Friday, June 24, 2011

Getting to know your MC Blogfest!

Welcome one and all. 

This event is hosted by the lovely Elizabeth Mueller. I am supposed to ask my character three questions in order for me to get to know her better, courtesy of Jeannie Campbell. (You can try this at home and if you sign up for Jeannie's newsletter, you receive the Writer's Guide to Character Motivation for free!) How cool is that?

Question 1: What is your greatest fear, Anna? 

Failure, Robyn. Even though I'm only thirteen, I'm a motivated teen girl. I know what I want to do with my life. I want to become a veterinarian. But I'm afraid I won't be able to for one reason or the other. Maybe I think I won't 'get' the math. I had to study a lot just to understand algebra 1. What will  happen with advanced algebra and geometry? I am afraid I won't be able to stand up to the pressure. And that means I won't live my dream of helping animals. What's a kid to do? I don't believe that even Sylvan Learning Center can help my poor, dumb old brain understand math. Deep down, I feel it's a lose-lose situation. I'm smart in English, science and history though.  

This is what Jeannie says about question 1:

While this is not the first question on my form (I ask for basic info like name and age first), it’s perhaps one of the most important. Our fears, which usually center around a limitation or a failure, perhaps a disappointment or frustration, hold the key to our biggest vulnerability. The same is true for characters.
Fear is fundamental—present in every living thing. It’s relatable to every reader simply in its existence in a character’s life, whether or not they can relate to the specific fear or not. We all have fears, and we all go to great lengths to minimize opportunities for that fear to manifest. This says a lot about a character.

Question 2: What is your biggest accomplishment?
Oh man, that's easy. Claire and I went on an endurance horseback ride and we were lost. For SEVENTY-TWO HOURS we hung on as we tried to find our way out of the Blue Ridge Mountains. And you know what? We made it out alive. Of course I know that Daddy, my brother Ian, and Claire's step-father Ted found us after I had passed out do to complications from my diabetes, but we took care of ourselves. We fished and ate all kinds of natural nature stuff. Our horses survived too. But right now our horses have been stolen and we're going to go and find them. Of course, that's another story, right Robyn?I think besides that, my biggest accomplishment was learning to ride horses. I love being with them They understand me so well and they never ask me if I've done my homework. Or what grade I made on my math exam.
This is what Jeannie says about question 2:
The answer might reveal a time when the character showed great courage in the face of danger or kept their integrity when faced with the opportunity to cheat. The joy that a character feels from their moment in the spotlight, so to speak, can follow them through their life and be a constant reminder of how good life used to be, or it can be held as a standard they seek to attain again and again.
It’s interesting to see how far back in a character’s life their greatest accomplishment occurred. How old were they? And what have they done since then? These questions really dig in deep at the core of the character, helping you get to know them.

Question 3: What is your biggest regret?

 Have I lived long enough to have regrets? I guess I do have one. The fight that Claire and I had when we were lost. I got bossy and she resented it. I don't blame her one bit either. I wish I wasn't such a control freak. Is that on your list of questions Jeannie? I always have to control every situation. Maybe that's why I am so afraid of math. That's one thing I can't control. I can study and hope for the best, but that's about it. If I don't have a math brain then I'm in trouble. Controlling everything in my world and math. Hmmm. I think you've helped me figure something out about myself, Robyn You're a good writer girl.

This is what Jeannie says about question 3:

The answer to this question truly reveals a goldmine of information about someone. If a person feels shame or embarrassment over something they said or did, this connects to their self-image and values. If a person feels guilt over their actions or inaction's, this is connected to their moral code.
Sit your character down and force them to answer these questions. I suggest filling out my intake form in the voice of your character. I’ve been told by all my beta testers that my form helped them get to know their characters better than ever, so give it a try!

What Robyn says about questions 1-3:

I didn't know that Anna was awful in math . Now that I do know, I can write that into the story I'm working on now, which deals with the same characters.

Thanks for helping Anna, Jeannie. You rock!


  1. I love how you added this analysis. Well done!

  2. Anna sounds really sweet yet strong. I like how you sound the lessons she's learned. Nicely done!

  3. Hi Robyn - I have an award for you on my blog! Please stop by.

    Jennifer Young (Castles in the Sky)

  4. What fun getting to know your MC! I really like how you put Jeannie's analysis in - now I have a better understanding of what can really be accomplished by the exercise. I think I'd better hop on over and get myself one of those forms!

  5. Thank you, MacNish. I truly learned something new about someone I thought I understood completely. :-)

  6. Sheri, thanks so much. Anna is sweet and strong, yet some would say too headstrong. She does learn a lesson about that in the book though. :-)

  7. Jennifer, popping over, girlfriend. :-)

  8. Susanna, hop over. Mine is on my desktop and has been used over and over. :-)

  9. Robyn, How funny that when I started to read the answer to #2 that I was like, hey - wait, I read this story someplace! It was your first five pages on inkwell! So cool to find your blog. Love your interview!


  10. This is so fun! I'm really intrigued by Anna and Claire's story. Oddly enough, I have a mother and daughter pair named Anna and Claire in a story I wrote long ago. Anyways, very cool blogfest and great answers!

  11. This is so fun! I'm really intrigued by Anna and Claire's story. Oddly enough, I have a mother and daughter pair named Anna and Claire in a story I wrote long ago. Anyways, very cool blogfest and great answers!

  12. I might have to try this and see if I know my character as well as you know yours.

    Have a great weekend.

  13. Hi, Robyn,

    Anna sounds like a pretty together teen. She knows what she wants, she know she's a control freak, and she knows she has an issue with math that can kill her dreams of becoming a veterinarian.

    Judging by this interview she just might make her goal...

    Nice insights into your MC, Robyn.

  14. Oh my gosh, what an adventurer already! Can't wait to see what she faces next.
    Edge of Your Seat Romance

  15. What an interesting blogfest. My daughter is thinking of being a vet too. Math is what's concerning her too.

  16. How fun! Anna, not very many people like math because of the same reasons. I'd stay away from it, too!

    Thank you for participating!

    Can Alex save Winter from the darkness that hunts her?
    YA Paranormal Romance, Darkspell coming fall of 2011!

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  18. I loved this, an easy and creative way to brainstorm, and extended the writing experience and the story. It is always good to have help, two heads are better than one, you always learn something.

    Excellent post - great idea! Very useful!

    Thank you, for sharing.

    Happy Evening. :)

  19. I love that you had a new insight into your character after you did this! It was an interesting way to get to know our MC's. I like that her answers are down-to-earth.

  20. "we ate lots of natural nature stuff," is my favorite phrase for voice here :)

  21. Your MC is a brave character, determined.

  22. This was very interesting, Robyn. What a great idea for story and character assessment.

  23. It's nice to learn something about your M.C. Robyn.

  24. Great entry! She sounds like someone I could be friends with :)


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