Monday, January 23, 2012

Favorite Character's Blogfest

Today I'm excited to be participating in Laura Josephsen's awesome Favorite Character's Blogfest. Basically, between Jan 23rd and the 25th we're supposed to choose a favorite character we've written about and put them in the spotlight. So here goes:




It was a tough choice for me between Val- the obedient-gone-spunky heroine of The Chronicles of Vallanie Sharp, or Kim, a lonely introverted girl with mild psychic powers in a storyline I came up with this previous summer. Since I’ve been working like crazy preparing the second book in Val's series for its release this summer, I’ve decided to take a break from the dystopian world and go with Kim (though I’m giving a disclaimer that her story is in very early stages of development).

Kim's a girl on the cusp of having an easy transition into adulthood, until everything starts spiraling down at once. I like that she has so many insecurities, but can still remain strong and shove them aside when it really counts. She’s one of four main characters in this new novel, and I would classify her as the heart of the group.

I had mixed feelings writing her at first, because it allowed me to back and explore my own high school experiences and insecurities within a fictional slightly fantastical context. Her introversion and temporary social exile allows me to spend more time processing the whole "teenage environment", including school, home, work, and recreation and the overwhelming emotional effects each area can unintentionally have on an individual. The majority of the story so far, Kim is still trying to figure out who she is, what she wants to do with her life, and what's most important to her. It's been fun coming up with her basic beliefs, then finding ways to test her values, and seeing how she grows from those tests.

Here is how I’m introducing her in the current draft:
            By the start of her senior year at Camberly Academy, Kimberly Irene Maxwell had learned everything there was to know about high school. She knew how to make friends, how to gain popularity, how to make the best grades with the minimal amount of work, what to do to catch a guy’s interest, what to do to keep them away, and she was certain she could handle anything the world could throw at her. She couldn’t have been more wrong.
            Finishing the label for her last binder, Kim leaned back to admire her work. The moment her hand touched the carpet, she felt something collide with her elbow, and looked up too see that it was her mother’s boot.
            “Kim!” Mrs. Maxwell cried, pulling a hand to her heart as she regained her balance, water sloshing from the edge of her plastic pitcher. “You scared me half to death!”
            “Sorry.”  A few drops dripped dangerously close to Kim’s masterpieces, and she pushed her papers away with her bare feet, before scrambling to pick up the various markers scattered across the hardwood floor.
            With a shake of her head, her mother let out a sigh. “I wish you wouldn’t sit in the floor. We do have tables, you know.”
            Kim secured the markers inside an argyle pencil case and held up the first of her binders for her mother to inspect. A carefully arranged mosaic of pastel stars and hearts covered the front of the blue plastic, framing her name, which had been meticulously printed on stock paper in bold lavender ink. “What do you think?”
            “I think,” her mother replied, glancing up from where she was watering the plants by the dinning room window, “if you spent as much time on your homework as you did decorating their folders, you’d be first in your class.”

17 comments:

  1. Ha! Love that last line in your snippet! I like your description of Kim and how you introduced her. She's easy to relate to. I decorated my binders and folders all the time.

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    1. Thank you! I admire people who can decorate their folders... I've tried a few times, but I have no patience to ever really do much more than print out my name in a pretty font.

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  2. Slam! A parent kills creativity again. Ugh. Love the snippet.

    And your banner!

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    1. Thanks! One of my friends made the banner for me-I love it too :)

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  3. typical teen, i remember decorating folders & doodling in class. those were the days =)
    i like kim =)

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  4. Cute. I was a doodler too, so I can totally relate to this character!.

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  5. Nice job introducing us to her personality. Good luck!

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  6. Ha! I love that she's basically OCD about her folders :D Such a distinctive, yet relatable personality quirk.

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  7. Very nice. I love the relationship there. Very interesting character.

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  8. My favorite line is Kim asking her mother "What do you think?" From that alone, I get the feeling that she is very warmhearted. And I have to agree with previous comments - it's a great Mom Moment. Love the detail Kim puts into decorating her school supplies. I long for the days when I had that much free time and such colorful obsessions. (^__~)

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  9. Thanks everyone!

    Angie- I'm glad you like how I set up the mother-daughter relationship- it becomes even more important later in the story.

    Keru- Thank you! I miss the free time of high school as well, but not the homework, or the lectures, or the people... summer was definitely the best part! :)

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  10. High school is such a complex time in a person's life, and so fun to explore and write about once we're over it! I like the mother-daughter moment too. Well done!

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  11. She seems like a very realistic, believable character.

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  12. I would be interested in seeing how things go wrong later on. As I recall I didn't like high school

    thanks for your comment on my Joey. Yes a lifetime piece which is why I haven't gotten too far - the research. I love my characters now I just have to get them moving in the right direction lol

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  13. Great snippet showing the mother-daughter dynamic! I like Kim and can identify with her because I'm a fellow introvert.

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  14. Fan-freakin-tasic! I love this. Your pacing is spot on, you've got great voice and the writing is effortless. You need to get published. Seriously.

    Count me in as a new follower. I hope you can drop by my blog!

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