Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The Four-Part Writing Special // Part Two: Characters

Apparently it's Wednesday again.

Anyone would think Wednesdays were a regular occurrence.

TIME FOR JULIAN'S T H I N G. (I mean, the Special. The not-tag. The... the thing.)

Still talking about Three Sisters here! (Read Part 1)

1. Who is the main character? (Bonus points for a description or picture)

There are three POV characters - Billie, Elsie and Josie. But Billie is the main character. Because she's the most like me. Obviously.

She's... the oldest. So she's bossy a leader. She makes her younger sisters work fairly hard, but takes the worst jobs herself. And while she doesn't show many of the softer emotions, she would literally give her life to protect Elsie and Josie.

...Physical description? Really??

Blonde hair and... um...


CONFESSION TIME: I am so scared of info-dumping that I tend to ignore any character description. I mean, how do you work the character's eye colour into a natural sentence?? So I actually haven't focused on developing a full physical description. 

This picture does make me think of her... but it's not accurate to the story.

I can't find out who this is, so I can't find other images
of her and see if Billie looks like that... x(

And I'll probably change my mind later and say it reminds me of her in no way at all. Maybe if I were a plotter I could give you more solid facts, but... I'm not.

2. What is goal of the protagonist? The antagonist? (no spoilers!)

The goal of the protagonist is to keep herself and her sisters alive in their new little rustic life.

The goal of the antagonist isn't to kill the protagonist. Not exactly. She already thinks the protagonist is dead. Instead, it's just your standard sort of take-over-all-the-countries power-grabby goal. Um. Yeah. That's definitely on my list of "Things to change before you let anyone read it, you cliche pengwing".

I could provide spoilers, except I don't know what the ending is... if someone would provide spoilers for me, that would be great. Then I might actually know where I'm heading. 

3. Is there a possession or memory the MC keeps close?

Billie keeps memories of her father close - all the better to brood over.

Nothin' keeps ya bitter like holding your memories close and regularly visiting them to brood. Alone. With your bitterness.

4. What is the MC's greatest fear?

Billie's biggest fear is that she won't be strong enough to protect and look after her younger sisters.

So, obviously, I've used external forces to take even the opportunity of being strong away from her. But I'll come back to her fear before the book's finished.

(And she'll fail. Obviously.)

5. Who is your favorite character?



  • I like Billie, because she feels responsible and she's a lot like me in her big-sistery-ness. 
  • I like Elsie, because she's had to abandon someone she loved without saying goodbye. 
  • I like Josie, because... um I think I might need some more character development or a super subplot here. Because Josie's the one who rides around the forest with a bow and arrow, which sounds cool, but I actually feel a fair bit of apathy towards her. Fine, I don't actually like Josie sooo much. (Not enough for her to be an option for my favourite character.)
  • I like the Beast (Count Laszlo), because he's a grumpy old thing who just wants to be left in peace with his scones and cups of tea and books and ferns. Without having to deal with people misbehaving. 
  • I like Rowan [has his roots in Robin Hood], because even though he's so quick with banter, he has sadness behind his eyes. [Woo that sounds so poetic! now you just have to cOME UP WITH THAT TRAGIC BACKSTORY, YOU DINGBAT AUTHOR.]
  • I like Kik, because he somehow developed character better than Rowan, who was meant to be the main character out of the bandits.
  • I like Zephyr, because he's so sweet. Basically he's in the range of Char (Ella Enchanted) for sweetness (at least that's what I'm aiming for). And he's hurt.
  • I like Jemma, because she's a Camp NaNo panic-fueled creation based roughly on myself because I didn't want to have to make up another full character.
... Billie'd be my favourite female. Male characters... probably Zephyr and the Beast, for different categories. But then, Rowan has come up with some amazing banter... [a significant amount breaking the fourth wall to question if I happened to have such a thing as a plot about me??]

6. List some of the more prominent characters, and then provide a line that describes them (from your WIP).

[Everything is liable to change. But this is how they stand at the moment - or at least how they stood at the start of the draft. Some things have changed already.]

[Also I've taken a not-terribly-literal interpretation of "a line that describes them". Describing their character is much more important than their eye colour! *cough* I don't know their eye colour *cough*]


Grabbing two handfuls of tablecloth, she pulled. The porcelain cup, plates and cream pot smashed to the floor, and the cutlery tinkled among the pieces.
The Beast roared and leapt forward. "How dare you!"
Billie kicked her chair in his bath* and grabbed the edge of the table.
"Don't you-"
With muscles toned and knotty from seven months of digging potatoes and cutting trees, she lifted the table and hurled it among the ferns.

(She's having a fit because she thought she'd offered to die in her sister's place... and instead she's being [grumpily] offered scones and tea, while her sisters think she's dead and now have to look after themselves. Which they would have had to do anyway if she'd died, but Billie's not feeling logical at the moment. Besides, watching and being useless COMPLETELY grates against her character.)

