Saturday, 17 March 2018

WIP Special Part 3 || I talk about Billie (yay!)


Well. I'm sure it's still Friday somewhere?

Look. I have a cold. I have study. I have work. I have been reading 100k+ fanfics. I am sorry I didn't get to this earlier, because Julian has organised a great thing here and I'm pleased to be part of it and ramble about my dear WIP

And I love ya all because you understand the craziness of life. <3

(Thanks to Lila for making the awesome graphic! <3)

The March 5-Part Special

Part 3: The Main Character(s)

Part 1: Introduction || Part 2: Setting

–{{Introduce your Main Character(s):

Oooh! Today I get to talk about Billie! (Elsie and Josie will be POV characters, I'm pretty sure, but Billie's definitely the main character of Three Sisters.)

Here's the first paragraph of my blurb again, because with the way I write, introducing my story basically equals introducing my MC:

Billie's the oldest of three. That makes her the one responsible for Elsie and Josie. She works hard to keep their life together - their new life, their life in a little cottage in the forest, the life they've built for themselves. But Josie is caught poaching: not by kingsmen, which would mean death, but by a legendary Beast of the forest, which... also means death. Billie's the oldest. Billie's the one who keeps her sisters safe. What option does she have? She invokes the old traditions to pay for her sister's debt herself.

Aww. I love her so much. Also she refuses to connect with anyone because she was betrayed in an unspecified previous relationship, so she just snarks people. Aggressively. All the time. Because she doesn't want to get hurt.

And at one point that led to a saucepan battle with a bandit in the Beast's kitchen. Good fun.

Possibly when you read this question you were expecting a physical description of Billie?? If so you obviously haven't been around me very long. She's, y'know, fairly regular, I guess? Brown hair [I think. Let me check.] Eyes. [Just... like... eyes. She has them. *awkwardness intensifies*] Oh, no, wait. She has blonde hair. [W o w, Jem.]

I think she's an ESTJ; I took the test for her a few times, and that's what I got.

She's the opposite of touchy-feely and doesn't do words of affection; she's not terribly sensitive and can miss emotions in others. (Also in herself. Except for anger. Because she's good at that one [and uses it to be productive.])

–{{How are the goals of the main character and the villain clashing?

Billie's goal is to have a simple, safe life for her sisters.

The villains - there are two, although at the moment I'm only intending on having one actually present - obviously want to kill the three sisters.

Because evil, power hungry, blah blah blah.

Both of them.

I maybe need to work on their motivations?? and a teeny bit more depth of character.

Oh, and also, the villains kind of don't know the sisters are still alive. But if they did, they'd want to kill them. 

–{{What motivates your MC?

My immediate answer is that Billie's desire to keep her sisters safe is what motivates her.

My second thought is "...spite."

Remember I said someone betrayed her? Someone she trusted? Since that, Billie has basically gone "haha well I can live fINE without you! look I'm building my oWN HOME and we are eNTIRELY HAPPY HERE so there. Oh and we're not dead and I have no intention of that changing any time soon, so sorry to disappoint??"

I did say that she had the (outward) emotional range of a teaspoon basically lived off snark, and I feel spite ties in with that fairly closely.

–{{What lie does your MC believe in?

I actually already know the answer to this one!

Billie believes that you can't rely on anyone except yourself.

She won't connect with anyone else - although to be honest the sisters don't exactly have a wide social circle anyway - because she doesn't trust them. Not necessarily "she doesn't trust them not to kill her sisters", but she doesn't trust people to "put her weight on", if you like.

She won't even rely on her sisters, or trust them to do important things or even look after themselves in certain ways, but that's more of a sister thing and less to do with betrayal, I'd say.

–{{What is one trait the MC disapproves of in his/herself?

Billie can see that keeping herself emotionally distant isn't always a good idea.

...not that being able to see it stops her at all.

She sometimes wonders if she's too insensitive towards her sisters, particularly Elsie (who's the most emotional of the three), but persuades herself that it's for their safety.

–{{What does the MC love about him/herself?

Hm. Billie isn't exactly the kind of person to do the whole "affirmations of self-love" thing. Or even look into herself. She's proud of the life she's made for her sisters and herself, but I don't know if she loves herself for it; she's fairly grim. It has required a change in the way she acts and thinks, and the person she's become is almost the opposite, in several ways, to the "socially admirable" standards. (Although she can't love the person she used to be, either, which she associates with the betrayal.)

Now I think about it, I don't know that Billie does love herself.

–{{What is your MC’s greatest strength and weakness?

Strength of character and mind.

Stubbornness (and refusing to rely on anyone else).

Ooh look, they match. 

–{{What does your MC like to do when they’re bored?

Um. Extend the garden? chink up the gaps in the log cottage she awkwardly made herself?? attempt to dry/smoke food even though she has no idea and they're all probably going to get food poisoning if she does that???

She considers herself entirely responsible for her sisters. She doesn't have spare time to be bored in.

(Although. Right at the start of the first draft, I gave Elsie writing and Josie [get this:] lacemaking. But Billie somehow managed to avoid an after-dinner hobby.)

–{{What does the MC look like? (Bonus points for picture)

Oh, this is the question which requires a physical description.

*points to the first question* *in which I admit I have no idea*

Although, while trawling Pinterest, I did recently find an actress who had some tired/angry pictures that made me think of Billie.

But... she's brown-haired. So. Maybe Billie could be brown-haired?? (It's not like it makes a difference to the story?)

–{{How is your MC similar to and different from you?

I like to think that Billie's protectiveness would be what I was like if I were in a situation like hers. I'm certainly drawing on that imagined situation, anyway.

