The world of Blank Verse revolves around the life of Alex Huggins.
Alex lives at home with her father, having lost her mother in a car crash a few years ago. She’s always loved reading and writing since she was a child. Even before she could read she would plead for her parents to read to her, dropping books into their laps and saying “Read me this!” As she grew up she began to take up writing herself, filling notebooks and journals from front to back with her musings and continuing that to this day.
She’s lived in the same house since she was born, though times have been tough since her mother died. She finds solace in her childhood friend, Sam, whose stark difference in personality helps Alex escape her own damaging thoughts from time to time.
While fiercely devoted to her friends and family, Alex cares very little for herself and has next to no concern for her own well-being. Since her mother’s death, Alex seems to believe she is deserving of every bad thing that happens to her and almost never stands up for herself. She is frequently a victim to bullying and seldom puts up a fight when facing conflict.
Faced with the grief of losing her mother, the anguish of seeing her father suffer, the belittlement and disparaging remarks by her uncle as well as the physical and emotional abuse caused by Logan’s bullying, it’s hard to to imagine what keeps Alex together.
Weight: 95 lbs
Occupation: High School Student (Senior)
Father: Patrick Huggins
Mother: Anna Huggins
Strength: Forbearing, empathetic, well read, wordsmith.
Weakness: Meek, submissive, weak-willed, agoraphobic.
Likes: Reading and writing, music, quiet places where she can get lost in thought, swimming (she likes the vacuum effect you get in your ears when underwater), cute and fuzzy animals, rain, people watching, dimly lit rooms.
Dislikes: Crowds, romantic comedies, getting her shoes wet, anything competitive (she’d rather just lose and get it over with), being told what she can and can’t wear.
Sam is very active with a love for sports - skateboarding in particular. She’s a beach bum and makes trips to the beach any time she can to surf, swim, play beach games and occasionally pick fights with strangers.
Sam’s father, Jim, is emotionally and even physically abusive to Sam after she came out to her parents recently. Since coming out she has done her best to stay away from home, living out of her car and finding sanctuary at friends’ places. She often spends her time at Alex’s house or stays a few days at a time at her coworker Laura’s apartment. Sam’s little brother, Logan, is a problem child that she always tries to avoid due to the fact that he constantly tries to get Sam into trouble with her dad as well as bully Alex when they’re at school.
Sam has intentions on going to college after Alex graduates high school, even though she is known for being a procrastinator.
Weight: 128 lbs
Occupation: Clothing Store Clerk
Father: Jim Gray
Mother: Sara Gray
Strength: Confident, resilient, adventurous.
Weakness: Foul-mouthed, messy, lacks basic table manners.
Likes: Heavy music, board sports, the beach, fast food, video games, going to Joe Mama with Alex and perving on Jesse (even though she’s not that into coffee), taking risks, trying new things and doing things non-traditionally.
Dislikes: Small talk, “dude-bros”, people who litter, being touched.
Laura is a charming and beautiful young socialite. She works at a clothing store and has a reputation among its patrons for being extremely hospitable. Laura is slightly older than Alex and Sam, having graduated a year before Sam. Her and Sam work together and have complimentary strengths in that Laura deals with customers while Sam handles merchandising and does the heavy lifting.
Laura has a large family and grew up with many brothers and sisters. Though she lives on her own, she always keeps her apartment ready for guests with extra blankets and snacks at the ready - whether it be just friends or her troublemaker little brother, Miguel, when he needs a place to hide out for a day or two.
Laura can be a bit presumptuous - especially when it comes to fashion. Having grown up with such a large family, she has little regard for privacy or personal space. You’d better get used to changing in front of her.
Weight: 167 lbs
Occupation: Clothing Store Clerk
Father: Hector Vasquez
Mother: Maria Vasquez
Strength: Charismatic, strong-willed, hospitable.
Weakness: Flattery, sweets.
Likes: Shopping, hanging out with friends (friend dates, dinners at restaurants, sleepovers), having deep and meaningful conversations, helping others whether it be volunteer work or just being there for others in times of need. She took ballet when she was younger and is surprisingly spry and limber for a plus sized woman, so she enjoys physical activity and working out on occasion - but cares nothing for dieting.
Dislikes: Bad outfits, rude people, humidity.
Patrick Huggins is Alex’s dad. Formerly a professional contractor, Patrick was relieved from his job after sustaining injuries in the car accident that took the life of his wife, Anna. Now an independent contractor who takes his payments under the table, Patrick takes odd jobs making far less money than what he used to in an effort to keep the house Alex was raised in. Patrick’s grueling work takes its toll on his body, but he keeps his pain a secret from Alex in an effort not to worry her.
As a young man, Patrick was a rebel and a bit of a troublemaker. Alex’s mother, Anna, married Patrick at an early age. She was drawn to his anarchic attitude and recklessness. When Alex was born, the two of them settled down and bought a house together, putting aside their care-free ways to lead a better example for their new daughter.
Patrick was the driver during a fatal car accident that took Anna’s life and left him with long-term and impeding injuries. He remains stricken with guilt to this day and does his best to hide it from Alex.
Weight: 179 lbs
Father: Mark Huggins
Mother: Patricia Selman
Strength: Generous, handy, a natural problem solver with a great sense of humor.
Weakness: Disobedient, reckless, a knack for telling white lies.
Likes: Listening to Alex’s stories despite knowing next to nothing about what she’s talking about, watching movies (thrillers, action-adventure, westerns), napping. He likes taking things apart and putting them back together just to learn how they work. He also enjoys people watching with Alex - often asking questions about why the hell kids are into the things they’re into these days.
