Beautiful People August 2017

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Beautiful People is a monthly writing meme hosted by Cait @Paper Fury and Sky @Further up and Further in in which writers answer a series of questions about one of their characters.

This month I’m talking about Lyle, the protagonist of my science fiction work in progress. I’m currently over 60,000 words into my first draft of this project and am loving it.

Bluejay Feather

What are they addicted to/can’t live without?

Lyle is addicted to watching documentaries for hours on end. He could, however, live without them, and does so for much of my manuscript. I suppose the one thing Lyle can’t live without are his values and perhaps his family.

Name 3 positive and 3 negative qualities about your character.

positive: caring, determined, devoted

negative: opinionated, stubborn, inexperienced

Are they holding onto something they should get rid of?

Yes, towards the middle of my manuscript Lyle is holding on to longing for a life he can no longer lead.

If 10 is completely organized and 1 is completely messy, where do they fall on the scale?

Lyle’s an eight. He is organized when he can be, but there are times throughout the story where organization is physically impossible.

What most frustrates them about the world they live in?

Inequality and injustice, Lyle hates it.

How would they dress for a night out? How would they dress for a night in?

That depends on the formality of the occasion. Lyle likes formality, but has limited clothing options.

As for a night in, Lyle’s fine motor skills are terrible. He’d want something without buttons and as few zippers as possible. Needing to ask for help from others not only embarrasses him, but would take a lot of other people’s time.

How many shoes do they own, and what kind?

Not many. Probably only one or two pairs. The kind that can be slipped into without laces because Lyle wouldn’t be able to tie them.

Do they have any pets? What pet do they WISH they had?

Yes, but I can’t say much because these “pets” are a huge part of the plot.

The answer to the second question also revolves around a major plot point, so I’m going to be as vague as possible and say Lyle wants pet pigs.

Is there something or someone that they resent? Why and what happened?

Yes, Lyle resents his parents and a pair of farmers. This is a major plot point, so I can’t say.

What’s usually in their fridge or pantry?

Lyle is a minor and doesn’t have much control over the household food choices. That said, Lyle’s mother seems like the sort who would keep a bunch of diet foods around.

Bluejay Feather

Are you working on any writing projects? How’s it going? Would you want to be friends with Lyle? 

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Beautiful People March 2017

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Beautiful People is a monthly writing meme hosted by Cait @Paper Fury and Sky @Further up and Further in in which writers answer a series of questions about one of their characters.

This month I will be focusing on Jessica, the protagonist of a magical realism short story I finished a few weeks ago.

What’s their favourite book/movie/play/etc.?

Jessica loves comics and manga. Unfortunately, I don’t read a lot of comics or manga, so I can’t name any specific one. Jessica would say there are too many to choose.

Is there anything they regret doing?

Jessica regrets renting a cabin in rural West Virginia where there are no cell signals or WiFi.

If they were sick or wounded, who would take care of them and how?

Jessica’s best friend, Cleveland, would take care of her. How depends on the situation, but he’s known her since they were both eight and would be willing to do pretty much anything for her.

Is there an object they can’t bear to part with and why?

Jessica can’t bear to part with her pens and sketch pads, but she will as a last resort, as happens in this story. This is because Jessica loves drawing, but there are some people she cares about even more.

What are 5 ways to win their heart (or friendship)?

  1. Talk about comics.
  2. Do something nice for the people she cares about.
  3. Talk about art.
  4. Discuss your favorite superhero.
  5. Watch TV with her.

Describe a typical outfit for them from top to bottom.

What Jessica wears in the story story I’ve written is very different from what she normally wears. Usually she wears multicolored dresses and high healed shoes. In the story she is wearing full on winter clothing.

What’s their favorite type of weather?

Jessica likes whether just below freezing so that there can still be snow, but not cold enough that she doesn’t want to leave her house.

What’s the worst fight they’ve ever been in?

One with her best friend that occurs during this short story.

What names or nicknames have they been called throughout their life?

Mostly Jessie, but also several variations on “comic book nerd.”

What makes their heart feel alive?

Drawing images to put in a comic book.

Beautiful People: September 2016

Beautiful People for WritersBeautiful People is a monthly writing meme hosted by Cait @Paper Fury and Sky @Further up and Further in in which writers answer a series of questions about one of their characters.

This month I will be focusing on Yuliana, my protagonist. I’m thinking of changing the names of all my characters (I have a tendency to do this), but I’ll stick with the current name for the purpose of this post.

How did you come up with this character?

