Saturday, July 18, 2015

Beautiful People - Alucinora

I'm super excited to use this month's Beautiful People to introduce a character from my Sleeping Beauty novella! Hosted by the ever-creative Cait and Skye, these questions are particularly summery, and a number of them relate quite well to my main character:

Combine this face...

Princess Alucinora

(Known by her closest friends as Luci)

Luci lowered her gaze and plucked the strings a little faster. “I would very much like to go dragon riding with Aleida. Her dragons are well-trained—you’ve seen how gently they draw her carriage.”
Father cleared his throat, the sound like loose rocks tumbling down a mountain. “That is not a particularly . . . er, ladylike activity.”
Luci picked the next note harder. Simply because it requires one to wear trousers? Aleida wears breeches all the time.
“Nor is it safe,” Mother put in. “What would Iror do if the crown princess plummeted to her death on the rocks?”

With this hair (though not quite as red),
and you get Luci.
Oh, and because some of the questions are worded for more modern stories, I'll be tweaking a few along the way to fit my classic fairy-tale setting.
So without further ado, curious questers, let us begin.

1. What’s their favourite ice cream flavour?
There's no ice cream in Luci's kingdom, Iror, so we'll change the question to favorite dessert. She loves fresh fruit, and there's nothing better than cubed Glair melon and valley berries sprinkled with sugar.
2. Your character is getting ready for a night out. Where are they going? What are they wearing? Who will they be with?
Well, *cough* Luci doesn't really . . . go out much. Or at all. Her parents are overprotective that way. A night in, however, is not out of the question, and often consists of performing for the nobles. As an infant, Luci received some very special gifts, you see, from eight fairy stewards. Among those magical talents are song, dance, and a way with musical instruments. Thus, she is a popular entertainment choice. So she'll be in the castle's Great Hall, she'll be wearing one of her finer (though still poorly-woven) dresses, and she'll be with her parents and the nobles.

3. Look at your character’s feet. Describe what you see there. Do they wear dress shoes, gym shoes, or none at all? Are they in socks that are ratty and full of holes? What do they consider comfortable and what do they consider agony?
Slippers of the royal sort, though likely scuffed from Luci's wanderings about the castle or the occasional forest stroll. (When accompanied by guards, of course.) If she's not wearing slippers, she'll be barefoot--the most comfortable choice during the summer. What does she consider agony? Well, there is that one beaded pair that pinches and chafes in all the wrong places . . .

4. Do they have any birthmark or scars? Where are they and how did they get them?
Baby Luci--isn't she adorable?
Another of Luci's gifts is beauty, so if she was born with any birthmarks, they didn't stick around. As for scars, not much dangerous or strenuous activity is allowed, so the worst she can boast is paper cuts from all the books she handles. She desperately wishes her appearance wasn't so perfect, though. It's rather tiring to have the castle staff gaze at you in awe every time you walk by.
(I have to insert a little aside here. Luci's best friend Aleida, who happens to be the fairy steward of Iror, has a most intriguing scar . . . a star-shaped one on the back of her neck. She got it at a young age, during magic practice with an older fairy steward.)

5. What kind of music do they listen to? Does it change depending on their mood or is it always consistent? (Feel free to share samples!)
Luci avoids music as much as she can. She has little interest in something she can do perfectly. Her thoughts on being asked to perform?
"Like asking someone to sit and just breathe for an audience. Ridiculous and dull." 
If she's honest, though, she doesn't mind music in general. The beauty of it has been tainted by her gifts and the attention they bring, but if she can get away from all that, there is something about airy woodwinds that stirs her desire for freedom.

6. Do they have any musical talent? Play an instrument? How’s their singing voice?
I believe we've covered that one quite well already.

7. What kind of book would you catch them reading?
Anything and everything, particularly adventure stories or fantastic legends. They're the closest thing she has to an adventure of her own.

8. How would they spend their summers (or their holidays)?
Outdoors as much as possible! The forest is a favorite, and she loves visiting the waterfall with Aleida. But Luci dreams of an even better summer pastime: dragon riding. Unfortunately, the king and queen aren't particularly keen on that idea.

9. It’s Saturday at noon. What is your character doing? Give details. Ex. If they’re eating breakfast, what’s on the menu? Are they hiking, shopping, lazing around?
Spending time with Aleida. They'll either be talking, dreaming, walking, or holing up in the library together.

10. Is there anything your character wants to be free of?
All her days, Princess Luci has lived in the cage her parents made. They love her dearly, and since her safety has been compromised since birth, they'll do all they can to ensure she is protected. Luci feels stifled, both by their caution and by her gifts. Beauty and music are the pedestal upon which others have set her, and her gift of diplomacy prevents her from voicing her deepest thoughts. With everything in her, she longs to be free. Free to speak her mind, free to be seen as herself and not her gifts. Free to risk. Free to live. And as her story progresses, the bars of her cage only thicken, bringing a captivity far worse than any her well-meaning parents place on her.
I hope you've enjoyed meeting my headstrong princess as much as I've enjoyed presenting her to you! If you've done Beautiful People this month, let me know so I can come meet your characters too.
By the way, you know the goal I made to finish the first draft of this novella before the end of July? Well, I'm at about 14K words right now, which gives me less than two weeks to write the next 6. According to the chart I made (yes, I did that), I'm on track . . . but whether this story will actually be done within the word limit is questionable. It's trying desperately to become a full-length novel. When the whole falling asleep thing occurs around the halfway mark, you know you have a problem. Now if you'll excuse me, I have my editing knife to sharpen in preparation.


