August 5, 2010

Character Spotlight #1: Alessandra

WeSeWriMo Progress: Finish the Episode I'm working on

Web Serial Writing Month or #WeSeWriMo is a month long foray into the wild worlds of web serial writing. For those who don't know what a web serial is it is basically a serialized novel that is put online for others to read. However, the thing that makes it less like a novel is the fact that you can actively engage in the work by talking to the author and making suggestions and influencing the story at hand. (ErgoFiction has a really good post on web fiction and why you should read it)

Back in 2007, I started my own web serial, It's All Relative. However in 2009, life became too much and I had to stop writing. Now I'm back and I'm starting a whole new serial. 

Sex, Drugs, and Steampunk(working title) is about Alessandra, a 19 year old girl taking care of her family bakery and Noah, the guy who steals her moped, blows her a whole in her roof, and literally break his heart. Alessandra needs to get out of her stifling town and Noah is the only one who can. Well, he's not the only one, but he needs her and she knows it.

I used Janice Hardy's questions because character sheets never seemed to work for me. It helped me keep their hair and their eyes color straight, but beyond that, they never really seemed to get down deeper beyond one-liners about the personality.

Author's Notes: Alessandra, or Al or Aless (as she's affectionately called in some circles), is a joy to write. She's so frustrating sometimes. Last night I wrote a scene that had me totally angry with her. I spent the whole day analyzing if that was something she would have done. And yes, it was. It was stupid, shallow, and narrow minded. I thought about cutting the scene, but it's so revealing of her character and the length she is willing to go to regain her sense of control. I love writing her. She's a strong female protagonist, but she isn't so strong that she doesn't have any limitations nor is she weak that she caves under everything. I think there's a good balance of both.

Anyway, here are the character stats and whatnot for her. I tried to make them as spoiler free as possible.
Name: Alessandra Mijares
Age: 19
Hair Color:  Black
Eye Color: Hazel
Body Build: Curvy, definitely couldn't pass for a boy.
1. What are the critical needs of my character?
Alessandra needs to get out of her town and do something with her life. She already sacrificed so much for her family that she never took the time to do the things she wanted to do.

2. What are the critical fears of my character?
She is afraid of being dependent on others and afraid that people will be dependent on her. She wants to do her own thing, but doesn't seem to realize that she can't do it all by herself.

3. Who are their friends?
She doesn't have many friends in her hometown. Most of the girls either got married, went of to school, or got pregnant. Alessandra wants to go to school, but the only schools available during this time period were Finishing Schools that taught girls how to be "proper ladies."  She had to drop out of school when she was 14, so she never got the full high school experience. All of her knowledge is self taught.
4. Who are their enemies?
She can't stand most of the girls in her town. She avoids them when she can, but every so often they come into the bakery asking her to do things for them in ridiculously short amounts of time. People treat her meanly because she had to drop out of school, even if she is infinitely smarter than those people. She doesn't really care, she just does her own thing.

Things I Look for as I Write

1. What personality trait helps them? What hurts them?
She is persistent, determined, and independent. These help her because people load some many things on her. She can't bend under pressure, so she has to be strong and get things done. However, in her need to be independent and her fear of being dependent on others, she tends to be a little reckless and impulsive when she feels the need to assert herself or gain control over the situation. She has a niggling fear that everyone is trying to take advantage of her when she does let up a little bit of control. This leads her to make some gross miscalculations about the motives of other people and complicates relationships with other people. 

2. What do they think is fair? Unfair?

She ultimately thinks that nothing in life is fair. It's not that she has a pessimistic view on life, she's just realistic. She feels safe when she's working on mechanics, that's the one thing she feels like she has control over. Alessandra does what she thinks is best, regardless of whether it's wrong or right.

3. What do they like about their friends? Dislike about them?
She hates the fact that Noah, the male protagonist, is so "dependent on her" even if he doesn't necessarily want to be. She likes that her new friends are always there for. Over time they become more like a ragtag family and she likes that she can depend on them(most of the time) when times get tough. That's more than she can say for her family.

4. How do they handle stress?Alessandra openly handles stress and pressure well. If something goes wrong, she's likely to take charge of the situation. However, she takes on so much stress and has little ways of channeling this stress (she might do some tinkering and fixing, but it doesn't always help) she's probably going to explode. 



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