There was no one point at which I came up with Yuliana. She developed with time. In the very first version of this story, which never got past a chapter or two, she was a he with a personality almost exactly the opposite of her current one. In the second attempt, which got to around 20,000 words, she was female with her personality somewhere between that of the original male lead and her current one.

By the third attempt, the first I finished and what I consider to be my first draft, she had all the basics of her current personality, but wasn’t as well developed as she is in the second draft I am currently rewriting. I suppose the answer is that Yuliana developed through writing about her.

Have they ever been starving? Why? And what did they eat to break the fast?

She has been starving on several occasions for many different reasons. It would take way too long for me to go into all of these instances and give away too much. Generally, Yuliana has been starving because food is unavailable for some reason or another. She has eaten a lot of different things after being starving.

Do they have a talent or skill that they’re proud of?

Yuliana is proud of her ability to read and write. Literacy is not common for people of the serving class where she lives.

List 3 things that would make them lose their temper.

  1. Someone trying to blame a murder on her.
  2. Someone kidnapping her, a member of her family, or her friends.
  3. Her younger sister, Glenda, not listening to her when both their lives are in jeopardy.

What is their favourite type of weather? Least favourite?

Yuliana’s favorite type of weather is hot and humid. Her least favorite is freezing cold.

What is their Hogwarts house and/or MBTI personality?

Yuliana’s Hogwarts house is Ravenclaw.

Are they more likely to worry about present problems, or freak out about the unknown future?

Yuliana is more likely to worry about the present.

What is their favourite thing to drink?

tea

What is their favourite color? Least favorite?

Yuliana loves green, but hates violet.

What is a book that changed their life?

Well, in the first draft of this story I wrote to completion there was a book that changed Yuliana’s life significantly, but I’m not planing to include it in this draft as that book was basically a cheep plot device allowing Yuliana to learn everything with the least effort on my part. Other than that, Yuliana is too poor to own many books and doesn’t have much free time she could use for reading until the end of the novel. She hasn’t had much chance for a book to change her life.

Beautiful People: August 2016

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Beautiful People is a monthly writing meme hosted by Cait @Paper Fury and Sky @Further up and Further in in which writers answer a series of questions about one of their characters.

This month I will be focusing on Queen Cressida, the mother of my protagonist from my epic fantasy work in progress.

Give a brief overview of their looks. (Include a photo if you want!)

Queen Cressida

The avatar creator used to make this image is found here: http://www.dolldivine.com/rpg-heroine-creator.php

This isn’t exactly right as in the story itself Cressida isn’t nearly this thin and the clothing designed in this fictional word would have a different cut than the one shown here, but it’s the closest I could get in an avatar generator.

Share a snippet that involves description of their appearance.

I can’t say that I’ve ever described Cressida’s appearance in my story itself. I don’t tend to write a lot of description, and have a tendency of focusing on personality traits when I do. That is especially true of this story since the story is told from the first person point of view of a mind reader who cares far more about people’s thought patterns than how they look. Here are snippets describing the queen’s personality:

(Note: These exerts are from an unedited draft.)

From part one:

“I stand by my mother’s side pouring her wine with eyes down-turned. It’s a struggle not to acknowledge mother’s thoughts. To pour her wine and move along. Mother is a queen. She can’t afford to associate with servants. Not even the one who happens to be her daughter.”

From part four:

“Baby, she [Cressida] has never called me that before, or at least not that I can remember. Part of me wants to say that she should be sorry. That my mother should have stood up against the persecution of Sifters and recognized me as her daughter. Queens are supposed to make the rules after all, but right now, arm in arm, it’s hard to be mad at her. I want to forgive.”

What is the first thing people might notice about them?

They’d notice that the way Cressida carries herself is imposing.

What are their unique features? (Ex: freckles, big ears, birthmark, scars, etc.)

Queen Cressida has a scar on her upper arm from an assassination attempt.

How tall are they? What is their build? (Ex: stocky, slender, petite, etc.)

Cressida is slightly taller than average, though people in this time period are on average a little shorter than modern humans, so she might be short by modern standards. Cressida is slightly overweight, but this is considered attractive in her society.

What is their posture like? How do they usually carry themselves?

Cressida has very upright posture. She almost never slouches. Cressida carries herself in a way that suggests privilege and control.

Your character has been seen on a “lazy day” (free from usual routine/expectations): what are they wearing and how do they look?

I don’t think Cressida has had a day free from her usual routine since she was in her teens. She’d probably wear the same thing she does any other day because she’d expect to have something in need of her attention at any moment.

