Earlier this week I was pondering over what to write about for today’s post, and then came to my inbox a post by another indie author who’s blog I’ve subscribed to, one of those fabulous link-up type games that are passed around the blogosphere now and again. I love these, because not only are they a fantastic source for content, they also delve into the stories and characters people are writing about, AND they’re an opportunity to venture out and meet other writers/bloggers via the chain link of posts.
Because they’re all ‘linked-up’ to each other?
Okay, bad joke.
Anyway, the writer-blogger I learned about this from is Jenelle Schmidt (who is awesome and you should check through her blog, which is chocked full of great stuff). Liv K. Fisher is the host of this link-up, so be sure to check out her blog , too, and all the other posts related to this installment of The Language of Worlds!
Shall we get started?
The topic is Characters, so, I’m going to be cliché and talk about my Main Character from Falconsbane, Roscha. I should talk about somebody else sometime . . .
1. Your character goes on a leisurely stroll. Where to?
This is a treat! Because Roscha lives on a military base and spends most of his time training, he doesn’t get a lot of free time. His place of choice would have the be the woods, where it’s quiet and away from people. Nine times out of ten Shyloh, his best friend, will be with him, and they might explore a deer path or just wander through the bracken.
2. What’s their favorite food? Why? What does it taste like?
Easy. Hand pies. Well, any pie will do, really, but Gallie’s hand pies are the best ─ especially the fruit ones. They’re amazing on their own, but when you dip them in warm, brown sugar custard they are Avin’El’s gift to mankind. The apple-pecan ones in the autumn are super good, especially since Gallie (the head cook, by the way) cooks the apples until they’re soft and almost sauce-like. But the strawberry and sweet wine vinegar ones in the spring are also amazing, and the tart raspberry, the mellow spiced fig, the ginger-peach, the minted mulberry─!
ALL the pies.
Why? Because they’re amazing. Try one, you’ll see!
3. Describe their typical day.
Oh, boy. Okay.
Wake up before dawn, gather on the parade grounds for formations, then breakfast, then weapons training (which varies by day, between their glaives, falcyons (swords), and a variety of combat knives), lunch, academic classes, more physical training (like martial arts, obstacle courses, and the like), horsemanship, then formations again on the parade grounds, and an hour or two of personal time (for things like studying, cleaning armor and weapons, darning socks, etc. Or taking care of penalty chores. Roscha does a lot of those). Then it’s supper, hygiene, and lights out.
This is a basic pattern for a typical day, but the instructors in charge of each platoon writes up his own schedule for what specific thing is done on each day, and sometimes they’ll switch things up with a field exercise off-base or a scavenger hunt and whatnot.
4. When are they most productive? Morning, evening, or sometime in-between?
All day. Roscha doesn’t have much choice, since he and the other recruits are pushed from sun-up to after sun-down, but truth be told he is not much of a morning person. Given the opportunity, he would go back to sleep. The time he has the most energy for doing anything, though, is right after eating. He has a ravenous metabolism that burns through food super fast, so he’s most useful for an hour or so after he eats, then he begins to peeter out again.
5. Who are they closest to?
Shyloh, his best friend since about the first day they met. Roscha was twelve, Shyloh was eleven, both were pretentious (Shyloh still is) and they hit it off pretty quick. They’re in the same tactical unit, so they spend nearly every waking moment together during training, and because neither have family nearby to visit on leave days, they spend those together most of the time, too. Next to Shyloh are the other three members of their unit. They get along well enough, but not so much on a personal level.
Outside of people? That would have to be his warhorse, Ma’tayo, hands down.
6. Have they ever lost someone close to them?
Speaking from the beginning of the story? No. Not that he knows of, anyway . . .
7. Describe their education.
I look at ‘education’ and almost immediately divide it into three, maybe four categories. His basic learning is adequate, his military education is exceptional, and in regards to social and civilian matters he is lacking. Most of his practical skills he learned through doing penalty chores around the base.
So, basically, he can tell you the battle tactics of three different countries in four different languages and kick your rear with at least five styles of bladed martial arts, but will give you a blank stare with algebra and mortify your grandmother with his dearth of table etiquette.
8. What is their talent?
Roscha’s pretty tactical minded. Of his peers, he is particularly good at observing and reading people and situations, and for the latter coming up with strategies. Not that he’s always so great at following through with them. Whether this is an actual talent or a skill born out of necessity is up in the air. Otherwise, he has a penchant for drawing and is entirely self-taught. He’s also good at climbing things, and Shyloh often refers to him as a squirrel (although he usually predeceases it with ‘addled’). Shyloh doesn’t do heights very well.
9. When do they doubt themself? What makes them do so?
Oh, now we’re going deep. This is a hard one without getting long-winded and opening the Box of Spoilers.
Roscha struggles a lot with doubt. The Incident that made him this way is explored some in the books, but ever since then he’s doubted if the military is the right course for his life, doubts his ability to live up to expectations, doubts his value and purpose, even. It’s a constant nagging in the back of his mind, but it flares up when he’s in a sparring match and when the instructors are watching him closely. He doesn’t want to repeat that Incident, and his inability to overcome that drives him to extremes that are more hindering than helpful.
He’s a mess.
10. When do they feel most comfortable/cozy?
I don’t know if ‘cozy’ is something he’s familiar with, but heights are where he’s most at ease. Whether it’s in the upper boughs of a tree, the top of a hill, or the peak of a roof, the high places are where he feels the most relaxed and clear-minded ─ out of reach from his troubles stewing on the ground.