was Risk. I had no idea what the other players were doing, or talking about. It was all going right over my head and I mentally checked out as I was quickly bored. It doesn’t help that I don’t have a competitive bone in my body (other than with myself), so maybe that’s part of it. But people tell me I should be able to get involved in the world building and role playing aspects. So far, I’ve just given them “that” look …

But, having read David’s piece “Generating your Characters” this January – you know, properly read it rather than just skimmed, I can see how role play and gaming could help in the planning and developing process for fiction – especially in fantasy or science fiction with world building, but even for “straightforward” fiction with character development.

So, while I was busy being snotty and snooty about the gamers and role players, they were racing streets ahead of me in terms of planning and developing a novel. Do I ever feel dumb …


PS: As this is my #secondthoughts on a piece of David’s #secondthoughts, does that still make it #secondthoughts, or do I need to apply a multiplier?

© Debra Carey, 2017

Author: debscarey

Tweets @debsdespatches My personal blog is Debs Despatches, where I ramble on a variety of topics. I write fiction on co-hosted site Fiction Can Be Fun, where my #IWSG reflections can be found; and my Life Coaching business can be found on DebsCarey.com.

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