March 05, 2021, 12:05:38 AM

Author Topic: 500-word Character Interview  (Read 302 times)

Offline fantasybyrd

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500-word Character Interview
« on: January 13, 2021, 08:32:18 AM »
Hey everyone. I'd be very grateful if someone could please help me with a writing exercise. Essentially, I will give you a short introduction to my main protagonist and, after reading, you then come up with just two questions for my protagonist based on what you've read. It will help me to get an idea of what is likely to be in the reader's mind after Chapters 1 & 2.

(I should point out that my novel isn't in the first person POV, but for the purposes of this exercise, this intro will be).

Thank you!

Forgive me if I don’t say all the right things. I haven’t introduced myself to anyone new for a while. Usually, if I happen to meet someone who isn’t an Agris, my Father does all the irritating small talk for me.

Anyway, I’m Brigo Agris; the second son to my parents. I’m sixteen and live with Father, Ma and my little sister Leila in the deep south of Chorus. It’s a pretty big kingdom I think, but we’re quite cut off in this town. It’s dull really; I won’t bore you too much with it – miles of grasslands and lakes, some little stone houses and stores and too many people to fit in them. Strangers from the cities up north sometimes come to our cottage to eat the food we provide, and they say our town is quite beautiful, but I have no idea what they mean.

I was born blind. Ma says that means I can’t see anything. I guess you probably know what that means, but I don’t really. I mean, I know we work when it’s bright and we bathe and sleep when it’s dark, but that’s about it. I don’t really know what I’m missing but Father and Ma keep me confined to the cottage – he’s described me as little and helpless and fragile before, so it must be a big deal. Ma is terrified to let me head out into the Polm on my own. I’d love to know what's beyond this town and explore the provinces like Grandpa Olkin, but I can’t imagine I’ll ever do that under Father’s watch.

I have to sit behind the house and cook the food all day for our patrons. Father has this small metallic stone that allows us to light the wood beneath the cooking pots – apparently, very few people are able to create fire with it. I don’t know why I can do it so easily. We have a couple of other objects like this too. Ma has this coin that she gives me every night, and it creates this strange feeling in my hands, like my fingers are burning but it’s comfortable. I can feel the quill scratches in Grandpa Olkin’s old books and make out the letters and map borders by touch. I can only read with the coin though, and I can’t use it for too long without getting a bloody nose or a headache.

Sometimes I sneak out at night. My best friend is the local butcher’s boy whom my Father used to buy his meat from when business was good. Genli isn’t quite as protective as my parents, but he knows how to make sure I don’t get stuck on a hill or accidentally fling myself over the cliffs of the Polm plateau. He applied to join the Choran military. He’s not the smartest, but he’s a strong guy. Really quick and knows how to use objects like Father’s firestone and Ma’s tactus coin. I doubt he’ll be here much longer when the peacekeepers come knocking to welcome him to Solen’s military academy. He’ll definitely get in, and what an adventure it would be. He’d see the whole of Chorus, doing such exciting and dangerous things. Not something I could ever do. I can’t even go hunting with Father – I’d sooner accidentally send an arrow through his head than a deer’s.

So, you can imagine my surprise when the peacekeepers came knocking on our cottage door yesterday to tell us that I’d been successfully enrolled in their academy.

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: 500-word Character Interview
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2021, 11:55:00 AM »
Hmm interesting!
However, my questions aren't really FOR Brigo but rather ABOUT Brigo, if that's allowed ;D

* He must be able to do 'magic' and the coin must be special, the other objects too...

* Why is the military interested in a blind boy? They must know something we don't/he doesn't

* How will he manage in the outside world/academy? Relying on his friend?

(by the way, I moved it to the main section, it's easier for people to find ;))
« Last Edit: January 14, 2021, 11:58:04 AM by ScarletBea »
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Offline JMack

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Re: 500-word Character Interview
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2021, 12:01:20 PM »
Hi, @fantasybyrd:

There’s a lot of interesting stuff here.
These are my two questions:

> The coin and the stone: What do the MC and his friend think they are and how they work? It seems very likely to me that the two of them talk about these when they’re off playing around at night. I suspect they’ve heard theories and have their own. Are these theories wrong? Correct?

> Is our MC someone who trusts first and is disappointed later, or suspects first and is surprised by faithfulness?

Good luck with your writing!
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Offline Bender

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Re: 500-word Character Interview
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2021, 12:44:09 PM »
Very interesting. You have a lovely flowing prose!

1) Why is the father so overprotective to not let him interact with others? And even if so, how does he allow a blind boy  to cook over open flames?

2) There's a mismatch between first and second paragraphs. In first, he gives a good description of the town, the locale and it's visitors and even in context to the kingdom....but right next he's portrayed as a "work in bright and sleep in dark" simplistic person who has been living in seclusion and wants to explore outside town.
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Offline fantasybyrd

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Re: 500-word Character Interview
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2021, 02:04:25 PM »
Thank you all for your questions so far - it's really helping already with seeing where your thoughts are, and in some cases helping me see some things that need clarifying further. I may not answer everyone's questions fully (spoilers etc.) but I'll do my best.

ScarletBea - Thank you for moving the post for me and for some great questions. Why and how these two boys can use magic is something they have some knowledge of, but they have a lot to learn as they realise during their 'inciting incident'. The military's interest in him is a part of the mystery of the story, although I will say that I'm not going down the route of the 'chosen one' trope. Brigo's sheltered upbringing may lead him to naturally rely heavily on others, and becoming more independent will be a hard lesson to learn.

JMack - Great question. The boys have an understanding of these objects, which I will need to convey without 'expo-dumping' in the first chapter, but their knowledge is very surface level. Your second question is really thoughtful - I would say his personality certainly causes him to fall more one way than the other; though I may have to post the whole of Chapters 1 and 2 to make this clear.

Bender - Thank you for the questions; particularly the second one as it's highlighted something I need to potentially edit and fix. Brigo is so heavily sheltered for a number of reasons, not least his blindness which his parents see as perhaps a greater affliction than it is. They feel it makes him vulnerable, particularly given the prejudice against "their kind", something else I will introduce in Chapters 1 and 2. His command of his other senses allow him to cook on an open fire safely, although it's taken a lot of learning. It's all the leeway he is given really, but his senses of taste, smell, texture make him a bit of a natural. His knowledge of the town and kingdom come mainly from what he's learned from his Grandpa (the notebooks and their old trips) but it does seem that he knows too much for someone who is as sheltered as he is. Thank you - this was very helpful :)