A little while ago, I was tagged by Jeneca, over at the blog Jeneca Writes, with the Six Question Character Challenge. I gladly welcomed the excuse to obsess over my people from my WIP novel, so many thanks to Jeneca. (Go follow her blog, by the way. You know you want to and for good reason.)
How does this tag work? It asks the tagged six questions about each character from your WIP. You can choose as many characters as you want. The original rule said three, but it’s so hard to pick favorites of my babies (it’s almost as bad as killing one off), so I upped it to five. The WIP I’m working on is a high fantasy novel titled Netherworld, the first in (hopefully) a series. I’ve been working on and developing it for about three years now and I’ve bonded quite well with each of the characters. I’m excited to talk about them, but will refrain from saying anything that could betray secrets. It’s healthy to have paranoia with posting about your stories that have yet to be published.
Each question is a prompt. Brinna da Silva (also an amazing blogger and writer) explains these prompts in her original post …
The first prompt asks for a “contradiction.” In case you start wondering what this means, it’s basically this: every important character in your story should have something contradictory or seemingly inconsistent about their personality. We see this with people in real life, and it’s the mark of a rounded, three-dimensional character.
Note that this is probably the hardest of the prompts, so don’t worry if it takes some deep thinking. But please consider: if you can’t find any contradiction at all in your character’s personality, it’s probably a sign you need to develop him/her a little more. So, it’s a good exercise to do, no matter what.
The second prompt asks for a Meyers-Briggs personality type. If you’re unsure what type your character is, you can take the test on their behalf here.
Also, the fourth prompt asks how your character would slay a dragon. This is purely hypothetical; there are no dragons in my book, for example, so the prompt can be applied to any genre you want!
Shall we get started? *rubs hands eagerly* Let us begin.
Contradiction: He loves to read and write speculative fiction, yet is also a techy geek with a love for code and math.
Myers-Briggs: INTP: “The Logician”
Favorite color: Green. It took him a while to think about it.
How would he slay a dragon? He would think back to all the books he’s ever read on dragons and remember something so technical and obscure like where the vulnerable spots are anatomically situated and how to get to them using some clever tactic that places him nowhere even near the dragon; he’s not much of a warrior, but he isn’t one to panic.
His darkest secret: He can sense the future of Earth; He sees no hope in his world and despises the people. He believes that nothing can be done to reverse the tide, and that humans are corrupted for good. Eventually, this changes with his character arc.
Where does he see himself in 10 years? In the beginning of the book, he sees himself living a full life on Earth, revelling in the social justice he receives from becoming a famous author with a book published on the Netherworld, claiming that other worlds and intelligent speicies really do exist besides Earth. It’s a selfish desire, but again, things change as the story progresses.
Contradiction: Cannot feel love or similar emotions, yet can’t bring himself to kill an innocent child and grows to love him instead
Myers-Briggs: INTP: The Logician
Favorite color: Blue
How would he slay a dragon? He would first make eye contact with the dragon and speak softly while reaching out a hand … and go from there. Who knows? Neev surprises me sometimes.
His darkest secret: He NEEDS power, the ability to rule over and control a people or world. He cannot live without a certain amount of power; the need runs in the blood of his people.
Where does he see himself in 10 years? Being the sole ruler of Netherworld, basking in unlimited power and dominance over its people.
Contradiction: Is a quirky, emotional, bubbly girl who talks in CAPS LOCK; sometimes needs a breath of fresh air away from people and with her own thoughts.
Myers-Briggs: ENFP: “The Campaigner”
Favorite color: Teal
How would she slay a dragon? She wouldn’t. She’d first squeal something like “OMG it’s an actual real life dragon!??!” And then she’d probably flail and faint from too much happiness and panic. I love Meg.
Her darkest secret: Her parents divorced when she was 3. She doesn’t remember her mother but is constantly around the lingering pain and loneliness as she still lives with her dad. She covers up the hardship and anxiety with her fandoms and her fun, quirky behavior and holds onto the hope that life isn’t all that bad.
Where does she see herself in 10 years? She’s always wanted to do something with astronomy and is looking into being a research assistant for an cosmologist or astrophysicist.
Contradiction: Reclusive, has few friends and no family; easily befriends Meo and Meg and ends up becoming like an older sister to Meo
Myers-Briggs: ISFJ: “The Defender”
Favorite colors: Blue
How would she slay a dragon? She would come out with a very detailed plan and would study a map of the arena/battlefield before going out. She’d distract the dragon with something and then take it on and catch it by surprise. She’s a true warrior, but doesn’t act brashly.
Her darkest secret: She’s a halfblood; her parents were of two different races. It happened that both of these races were in the midst of war against each other after her parents married. Her father died in battle against her mother’s kin, and her mother died in giving birth to Zyl. She is shunned among the few villagers who know of her background.
Where does she see herself in 10 years? Zyl hasn’t been too open with me, but she is one of the Empress’s most trusted warriors, to whom she has sworn unending loyalty. Perhaps she will keep serving her faithfully.
Contradiction: Myseterious, vengeful, callous and cold; he loves his sister and feels sorrow for losing her
Myers-Briggs: ISTJ: “The Logistician”
Favorite color: Black (this may go for all rangers; it’s concealing)
How would he slay a dragon? He’d know about dragons pretty well in the first place. Trained in the art of speed and stealth, he’d hop onto its back and go for the heart with a couple of his knives. But he’s also unpredictable, particularly when it comes to hand-to-hand combat.
His darkest secret: He is consumed with anger and bent on revenge against Zulor, the villain in the story. Hate overwhelms him to the point where it’s numbing, and it’s all he can think about. Soon, his sorrow and love for his sister is overruled by the more negative emotions. He is the only one who has dueled Zulor and lived to tell the tale.
Where does he see himself in 10 years? Living a peaceful life in Netherworld as one of the Empress’s rangers and looking after his sister. With Zulor dead by his own hands, of course.
There you have it. I probably should have stuck with less characters, but this is probably the only time I’ll be sharing about each character and talking about them, so I wanted to do the most I could without giving too much away. Whoo! That was fun. I also got to learn more about each character in having to answer those prompts.
Now I boldly doth go therefore to challenge:
Harley @ SoCal Scribbler
Hannah Heath @ Hannah Heath – Writer
Bethany A. Jennings @ Simmering Mind
Aimee Meester @ To the Barricade!
Nate Philbrick @ You Write Fiction
Don’t feel like particpating if you don’t want to (but who doesn’t?). And if I didn’t tag you, please join in!! I love reading about other writers’ characters.
Good-day to you.