Friday, 25 August 2017

Beautiful People #27 || I finally talk about Three Sisters

Annnd August's Beautiful People has been open since - well - the start of August?? - but I'm just getting around to it now. (Because if I procrastinate too much longer, it'll be September.)

Beautiful People is a link-up hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In, so thank'ee kindly, ladies, for that.

I'm going to go with one of my three major characters from Three Sisters for this. (You would never have guessed there were three major characters in a story with the working title Three Sisters, would you??)

I should probably give a little context? since I haven't talked much about my writing at all?)
There are three sisters in Three Sisters (cue more astonished surprise); Billie, Elsie and Josie (or Ells and Josh... but never Bill). They live in a forest, in a cottage they [Billie, mostly] built themselves, and in varying degrees of uncomfortable-ness. Josie likes the freedom and spends her time riding their bony old horse around and waving a bow; despite having lived in the forest for seven months, she still views their life as a great adventure. Elsie... well, she had a life before they came to live here; she dislikes the forest, pours her heart into her writing, and feels her sisters don't appreciate how hard she works making their life tolerable (she does the cooking etc). Billie does appreciate Elsie, but she won't say it; they've all had to make sacrifices for this new life, and Billie keeps it going by sheer stubbornness and very hard physical labour.

The story opens with Josie coming home unusually rattled; she was caught poaching in the forest by its legendary resident beast, who demanded her life in forfeit. Billie makes light of it, but when the Beast turns up at their cottage, furious that Josie didn't honour her bargain (to say goodbye to her sisters and then return), Billie is ready with the crossbow. Which... is a commendable effort, but doesn't do much. Out of options, she offers herself to pay for her sister's crime; although she isn't aware, this, according to traditions held from ancient times, is binding: the Beast can neither refuse, nor in any way harm her.

So now Elsie and Josie, believing Billie dead, argue and leave the safety of their cottage. Meanwhile the Beast - who, as I'm writing him, is turning out more and more like a grumpy/legalistic but very bewildered great-uncle who just wants to be left in his library while everyone follows the RULES (no romance involving him, by the way) - has an angry young woman prowling around his house and smashing his china because she can't leave but she can see (via a handy book that's basically a magic mirror in book form) her sisters making dangerous choices without her there to stop them.

Annnd... that's basically as far as two 10k Camp Nanos have taken me.

I have more in mind, including a Cinderella thread, a Robin Hood thread + bandits, an angry empress, sisterly loyalty + sisterly fury, and nods to various fairy tales.

Please note: all of this is regarding a nowhere-near-finished first draft. Characters and plot are still developing. Answers are not set in stone. In fact, I will probably tend to waffle for a while and then admit I don't know the answers.

Oh, and I'm answering these questions for Billie. ;) Time-wise, this is probably... soon after she's taken?

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

Billie can't live without her own strength. She has to be in control of the world/situation around her. So... does that make her... addicted to power??

That... was not my intention.

But the transition to her new life in the forest has meant she's had to live without a lot of things, and (so far as I know) she's not addicted to anything physical. Like, say, coffee. (That's a strange foreign drink which [it's strongly implied that] one of the other characters introduces them to.) So I think anything she can't live without is definitely non-physical.

Like power  control of the world around her her own strength, so she can protect herself and her sisters. (Because that has gone amazingly so far... I suppose she did manage to keep things going for seven months, though.)

It's actually also likely that she can't live (or wouldn't have been able to create this new life) without her anger (see the 'what are they holding on to' and the 'someone they resent' questions, below).

Name 3 positive and 3 negative qualities about your character.

Positive: Protective, strong-willed, strong
Negative: Over-protective/controlling, stubborn, relies on her own strength instead of trusting others

Oh look, they're basically the same. I love it when that happens. I think it's a good thing for characters' strengths to potentially be their weaknesses.

Are they holding onto something they should get rid of? 

I can't think of anything. As far as physical objects go, anything with an emotional attachment got dumped when their forest life started. Instead she keeps a simmering lump of completely justified anger and resentment.

...I suppose she should get rid of that??

...Or I could kill the other person.

...After all, that lump of bad feelings is probably 49% of what drives her to make their new life succeed, no matter how hard it is. (Basically, out of spite. "Haha you dumped us, but look at us now. We're doing F I N E." *attacks problem with sharp-bladed shovel* "JUST F I N E.")

(The other 51% is protectiveness. Because I too am a big sister.)

(I think we're far enough off topic now and I should move on.)

