Saturday, May 21, 2016

Beautiful People - Skaes

Since I introduced you to The Prophet's Quest not too long ago (and now you finally know what the Dickens this girl is working on), and since I've been rewriting The Prophet's Key (the second book in the series), and since I haven't done a Beautiful People post in approximately five and three-quarter eons (my last one was in February), and since I appear to be overly fond of parentheses . . .

Let's do another Beautiful People, shall we? Today I'm introducing Skaes, a young but not-so-young woman from The Prophet's Key. She is a part of the Five Shifters, a group of individuals blessed with elemental-type powers. Born in Demetria but currently living secretly on Earth (because reasons), she has the ability to shift/control water. I've loved her since she appeared on the handwritten pages of the first draft, and coincidentally, her character will probably need the least amount of refining. Nevertheless, I need to get to know her better, because that penciled-in first version of her is sorely lacking in details.

Anyway. Some pertinent details before we begin:

Beautiful People is a monthly link-up hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In. Each month, they come up with ten questions to help us get to know our characters better. For more info, follow the links!

Natalie Portman would make a good Skaes, I think. The
dress here is perfect for her Demetrian attire.

How often do they smile? Would they smile at a stranger?
Skaes is the sort of person who smiles often, at friends and strangers alike. She revels in the little joys of life. Nowadays, though, she smiles less frequently. Centuries of living alone in hiding, watching generations go by, will do that to a person.

What is the cruelest thing they’ve ever been told? And what was their reaction?
Skaes is very tender-hearted, and most people can't help but like her. So she hasn't been directly told many cruel things. The cruelest jabs are those of silence, omittance, and cold shoulders. The only other female Shifter, Nisi (who controls light), is a dear friend of Skaes's . . . but Nisi is often guarded and unaffectionate. There are times Skaes wants to reach out for companionship, but Nisi's standoffishness hurts her.

What is the kindest thing they’ve ever been told? And what was their reaction?
The words Skaes holds most dear, the words that have stayed in her heart over her long life, are from King Jirus (the Jesus-figure in this series). When she and the other four were first called to the Garden to accept their shifting abilities and learn how to wield them, King Jirus's words of wisdom and affirmation washed over her like sunlight. And they have never left. They're what she clings to now in the years of waiting.

What is one strong memory that has stuck with your character from childhood? Why is it so powerful and lasting?
As a little girl in Demetria, long before she became a Shifter, she lived in a village on the coast. The song of the sea was ever present, drawing her to the shore on a daily basis. She would stand in the shallows, deep enough that her fingertips brushed the water, and look out to the horizon. The vastness of the sea has always fascinated her. And when storms would fall upon the village, she was perhaps the only one unafraid of the power of water. Even though she can harness it now, she still has that childlike wonder and fascination with it.

What book (a real actual published book!) do you think your character would benefit from reading?
I think she would find Bryan Davis's Eye of the Oracle very comforting. She has much in common with Sapphira Adi, as far as long lifespans and the need for patience/contentment goes. Sapphira would be a good fictional companion for her.

How I imagine her on Earth.
Have they ever been seriously injured? How severely? How did they react?
Yes. She has seen many battles on Demetrian soil, and thusly has been injured numerous times. Whereas some of her fellow Shifters would stubbornly keep fighting with a broken leg or fatal wound, she is quicker to accept her weakness, adapt to it, and do what she can from the sidelines instead. (See? She's fluid. Ha. Ha. Ha.) That doesn't mean she cares any less, just that she will naturally bend with the circumstances and find a way around it, even if that means taking on lowly tasks like dishing out rations to the knights. She realizes that she doesn't have to be on the battlefield to advance the cause.

Do they like and get along with their neighbours?
Because it's vital that she lives a solitary life, she doesn't have many neighbors at all. In fact, she lives on the coast of Scotland (I'm working out the exact details, to be honest), in a sparsely populated area. She has minimal contact with outsiders, and has had to move several times to avoid suspicion. ("What's with that lady in the cottage? I could've sworn she looked just as young when I was a wee child, and now I'm getting up to sixty.") All that said, if she could have contact with her neighbors, she would get along with them very well. She likes almost everybody, after all.

