Today, I’m participating in the Language of Worlds linkup, hosted by Liv K. Fisher. If you’re unfamiliar with the linkup, every two months Liv posts 10 questions for bloggers to answer about their writing projects, characters, or the writing life in general. It’s great for getting to know your story better and connecting with other bloggers, so go check it out! It’s open to anyone.
Not long ago, I shared that I’m working on a new writing project for my senior capstone class, an “alternate history” story set in 1968. You can read more about it here, but today, I’m going to be talking about one of my main characters, Valerie “Val” Harris.
Your character is in crisis! Who is the first person they turn to?
I want to say her family, but if I’m being honest Val’s family isn’t always readily available. In that case, she probably turns to Kim, one of her roommates. Kim is definitely the “mom friend” and is good at helping Val think things through when she’s stuck in her own head. Val really appreciates her rationality.
Who has their unconditional loyalty?
Her younger brother Dean. Their parents have always been sort of distant, so the siblings are very close to each other. Val doesn’t really stick up for herself too much, but she’ll always stand up for Dean.
What cause do they believe in? Why?
Val actually isn’t that adamant about any “causes” she believes in. Not that she doesn’t care about anything, but she isn’t a crusading type. That being said, she’s always been interested in math, and it’s a challenge for her to be taken seriously, so I think she’s definitely passionate about women in STEM fields. (Though I’m not sure she would use those words exactly.)
Are they easy to get along with?
Yes and no. Val isn’t the most approachable person all the time – it’s not uncommon to find her wrapped in her own thoughts and not really paying attention to the rest of the world around her. She doesn’t actively antagonize others though. Once you get past the unapproachable part of her, she’s generally kind, if not a little shy. She prefers to keep to herself.
Are they a night owl or morning dove? (Or “weird daytime pigeon”?)
Morning dove. Val has very early classes every day of the week, and she appreciates the quiet of the morning. The rest of her roommates are night owls, which she doesn’t mind. It means she usually has the morning to herself, and she likes that.
What do they consider most vital to their health? Are they right?
Sleep. Val is an “early to bed, early to rise” kind of person, and that’s worked out pretty well for her. I think we can all agree that she’s right about it, too. On a side note, she isn’t always the best at remembering to eat meals – she’s the kind of person who can get easily wrapped up in a project and before she knows it, it’s 9pm and she hasn’t eaten dinner.
What was their childhood fear?
As a child, Val was (and probably still is) terrified of wasps. She was stung by one at a summer camp when she was eight, and ever since then she’s flinched at even the sound of a bug buzzing.
What do they have nightmares about?
Val doesn’t remember her dreams very often. When she does have nightmares, they usually involve missing class, bad grades, and being yelled at by professors.
What sights/sounds/smells remind them of home?
The smell of crabcakes always reminds Val of back home. She also has a red and gold afghan blanket that her grandmother knitted for her when she left for college, and that brings back fond memories of home.
What do they love most about themself?
She loves her intelligence. Val struggles a little bit with self-confidence (don’t we all), but one thing she knows for sure about herself is that she’s smart. She enjoys a cognitive challenge and the “high” that she gets when she’s able to overcome that challenge.