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

Um. She used to be probably an 8? but her new life involves a lot of nature and nature isn't really something you can keep organised. I think she likes inside the cottage to be tidy (at least, she put up hooks and stuff), but otherwise she's silently rebelling against her old life and has embraced the mud and sweat and deliberately does things which she would never have done in her old life because #ew. Not that that's relevant to how organised she is. I'd say probably more like a 4 or 5 now.

What most frustrates them about the world they live in? 

Billie gets frustrated when she can't control the world around her. She did it in her old life, and with enough stubbornness and sweat, she can usually do it in this new one. Except when she can't. Mostly that's because of the Beast, but sometimes it's Elsie or Josie being rebellious.

e.g. [Billie yelling at the book:] "I told you not to leave the house where do you think you're going get back here this instant or else" (Beast: "I'll just... there was something I urgently had to do... on the other side of the house." *leaves awkwardly*)

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

I may have mentioned "rebelling against her old life" and "spite" in my previous answers??

Billie would wear her most worn-out dress - clean, but still worn-out, and completely not the kind of dress that's worn on a 'night out'. And her boots. Not just because she only has a few dresses (and scrubbing the mud out of them kind of wears them out) (and they're a bit darned around the hem and knees) but because she refuses to be the girl she once was. Because that life let her down and now she refuses to go with anything but the new life she built for herself + her sisters.

How many shoes do they own, and what kind? 

This is obviously a very important question, and I'm ashamed of myself for not having thought of it before.


One pair of scuffed leather boots; good-quality, but well-worn.

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

Billie has a bony old horse. His name is Old Bill. Her sisters thought that was hilarious, but they're smart enough not to call her Bill. (She doesn't like it. Or she wouldn't like it... no one's actually dared do it, yet.) Unfortunately - although Billie could really use Old Bill for plowing the vegetable patch or for dragging logs - Josie has claimed him.

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

She resents her father. Because he chose the path that benefited himself and threw his daughters to the wolves.

I know... another terrible parent, when YA's full of them already. I'm sorry. I'll try to write some nice ones too.

What’s usually in their fridge or pantry? 

They have a cellar that Billie dug, and it usually has whatever game Josie's caught recently + vegetables from the garden. There would be leftovers from the last meal, in a bowl wrapped in a damp cloth, except they don't usually leave leftovers.


I hope you enjoyed that journey into my WIP! It's late, I know - August is almost over - but I've been enjoying other people's BP posts so much that I felt I had to do one. Plus I've been half-promising to give you a few more details about Three Sisters since, I don't know, April?

So. That's Billie! Do you think she sounds addicted to power?? Do you sympathise with the over-protective big sister or the younger ones who just want to have their own lives? What do you think of the Beast?


  1. This is terrific. I love it so much. Your beast sounds awesome and I really love this take on B&B. (Also don't worry about the parents, it'll be fine. I don't mind. Really.)

    1. As an older sister who refused to show it but would have done a lot for her siblings, Beauty and the Beast always confused me! WHY would a father let his daughter do that for him? What kind of a father is that?? So in my story it's the older, responsible person who volunteers to go in place of the rasher, younger one.

      I'm glad you like it, Faith! (I just felt like I should maybe have some nice + responsible parents in ONE of my stories?? ;P)

  2. AHHHH, Billie sounds so cool! XD

  3. AHHHH I loved learning more about your WIP. Honestly it sounds so cool. And lots of nods to fairytales?? EPICNESS, YES PLEASE. *applauds*

    1. Lots of combined fairytales and hints about fairytales is what I'd like to read, so... ;D Thanks for commenting, Jane!

  4. This sounds super awesome! I love how you left me with enough mysteries about their father to keep me hooked. XD Can't wait to hear more about it!

    1. I hope it'll end up super awesome, Melissa! ;) I found it a bit tricky trying to hook readers and explain why the set-up is the way it is, without saying too much...

  5. Jem. I. Need. To. Read. This. NOW. The Beast just sounds super and utterly funny and hilarious and everything. And the plot. Epicness. AHHHHHHHHHHH

    1. You're too kind, Julian! *blushes*

      The Beast was originally going to be a villain... but as I wrote my way through my plotless draft, I've developed him into quite a different character! I'm rather fond of him now, too ;)

  6. Oh gosh, so spot-on about the lack of kind parents in YA xp

    1. I feel a bit bad about having MORE characters without good parents... but it was really necessary for the plot! ;P Still, I definitely agree that YA could do with some nice parents who are actually in the story. I'll have to write some into a different WIP.

      Thanks for visiting, Cassandra! :D

  7. Wow, this sounds interesting! Keep it up! :)

  8. This sounds like a great story! Can't wait to see where it goes!


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