I’m taking part in the May linkup for the Beautiful People writing meme, co-hosted by Cait from PaperFury and Sky from Further Up, Further In. Because May is the month of Mother’s Day (it is?!?! :O ), this month’s meme theme has to do with parents.
I have the perfect character to write about:
Xander comes from my current and most successfully written WIP, Cliche, where poorly written characters come out of their poorly written books to confront their authors about it, and hilarity ensues. (Morgan Freeman’s kind of there too, because who could have a good story without a fictional character who at least looks like Morgan Freeman in my mind’s eye?)
Anyway, enough gabbing from me. On to the questions! (Disclaimer, some of these questions ask things I hadn’t really thought about. I can’t guarantee that everything I write here about Xander are canon.)
1. Overall, how good is their relationship with their parents?
It’s complicated. Xander’s father died when he was little, and his mother is an overbearing Spartan woman of a mother. She’s impossible to please, and in her mind, Xander can do no good no matter what he does. She tells him he’s useless and weak, so he becomes a soldier, and that just ticks her off even more.
2. Do they know both their biological parents? If not, how do they cope with this loss/absence and how has it affected their life?
Xander doesn’t know his father – his mother, Sonya, constantly berated him in his youth, comparing Xander to the “good for nothing man” who left her with child and never came back. (Truth is, Xander’s father was a knight of some sort, and died an honorable death in battle or something like that. Xander’s mother just doesn’t know how to cope with that, and blames him for dying somehow.)
3. How did their parents meet?
It was probably an arranged marriage. Things were pretty backwards in the kingdom of Landria, especially in little provinces like Xander’s hometown of Scrubbleypot, until the beautiful and “elegantly gravitas” Lady Jen overthrew the patriarchy and turned the kingdom into a glorious and socially just … matriarchy. Yeah, about that….
4. How would they feel if they were told “you’re turning out like your parent(s)”?
Depends on the parent. If compared to his father in a positive light (by anyone but his dear old mother), Xander would be honored. If compared to his mother, the grim facade of manliness that Xander has worked on for so many years will crumble away and the man would break down in tears and weep like a child.
5. What were your character’s parents doing when they were your character’s age?
Farming or other manual labor. The most popular respectable occupation in Scrubbleypot, ___shire, Kingdom of Landria is farming, so we can assume that Xander’s parents grew up in farmers’ families.
6. Is there something they adamantly disagree on?
What makes a person strong and admirable. How to treat a person with basic human decency and respect.
7. What did the parent(s) find hardest about raising your character?
Xander’s mother finds it hard to raise her son and not see her dead husband in him every single day. She still grieves inside, but she channels that grief into temper tantrums directed at whomever has the misfortune of being around – namely, Xander. (I realize this is not a very nice Mother’s Day subject at all.)
8. What’s their most vivid memory with their parental figure(s)?
Xander’s is being curled up on the kitchen floor as a seven year old child, weeping, while his mother stands over him, berating him for accidentally letting the cow loose in the neighbor’s field, and ranting about how useless and weak he is – just like his father was.
9. What was your character like as a baby/toddler?
A chubby, inquisitive child with fair hair, rosy cheeks, and a sweet, innocent smile. A little known secret that Xander doesn’t share with anyone is that he used to have a very sweet singing voice as a child. At age three, he was one of the youngest members of the Scrubbleytown choir, and had a sweet, soprano voice that made all the old ladies cry.
10. Why and how did the parents choose your character’s name?
Too absorbed in her grief, Sonya couldn’t even name her own son when he was born. The midwife did an eeny-meeny-miney-moe on a long parchment of popular baby names from the 6th era of Landria, and her finger settled on Xander. Sonya burst into tears at this decision (unbeknownst to the midwife, Xander was Xander’s father’s middle name), but since she couldn’t come up with a better one, Xander it was.
Well, that’s that! Would you believe that Cliche is actually supposed to be a lighthearted satirical comedy? Yeah, I didn’t think so. 😛
If you want to participate in the meme for this month and add your blog to the linkup, click here. If I get around to it, I just might take part next month as well, because this has been pretty fun!