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Porter Skyburn

May 3, 2017

*This post does contain spoilers, so if you have not read The Breacher, please be aware.*

 

In my last two posts, I focused on how I share a lot of similarities with Nathan and Councilor Lawrence. Porter, however, isn't someone I can claim to share a majority of traits with. Instead, he's the one character that I've set as a role model for myself, my work ethic, and my time management in my practical life. During the summer that I spent writing the first draft of The Breacher, I would - however cheesy it seems to me now - actually think to myself in certain situations, "What would Porter do?"

 

From the time I knew that Nathan would have a Breaching team, I instinctively knew that he had to have a leader. Very early on, I designed Porter as the ideal human being and a fictional embodiment of my ideal self in terms of dedication, strategy, and confidence. Porter is committed, hard-working, loyal, passionate, driven, absolutely confident, independent, and almost mechanistic in his pursuit of personal perfection in himself and those around him. As I age, I still recall Porter on occasion and hold him as a sort of target for my own personal development.

 

There was a time, though, when Porter presented a few complications in the first few drafts of The Breacher. For one, I had risen him to prominence in the portion of the story where he was active. So intense was my focus on him that my parents feared he had overshadowed Nathan entirely. As a result, his role was made more efficient and concise through the reduction and complete removal of a number of subplots I had intended for him. In the end, however, I think both his story and Nathan's benefited from those changes, and I may still recycle some of Porter's scraps in future plots.

 

But then came the time for Porter to meet his end. As anyone who has already read The Breacher will know, Porter sacrifices himself for the only cause he deems worthy of his life: saving his family. Unlike a death like Keaton's, I was quite sad to see Porter go. He was a character I had grown quite attached to over my many, many months with him. He was the first substantial death in my writing career - a death I will always remember. Although I often consider how the trilogy would have played out had Porter survived, I acknowledge Porter's demise as being a necessary loss. His presence would have hindered many of the paths I intended to take Dakota on in books two and three. So, one could say that Porter not only gave his life for his friends but also for the betterment of the trilogy.

 

As I reflect on Porter, I find myself missing his presence in my writing. His mind was such an intriguing one to delve into, shaped by a complex morality, almost superhuman resolve, and a hidden vulnerability. Although Porter is gone, he is perhaps one of the few characters who I find myself carrying with me into my everyday life. Porter is exemplary as a role model, a beacon of sturdiness and determination that I am currently toiling toward in my own personal growth. But I also realize that in a sense, I suppose, Porter was born of my mind. I created his virtues, which means that, perhaps, these qualities are not so far from my reach.

 

Creed

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