  1. I'M EDITING TOO. *hefts editing axe* It's such an exhausting thing, tbh. gah, buuut rewarding. xD Yay for BP! I enjoyed reading this! Luci sounds...absolutely caged. I feel really sorry for her. :'(

    1. Yay for editing! It's your Beethoven retelling, right? That one sounded awesome.
      Hmm, an axe...that might be more useful than the knife I was sharpening. I'm not editing *yet*, but I know that when I do, there'll be lots to cut. (It's for a contest, you see, with a 20K word limit. OUCH.)
      So glad you enjoyed it! I know, my poor Luci. *sniffle*

  2. I saw you on the BP link when I went to make sure I remember to add my own, and thought I'd stop by.
    "It's rather tiring to have the castle staff gaze at you in awe every time you walk by" – haha! I like the song you shared! I'm a fan of Celtic type music myself.
    Sounds like an interesting story. I'm a fairy tale lover (for writing or reading) myself.

    1. Hi! Thanks for stopping by, Awdur! :D
      LOL, dear Luci... She's rather sick of all her gifts. I love Celtic music too, and am always on the hunt for more. Any recommendations?
      Fairy tales are awesome, aren't they? ^_^ They're such fun to play around with.

    2. I recently discovered the band Kilkenny Road. I love the feel of their music and get stuck listening to the CD on repeat fairly often… ;)

    3. I'll be checking that out on Youtube, then--thanks! :)

  3. I really like her, she is the type of girl I love to read about. I just finished chapter 10, love the dream parts and the different colored threads such a unique concept. I haven't even started writing mine, and yours is almost done. You also have a fully fleshed out Princess, I really like how her gifts are more hindrances, I never thought about it that way before. Great way to bring realism to the tale. :)

    1. Aww, thank you muchly! I'm so glad you're enjoying it. *beams* The threads and stuff kind of sprang up without much planning. It's been a lot of fun exploring this story world.
      I hope I have time to read yours too when you write it! :D

    2. I love it when that happens as I'm writing, it's the best feeling. It's a very interesting story world, Dragons and Magic are always winners.
      That would be great, I have finally started it. It's about a girl with cancer facing an operation, and a fantasy world she creates for herself.

    3. It definitely is! Aw, thanks--I love dragons and magic too.
      You started? Awesome! Ooh, wow, that sounds like a very feelsy tale indeed... Such a great premise. :D Good luck writing it!

  4. Beautiful People is a ton of fun. This is only my third time around, but I keep discovering so many interesting stories!

    So much love for fairy tales. Poor Luci! I can't even imagine. It's always been funny to me, how the "gifts" in fairy tales can turn out more like curses. I love that you are staying true to the story while exploring the backlash from things like perfect beauty and musical skills.
    And yes, Celtic music is fabulous. Have you listened to much of Moya Brennan's (Enya's slightly less famous sister) solo stuff?

    1. This is my third time too! :O That's awesome!

      That's so true, actually... The attempts to bless someone with magic don't tend to work out so well! XD I thought about trying a different genre, but classic fairytale fantasy was the only thing that clicked in my mind this time around. :) It's been so much fun to flesh out the original tale.

      No, I've never heard of that. I'll definitely check it out! Thank you! :D

  5. This was so much fun getting a more in depth look at Luci! Although you've developed her character so amazingly well on the pages (and in so few words at that!) I already feel like I know her. So reckless and fiery. I love how fun a character she makes!

    Oh, oh! That soooong! That was one of my first ones of his to hear and I immediately fell in love. Celtic music is the besssst. I loved how you said, "... there is something about airy woodwinds that stirs her desire for freedom." Beautiful!

    I NEEED to go read the next two chapters! It's been killing me seeing them in my inbox but not having time to read all the scrumptiousness. I'm so sorry I haven't gotten to them yet. I don't seem to have time anymore. So if you see any spare time laying around, I'm taking donations.
    But I shall read those chapters soon because BEAUTIFUL WONDERFUL STORY FULL OF TRACEY-GOODNESS.

    And you are getting those chapters out SO fast. You're going to get to the end in a flash, I know you will. You can do this! *waves pompoms*

    1. *grins* THANK YOU, DEARIE. I readily admit, she's a lot of fun to write about. Quite the headstrong princess...

      Really? That's funny, because it's one of the more recent Jonathan Maiocco songs I've discovered. XD I love Celtic music too. <3

      No worries at all! There's no rush. :) And yeah, if I do find any spare time in some dusty corner, I'll be sure to send you some...if I don't keep it for myself. XD Ah, you're sweet!

      Thank you again for all your encouragement and cheerleader-ness! I'm pretty sure I'll hit 20k soon, but whether that coincides with the end of the story is...heheh...another matter entirely.

  6. Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Maddy! Glad you enjoyed it. :)

  7. Yay, Luci! She sounds like she has a lot of inner snark just waiting to be let loose... *winks* I love how she loves going for walks in the forest and reading, and wants to go dragon riding. All my favourite things. XD Happy writing!

    1. LOL... wink wink, indeed. Ah, so you and Luci would make excellent friends! If you ever have a chance to go dragon riding, lemme know, okay? ;)
      Thanks, and same to you, Sarah!

  8. Aw she sounds so cute! That's interesting about her worrying about being /too/ perfect. That's so cool that you included a Jon Maiocco song! That composer actually lives in my town! :D

    1. Heehee, thanks! Jonathan Maiocco lives in your town?? Cool! Have you ever met him? (His Epic Music CDs are wonderful for writing, er, epic stories...) :D

    2. I have! He actually lives not too far from me. Haven't talked to him in a while so he may have move, but at least at one point he did. XD They are I love a bunch of his pieces.