Dislikes: Pop music, smart-asses, following the rules or playing it safe.
Sam’s younger brother and one of Blank Verse’s main antagonists. Logan is a pretty boy and a star athlete at Alex’s school. He’s a member of the football team and is a favorite among the school staff for his achievements in sports.
Although, resting behind his chiseled looks is a selfish and opportunistic sadist. Logan’s accomplishments are often the result of preying on those around him, whether it be bullying others to do his schoolwork for him or pushing around anyone weaker than him just to quench his thirst for causing trouble.
Logan harbors an unhealthy infatuation with Alex that has grown more intense the more she avoids him. What started as a crush has spread into a victimizing obsession. Alex has become a target to much of Logan’s bullying and it’s been getting worse and worse every year.
Weight: 136 lbs
Occupation: High School Student
Father: Jim Gray
Mother: Sara Gray
Strength: Athletic, persuasive and silver tongued, devious.
Weakness: Hot-headed, insensitive, sadistic, selfish.
Likes: Contact sports, making lots of noise, comedy movies, any situation where he can take his shirt off.
Dislikes: Supervision, getting called out in front of others, having to smile for pictures, when Alex wears loose-fitting clothes.
Gregory Ford is Alex’s uncle and principal of the high school she attends. Ford is the bereaved brother of Alex’s mother, Anna.
Ford’s side of the family are very proud and smug when it comes to their academic achievements, with him being perhaps the most domineering of them all. It was his assumption that Anna would follow in the footsteps of the rest of their family in becoming an academic and walking the straight and narrow life the family had always done. Anna instead found sanctuary in Patrick, who embraced the anarchic side Anna had kept hidden from her family. Ford despises Patrick for having, in his own opinion, ruined her life and for causing her untimely death so early in her life.
Baleful and menacing, Ford is known to aggressively try to coerce Alex into leading a life similar to that of his own - pursuing higher education and leading a faultless life. Previously a history teacher, now made principal of the school, Ford is constantly pulling Alex aside to lecture her on everything from her attendance, grades, even down to her sticking to the dress code.
Ironically, Ford sees Logan as a model student.
Weight: 187 lbs
Occupation: High School Principal
Father: Johnathan Ford
Mother: Elizabeth Ford
Strength: Assertive, educated, well-off, strapping.
Weakness: Pitiless, severe, impatient.
Likes: Reading in public, giving excessively strong handshakes, clean desks, freshly mowed lawns, pep rallies, podcasts.
Dislikes: Music with female singers, being greeted too warmly at restaurants, repeating himself, when Alex wears tops showing her midriff.
Jesse is a barista at a local coffee shop called Joe Mama. She can regularly be found working there during the evenings and lending a helping hand during their open mic nights they hold every month.
Jesse is enamored of Sam and will often draw hearts on Sam’s coffee cups when she places an order.
Being a fitness nut, Jesse is often inviting her friends to different activities or offering a healthy snack she either bought or made herself. After becoming acquainted, Sam and Jesse’s affinity for being active really begins to pick up momentum - that is unless it comes to swimming in the ocean, where Jesse’s eagerness to see Sam in a bikini is matched only by her fear of open water.
Strength: Charismatic, patient, great singing voice.
Weakness: Considerate to a fault, picky eater, almost annoyingly persistent.
Likes: Fitness, bike rides, dog parks (despite not owning a dog herself), baking sweets for her friends, going to the movies, Sam’s butt.
Dislikes: Businesses that only accept cash, when people stare at the gym, the ocean, not being able to find a wall plug for her cell phone, Sam’s dad.
Steven works at a local tattoo parlor and is a mutual acquaintance of many of the characters of Blank Verse. Steven remains mostly a mystery to the people around him and he’s fine with that. While he loves to listen to others’ stories, Steven isn’t one to share much information about himself.
Billie is a frequent customer to his tattoo shop and many of her tattoos were done by Steven himself.
Weight: 175 lbs
Occupation: Tattoo Artist
Strength: Sage, visually intimidating, compassionate, creative.
Weakness: Passive, gentle, non-confrontational.
Likes: Cinematic thrillers, heavy metal music, sugary sodas, petting every dog he comes in contact with.
Dislikes: Rude people, long lines, bullies, cold weather, Laura (she makes him uncomfortable).
Billie is as cool as they come. A skilled musician and a gifted writer with numerous stories to tell, she leaves an impression on nearly everyone she comes in contact with.
Billie has a lot of baggage. Her heart has been broken beyond repair and she uses music and writing as a means of expressing herself to the people around her. She often attends open-mic nights at local coffee shops and dive bars - anywhere she has a platform to share her words.
Alex finds Billie fascinating and deeply covets her ability to express herself in such an open manner. Before long, the two of them connect and Billie begins to rub off on Alex a little bit.
What Alex fails to notice, but Sam and Patrick catch onto real quick, is how bad of an influence Billie is. She has acquired a taste for tobacco, liquor and licentious behavior. Convinced that they’re the only things that keep her sane, she encourages Alex to give into them as well.
Alex’s involvement with Billie causes a rift in her relationships with her friends and family - that is until Billie’s actions cross the point of no return.
Strength: Assertive, musically inclined, creative and well-spoken.
Weakness: Poor judge of character, promiscuous, conniving, double-dealing.
Likes: Indie music, dark-roast coffee, attention.
Dislikes: Almost everything.