Do they wear glasses, accessories, or jewelry on a regular basis? Do they have any article of clothing or accessory that could be considered their trademark?

Cressida often wears a beaded crown similar to the one pictured above.

Have they ever been bullied or shamed because of their looks? Explain!

No, not to her face anyway. No one wants to bear the consequences of insulting the queen.

Are they happy with how they look? If they could change anything about their appearance, what would it be?

Cressida wishes she didn’t have wrinkles. She doesn’t like the signs of age that are starting to appear on her body. If she could change anything about her appearance she would get rid of these wrinkles.

Beautiful People: July 2016

Beautiful People for Writers

Beautiful People is a monthly writing meme hosted by Cait @Paper Fury and Sky @Further up and Further in in which writers answer a series of questions about one of their characters.

This month I will be focusing on Catrine, a major secondary character from my current epic fantasy work in progress that I’m about 75,000 words, or three fourths of the way through rewriting.

Do they want to get married and/or have children? Why or why not?

Yes, Catrine has already made a dress she planned to wear for her future wedding, though she no longer has it due to her constant movement between places. She has every intention of recreating that dress to the best of her abilities when the time comes for her wedding.

She wants to get married and have kids because she really likes the idea of having small children to make clothing for and pass down her trade to. She also likes the idea of being able to settle down somewhere, something she has a hard time imagining herself doing with all the places she has lived.

What is their weapon of choice? (It doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical weapon.)

A sewing needle. 🙂

What’s the nicest thing they’ve done for someone else, and why did they do it?

The nicest thing Catrine has done is help some of the poor people on the island where she lives at the start of the novel by giving them free clothing as she uses them to practice making clothes for her wealthy clients and lets them keep what she’s made for them at the end. Cloth is very expensive on this island, and most of the poor only own one pair of clothes.

Have they ever been physically violent with someone, and what instigated it?

Catrine is normally a non-violent person, but when she feels she, her brother, or her job as a tailor at the palace is threatened she can get violent. During the story there is an occasion when she feels threatened by the main character due to something the main character did that gave her good reason to suspect the main character was threatening her aforementioned values. I can’t go into specifics without spoilers.

Are they a rule-follower or a rebel?

rule-follower

Are they organized or messy?

organized

What makes them feel loved, and who was the last person to make them feel that way?

Having people show her kindness makes Catrine feel loved. The last person who made her feel that way was her brother.

What do they eat for breakfast?

It varies. Catrine has lived in a lot of places and has parents who were from two places she has never lived. She takes what is available based on the place she is living in at the time.

Have they ever lost someone close to them? What happened?

Yes, she has lost people she was fairly close to through disease, but she has also lost many people she cared about not because they died, but because they lost her trust.

What’s their treat of choice? (Or, if not food, how else do they reward themselves?)

By making a nice garment for herself.

Beautiful People: June 2016

Beautiful People for Writers

Beautiful People is a monthly meme hosted by Cait @Paper Fury and Sky @Further up and Further In in which writers answer questions about their characters.

This month I’ve chosen Glenda, a major side character in my current work in progress. Glenda is the half sister of the main character and a crown princess.

What is their first childhood memory?

Glenda’s first childhood memory is of being extremely dressed up for a holiday in her culture that celebrates the end of the rainy season. (Flooding is common there, and the people are happy to see the rain go.)

What were their best and worst childhood experiences?

Glenda’s best childhood experience was one time when she was alone in the palace gardens and many of the flowers were in full bloom and she fell asleep. Glenda loves flowers, and rarely gets to be alone. This particular time was one when she really needed a break from being royalty, and she was thrilled by the fact she’d managed to evade her guards for so long.

Glenda’s worst childhood experience that isn’t a spoiler is her father’s death in the first chapter. Sometimes the relationship between Glenda and her father could be tense, but she loved him and was devastated by his death.

What was their childhood home like?

Glenda lives in a palace. It is quite large and extravagant. She grew up being able to easily obtain almost anything she desired unless that thing was privacy.

What’s something that scared them as child?

The fact that she always knew her mother was hiding a huge secret, but wasn’t told for years. She was scared of what that secret might be and imagined something far worse than it actually was.

Who did they look up to most?

Glenda looked up to her mother because she respected her mother’s leadership skills. (Her mother is a queen.)

Favourite and least favourite childhood foods?

Glenda’s favorite food is a type of pastry that isn’t made in our world, but that exists in this one. Glenda really does not like tomatoes.

If they had their childhood again, would they change anything?

She’s only about twelve in the story, so still a child, but Glenda’d probably change the way she treated her half-sister, the main character, who she didn’t realize was related to her, and so treated poorly most of the time.