On a scale from 1 to 10 (1 being easy and 10 being difficult) how easy are they to get along with?
Oh, probably a 2. She's a kind, quiet soul. Like I said, she likes people and they like her.

If they could travel anywhere in the world, where would they go?
Well, she'd rather travel out of this world she's been forced to live in so long. She would give anything to return to Alewar, to her homeland of Demetria.

Who was the last person they held hands with?
Probably some young, sweet-faced chap in her old Demetrian village. But that was ages ago. Having a prominent place in the military as one of the Shifters took up all of her time and attention, and then of course, she came to Earth and took up life as a hermit. So romance has not had a chance to blossom in her life. Besides, who could she be with? Anyone she falls in love with would be a mortal. (Speaking of which, I'm not exactly sure if she's immortal, per se. But she does have a ridiculously long lifespan.) And the three male Shifters are out of the question. Two are like brothers to her, and one is an old man. (Technically speaking, they're all old, but he was already getting on in years when he became a Shifter, and the role has kind of pickled him. He has spent most of his life looking elderly. Not that he minds much.) (But now I'm overusing parentheses again. Ahem.)


I hope you enjoyed meeting Skaes! I may have to feature her fellow Shifters sometime. What do you think? And hey, would any of your own characters make a good friend for Skaes? Poor girl is lonely. But not for long . . . Just as soon as I iron out some details and hammer out, oh, another ten thousand words or so, she'll find herself anything but lonely. But that's a story I can't tell you yet. *wink*


  1. BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE TRACEY POOOOOST!!! I get so ridiculously excited when you do these because I'm sooo curious about all your characters and beautiful story and world.

    *le gasp* A water elemental? THIS GIRL IS SO COOL. (I also love her name, by the way.) Okay, but seriously. I adore how she has a quiet strength. How she'll accept her weaknesses and take on quieter tasks if she must. We do not have many characters, especially female ones, like that much anymore, and we NEED them. It makes her so admirable. I already love this girl!

    I think it's the sweetest thing how she holds so close the words from King Jirus. ^_^ I've never even read this story and I'm already getting feels! But the poor girl, alone for so long. I'm glad you have plans to cure her loneliness. Though I suspect her troubles are just beginning. *eyes you suspiciously*

    This was a delight to read. I cannot wait to read these epic stories one day!!

    1. D'AWWWW, YOU'RE TOO SWEET. <3 I get super excited over *your* BP posts too!

      I kind of adore her water abilities. The original draft had a (poorly written) scene in which she obligingly "shows off" for Josiah and Aileen, and I'd love to work the heart of that scene into the new draft somehow. ^_^
      So true! Those types of characters are rare indeed. (And I hadn't really thought of Skaes from that angle. I love it! Thank you!)

      LSKDFJALSKFJ YOU'RE GIVING ME ALL DEM FEELS TOO. Y'all are great motivators, just saying. ;) Heh, you suspect right. *cough cough*

      Thank you, sweet girl!!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm sure she'd like you too. ;)

    2. Oh, and Tracey, I forgot to mention... I really want to follow your blog, but some blogs don't seem to be letting me follow, giving me an 'error, please try again later' message of some sort.

      I love your blog, and so... just pretend I'm a follower, I guess. xD

    3. I'd love for you to follow, and I'm sorry it's giving you issues! You're trying with Google Friend Connect, right? It's given me problems in the past... :( I don't quite remember if it fixed itself, or if I refreshed it somehow. I'll look into, but in the meanwhile, all I can suggest is to keep trying. But I'm thrilled you like it around here and want to follow! (In essence, you already do follow, if that makes you feel better. <3)

  3. Interesting character, she sounds like a real dear! (since she has lived in Scotland for such a long time, I assume she has picked up the accents?)

