Reflective Writing

Character profile: Scott Stiles

I’ve written these character profiles prior to leaving for vacation, in a hope to keep the blog somewhat alive while I’m gone.

Both in the first draft and this time around, it’s obvious that Scott is based on me. When I first wrote the story, Scott was very literally me, being the same age, dealing with the same career and social choices in a very similar context. To a degree, Scott still represents “2009 me”, but the anxieties and choices he’s grappling with are more universal.

Scott will forever be an encapsulation of me struggling with my associations with the Greek system. Indeed, it was reflecting on college and being a brother of Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi) that inspired me to write this whole story in the first place. My experiences with AEPi and his experiences with Gamma Sig are meant to be parallel: the best parts of my fraternity life are those that no one seems to talk about, because they’re overshadowed by the drinking, the sex, and the networking. And even within Greek Life, drinking and sex seem to be more upfront in the typical brother’s mind. It’s unfortunate that the word ‘brotherhood’ is made tautological by the etymology of fraternity…brotherhood (and sisterhood, for that matter) is a real concept that needs significant reflection, both by those who were Greek in college and those who were not.

In writing Scott, there’s a reason so few of his brothers come up as major characters…the fraternity itself is the character representing Greeks, because for me that’s what the struggle is. Especially now, my friends from my fraternity now stand on their own, and even in group settings what we have together has become self-sustaining. We owe our friendship to our brotherhood, but it is so far from the edifice that our college fraternity was that it’s easy to confuse what caused what. The friendship in the story is between Scott and Lance, two brothers not connected by college experiences but ostensibly connected by something deeper. But are they? That’s a question I’m still grappling with as I write.


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