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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The harder questions…

 As promised, I’ve got more questions to make you think about what you’re writing. This is all stuff I found elsewhere, either in books, on people’s blogs, or websites. They all make me think about what exactly I’m writing, and who my characters are. But, some of them are hard…

  1. Does this character like himself/herself?
  2. What if anything would he or she change about their life?
  3. Strongest/weakest character traits
  4. How can the flip side of the strong points be weaknesses and vise versa?
  5. Talents?
  6. How is the character ordinary or extraordinary?
  7. How is the situation ordinary or extraordinary? 

As you can see these are harder questions, making you think more about your character than their name age, appearance, and basic back-story.

My answers:

  1. Hmm, this is hard. I don’t think Seth likes himself, or maybe I should say he doesn’t think highly of himself.
  2. Seth wishes his sister never died and he could’ve lived happily with the family he used to have.
  3. Seth isn’t spontaneous. He thinks things through. And even though he’s in the ALT Ed program at school, he’s smarter than average, as evidenced by the tree house he built out of salvaged material. Seth’s weakness is that he feels weak, trapped first by his family situation and now by the absence of normality.
  4. Maybe Seth thinks too much sometimes, I’m not sure. This is another tough question. Some character strengths and weakness can easily be reversed, others, not so much.
  5. He’s good at figuring things out, solving problems, and even though he’s afraid sometimes, he plows through.
  6. I think Seth is ordinary, after all, there’s lots of kids who have crappy home lives and attend the ALT Ed program.
  7. I’m hoping that the situation (the apocalypse), which is extraordinary, will also make Seth extraordinary. We’ll see.

Now it’s your turn. Feel free to share in the comments!


Patchi said...

Ohhh... great questions!

1. I'd say Simon likes himself, just not his situation.
2. His father's death,not so much for lost love, but for not having to inherit the barony so soon.
3. Strongest is his education, weakest is his lack of knowledge of the world he lives in.
4. Because he's been tutored so much, he thinks and acts as if he knows everything, which he doesn't. On the other hand, once he realizes what he doesn't know, he is eager to learn.
5. Intelligence? I wish I had chosen Beatriz so I could mention how she spins silk from her fingers...
6. Simon is ordinary. Beatriz on the other hand...
7. He gets cursed by a dragonfly because he's in love with a spider. Is that extraordinary enough?

Charity Bradford said...

Your timing is so great. I need to be asking these questions even though I've already written 2 books with these characters. They need to grow and progress, which means these questions could change over time.

1. Yes, they both have healthy self-esteem
2. At this point Talia would probably stop dreaming about the future. It taints her life, sucking the joy out of the present. Landry would change the choice he has to make.
3. Talia's strongest trait is her ability to love everyone and everything around her. It's probably also her weakness because any loss can devastate her. Landry's strongest trait is being able to squelch his personal desires in order to do what needs to be done. No matter what. His weakness is his need to protect Talia.
4. I think their strengths and weakness are tied to each other. Because of Landry's love for Talia he will do what has to be done to keep her safe.
5. Both are magical as well as intelligent, driven people. Talia can pull energy from all life around her including the binary suns. She can focus it into two forms--healing and fire. She's also got a second nature about electrical machines. Landry is a modifier or transferor. Meaning he can connect with other mages magic and use it as his own or magnify it when they use it. His only personal magic is being able to feel the emotions of those around him.
6. They are ordinary in that they simply want the opportunity to live a normal life. To raise a family and grow old together in peace. They are extraordinary in that they are the leaders of a new race of mages. They will never have a quiet life.
7. The situation is a standard civil war type thing. Mage against non-mage. And yet mages fight on both sides. It's extraordinary in that it covers the planet and one of the moons. The enemy being led by a demon from another planet is a bit strange as well. If only the dragons would help (but they won't, stubborn creatures!)

Sonia Verardo said...

Your blog is fab!
Would you like us to follow eachother on GFC and keep in touch?
I'd like us to support eachother :-)
xo from Italy,
Sonia Verardo

mshatch said...

Patchi: I like your answer to #4 :)

Charity: That's so true about these questions and especially in a series where characters can change a lot over the course.

Sonia: thanks for stopping by and glad you like what you see!

Liz A. said...

Brain is fried tonight. I don't have the energy to answer these right now. Maybe this weekend...

dolorah said...

It is really hard to think about my characters and plot in these terms. I know it will make the story better if I do though.

Allyn Stotz said...

Great idea asking yourself these questions. Hmmm, I think I'll try using these when writing my next story!

meredithmansfield said...

Interesting questions. :)
1. Yes, Vatar likes himself, I think.
2. He'd change that very first event in the first book, THE SHAMAN'S CURSE, when his best friend was killed and he couldn't prevent it.
3. Hmm. Tough one. I think there are two answers to this one. His sense of honor--which occasionally leads him to make the wrong choice for the right reasons. And his powerful magic, which he still doesn't quite trust all the time because of being raised by people who hate magic.
4. I guess I answered that above, didn't I?
5. His unique magic is probably the most important in the story, but he's had to develop quite a few skills to navigate the dangers of the first three books, too.
6. What he most wants (and can't seem to get) is just a quiet life with his family. It's not just his magic that sets him apart, though. He also has ties to most of the different peoples of his world. And that means he travels a lot.
7. Hmm. Well, by the fourth (and final) book in the series a whole lot of things have destabilized. Power is shifting. Enemies are at the borders. A lot is about to change and there's no going back now.

mshatch said...

Dolorah: It is hard. I can't always answer all the questions - and these are just a sampling of the questions I put to my characters. But I often find I discover something I didn't know.

Allyn: Good luck and glad you liked :)

Meredith: Ooh, sounds interesting. And I get #3, sometimes people who are really honest won't do something that does against their beliefs even though it could help everything turn out well. Good way to turn a positive into a negative!