September is here and I’m here for it! September is a special month for my family. Both my mom’s and mommom’s birthdays are in September. I love that the weather begins to break and we start to transition into Fall. I love the Fall. The weather is just right for me. Most people are back in school by September, too. That’s particularly pertinent for our Word University students! We’ve gone through the character breakdowns of Derek, Matthias, and Omar. Now, it’s Tre’Vell’s turn. I think it’s fitting that the last month of Summer coincides with the last main character breakdown. Don’t you?
Tre’Vell Martin Hinton was born on December 26th, 1994. He was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Quickly nicknamed “Tre”, his family didn’t have much money and they struggled to make ends meet at times. When he was little, Tre’s mother abruptly and suddenly left, leaving young Tre in the care of his dad. Now a single dad, Tony found it difficult to provide for and protect Tre. The dangers of their neighborhood lurked around every corner. When he was 8, Tre lost his beloved father to gun violence. Devastated, Tre was eventually taken in by a local gang leader.
When he got to middle school, Tre found that he had an outstanding voice. Taking after a mentor, he started to sing. He would enter and win a few local competitions and sang at many different functions. It was around this time that he also faced pressure to begin to contribute to the activities of his gang, the BBDs. He held out for as long as he could, but eventually engaged. When he hit puberty, his active power first manifested. He found that he had the ability to freeze objects in time. This made him even more valuable to his crew, but Tre wanted better for himself and, with his best friend Deandre, decided to move to Delaware for a new start and better life.
In high school, Tre got a job so that he could afford to have his own apartment, but trouble found him. He applied to and was accepted into Word University his senior year, but he was arrested for robbery. He was convicted and placed on probation. Luckily for him, the conviction had no effect on his academic status. He entered his freshman year at Word University with an ankle monitor, curfew, and location restrictions, but all his goals were still attainable.
Tre has the power of temporal stasis, meaning he can stop people and objects in time. He channels his power through his hands and it’s activated through fear. You could say it’s quite a… handy power. Tre’s magic came to him during puberty. To that point, he had no idea about magic. His father was a normal man. His mom was a witch, unbeknownst to Tre or his dad and when she abandoned them, she took her magical secret with her. When first came into his powers, Tre was freaked out. When he is introduced to the origins of his ability and his greater magical identity when he meets Derek, Omar, and Matt, he is glad to have answers but also dismayed at what it meant for his future.
Tre’Vell is the least physically impressive of the four warlocks. He’s the only one of the four that isn’t an athlete. He’s about 5’9” and 175 lbs. He’s into the arts and desires a career as a singer. Tre’s had a rough upbringing. His mother walked out on him when he was little. His father was gunned down a few years after that. He fell into a gang and inevitably ran into trouble with the law. This has all made him very jaded and he doesn’t trust easily. He understandably presents a rough exterior, but once you dig past that, he has a heart of gold.
Tre’Vell might actually be the toughest of the characters for me to write for. I thought it was important to have a person from his background in a story like this. He injects some real-world seriousness into the proceedings. The other three come from different levels of privilege, whether that be familial, financial, or magical. In some ways, he’s the audience stand-in. He’s the only one that doesn’t know about magic at the beginning of the story. Therefore, everything is new to him and his discovery of this mystical world mirrors that of the reader. What makes him tough to write is that he can easily reinforce negative stereotypes that’s out there about black men from a disadvantaged background if you aren’t careful. He’s from the hood and he has all the hallmarks of that. To combat the stereotypes, I made sure to make him a whole person. Sure, he’s rough around the edges, but he isn’t violent. His power is defensive. He isn’t dumb. He has fears, dreams, and ambitions just like anybody else. He’s just had a rougher life than others.
Next Month: Mayor Angela Wright