Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Prompt: 20 things about your character

Write 20 things about your character that may never appear in your writing. Your knowledge will infuse greater depth and life into your characters, even if your readers never learn these facts.

So the main character of my first novel-in-progress is Kiana, a 17-year-old human girl who was the first-born Settler on the planet Mira. Let’s see what she has to say about this exercise…

Twenty things? Oh, Mallie, you know I hate this kind of thing. Couldn’t you at least give me a list of questions? And you know everything about me, anyway. Well, almost everything, I guess. But what can I say? This isn’t in any order…

I always moved air. Mary says I used to lie in my crib and wave my hands, watching the mobile Robert made for me spin around and around. I didn’t know that people didn’t see the air like I do until I was four. It was the first time I lifted myself up in the air to see the golden sparkles from the sunlight. I was with Mary in the garden, but she didn’t see me lift above the blanket. When Robert tells the story, he always says he was afraid I was going to rise up and fly away before he could reach me.

It wasn’t long after that that the Beautiful Beast showed up on our doorstep. He was such a cute big fluffball, all iridescent colors, and I just wanted to snuggle him all the time. I really wanted him to be mine, but it was clear from the start that he loved Mary best. Don’t we all? No matter how comfortable we were, snuggled up together, when Mary got up to leave the room, Beast would always wriggle free and tumble along beside her. It made me jealous, if you want to know the truth. We don’t have pets in the Valley Prime, really, though we have lots of animals. I guess that’s one reason I love Mokolili so much. He’s definitely all mine. Well, and for us to understand the dragons better, of course.

When I was about eight, I learned why Mary always said not to eat too many yellow grapes at a time. I woke up one night when Lunara was full, and crept out to the garden, where the grapes glowed in the moonlight. I ate as many as I could pluck, but I started feeling sick even before I made it back inside. Oh, I was sick for three days. Mary made a blanket bed for me in the bathroom, because I couldn’t even go back and forth between there and my bed. I didn’t’ eat grapes again for probably two years. I do eat them now, but never more than I can fit in one hand.

I love old Terran movies. Watching them is something Robert and I have always done together. We watch everything. Old black and whites, early 3D, VR sims, you name it. I keep a journal, of course.

I keep journals for everything. I write to Mami every day. Mary got me started when I seven, I think, and really sad about not having my parents. She told me all the grownups felt that way about family on Terra. It helped me to imagine that Mami and Papa were still there, with Mary’s family. And so I started writing to Mami, sometimes just stupid stuff about my day. What I did, what I learned, what I’m thinking about. But I also keep a movie journal, a book journal, and a music journal. It’s fun to look back through and remember things I had forgotten about. No, I don’t have a clothes journal. That would be Izzy.

How many is that? Only five? Sweet Mira! I’ll never think of enough things! Surely this is boring you to tears, Mallie. If you show it to Niels, I will never forgive you!

Perhaps I will continue this exercise, with Kiana or another character from my WIP, or one of my short story characters.

How about it? What’s something you know about your character that I wouldn’t learn from reading your story?
And so, with a loving heart, I offer you
I’ve heard many translations. Here’s one I love:
The light of the universe that shines within me recognizes
the light of the universe that shines within you.

Dogs in House
Houdini, Brindle

Music Playing
The Lumineers

Time writing
~1 hour

August word count

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