Beautiful People #17: Introduction to Ana

Beautiful People is blog meme that runs monthly. It is hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In. Each month there are 10 questions to answer about characters from a work in progress. I think it’s a great way of delving further into a character’s life, and it also gives readers a glimpse into information they may not otherwise know.

I haven’t done this in a while, but as I’m working on a novel-length story at the moment, and you can never know too much about your characters, I thought I’d make the effort and have a go at the questions.

Today I’m introducing my protagonist – Ana, an 18-year-old princess who is struggling with her identity. And is about to go on quite an adventure. 😉

1.How often do they smile? Would they smile at a stranger?

She doesn’t smile very often. She’s not happy with her life at the moment, and she doesn’t have many people to smile at, really. She’s god at fake smiles though. Her mother has made sure that she knows how – formal dinners/parties demand them.

She would smile at a stranger if it was required of her. But otherwise, she’d be more likely to keep her head down and avoid eye contact.

2. What is the cruellest thing they’ve ever been told? And what was their reaction?

That she’s a freak, that she’s “wrong”, and doesn’t deserve to be where and who she is. Her brother told her this after realising that her friendship with one of the other Ladies at court (Aila) had gone a step beyond friendship.

Her reaction was to run. Find the wine-cellar and get drunk for the first time in her life.

3. What is the kindest thing they’ve ever been told? And what was their reaction?

That she has a beautiful smile. Aila told her that when their relationship was beginning to blossom.

Her reaction was to blush and look away.

4. What is one strong memory that has stuck with your character from childhood? Why is it so powerful and lasting?

The first time she met her maternal grandmother. She remembers her strangeness, her different-ness.

The memory has stuck with her because she got on with her Grandma really well, and felt that they understood each other. The first time they met Ana was 8 years old, and it was the first time she felt like she fit somewhere. Ana visited her as often as she could, before she died.

5. What book (a real actual published book!) do you think your character would benefit from reading?

Hmm. Tricky one. I think a book like “It Gets Better” edited by Dan Savage and Terry Miller. This is a collection of personal essays from LGBT youth. Just something to tell her that she’s not alone, and it’s okay to be who she is.

6. Have they ever been seriously injured? How severely? How did they react?

She’s never been seriously injured. She’s had some scrapes and cuts from her sword/fight training. She didn’t react well at first. she would cry and whimper. But over time she’s gotten used to it, and just patches herself up now.

7. Do they like and get along with their neighbours?

Well, as she lives in a Palace, she doesn’t really have neighbours. But she gets on with most of the people who live within the grounds.

8. On a scale from 1 to 10 (1 being easy and 10 being difficult) how easy are they to get along with?

Hm. I think maybe 7. She’s a good listener, and she generally respects people so they tend to respect her back.

9. If they could travel anywhere in the world, where would they go?

If she could travel anywhere in her world, it would be Ti’an. She would like to learn their way of fighting. It’s different to the Northern way.

10. Who was the last person they held hands with?

Aila. It’s one of her sweetest memories, and yet painful and full of shame as well.

They were out on a picnic. Ana had slipped out for a while, and she loved the thrill of doing something she shouldn’t – and the privacy / time without her bodyguards.

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