* It's five months later and I've only just seen that typo. PATH. not bath. *dies*


Before moving to the forest, she'd been very social, making friends with everyone. The forest, on the other hand, was so lonely and empty. She hadn't seen anyone except her sisters for seven months. If that wasn't enough to drive a person mad, she didn't know what was.

(Billie's "dead" and Josie's run off into the forest. Elsie never took to the rough life like the two of them, and copes so badly on her own that practically the first thing she does is leave their hidden cottage and go talk to people.)


If she hunted again, would the Beast come back? Would it take her? Josie thought of the crossbow, hanging on the rack inside the door. Let the Beast come. She would train. She would fight. Let the Beast come; she would welcome it. For Billie, she would kill it. She had been too weak and Billie had died because of that. Josie would not wait until the Beast came after her to avenge her sister. She would hunt the Beast down.

(This is Josie's internal monologue. IMPULSIVE DECISION-MAKING RIGHT HERE. No. Seriously, Josie. Maybe tHINK THIS THROUGH.)

Count Laszlo/the Beast:

"Mrs Potts! I will be needing tea. Excessive quantities of tea every day for the foreseeable future. And a large portion right now."

(I'm not sure how he went from trying to kill them to being a grumpy old teddy bear?? but that's a problem for the second draft.)


Tall but not overly broad, he had the air of a little boy who'd never grown up, and the tousled brown hair to match. His skin was freckled and his eyes dark; he wore a simple shirt and pants in patched brown and green, with soft leather boots like her own. Her eyes went to the bow and quiver on his back, and she wished again that she had her own bow still.

(But that's Josie's impression when she met him [she's actually pretty immature at this point and I was trying to bring that through in how she saw people; for example, she's misinterpreted "the air of a little boy who'd never grown up" - that's him bluffing that he's okay]. Billie notices different things about Rowan. Mostly because he's tying her to the table leg while he + his men try to raid the Beast's house.)


[Rowan:] "These are my men, all of whom I trust with my life."
Kik snorted. "We have a common goal, but adding the compliment - thank you, by the way - doesn't mean you can call us your men, Rowan. We discussed this. We're willing to follow you, but we aren't your men."
"Aren't they all such lovably humorous rogues?" Rowan's smile didn't quite reach his eyes.
[Later; Rowan to Josie.]
"Welcome to the Hood's Men."
Kik mumbled something from back at the clearing. 
Rowan ignored it.


The only [foreigner] not dancing. The only [foreigner] wearing black. The [foreigner] who should never, never have seen her again.
"Elsabeth," he said again, hoarsely, and stepped forward heedless of the dancers. He looked like he'd seen a ghost.
Which he had.



"Do you sell paper?"
"I do." The woman looked up, brushing a strand of hair off her face and leaving a swipe of ink in its place. She was only a bit older than Elsie.

(She wasn't supposed to be in more than one scene?? but she stuck around and made herself useful.)

I understand that these aren't all main characters! But I thought I'd introduce a bit more of the cast haha this practically is all of the named cast.

7. Who is the funniest character? Smartest character? Creepiest character? Most reckless character? Quirkiest character?

After careful consideration I have decided that my characters don't seem to be funny on their own, but in pairs. I'm not actually terribly far into my plot, but where I currently am, Billie and Rowan are... well, I think they're funny, but I suppose they're really just bickering.

The Beast is probably the smartest... in book learning. Not so sure about real world application, since he doesn't seem to understand - for example - how human emotions work.

I guess the creepiest character is the girls' father?

And Josie is definitely the most reckless character.

For quirky... maybe Mrs Potts?? I mean, she's a glowing orb that floats around glowering at Billie. That... is not terribly quirky. I do not actually have one of those quirky and lightheartedly and funny characters.

8. How do you come up with names?

It's not my division if I can't see it.

*also external screaming* *that's very important* *can't forget that*

9. What is the Myers-Briggs type of your MC? (Bonus points for side characters!)

I actually hadn't gotten around to doing this yet! So... now I know.

Billie: ESTJ. This fits perfectly with how I pictured her, which is cool! She's leader who values dedication, honesty, and hard work - and clashes with anyone who goes against those values. Not touchy-feely or big on words of affection (I actually did her Love Language too - Acts of Service); can miss emotions in others; stubborn and not very sensitive.

Elsie: The first time, the result was ENFJ - "natural-born leaders, full of passion and charisma... with a natural confidence that begets influence." That doesn't sound like Elsie to me; she enjoys being around people, but not being the centre of attention, and she's not as much of a leader as her sisters.

So I did it again, and the result was INFJ (which is funny because that's mine). This seems a bit more like her: "soft-spoken, but with strong opinions", private, could be seen as a quiet Extrovert but still needs time alone to recharge.

Josie: My first try gave ENTP. This seemed partly accurate, but she's not overly selfless or sensitive (she's a bit self-centred, at least at the start). Next time, the result was ESTP, (intuitive/sensing was hovering around 50%). "Little regard for sensitivity"... "leap before they look"... "likeliest personality type to make a lifestyle of risky behaviour"??? JOOOSIE RIGHT HERE.

