Monday, May 28, 2012

Character Letter

 My friend, The Mad Elvish Poet, writes character letters for various characters in her stories.  The following questions are taken from her blog.
I am writing a Greek Tragedy about the mysterious disappearance of the Minoan civilization. I have read several books on the subject. Some authors pretend to know all about what happened and others are frank, but, the truth is, they don't really know much about the Minoans. Which is perfect! Plenty of room for me to fill in the gaps and invent crazy ideas about their disappearance. They probably found a door to Narnia.
Anyway, I am filling out some questions about my heroine, Aethra. If you know the story of the minotaur (if you don't know it, get some books from your library on the subject), know this: Two years ago, her brother was eaten by the minotaur. This year, she has been called to be one of the fourteen tributary victims. I will probably post a scene or two later.
Here are her questions.

 Name: Aethra (ay-EE-thruh [I think])
Age: 14 through most of the book
Hair Color: Dark (I'm really not so sure about this. I thought Greeks had fair hair, but after watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding last night, I'm guessing Greeks are dark haired)
Eye Color: Dark (see above)
Build: Petite; very short and skinny
Lives In: In Carolos, Mycenae. I named it Carolos because I find it ironic that Carolos is a variation of Carl, which means "free man." At this point in their... well, I can't say "history" because I wrote it... At this point in their rewritten history, they are anything but free since they have to send tribute to the Minoans.
Race: Mycenaean, Human
Favorite Color: White or light blue.
Favorite Things To Do: In Athens (and Carolos is like Athens in this respect), women basically sit in their rooms and weave all day, gossiping with friends who come to visit them. So, Aethra hasn't had much exposure to hobbies. She liked talking to her brother, she likes weaving, and she likes to paint (her brother used to sneak paints and brushes to her).

Does he/she have a best friend?
 Her brother, before he died. After that she would say Natasa, her sister in law. When she is in the cell at Knossos, her best friend is Ilysiad (ih-LEE-see-add).
Can he/she cook?

What is his/her general reaction to crisis?
Wait until someone else addresses the situation. Usually, there is someone who can address it. If not, she raises her chin, steps boldly forward, and does whatever needs to be done.

Does he/she have stage fright?
As every respectable person knows, only men act. Women aren't supposed to do things like that.

How would you describe his/her disposition?
She is easily influenced by someone she trusts; she is quick to make friends, to apologize, and to trust someone. She can be bold and quite brave when needs to be, often wiser than her years; she remains strong when others flee, fail, or quake in fear, but when she is betrayed she falls to pieces. This is her biggest weakness.

What is his/her favorite thing to say?
She often uses a phrase that her brother, Ikylthros, used to say. In place of saying "darn" or "sheesh," or some other modern phrase, she says "cat tails." As in the tails of cats, not as in the plant.

Does he/she enjoy reading?
She can't.

What type of clothes does he/she like to wear?
She doesn't really have a favorite outfit because she hasn't had much experience with different types of clothes. Her typical outfit is a white chiton, perhaps with a pale blue shawl or cape.

Does he/she ever do self-reflective things, like journaling or praying?
Well, she can't write so she doesn't journal. She does pray to the gods, but her praying isn't pouring out her heart to Athene or whoever, it's more of reciting a poem because it's tradition.

Does he/she know God?
Not at the beginning of the story, but she is very doubtful about "the gods" because her father is an idol maker. I hope (but, as any writer knows, characters can be quite stubborn) that by the end she will be a believer. Jesus hadn't been on Earth in her time yet, but she can still be a Jewess if not a Christian.

What chores does he/she do?
Cooking, washing clothes/dishes, and cleaning house, but mostly weaving.
What's their favorite animal?
NOT a bull...

What does their average day look like?
Before Ikylthros went, she would spend the day in the women's quarters, weaving and listening to the older women gossip. A few times a week, Ikylthros would sneak some paint in. But she hasn't painted for two years. Before she was taken away, her day would be pretty much the same. Now, her average day has been sitting in a cell, eating once in the middle of the day and having depressing conversations in between. Every other day a girl is dragged away.

Night owl, or morning person? (Optional: What time do they normally wake up, and go to bed?)
Morning person, though this is more of a habit than a disposition.

Do they have a sweet tooth?
She likes grapes and figs a lot, but I wouldn't exactly call this a sweet tooth because fruit was one of the main components of the Greek diet, whether she likes it or not.

What colors are their bedroom?
White washed walls.

1 comment:

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