As you might know, I recently decided that my adult novel idea would work better as a Young Adult novel, which means I’ve been revising all my character info. I’m finishing up setting sketches this week and hoping to start a “zero draft” by next week (but as we all know, plans are bound to change).
This week, I’m linking up with the Beautiful People meme, hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further. Each month, they post 10 questions designed to get you in touch with your characters. If you’re a writer, you should check it out!
Character Highlight: Ruth, age 16
1. What is her favorite book/movie/play/etc.?
- Book: Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (because Fanny feels out of place & unwanted in her home environment) + anything by Sarah Dessen or Hilary T. Smith
- Movie: The Lord of the Rings trilogy (the only film adaptation that can even remotely be considered better than the books)
- TV Show: Gossip Girl (she hates how much she loves it)
- Music Artist: Paramore (she has a slight girl crush on Hayley Williams + she loves singing along in the shower)
2. Is there anything she regrets doing?
Her biggest regrets involve instances where she didn’t do something. For example, she has a tendency to have long, desperate crushes on boys that she’s too terrified to even talk to, much less confess her feelings. She often regrets not putting forth the effort to get to know someone out of fear of rejection.
3. If she was sick or wounded, who would take care of them and how?
Her parents would alternate taking care of her, depending on the duration of the sickness or injury. Her dad’s workload increases during tax season, whereas her mom can’t always cancel class on a moment’s notice. Her best friend Lila would probably bring her soup and cheesy movies to cheer her up.
4. Is there an object she can’t bear to part with and why?
Her phone. It’s the only way she can communicate with her best (and only female) friend, Lila, since they go to different schools. She’s definitely a product of the post-internet age, but she tries to maintain a healthy relationship to technology and she’s often nostalgic for the days before social media.
5. What are 5 ways to win her heart (or friendship)?
- talk about books – she’s always been a reader, but she’s often been the only person she knows who really cares about literature; if you can talk to her about your favorite books, she’s sold
- recognize the difference between talking about people/things and talking about ideas – unlike a lot of kids, she wants deep conversations about the meaning of life, rather than pointless gossip
- be genuine – she spends a lot of her time surrounded by people who present a front to the world, who will do anything to fit into the status quo; she’s drawn to people who don’t care what other people think
- accept her unique viewpoint & opinions – she’s used to being told that she doesn’t know what she wants in life, that she’s too young to have things figured out; if you accept the way she sees things as valid and even important, she’ll love you forever
- make her laugh unexpectedly – she’s often sullen, withdrawn, and sad (sometimes without probable cause), so anyone who can sneakily make her laugh, even against her will, will definitely win her over
6. Describe a typical outfit for her from top to bottom.
She doesn’t like to stand out. For school, she wears the same style of relatively tight khaki pants and crisp button down shirts. Outside of school, she wears skinny jeans and t-shirts, along with some sort of plain-colored hoodie. She’s always wearing either black Doc Martins or high-top Converse.
7. What’s her favorite type of weather?
Her favorite day of the year is the first warm one after a long winter. It’s the day that comes out of nowhere, where the sun seems brighter and warms your face when you step outside. It’s the kind of day you know you’ll have more of, but you also know that it’s incredibly temporary and that no other spring day will feel quite as tenuous and necessary as this one.
8. What’s the worst fight she’s ever been in?
Since they became friends two years ago, Ruth has had only one fight with Lila. As Lila kept spending the night at Ruth’s on Saturdays, Ruth’s parents insisted that both girls come to church; while neither of them is particularly religious, it’s become somewhat of a habit. Last year, Ruth and Lila had a crush on the same guy, a soft-spoken musician in their youth group. Ruth felt she had “dibs” since Lila wouldn’t have met the guy if it weren’t for her, but ultimately he was more interested in Lila. They dated for two months before they broke it off; they didn’t really have much in common. Ruth was really hurt that Lila decided to date him knowing Ruth’s feelings, but ultimately she had to be there for her friend after the breakup.
9. What names or nicknames has she been called throughout her life?
She doesn’t really go by nicknames, although as a child her family members called her Ruthie. Every once in a while, her close friends will call her that, but it’s not a really permanent nickname.
10. What makes her heart feel alive?
She loves stories most of all. She’s always been an avid reader because she enjoys getting inside someone else’s head, but as she got older she started writing stories. She started off doing Harry Potter fan fiction (because who didn’t start out that way?) and has lately progressed to various ideas for novels, none of which are finished. When she’s reading a really good book or working on a story idea, it’s the most alive and purposeful she ever feels. It’s what she wants to do for the rest of her life.
Anyone else participating in Beautiful People this month? Send me your links!