(Anyone have experience with the MBTI system? How would you say these would interact? Anything in particular I should know??)

10. Are any characters influenced by someone in your life?

Billie: myself - even though our personality types are apparently practically opposite, we share a silent but fierce protectiveness.
Josie: annoying little sisters who don't behave logically??
Zephyr: I wish he was based on someone I know xP

So that's Part Two of the Four-Part Writing Special! I hope you enjoyed hearing a bit about the characters in Three Sisters(Sorry about the length....)

Which character do you like best? Which one would you like to hear more about? Who's your quirkiest character? Do you like the sweet guys in books? (Char! Kai! Faramir!) Are your characters influenced by (we won't say "based off") someone in your life? Do you know your characters' Myers-Briggs types? What's your Myers-Briggs personality type?

I forgot to link to the other bloggers.  Oops.

Julian's post || Sarah's post || Ivie's post || Lisa's post || Mrs Baldwin's post || Faith's post || Lila's post || Evangeline's post

Have you read the posts by these amazing blogger-writers too? (If not, go do it!)


  1. I JUST LOVE YOUR SNIPPITS! How do you write like that during NaNo?! My writing looks like my eight-year-old self did it!

    This was great! Can't wait to read more!

    1. I... do a lot of editing as I go. Which isn't usually recommended for first drafts (especially during NaNo!) but I can't work any other way. (Means those 50k+ goals are a bit lofty for me, though.)

      Thanks, Sarah!

  2. AHHH I LOVE YOUR CHARACTERS SO MUCH!!! And I love the sweet guys all the time. EVERY time. Especially Char, Kai, and Faramir because ughhh. The ADORABLENESS. I watched the Return of the King recently and I decided that what Faramir needs is a big hug and some hot chocolate.

    1. Thank you, Faith! :D YES Faramir needs a big hug. xD (He was even sweeter in the book, though - and the romance was cute. One place I felt the movie could have been better!)

  3. I wasn't totally hooked before, but now I am. In fact, I'm in over my head. XD


    1. What? You weren't hooked before?? Unacceptable! *redoubles efforts* (Pleased to hear it, Lila... mwahahaa ;P)

      I'll tell him that xD

  4. Oh Jem...your humor is just what I needed today! I can't wait to hear more about the sisters, they sound like a cool bunch!


    1. I'm honoured to hear it, Catherine, and I hope the rest of the day went well for you!

  5. Your characters all have such cute names!

    1. That... I...

      *dies laughing*

      I'm glad you think so, Evangeline! but it's funny because I HATE naming characters and will put it off as long as possible. (And I called one Jemma because I DIDN'T WANT TO HAVE TO DO THE NAMING THING AGAIN. xD)

  6. We need to stop this madness. Every new post just makes me want to read this book more. Seriously. Jem. I NEED TO READ THISSSSSSSSS PRECIOUSSSSSSS

    Kik sounds great! (Maybe he makes me think of Kili?) I just wanna squeeze 'im.

    And I wanna have tea with the Count. And talk about poetry and history and all the POLITE STUFFS.




    Write me into your book.

    1. YESSS PRECIOUSSSS I want to read it too! (except I have to write it first! WHY)

      The Count would actually maybe enjoy having tea and scones with you?? After having Billie, a young lady who'd sit and sip tea and talk about "the polite stuffs" would be a refreshing change xD

      ... maybe I will, Julian. Maybe I will.
      ... do you object to your character dying?? (HYPOTHETICAL QUESTION) ;P

  7. Replies
    1. Thanks, TeenWriter, and thank you for stopping by! :)

  8. Ohmygosh I love your characters and your humorous posts. They always make me grin. xD

    1. And your kind words make me grin, Melissa. :D

  9. Your characters sound amazing! So does your entire story! Oh! And I tagged you here:

    1. Thanks, Ani! <3 And I'll enjoy doing that tag (one day... I'm a terrible procrastinator :P)

  10. EEK! Your story sounds like SOOOOO much fun to write! It's so fantastical and magical yet dark and BASICALLY I JUST NEED THIS BOOK IN MY LIFE RIGHT NOW, PLEASE.

    I think my favorite character in this story HAS to be the Beast. (I might have said this before....) But OH MY WORD, he is perfection!!! I love him so much!!! I've never heard of a beast who's basically a loveable grumpy teddy bear that loves tea and FERNS and just UGH. He's adorable. I want one. Please. But Kik sounds like a ton of fun, too! (And I'm in love with his name, by the way!! XD )

    This taggy-not-taggy thing is so much fun to read! And YOUR SNIPPETS!!! Oh goodness, those snippets are amazing. Just amazing. I can't wait to read more!!

    1. AW thank you, Kenzie! <3

      The Beast has changed a fair bit from the start of the draft - he just keeps becoming more of a character I sympathise with! And Kik - well, Kik is meant to be a minor character?? but several people have said they like him... so he might get a bit more of a role ;)

      I'm glad to hear it <3


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