Thursday, May 7, 2015

Beautiful People for Writers

Image Credit: http://paperfury.com/beautiful-people-9-may-edition/

via photobucket.c

Today is Thursday, so I am trying something new (to me)

It is a fun meme over at Paper Fury and Further Up and Further In, called "Beautiful People for Writers." According to them, you answer a group of questions about one of your characters. Find out more here.

It sounds fun, so here we go. The character I decided to pick on  is Madeleine (Mads) Capot, the protagonist of my current project. She is twenty-seven years old, and she owns a coffee shop in the last human settlement in a post-apocalyptic world. She has an uncanny knack for predicting what drinks people will order before they do it, but she tries to think nothing of it. When Mads is inadvertently kidnapped by a mysterious bounty hunter in pursuit of the galaxy's most notorious (dancing) criminal, she finds herself far in over her head in a deadly world of thieves, killers, magical relics, and really bad coffee.

1. Do they get nightmares? If so, why or what of?
    No. Mads doesn't really have nightmares, and she rarely remembers her dreams. After she is kidnapped, things change a little [she realizes that the world is bigger than she liked to think, and that there is real suffering outside]. After that, she doesn't sleep so easily.

2. What is their biggest guilty pleasure/secret shame?
   Mads is pretty straight-laced and disciplined. She has a huge weakness for sugar, so that's her guilty pleasure. As for a secret shame, she discovers that instead of being horrified by her own kidnapping, the danger and excitement, and the thought that she matters, is pretty addictive.

3. Are they easily persuaded or do they need more proof?

  Why are you asking her this question? What are your motives? Mads is stubborn and suspicious, and you basically have to use her store or family as leverage to persuade her. She needs a lot of proof before she trusts someone. On the flip side, she also needs quite a bit of negative proof before she'll denounce someone.

4. Do they suffer from any phobias? Does it affect their life in a big way?
  Mads doesn't like a lack of showers, and she is beastly without coffee. She is more afraid of what's in front of her (knife-wielding alien, bounty hunter with a bloody sword, giant tough) than any particular thing. So no, no phobias. Actually, before she leaves her isolated life, she didn't really have anything (other than bill-paying, taxes, and health inspectors)* to be afraid of.

5. What do they consider their “Achilles heel”?

   Her store. Mads will basically do anything to keep her business afloat. She will ignore her solid morals and her own principles at times. The family legacy, her pride, and her livelihood are tied up in it, so it is the one place where she can really be hurt.

6. How do they handle a crisis?

  Mads is pretty calm, but she can freeze up in a crisis. If her friends or family are in danger, she will act immediately and without thought of consequences.

7. Do they have a temper?

  This is related to #6. Mads has a legendary temper, but she knows that and she has learned to keep it under wraps. If she starts getting acerbic and snappish, you're on your way to a level 1 Hulk-out.

8. What are their core values and/or religious beliefs?

    The apocalypse happened, surviving life went on, and Mads has had several generations between the survivors and herself. She doesn't know what she believes about the universe, and she is pretty focused on her life and shop. She has a very strict moral code, and she usually listens to her conscience. Religion and spirituality have very little to do with her life, until she runs into a death cult, and has to confront her own vaguely unnatural abilities.

9. What things do they value most in life?
    I think this is pretty clear from the other answers, but Mads values her family (best friends and grandmother) and her shop/land more than anything else. She also values her life and lifestyle. She is threatened by anything that might change it.

10. What is one major event that helped shape who they are?

      Mads mother died when she [Mads] was very young. Mads father left before she was born. Mads has struggled with this in various ways all of her life. Even as an adult, she has trouble understanding and forgiving her parents, after all, she never knew them. Instead, she was raised by her grandmother, a vain, but kind and well-meaning woman who is free in all the ways Mads never has been, so the parent dichotomy has always been a bit on its head. Mads obsessively mothers the people around her, and she is both responsible and reliable.

There, I did it! Sheesh, Mads sounds a little stiff (she is). However, don't let that deter you. If getting kidnapped taught her one thing, it's that no one is ever who they say they are . . .

Smooth criminals always seem to end up in my books somehow. It's amazing that I didn't discover White Collar until last month!

So that is Madeleine Capot, fearless barista and local food enthusiast. My book (tentatively titled as "The Last Coffee Shop"), is a sci-fi adventure/parody, and I started it for NaNoWriMo 2014. It has exploded beyond my original intentions, and the storyline got way more complicated. I work in a coffee shop, so I am finally writing what I know (like teachers always advise)! I just added aliens, magical relics, super-criminals, and the apocalypse. Not a stretch, right?

Are you writing a novel? Check out the links at the top if you'd like to participate in the fun meme.

Happy Thursday!

Footnotes:
*These things are scary. Anyone who thinks otherwise is selling something.