What kind of child were they? Curious? Wild? Quiet? Devious?

Glenda could be devious at times, but when it came time to look professional for her future subjects she would look professional.

What was their relationship to their parents and siblings like?

Glenda’s relationship with her half-sister Yuliana, the story’s protagonist, is a complicated one. Glenda didn’t know Yuliana was related to her for many years. Before then she’d only known Yuliana as a palace servant and had treated her as such.

Glenda’s relationship with her mother is much better than her relationship with her sister. She has great respect for the way her mother has led her country, but resents the fact that the queen keeps so much a secret from her.

Glenda loves her father as well, though she has some resentment for the fact that her mother was essentially forced to marry him to save her country. She’ll also occasionally get into some heated arguments with him, and rebel against his wishes significantly more often than those of her mother.

What did they want to be when they grew up, and what did they actually become?

This question cannot be answered due to major spoilers.

Beautiful People: May 2016

PAPERFURY

Beautiful People is a monthly writing meme hosted by Cait @Paper Fury and Sky @Further up and Further in in which writers answer a series of questions about one of their characters.

This month I will be focusing on Dex, a major secondary character from my current work in progress. It’s epic fantasy, and I’m currently around 70,000 words or about 3/4ths of the way through my rewrite of it.

How often do they smile? Would they smile at a stranger?

Dex is a very serious person. He does not smile often. He probably would not smile at strangers unless he is trying to use them to get what he wants.

What is the cruelest thing they’ve ever been told? And what was their reaction?

It’s unusual for someone of Dex’s background to live in the places he chooses to. As a result, he faces frequent prejudice. I could make the argument that one of these prejudice statements was the cruelest thing he has ever been told, but Dex would not see it as the cruelest thing he has been told.

Dex would probably say the cruelest thing he has ever been told is something my protagonist confirms for him at the end of the first of my work in progress’s four parts. I can’t get into details because of spoilers, but he is more upset than he is at any other point in the story and reacts very strongly.

What is the kindest thing they’ve ever been told? And what was their reaction?

The kindest thing he has ever been told is probably something his sister, Catrine, has told him with regards to him being an awesome brother. Catrine and Dex are very close, and he holds any compliments she gives very dear. Dex’s reaction was probably to smile, hug her, or both.

What is one strong memory that has stuck with your character from childhood? Why is it so powerful and lasting?

Dex’s mother and father were never officially divorced, but might as well have been. His father is gone for lengthy, sometimes year long, voyages while his mother stays in the city-state where Dex spent most of his childhood. His mother is an immigrant to the city where he grew up, and his father is also from elsewhere, and somewhere entirely different from his mother.

The memory of this time that has stuck with him most is of one night when Dex and his sister, Catrine, were traveling with their father on his ship and Dex found Catrine crying in their cabin. Dex asked her what was wrong, and she said that it was the realization that even after visiting all these places she still hadn’t found one where she belonged. Dex replied that sometimes he felt the same way, but promised they would find out where they belonged together.

He has been trying to keep that promise to her ever since. That’s what makes it lasting.

What book (a real actual published book!) do you think your character would benefit from reading?

Dex would probably get the most benefit the most practically from non-fiction books about surviving in the wilderness. I haven’t read any or I would include a specific book.

If this question is meant to ask which book he would benefit the most as in what he would enjoy the most then Dex would love books about characters going on quests. I’d probably give him The Lord of the Rings.

Have they ever been seriously injured? How severely? How did they react?

Dex has had several near death experiences. Most of these did not involve injuries, but living in a world where antibiotics are not widely available as he does he has almost died of an infected cut before after accidentally  grazing his forearm with a knife. After weeks of suffering and almost dying he made a full recovery. This occurred long before the story takes place.

Do they like and get along with their neighbours?

This depends. Dex has had many neighbors over the years, but generally speaking no.

On a scale from 1 to 10 (1 being easy and 10 being difficult) how easy are they to get along with?

6, it really depends upon the personality of the person in question, but he leans slightly more towards being harder to get along with than easier.

If they could travel anywhere in the world, where would they go?

By the end of book one Dex has gone to almost all the major regions of his word, or at least the regions he knows of, but he really likes visiting the city where he grew up. If Dex was familiar with our world he wouldn’t be able to pick a place. He would want to see all of it.

Who was the last person they held hands with?

This depends on what time this question is being asked about. If it’s anytime during the story probably my main character, Yuliana. If it’s anytime before the story probably someone he is trying to use to accomplish is end goals.