Also, there's no conceit. My character comes across as fully aware of what he's doing and where he stands. Is that realistic?
In Alan Bennett's Talking Heads - Bed Among The Lentils - the dramatic irony with Susan is that she's not aware of her alcoholism until late in the monologue. It's the fatal flaws of the characters that help stick them in the minds of the audience. I need to flavour my piece up a bit (ooh, flavour my piece - weird language).
I need to develop a proper 15 yearold's voice, like DBC Pierre's Vernon God Little:
I sit waiting between shafts of light from a row of doorways, naked except for my shoes and Thursday's underwear. Looks like I'm the first one they rounded up so far. I ain't in trouble, don't get me wrong. I didn't have anything to do with Tuesday. Still, you wouldn't want to be here today. You'd remember Clarence Some-body, that ole black guy who was on the news last winter. He was the psycho who dozed in this same wooden hall, right on camera. The news said that's how little he cared about the effects of his crimes. By 'effects' I think they meant axe-wounds. Ole Clarence Whoever was shaved clean like an animal, and dressed in the kind of hospital suit that psychos get, with jelly-jar glasses and all, the type of glasses worn by people with mostly gums and no teeth. They built him a zoo cage in court. Then they sentenced him to death.
I just stare at my Nikes. Jordan New Jacks, boy. I'd perk them up with a spit-wipe, but it seems kind of pointless when I'm naked. Anyway, my fingers are sticky. This ink would survive Armageddon, I swear. Cockroaches, and this fucken fingerprint ink.
Why is it that the first time I tried to read Vernon God Little, I gave up after the first couple of pages, and yet, this looks quite good?
Then, I need an adult, female narrator for It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time. I'll look to Lionel Shriver's We Need To Talk About Kevin:
Childless, I'd imagined baby crying as a pretty undifferential affair. But in motherhood I developed an ear. Oh, I imagine there are as many reasons that newborn babies cry as that grown ones do, but Kevin practised none of these standard lachydermal modes.
With me, once you left Kevin was not to be bought off with any thing so petty and transitory as milk or dry diapers. If fear of abandonment contributed to a decibel level that rivalled an industrial buzz saw, his loneliness displayed an awesome existential purity; it wasn't about to be allayed by the hover of that haggard cow with her nauseating waft of white fluid. And I discerned no plaintive cry of appeal, no keen of despair, no gurgle of nameless dread. Rather, he hurled his voice like a weapon, howls smashing the walls of our loft like a baseball bat bashing a bus shelter. In concert, his fists sparred with the mobile over his crib, he kick-boxed his blanket, and there were times I stepped back after patting and stroking and changing and marveled at the sheer athleticism of the performance. Jr was unmistakable: Driving this remarkable combustion engine was the distilled and infinitely renewable fuel of outrage.
About what? you might well ask.
He was dry, he was fed, he had slept. I would have tried blanket on, blanket off; he was neither hot nor cold. He'd been burped, and I have a gut instinct that he didn't have colic; Kevin's was not a cry of pain but of wrath, He had toys dangling overhead, rubber blocks in his bed. His mother had taken six months off from work to spend every day by his side, and I picked him up so often that my arms ached; you could not say he lathed for attention. As the papers would be so fond of observing sixteen years later, Kevin had everything.
Interesting that I've picked off the top of my head examples of students who may/may not have killed their fellow students - given the topic of Winter Kills.