Beautiful People #16 (I've Never Done This Before! ARGH!)

You may have guessed by the title that I'm a little apprehensive. This is my first EVER meme, and the first time I've really talked about my W.I.P. (Work In Progress) on the blog, and so it is the day of firsts.

I'm still nervous.

Beautiful People is a meme created by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In (which was a blog I hadn't looked at before now, but is undeniably too cool for school) that allows writers to get to know their characters better by asking them questions every single month (or less, if you fancy skipping I guess - but why?). THIS IDEA = RAINBOWS AND BRILLIANCE. If you want to sign up and join in, click on the fancy little hyperlinked button.

I was not intending to talk about my W.I.P on this blog, now or possibly ever, but then I saw these questions and . . . number six is effectively my favourite thing about my main character, Maya (My-ah). So you guys have the blessing (curse? don't say curse) of hearing all about her.

What first inspired this character? Is there a person / actor you based them off?

Cait? Sky? You just sneakily asked me two questions. This has been noted and . . . never mind. I'll just answer.

Maya popped into my head after reading something online - can't remember what now - about the lack of ethnic diversity and different gender roles in Fantasy fiction. I suddenly had this character on my hands, a Princess groomed her whole life for rule because her brothers weren't considered smart enough for negotiation between countries, and who'd never seen someone with pale skin. 

I know it sounds like a cliché when I describe her like that (maybe it is) but never mind. My inspiration never seems to make much sense.

As for an actor to base Maya off, I'm still looking! Maybe it says something about the diversity of actresses in Hollywood, but none of the people I can think of look enough like her. I'll find someone eventually.

Describe their daily routine.

Maya likes to sleep. She will stay under the covers for as long as humanly possible, often until someone - usually one of her brothers - has to literally shake her awake. Then she has endless classes with her tutor, Tixi, trying to learn enough Power theory to prevent a civil war.

That's the other thing about Maya. She doesn't have the magic that has solidified her family's throne for centuries.

Then dinner in the banquet hall, sat at the front table with everyone staring at her until she's sure her secret has been discovered.

Lastly, more sleep.

If they joined your local high (secondary, I'm sorry) school, what clique would they fit into?

The kids - you know the ones - who do absolutely everything to try and please their parents. They're in every sports team, get solos in the school concert every year, and have never got an A- in their life, but they don't really seem to enjoy it all.

She's a sarky overachiever who's always behind, basically. If what I just said makes any sense.

Write a list of things they merely tolerate (certain people, foods, circumstances in their lives).


  • Lady Erlin, her aunt, because she's almost definitely waiting for her to slip up and lose the throne. But, you know, still family, so tolerance is required.

  • Long sea voyages - as you'll see in question six, Maya would much rather just jump in and swim there: she knows it's necessary to get in the boat, but mild body odours and seasickness always put her off a little. The lack of privacy takes a while to get used to as well.

  • Chocolate. I know, I know, how dare she, but please don't kill my lovely main character.

How do they react in awkward silences?

Ha. Not well.

The threat of discovery has always been so constant for Maya that the moment anyone falls silent awkwardly, she panics - mostly because they could be reading her mind. The feeling that she must be doing something horribly wrong is always there, but amplified with silence.

Can they swim? If so, how did they learn?

I'm going to need to dump some backstop on you for this to make sense, so sorry about that, but the world where Maya lives is an archepelago where all the islands are small and mostly spread wide. All kids learn to swim because shipping and water are such an integral part of life, and - for once - the crown Princess is no different.

She always loved the water because swimming was the one skill she could learn with other children without her lack of Power being obvious: as she was kept closer and closer by her Mama, that time in the water became her only real solitude, when she didn't have to worry about people working out she has no magic because she's behaving the wrong way. Swimming is her escape.

What is one major event that helped shape who they are?

Literally all I can say is that it happened before she was born. Other than that, SPOILERS. (Seriously, this spoiler would be so terrible it merits caps lock.)

Moving on . . .

What things do they value most in life?

Maya values control, mostly because she's never had any: not over how she behaves, what she does or even what other people know about her (because most of them are Powerful: they can just read whatever thoughts they want). I don't know what she'd do if she could choose though - probably panic because she's not really had the chance to practice making decisions.

Do they believe in giving other people second chances? Do they have any trust issues?

That depends on whether the person she's trying to trust can read her mind or not. If they can, she finds it almost impossible to trust them, and is so used to evaluating situations so she can survive that she makes snap judgement about everyone *cough* Tarin *cough*. This means she doesn't usually give second chances because she doesn't really believe people are capable of change.

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?

You want another list? Tough. You're getting one.

  • Sleep. We've already been through the fact that Maya loves sleep.
  • Swimming is also pretty obvious, but the lack of self-scrutinisation that comes from being alone gives her the headspace to think about things and cheer herself up. It makes her feel better just to be doing something she's good at, too.
  • As for people to interact with, she likes to go to her tutor, Tixi, for advice, because she is the only other person in the palace who doesn't have Power, and Maya knows she can trust her. Also, Tixi seems to actually get that Maya isn't stupid, and actually needs knowledge to navigate court life without the magic everyone else relies upon.
In the comments: Are you guys doing Beautiful People (link to your posts - I REALLY want to hear about your fabulous characters)? What do you think of Maya? And can you come up with an actress to represent her in my planning - I would be indebted to you forever?
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  1. I LOVE THE SOUND OF MAYA! She sounds really epic and complex and well developed, so go you. ;D And I love that she loves sleep...omg, I wish I loved sleep. Mild insomniac here, hehe. But omg your story sounds amazing with the islands and ethnic diversity (!!) and royalty. :D
    Thanks for joining in the link up with us!

    1. I'M SO GLAD YOU LOVE HER! Making characters as complex as I possibly can is my absolute favourite part of the worldbuilding process, so I'm glad I did okay. ;D.

      As for the link, thank YOU for your amazing questions. It was really good fun.

  2. *flails*

    1. *flails back*
      YOU'VE NO IDEA HOW AMAZING IT IS TO HEAR THAT! Thank you for making my day.

      Oh. If you want to read it, I'm going to have to finish it. Erk.


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