    1. She's very sweet. :) Yes, good observation! She'll have picked up a Scottish accent, but once (er, I mean *if*...yes, IF) she returns to Demetria, she'll mostly revert to her mother tongue, I imagine.

  4. Oooh I like her! I love the idea that she can control water - so cool! And that she loves the sea. :D She sounds like a very strong and committed character, to have given up so much and waited so long for *stuff* to happen. It'd be super cool to hear more about the Shifters in future BP posts (hint hint).

    1. I'm glad! These questions were quite helpful, because I hadn't figured out that she loved the sea so much until I wrote up my answers. :)

      Heh, stuff indeed... Aye, aye, captain. Your hint is duly noted!

  5. YAY MORE ABOUT THE PROPHET'S QUEST!!! *promptly devours the words*

    Ooo, Skaes sounds like a character I would really like (and I absolutely LOVE her name!)! Plus, she's a water elemental, which makes her even more awesome. I have a thing for water elementals (or elemantals in general, really) :D.

    Like Christine said, this was so fun to read! I really want to hear more about her and the other Shifters ... sometime soon, perhaps? :)

    1. Heehee, you make me grin. ^_^

      Hooray for elementals, and for those who love them! I think you'd enjoy all the other Shifters too. (I almost picked Wimwhile--the old fellow--for this post, but the questions didn't quite fit him.)

      Thanks so much, Savannah! I'd love to introduce the others to you eventually. ;)

  6. Aw she sounds so sweet and sad! Some of my characters would definitely be friends with her, especially Elasa and Dina. They've endured similar troubles as Skaes and they'd love to keep her company. Best wishes writing her!

    My BP:

    1. We should get all three of them together for a girls night out or some such thing. ^_^ I'm guessing they could all use some friendship! I think I remember Dina from one of your posts.

      Ooh, I'll be coming to check out Faol's post in the near future! ^_^

  7. She seems very sweet! Love her character model too!

    1. Thank you! I was pretty pleased to have found a suitable character model this time around... Usually I'm not particularly successful. XD

  8. Love her! This post made me smile, specifically all the parentheses, and especially "See? She's fluid. Ha. Ha. Ha." XD

    SHE COULD BE FRIENDS WITH MY CHARACTERS! She seems similar to Mel in some ways. They could be mates.

    I like the sound of King Jirus! ALSO SHE LIVES IN SCOTLAND I GOT SO EXCITED WHEN I READ THAT!!! WHERE??!!! :D :D

    1. Aw, thank you! ^_^ It's crazy how often I find parentheses cropping up in my writing. Not my fiction, but in blogs and emails and comments and stuff. XD

      COULD SHE? YAY! She'd be a little old for your crew, but it would be so fun to see them all together. (Skaes would probably end up mothering them all.)

      Thank you--he's not the easiest character to write, but I'm glad this little glimpse sounds good. :) YES, SHE LIVES IN SCOTLAND, BUT I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE. I need to research! In the old draft, she lived in Ireland, but I decided to change it.

    2. OK WELL I'M VERY INTERESTED IN HELPING YOU WITH YOUR SCOTTISH DETAILS. Scotland only really has two coasts, east and west, because the north is sort of broken and jagged. You never hear people talking about the north coast, anyway. She could live on an island, which would be fun. Are you envisaging her in the Highlands? Because she doesn't have to be there, Scotland has remote coast everywhere. Just yesterday I got back from a glorious holiday on a peninsula in Midlothian, which is just north of Glasgow.

      Please tell me when you decide! :D

      PS Can I, in a completely unpatronising manner, give you dialect advice? Only if it'd be helpful. Obviously I don't want to wade into your book when I've not even read it. Just if you would like!

    3. OH MY GOSH, EMILY, YOU'RE A DARLING. I was actually hoping to solicit you for some help and advice at some point down the road! (And, well... *cough* Knowing someone who lives in Scotland was not at all a factor in changing Skaes's home. Nooo, not at all. XD)

      I honestly have no idea where exactly I'm envisioning her. Welp. o.o All I know is that it's on the coast, and she probably lives alone-ish but there may be some scattered cottages and whatnot not TOO far away (so that she can wistfully watch generations of people go by). Midlothian... I like that name a lot.