I also do perfect banter and snark, obviously.

However, I'm not sure that I could be as dedicated, selfless and hardworking as Billie? Or as good at doing unfamiliar and physical tasks. Like building an entire house. (One-roomed, but still.)

.... That's the end of Part 3! ....

Now go check out these bloggers! I'm about 96% sure their posts are all up and ready, waiting for your fascinated perusal! because I'm just late haha


Which of your characters do you see yourself in the most? Which of your characters do you admire for features you don't have yourself? (e.g. incredible skill on the violin, ability to run long distances, putting up with siblings patiently) Do you have trouble creating a physical description for your characters? What about finding a picture of them? What lie does your character believe and how does that fuel your plot? 

And what question should I have asked but didn't? Answer it in the comments!


  1. She sounds wonderful! The hard exterior is very, very relatable. :P I love that she's a good big sister, though--sounds like you did a nice job writing her. XD

    1. She's not a very emotionally-connected big sister, but she works hard. I hope so - thanks, Faith! :D

  2. Aw, I love snarky tired characters. She sounds awesome!!

    1. I think 'tired' is a new feature for my characters, but I'm loving it so far (glad to hear you are too, Gray! ;)

  3. SNARK IS MY FAVORITE THING also the loki gif is amazing. Your book sounds #amazing.

    Also I nominated you for the Awesome Blogger Award, because you're #amazing too. It takes #amazing people to write #amazing books.

    1. There is always room for a Loki gif, right?

      Ooh, thanks, Daisy! #totallyamazing [#ehehe #bluffing] (and thank you for telling me, because I'm abominably behind in reading blogs...)

  4. Billie sounds kinda broken, but she also sounds strong. I LOVE those kinds of characters! So much! AND I CAN HARDLY WAIT TO READ THIS SOMEDAY!!

    1. The betrayal really hit her hard, poor thing. AHH THANKS LILA! <3

  5. Yes, I do understand the craziness of life. :( But hey, you posted, so it's all good. :) I like how you make your posts fun, even if it's a subject I can't totally relate to (because I haven't written fiction, etc). Billie sounds like good value though - I feel for her and the walls she's put up due to being hurt in the past. Also, lacemaking as a hobby is so cool! I've often been intrigued by it, although I don't think I'd have the patience to try it.

    1. Aw, I'm so glad to hear that you enjoy reading my posts even when/though they're not your usual topics, Jessica!

      And lacemaking is definitely fascinating craft - I think my vague reasoning behind making it Josie's hobby was to have it contrast with her usual wildness? but I might need some more development there. ;)

  6. Oy, I love Billie!! She reminds me of myself, just a little bit. Mostly because I'm the big sibling who sometimes has gotta do stuff myself to make sure it gets done. XD

    Marywyn is quite good with gardening, which I wish I could do. But I'm a good horsewoman, which she wishes she could do. So we're even. :) (Except she eventually gets the hang of riding horses, while I'm still stuck with the dying plants in my office...)

    1. It can be hard work, but deep down I think all we big siblings are deeply protective! (even if it is, far to often, hidden under impatience, in my case... :| )

      I figure horse-riding would be a truly important skill in most fantasy worlds! ;)

  7. Billie sounds like an a very cool protagonist, I'd love to see her journey and how the Beast changes her. I kinda feel for Billie as I'm an older sister myself and probably would do a lot of the things that she does (to my detriment, probably).

    Awesome post, Jem!


    1. Thanks, Catherine! Yes, I'm hoping to write her so any older sister will empathise (don't worry, what Billie does is to her detriment too... ;P)

  8. Wow, great post! Billie sounds wonderful. I love her strengths and weaknesses!

    Drop me a couple pics and/or description and I can give Billie's portrait a try (only if you want to though. No pressure). I'm between projects right now, so... XD

    1. I like having characters' strengths and weaknesses being different sides of the same trait!

      Oh, wow, Evan... I was just looking at your art on Tumblr and there are some really good portraits there! (K-pop, is it? I know nothing about that... you'll have to give me the why-it's-awesome pitch!) I'd be honoured! Honestly, I'm terrible at physical descriptions... at the moment, the three pictures above are the best idea I have of what Billie looks like - tired - but she's also ready to lash out with snark (aggressively to cover up that she's behaving defensively, if that makes sense).

      If you wanted to have a go at drawing her portrait, that would be awesome (only if you want to though.) ;)

    2. Thank you! Before I start I like to know three things:

      1) How old she looks (e.g. 22 years)
      2) Hair color/texture/length (e.g. shoulder length wavy brown hair)
      2) Graphite or color portrait (I just posted a color portrait so you have an example)

      I can work off the images you have already for 2, so mostly I just need an approximate age and what kind of drawing you want. :)

    3. 1) around 21 (I don't even know xP)
      2) medium length (~6 inches longer than those photos), brown-blonde, vaguely wavy hair
      (She usually has it in a plait, but not always, so whatever works for the picture is fine)
      3) Ummm... graphite, I suppose? That'll let me muck around with the details (like eye colour) for a bit longer. ;P

      Sorry I missed responding to this, Evan!

  9. So sorry it took me so long to read this, but I'm here now! XD
    I love Billie! She's so awesome, and I need to read her now.
    Like now.
    So why isn't the book in my hands. ... I just... don't understand. ;)

    1. You're not the only one who wishes the book would appear in her hands, Snapper... I, too, am currently holding out for that event.

      (I'm always arriving late to posts, so I don't mind!)


Comment away! I read all comments - no matter how old the post may be! - and I'll try to reply. Just keep your words appropriate so I won't have to delete your comment (I'd hate to have to do that).