Beautiful people is a monthly character link-up hosted by Sky at Further Up and Further In and Kait at Paper Fury. They post ten questions aimed at understanding your characters better, and I am in desperate need of this with Marianne. I’ve decided to just up and start a new novel for Camp NaNo… sort of. It’s got the same title of a novel I’ve started twice before, but the progress I’ve made on that is going to go toward something else, and this concept is going to start over with all new characters and a mostly new plot. So, here’s Marianne, a sophomore in college I know very little about right now.
1. What’s their favorite place they’ve ever visited?
She loves airports. In all the traveling she’s done (which, granted, isn’t nearly as much as she’d like it to be), she always remembers most clearly the airport. The bustle of people–something she would hate if it were in a mall or waiting in line somewhere–reminds her that there are so many other people in the world with lives and stories of their own. She especially loves them at the ungodly hours of the night, because there’s a sort of camaraderie between people that doesn’t really exist anywhere else.
2. What’s one mistake they made that they learned from?
Ri doesn’t really believe in mistakes, at least not of the life-changing sort. There are bad choices, but even then, those lead to other things and so on and so forth. Though, in junior high, she learned through a very bad salon choice that she hates having short hair, and it doesn’t really do anything good for her face.
3. What was their favorite subject in school? Or favorite thing to learn about?
Her favorite subjects in high school were always science classes. She loved biology, but that was mostly for the teacher, because dissecting things made her gag. She usually outsourced that to boys who were way too eager to shove scalpels into dead things in exchange for writing up their lab reports. She loved physics, too, despite the teacher. She just loves learning about how the world works. So, when she declared her major in college as English, she felt a part of her resisting and she’s still not really sure what to do about that.
4. What’s their favorite flower/growing thing?
She loves wildflowers and ivy and anything pretty that grows by the side of the road or in abandoned, rusted out cars. There’s something about beauty blooming in the midst of ugliness that soothes her soul, though she’d never put it in those words. So pretentious.
5. Have they ever made someone cry? What happened?
Ri has a habit of not watching her words as much as she should, especially when she writes. So while she’s never made anyone cry in a face to face conversation–she would feel so bad if that were to happen and do anything she could to fix it–she may have made people cry when they’re not around her. Not on purpose, but people are too sensitive. Though, she has made her nephew cry face to face, but babies cry literally all the time, and she has no idea what she did.
6. Would you consider them a reliable or unreliable narrator?
She’s a reliable narrator, at least as reliable as a teenager in love and totally stressed out can be.
7. What do they dream about at night?
Her dreams usually revolve around people she knows, sometimes ones she hasn’t seen for years, sometimes ones she’s only seen from across the quad. But they’re almost always in weird situations, like stuck on a boat with Ms. Frizzle sailing them toward a carnival.
8. They’ve gone out for a “special meal.” What would they eat?
Whatever looked good on the menu. Ri and her sister love independent restaurants that not many people know about, and they’ll try anything. They made a pact to always order the chef’s recommendation, unless it was something really gross. Like mushrooms. Or blue cheese.
9. Do they have any distinguishing or unique talents?
She has an uncanny ability to figure out what people need. Though, she doesn’t often figure out what they need most, which has always annoyed her. For example, she had a friend from high school stay the night in her dorm, and Ri was able to give her a toothbrush without her having to ask for it, but completely missed the fact she had forgotten to pack shoes. She’s also a decent cook, probably from all the weird meals she eats while out and about.
10. What’s at least one thing they want to do before they die?
This is really lame, but she wants a boyfriend. Specifically, she wants someone in particular to be her boyfriend. As much as she’ll tell you her other hopes and dreams come first, this is most concrete. And, honestly, what she currently wants the most.
Well, this didn’t actually help me figure much out about Marianne. She still doesn’t quite feel like a real person to me. Hopefully writing from her point of view will help. Or maybe finding the perfect facecast, because none of those pictures are exactly right. But they all have pieces of her in them. Ah well. The life of a pantser.
Are you doing Camp NaNo?