I CAN’T BELIEVE I ALMOST FORGOT THIS.
I wanted to join in this meme in July, then I told myself “I’ll wait until August!” … then I forgot again! But now it is the end of the month and it’s not QUITE too late so, haha! I’m doing the thing.
Beautiful People is a monthly WRITING meme hosted by Cait @ Paperfury and Sky @ Further Up & Further In. It’s all about our WIP and writing and CHARACTERS. Which are my favorite of all favorites, so I’m really excited to answer these questions.
For this month, I’m going to focus on Olive, one of my voices in the WIP I’m struggling with – The Land of Dark and Broken Things. Olive is everyoung, a transplant in the Other Worlds and stationed in Wonderland. Fierce and guarded, she sees the ways things are and hold information close to her, like treasure to spend later. You can see her aesthetic board here.
The Land of Dark and Broken Things is about a world of In-Between, where dreams are born and fantasy thrives. As reality takes a stronger hold in the hearts of the newly born young, it has begun to fade and fall apart. In desperation, the world kidnaps a Real World child – as it has done three times before – to restore the rotting lands with her imagination magic.
What are they addicted to/can’t live without?
Olive is a simple person. She lives in a barracks and has minimal possessions. The only moments she has truly to herself are the moments right before she falls asleep, and the moments right after she wakes up. While I wouldn’t say she’s ADDICTED to those things, she NEEDS the moments. They are her only moments when she can be fully herself.
Name 3 positive and 3 negative qualities about your character.
Fun, clever, observant.
Untrusting, selfish, prideful.
Are they holding onto something they should get rid of?
YES. It’s sort of a plot twist thing, but I’ll give you a clue. A long time ago, when she was young and the person she loved was young, he gave her a little piece of his heart. It’s just a sliver, a single thread, but she wears it around her neck in a tarnish silver locket. She needs to let it go. But she can’t.
If 10 is completely organized and 1 is completely messy, where do they fall on the scale?
Olive’s organization skills are about a 7. She likes to have everything in its place, but she’s often in a rush, or will let things fall where they are at night if she is too tired. She’ll tidy things in the morning, but there are moments where she lets her organization fall astray.
What most frustrates them about the world they live in?
Olive cannot abide the waiting. Waiting for Alice, waiting for the daughters of Dorothy. Waiting for the attack from Oz. ALWAYS waiting and nothing ever changing, ever happening. She sees the way the sky is falling, in tiny painted flakes that get swept away in the fog. She believes there are a thousand things the Guard could be doing something to help, and waiting is the one thing they ought not to do. But she is not the commander and the doors she wants won’t open for her, not without his insignia.
How would they dress for a night out? How would they dress for a night in?
Clothing is limited in Wonderland, and in the rest of the Other Worlds as well. It must be made, and Olive has no skill for that sort of thing. Fortunately, some of the townsfolk do, and in exchange for her protection against bandersnatch attacks she has acquired three tunics, an embroidered deerskin corset dyed dark green and shaped with thin, strong bones. Her leggings are part of the military uniform, all a muddied shade of brown-grey.
None of these are fine gowns to go out dancing in. Olive doesn’t know how to dance. She wouldn’t mind a fine gown, but where would she find one? And when would she wear it?
How many shoes do they own, and what kind?
Olive is the proud owner of a single pair of reliable boots. They’re deerskin, like her corset, and fine and worn. She loves their flexibility and the way the fat rubbed into the skin keeps water from soaking her toes on rainy days. Not all of the Queen’s Guard has boots so fine.
Do they have any pets? What pet do they WISH they had?
Olive doesn’t care to have any animals around, not if she can avoid them. She doesn’t even like the Guard’s horses and only uses one if she must. Then, she never rides the same one. It is as though they remember her, and remember she sits on their back like a stiff, thorny bush. They want as little to do with her as she does with them. It was not always this way.
Is there something or someone that they resent? Why and what happened?
Yes. Once upon a time (as things go in this world), a young woman stared into a pool of water and witnessed the birth of a little girl. Because of this vision, Olive lost her heart, a friend, and the world slowed to a steady tedious thrum. For the boredom, loneliness, and the heartache, Olive detests Verity, daughter of Ozma.
After all, what importance could a vision have that it would through the whole of the Other Worlds into chaos, war, and then nothingness? If only she hadn’t looked, the prophecy may not have come true. Things could be different. Olive could be happy instead of alone in her dusty corner room in the barracks, surrounded by the weary warriors of Wonderland, waiting for the last phrase of the prophecy to come true… alone.
What’s usually in their fridge or pantry?
Food is communal in the barracks, and nobody has a large secret stash. Olive has a few strips of dried griffin jerky in her pack, a sheet of sweet toffee that the baker in town makes as a treat for birthdays, weddings, or Frabjous Day in the chilled season.
That, and like any proper secret stash, she keep a couple of famous Wonderland biscuits. These magical cookies look like fluffy shortbread, but taste like whatever the heart desires. Most the time, hers tastes like spiced dark chocolate and chili pepper. They sustain the body better than a full feast, but leave the mouth dry and the mind dizzy. Still, a single bite never hurt anyone.