I am getting to this month's edition of Beautiful People early for once! Beautiful People is a helpful magic potion concocted by wizards Cait and Skye, designed to aid writers in their quest to better understand their characters. (You can find out more on their blogs.)
As you already know from the title, I'll be using this round of questions on the villainess of my Sleeping Beauty novella:
That woman's a nasty one, but oh so much fun to write about! She just oozes power and authority, yet beneath the surface she's a little broken. Not that anyone around her realizes that--she's much too good at hiding the truth, even from herself. Before we get into the questions, here's a little taste of this fairy . . .
The silhouette shifted, stepped forward. The doors whispered shut behind her. Somehow, their soft thud sounded worse than the bang with which they’d opened. Without a bright backdrop, the figure became clear. Robed in glowing silver, she seemed like a star fallen from the heavens. Silver hair hung freely over her shoulders. Chin tilted high, she surveyed the assembly. “My, so many guests here today. King Cedric, surely your table held room for one more?”
|(Vyntyri dresses a bit like this.)|
Cedric wiped a hand over his face, now pale. “Vyntyri.”
Riar pressed closer to the cradle. “We thought you—”
“Dead?” Vyntyri began walking toward the front, weaving through the tables. Commoners shrank back from her on all sides.
“Or locked in enchantment,” Riar replied. “You have not been seen in fifty years.”
Vyntyri, now moving between the nobles’ tables, laughed. “How happy for you, then—to discover that I am neither dead nor enchanted. Still, was it not . . . rude of you, Riar, to neglect to send me an invitation to your daughter’s christening?”
Cedric, staring at the silver woman, seemed lost in a trance. Riar’s face tightened. “Forgive me. I am not in the habit of inviting dead people to parties.”
Vyntyri bowed her head, but the gesture seemed mocking rather than reverent. “Perhaps you should have investigated the state of the eighth steward’s health, hm? Not every piece of news crosses your courtyards. A simple envoy to Contalabutte Island could have revealed that I am indeed alive and well, and very eager to bestow a blessing upon your infant.”
1. They’re in a crisis: who would they really like to see right now?
Vyntyri doesn't like to rely on anyone but herself in a crisis, but by necessity she will depend on some allies . . . as long as it serves her purposes.
2. Are they easy to get along with?
Ahaha . . . no. She possesses a veneer of civility, but there is too much menace beneath that mask for her to cooperate with anyone. The only time she'd be remotely easier to get along with would be the rare occasion that you and her both want the same end result. And even then, prepare to be stabbed in the back.
3. Who was the last person they had a deep conversation with?
I would have to say Princess Luci, the object of Vyntyri's curse. But the details of said conversation will be withheld. (Spoilers!)
4. They’re in the middle of a huge crowd of people: how do they feel?
Above them all. Powerful. Suspicious and judgmental of everyone else's motives.
5. Do they believe in luck or miracles?
No, but she believes in magic, which is really just another way of saying she believes in herself. Her own efforts, her own plans, her own strength.
6. Do they like and get along with their neighbours?
Well, that depends. If you mean her literal neighbors, the people of Contalabutte Island (her kingdom), they get along splendidly. She holds the true seat of power there--not the king--and her people love and depend on her for protection. But if you mean the neighboring kingdoms, that's a whole 'nother story. They hardly give Contalabutte a second thought. It's such a tiny nation, anyway, and the fate of it hardly concerns them. Needless to say, Vyntyri feels ignored.
7. If they could travel anywhere in the world, where would they go?
Someplace where her people could be safe.
8. How do they feel about their body?
Um, strange question . . . Not particularly relevant to this story. But I suppose she feels it is a serviceable vessel. Perhaps she wishes it was a stronger conduit of magic, but it has served her well enough.
9. What is the cruellest thing someone has ever said to them? How did they react?
Rather than one single thing, the cruellest words spoken to her have built and gathered over the years. A callous remark here, a stinging phrase there. However, the cruelty is found more in the silences and gaps than the actual words. (And just between you and me, Vyntyri reads far more into people's words and silences than is intended.)
10. What’s the kindest thing someone has ever said to them? How did they react?
I shan't tell you the actual words, only that someone finally listened. Someone offered help, and in doing so, attacked the very hate festering in Vyntyri's heart all this time. But being so embroiled in her beliefs, she rejected the offer entirely. I think that may have been her biggest regret.
Hopefully those answers weren't too vague. As I was writing them, I realized that several of them reached into spoilery territory. But at least you've had a glimpse of this story's primary antagonist!
Are you planning to participate in Beautiful People this month (or have you already)? Who do you think you'll feature? And what are your thoughts on this malevolent fairy?