Character Profiles: in which I basically bare my heart for you all

Greetings, fellow earthens.

And HAPPY SEPTEMBER!!!

Today I’m going to take on a dark, daunting post subject. I’m going to spill my heart and guts and share some of my creations with you. That is, introduce some of the main characters from my current WIP. Which is a terrifying prospect for me. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be traumatizing.

It’s also going to be really fun.

These lovelies are still undergoing MASSIVE changes… in the finished work they’re likely to look quite a bit different than they do now. But for the time being this is how far their personalities have evolved, and I can honestly say I’m *sniff* proud of them *wipes away tear*. They are some of my most precious characters. They’ve been through a lot with me. And as a result they’re all wrapped up in my heartstrings.

As a side note, I found these characteristic photos via Pinterest. They aren’t mine. I take no credit. The clothing (from what you can see) is all modern and wrong… but who cares. :P

Taryn

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the Protagonist

wind-flung brown hair / one blue eye and one hazel / nimble hands / pointed chin

   Taryn is a wanderer. A loner. An outcast. She has an independent streak she got from her father, and loves wild places. She’s perceptive and generally relates well to others’ emotions, but can also be pretty cynical of people, which comes of being treated the way she has her entire life (you won’t understand that but #spoilers). Insecurity is one of her many struggles. She hates sharing her feelings and has the tendency to push away her loved ones when she’s in pain; she’s also terrible at comforting others. Sarcastic wit comes easily for this one.

She loves the wind and the scent of freedom. Rock/hill climbing (she has the flat feet geared for it, and she’s proud of that). People who judge by anothers’ attributes and the way they treat others, not by appearances.

 

 

Ree

the Sidekick

freckled / blue-eyed / crooked limp / wide smile / small wrists and ankles

   Ree is homier than her sister. She’s empathetic and slightly more centered; is calmly optimistic and laughs a lot. Her limp (she was born with a minor deformity, one leg slightly shorter than the other) keeps her from doing a lot of things she’d like, but as a general rule she’s pretty philosophical about it. In arguments she’s likely to go on the defensive… but she doesn’t lose her temper much.

She loves murkbrew (their world’s kind of thicker version of hot tea) with honey. Rain. And the productive feeling of keeping busy – especially when she’s worried or stressed.

 

 

Matt

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the Logic/Voice of Reason

light brown-dark blond hair / grey eyes / medium-tall / a slight cowlick that irritates him

   Matt is a strong shoulder to lean on. A hard worker with calloused hands. He just might be my favorite character besides Taryn… because except for her he’s been the character to undergo the most changes, yet has remained his dependable, stubborn self through it all. He’s quick-witted. Diplomatic in most disagreements. But other times he can be blunt to the point of pain. He and Taryn are alike in that most of the time they’re relatively mild people, but both are fiercely protective of the people they’re close to.

He loves carving; bringing form and shape out of dead wood. His young siblings. And fried rabbit well-done.

 

Lisi

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the Emotional

blonde / pale blue eyes / small-proportioned and slim / an odd laugh

   Lisi is the soft-spoken one. Invariably gentle, ceaselessly compassionate. A little wistful. She’s quiet and unobtrusive in most things, and her cautious nature sometimes comes across as timid… but still waters run deep. She’s a lot stronger of a person than she seems at first sight. Despite having very few similarities at first, she and Taryn form a strong bond throughout the course of the novel.

She loves sunlight through the fog. Long walks along the dusty Village paths. Strong, beautiful personalities.

 

Maeve

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the Tempter

thick reddish hair / curvy / face mottled with freckles / dark brown eyes / vivid full lips

   Maeve is beautiful. Incendiary. Malicious. She loves deeply, hates with abandon, and is passionate in every emotion between. Her deepest aversions are to the deformed and those she sees as hideous or weak. Her hurts are remembered and she’s pretty darn vengeful, while we’re at it. She takes on hard labor grudgingly but well.

She loves good seasoned mutton and strong mead. The thrill of autumn in the blood. And followers who allow themselves to be dominated without question.

 

 

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Sooo. Those are my lovelies (that is, five of them). And that wasn’t so bad. The others are still in slightly earlier stages of development. The Antagonist, the Mentor, the Skeptic, and lotsa other extras who kind of came out of nowhere and (in the course of headaches, blood and tears) have grown into beloved characters. I might share a bit about them some other time. :)

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Thanks for reading! Can you believe it’s the 1st of September, and are you excited for autumn?? Chat with me in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Puzzle Pieces: fitting characters together

One more post this week. I’m on a roll. ;)

This post is going to be about writing. And I am slightly terrified to impart any kind of advice to anybody, as the magnitude of my own inexperience is…well, big. But here goes. (Maybe somebody will find this remotely helpful.)

One of a writer’s greatest challenges (at least in my case) is creating a strong bond between two characters. Whether it be love of the romantic sort, the admiration of an apprentice to his master, or the close affection of good friends, growing and developing a relationship between people is hard. Especially if the relationship starts out with a Princess Leia + Han Solo mindset…

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Here’s a list of questions I ask myself.

  1. One of the first signs that two characters are going to connect is usually a “click”. They have something in common. A common fear, a common desire, a common love. A common hobby. “Hey, you collect 1960s movie posters too?” Have your characters clicked through a shared interest or emotion?
  2. Does the hate/dislike/confusion/indifference they feel towards each other in the beginning blossom with head-scratching suddenness into warm endearment? Make sure you’ve maintained a smooth and consistent arc throughout the course of the story.
  3. Are you showing rather than telling? Body language, actions, speech, and thoughts should all be subtly used to communicate the growing bond.
  4. If there’s a lot of friction at first, keep it going even when they’ve fallen for each other. The closest of friendships still spark and sizzle at times. Are there enough disagreements to make the relationship realistic?
  5. Do your characters grow each other? A couple need to have interlocking personalities; fit together like puzzle pieces, each satisfying in the other what he/she is lacking. If Jen is quiet and shy, make Brad more outgoing. He’ll draw her out of herself and provide a stimulant. On the other hand, if Brad is over-the-top extroverted and drives people crazy because he’s loud and self-assured to the point of obnoxious, Jen might keep him down to earth and help him develop a sense of humility. That goes with friends too. Give the volatile fireball with anger management issues a level-headed, gentle friend who struggles to express his feelings. Make the friendship grow them into better people.

So there are some questions which have helped me in my bond-developing. I have a long way to go before I’ll be able to post any wildly eloquent writing advice here (ha ha, right), but hopefully this was a beneficial read and a good start. Have a wonderful weekend!

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