The two main characters of “A Welded Wave” are total nerds and I didn’t pull any punches with the nerdiness. They’re not just any nerds, they’re children of the 80’s. Mark reads fantasy novels and romance, he’s a gamer, and has a Sega Saturn. Enis is a computer programmer and gamer. Enis has a “Homestuck” poster on his bedroom wall.
What makes this story so nerdy isn’t the references to sci-fi, fantasy, and gaming, it’s the way the characters approach the world. They both suck at small talk and have conversations about psychology or society. When they approach a problem, their first instinct is to become better informed about it. Their relationship is heavily based on an intellectual connection and a propensity to look at the world from an outsider’s perspective. They see the absurdities in human society and share amusement about them.
The shows and other stuff they’re fans of affect how they look at the world. There’s a scene where fire alarms are going off and Mark is reminded of the klaxons on the bridge of a sci-fi show. Mark says that dragons are way cooler than tigers at one point.
They play with words and make terrible puns. You’ll have to read the book to see the awful joke Mark makes using the words “platonic solid.” They even use whimsical internet slang like “adorbs” for comedic effect a couple times.
One thing that I’ve noticed with my nerdy friends is that they tend to have a much more open and playful attitude toward sex. Mark and Enis are no exception to this. I doubled down on the sex positivity of this story. They let each other know when they’re horny and they’re not afraid to chase down the fireworks that people can set off in each other’s bodies. This casual attitude toward sex is very fun to write and I love how it framed the sex in this story.
There’s a lot of sex. I didn’t expect the story to have this much sex in it when I started out writing it, but the sexual chemistry between Mark and Enis was quite exothermic. It fits nicely into the story because the characterization supports it. That’s not to say that most of the story is about the sex. It takes a back seat to the overarching romance plot and the relationship is always at the center of everything that happens.
My favorite thing about the nerdiness in this story is that the characters actively think about their relationship and try to view it objectively when possible. Their emotions do take over at times, but they are able to talk through things and be introspective later. I wanted to show the inner workings of a healthy communicative relationship.
This does not mean that they don’t have conflict. There are some trying times for these characters, and I think the story works because of the beauty of their perseverance through the muddy water that leads from friends to lovers. I am very happy with how this book turned out and I hope you’ll have as much fun reading “A Welded Wave” as I had writing it.