      We should probably move further discussion to an email thread. XD

      P.S. YES, PLEASE! That would be glorious and very, very helpful. I'm so delighted you're asking.


      (Or are you not talking about me? Internet sarcasm, man. Sometimes it eludes me.)

      Honestly it probably doesn't matter that much. There's heaps of villages up and down the coasts. If it were me I'd probably like pick something on a map based on the name XD Where does she get her shopping? Does she have to go to cities to get clothes and stuff?

      Yes please email me with anything!

      OK SO. A note on the word "wee".

      Those without experience (I know that sounds patronising it's noT WHAT I MEAN) think it just means small. This is not wholly correct! It has connotations of informality and/or something cute/homey/whatever. So a "wee child" conveys "small, cute child". For most people "wee" is a gap filler word, as in, "would you like a wee cup of tea?" or "have a wee seat!" The tea and seat in question are no smaller than you'd expect, it just means, this isn't a formal situation. I might say (except I wouldn't, because I'm English and don't use the word) "I had nice wee holiday with my friends." That partly means it was a short holiday, but it also conveys it was chill and cute. "That's a nice wee dress" doesn't mean the dress is small, just that it's cute and informal.

      ERGO, "when I was a wee child" doesn't seem very natural. You might look at old pics of yourself and say "wasn't I a wee thing?!" meaning, "wasn't I small and cute?". But here's a question. If you're just subbing wee for little ... would you say "when I was a little child"? You might, but only if you were trying to convey specifically that you were, like, under 5. So the man who says "she looked that way when I was a wee child" ... if he means, when I was a toddler, that's OK, but he probably wouldn't say wee otherwise.

      If you want to write realistic dialogue in terms of accent/word usage, I would suggest COMING TO SCOTLAND (eh?), but failing that, watch Scottish films/comedians/youtubers/something. To get a sense of how the words are used.

      Hope that was helpful!

    5. YES, YOU ACTUALLY DID, AND I'M SO EXCITED ABOUT THAT. (Ugh, internet sarcasm eludes me too sometimes...)

      Good to know I have that measure of freedom! I'm not quite up to her part of the story yet, but once I get closer I'll start looking at maps of Scotland. After I've narrowed it down to a few places, I'll email you for input. :)
      Those are very good questions. I'm thinking she alternates between several shopping locations, and probably goes in disguise. (Of course, she'll change up the disguise now and then too. Can't have the same lady doing her shopping in three different towns for centuries, now can we?)

      Oooh, great tips on the usage of wee! Thank you so much for that! I didn't realize it had broader connotations than just 'small.' I'm ecstatic to have someone to tell me all these things, because sometimes Google just doesn't cut it, you know? Having a real live research source is awesome. (And that just made you sound like a walking textbook--I'm sorry. XD)

      I would LOVE to come to Scotland, but overseas holidays aren't exactly within the budget right now. Hopefully one day! Very hopefully... *stares wistfully into the distance*
      Any recommendations for Scottish movies and YouTubers and whatnot?


      Yes, feel free to email me anytime :)

      Love the thought of her in disguise XD But she can take a day trip to Glasgow!!!!!! (And bump into me! Can I get a cameo!?!!)

      No problem! :) Happy to be a textbook any day ;D

      I feel that </3 I don't watch Youtubers, and suddenly I can't think of any films O.o There's a film called What We Did on Our Holidays with David Tenant and Billie Connelly, both with (own) Scottish accents. It's a good film. You could also watch interviews with Tenant, Connelly, James McAvoy?

    7. Oh ho, now there's an idea! I shall have to see if the plot will allow for a stop in Glasgow and a bumping in to a certain Emily. ;)

      I'll have to look out for that movie. In the meantime, I've started watching some interviews (great idea!). I think it would help to try transcribing a few of those, just to feel out how to spell certain words so it sounds Scottish.