Beautiful People is a blog meme hosted by Sky @ Further Up, Further In and Cait @ Paper Fury. Every month, they post ten questions to help you get to know your characters better. This post is a link up to their March edition!
Last week, I hit the first quarter mark of A Heart of Fire. The story is urban fantasy with a female heroine for young adults. An almost 17-year-old girl, Ane, discovers that she has magical powers, and has to choose to use them for selfish goals or for the greater good, to find her inner strengths, in order to stand up against evil forces.
I’m aiming for the book to be 90 000 words, which means that I need to have fulfilled all the plot markers of the first quarter by 22 500 words. I already have too many words for the first quarter and need to shorten it, editing the first quarter as we speak!
(That’s the main reason why the word count to the right stopped growing…!)
(Plus, I’ve just had the flu and a throat inflammation for almost two weeks, which obviously slowed me down…)
A portrait of Ane at the day this story starts, Answering 10 questions:
Ane changes a lot during the story. The answers are given with the character Ane in mind – how she is and what she does at the very beginning of book one!
1. What first inspired this character? Is there a person/actor you based them off?
Ane was created when I was almost 17-years-old myself, and I wanted to revenge myself on some guys at school who had been really stupid during sports, without them knowing that it was ME who had been mean to them. I sat in the back of the class room – desperately yearning for magical powers. And in my mind the character Ane started doing all kinds of magical things that I myself was not able to.
Today, almost 14 (!) years later, she has grown into her own “person”, and I am sometimes surprised at her reactions to the conflicts I put her in. Indeed, Ane has showed me quite a lot how I needed to change the original story to make it better and more credible.
2. Describe their daily routine.
When the first book starts out, this is Ane’s daily routine:
Ane always gets up a little too late, showers, brushes her teeth, does her hair and make-up, eats something healthy, and runs like crazy to catch the bus to school. She is at school from about 8 to 15, then goes to the city to stare through shop windows, admiring things she can’t afford buying. At home she will be making dinner with her mum before she does her homework or at least pretends to, and then either reads, watches TV, daydreams or visits Else (the best friend). After that she will go to bed, lay there and daydream about Eric (the love interest) and and like very evening she will not be able to sleep because of it. Thus getting up late the next morning…
3. If they joined your local high school, what clique would they fit into?
The outsiders, together with Else.
Yet, while Else is working her hardest to be accepted by the inner circle of coolest people, Ane enjoys being an outsider – who wants to be just as awesome as the popular people in every way, but more to spit in their faces than to be accepted by them. Ane despises Melinda, the most popular girl in school (and one of the meanest!).
4. Write a list of things they merely tolerate. Ex: certain people, foods, circumstances in their lives…
Ane merely tolerates the evil of discussing their futures at school and considering career options. Ane has no idea whatsoever what she wants to do with her life and strongly suppresses that she will have to choose soon.
5. How do they react in awkward silences?
Depending on the circumstances she will do one of the two: Either she remains quiet and pretends not to be present, hoping the ground will swallow her whole. Or else she starts talking way too much, for instance by spilling out facts or by making really inappropriate jokes.
6. Can they swim? If so, how did they learn?
Yes! Ane learned swimming in school. She comes from a coastal city (Kristiansand, Norway) in which the leaders prioritise for children to learn how to swim at school, as a safety measure.
7. What is one major event that helped shape who they are?
Ane does not have a father. She doesn’t even know his name, as his name is not even on her birth certificate.
No one ever called her their little princess when she was small and she still ponders who he might be and what awful things he has done for her mum not to tell his name in the hospital when she was born.
This experience has given her a deep mistrust towards everyone of the male gender.
8. What things do they value most in life?
Loyalty. To Ane, loyalty is the foundation of all trust and friendships, and the mutual loyalty with Else is one reason why she cherishes Else. Her second most important value is honesty.
9. Do they believe in giving other people second chances? Do they have any trust issues?
Ane has major trust issues – it is one of her biggest issues in life! Before giving anybody a second chance, she would have to at least think about it for quite a while before giving it.
10. Your character is having a rough day…what things do they do to make them happy again? Is there anyone they talk/interact with to get in a better mood?
Eat ice cream. Talk to her best friend, Else, or order pizza from the place across the street with her mum.
This is where the story starts out! Then, suddenly, in chapter one, everything changes, at a party one Saturday night in October…
Loved this post?
I would love it if you would share it or leave a comment!
I’m working on getting the word out there – that the story about Ane is on its way!
If you would share it – it would be a tremendous help to me and I would be very grateful!
Have a great day, friends!
Best, A.J. and Ane
All pictures were made with the bitstrips app!