So, I had fully intended to use The Butler Did It . . . (my alternate history/steampunk project), but here’s the thing: sometimes characters have such a strong voice that they shove themselves into whatever you’re doing, screaming WRITE ME!
Naturally, as an author, this is a good thing – but it can be pretty inconvenient (if you’re driving on a rainy freeway, or showering, or at work with nothing to write on . . .).
At any rate - that voice belongs to Sull (a.k.a.Sully, Sullen, The Boy, etc ), a mysterious boy who is: 1. Obviously going by a fake name 2. Has a lot to hide 3. Has been starving and scavenging on his own for a year. 4. Is so lovely that it gets him into scads of trouble and has caused all sorts of psychological trauma What else you need to know: 1. This project takes place in the world of The Last Coffee Shop (just later on the timeline), where alternate "Earth" is an apocalyptic wasteland, diverse species and races of aliens rule the skies, and the sci-fi environment is heavily influenced by Edgar Rice Burroughs, world mythology and music, and Lost in Space. 2. It's currently titled Red as Blood, and it's best described as Hippolytus + Snow White + Hallyu Wave culture + Haute couture. 3. My strange fixation on food service locations continues, with a greasy diner in a mining colony in the middle of nowhere (space) serving as the major setting this time. Henpecked Bar & Grill is famous for it's salvaged, antique chicken signs, and the seven short (dubious and fierce) women who run it with iron fists and toothy grins. It's no place for a pretty boy . . . Intrigued? Then read on.
(Just in case you were wondering, Beautiful People is an awesome monthly writing meme hosted by Cait at Paper Fury and Sky at Further Up and Further In)
1. What first inspired this character? Is there a person/actor you based them off?
Most of my recent projects have involved mainly adult (or considered an adult for their time) characters, so maybe I felt the need to write in the first person perspective of a teenage boy?? Sull (a misspelled variation of his name that he goes by for most of the book) is a complicated fellow, and he had a lot of inspiration - my teenage self, my brothers, characters I love, etc. Also, I had the sudden desire to write about a teenage model who runs away and gets a job in food service . . . ahem. Anyhow, here are some pictures/things that influenced Sull's character.
(image credits - L to R, T to B - artmeg101, LuhanMemories, amy-core, Pinterest, germanmissiles, kqotd
2. Describe their daily routine.
Before he ran away - Sull was on an extremely rigid schedule, supervised by his agent, manager, and nanny. Now he bums around, steals things, and looks for food. He also gets into fights - which he never wins.
3. If they joined your local high school, what clique would they fit into?
That's an interesting thought - Sull has been privately tutored all his life, and his interactions with his peers are a disaster. Personality wise, he'd be in the loners/outcasts. But (pre-story) considering his wealth, his father's name, and his background, he could be one of those rich, popular kids (though I doubt he'd last long there).
4. Write a list of things they merely tolerate. Ex: certain people, foods, circumstances in their lives…
1. Fame 2. His father 3, His agent 4. Humanity 5. Life Note - this is not to be confused with the list of things he actively hates.
5. How does he react in awkward silences?
He stays silent. He likes quiet and solitude, and would prefer a world where no one spoke. And his poker face is A++
6. Can they swim? If so, how did they learn?
No. He's never been swimming, or even had the opportunity. It probably wouldn't occur to him as a fun activity.
7. What is one major event that helped shape who they are?
MAJOR SPOILERS. You'll have to read the book someday to find out. For a secondary event, when Sull gets a job in the kitchen at the Henpecked Bar & Grill, it changes his life in ways he'd never imagined.
8. What things do they value most in life?
His personal integrity. He has his own code and he never breaks it.
9. Do they believe in giving other people second chances? Do they have any trust issues?
While Sull has no problem with "second chances" as a concept, he doesn't really believe in them. Trust issues = his middle name. Based on his past/where he came from, there are a lot of reasons why he never trusts anyone.
10. Your character is having a rough day…what things do they do to make them happy again? Is there anyone they talk/interact with to get in a better mood?
Before Sull ran away, he was carefully monitored for behavioral or mood imbalances. Any sign of rebellion brought a new prescription. Now that Sull's been on his own for a year, he's used to feeling everything, and because he's all alone, he acts out however he feels like acting. He's usually pretty destructive. Later in the novel, after Sull makes a few friends, he gets a couple confidants who can talk him out of his notoriously bad moods.
While he may not be the most personable chap, Sull is pretty fun to write about, and his adventures with the “Seven Sisters” are all kinds of interesting things to plot out. And I haven’t even mentioned half of the plot or characters here!