Enhanced: The Complete Field Guide, Part Two (Characters)

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I fully expect this to be the longest of the three parts of the Enhanced Field Guide (places, characters, and plots). If you missed the first part–Places in Enhanced, you can find that here: Enhanced: The Complete Field Guide, Part One (Places).

Why will this be the longest one? Because I have a whole bunch of characters, both major and minor, and I fully expect that the more I write, the more characters will come up. So when this field guide is officially posted on its own page, I’ll update it with new characters when I start 105_0189-editedtalking about them. For right now, though, all of the characters in this post should appear or be mentioned somewhere in the first book, Enhanced.

Oh, and Kellyn Roth @ Reveries was the first one to guess which character this hairstyle belonged to: Meryn. Despite the fact that the hairstyle does indeed look like a boy’s, it is her hair. (Of course, Kell did just list all of the main female characters after I said it was a girl, so I don’t know how much effort it took.) You’ll get a full sketch of Meryn later on in the post–yay!–and she’ll look much less like a boy then.



POV CHARACTERS

BRIE ELLINGS

I just made up her last name right now. So it’s subject to change…but I kind of like it, so who knows?

Brie is my smol, emotional cinnamon roll who is thrown into this world with no experience and wants nothing more than to save her brother, Seth (see Plots–Rescue Seth and Characters–Seth). She has way too much hair and loves music and singing. She loves deeply and is extremely empathetic.

And because I know you want it, here’s my little chibi drawing of her:

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Isn’t she so adorable? I love her and so should you.

WILL ASHA

Will is extremely computer-savvy, and therefore the Reapers’ hacker. It might be weird to say that he feels some sort of emotional connection with computers, but he does–when he was part of the Delorem Program (see Places–The Delorem Program), computers were really the only thing that he could hold on to.

He also makes horrible jokes and puns that no one laughs at, and he likes cats. Going deeper than that, though, he feels responsible for his cousin, Taira (see Characters–Taira) and worries about her (and other people) a lot.

Fun Fact: In the original draft, Will and Brie were going to be a ship. Now, they’re not, but they do develop a sort of sibling-like relationship throughout the first book because Will likes to take care of people and Brie needs taking care of.

LILIAN SHAZI (also referred to as LIL)

Lil is the only POV character who is an adult, and she is definitely a mother figure to lots of people, but especially Will (see Characters–Will). Because of some time spent in the Enhancement Facility (see Places–The Enhancement Facility), she can’t feel physical pain. However, she has a very sad backstory (which I may someday write a novella about…) and her life is filled with emotional pain that just grows worse as the book goes on.

She always cares about people deeply and grows very attached to them. She notices the lonely soul and gives cookies to those with hurting hearts. And she’s so friendly and warm and inviting that you can’t help but be friends with her and want her love.

Fun Fact: She wears ribbons in her braids in her hair. I seriously use this for every fun fact I’ve done with her. But hey, if you have a good one, do you have to find a new one?

KAI WHITLOW

Kai is the hero. Not necessarily the hero of the story but just a hero in that he sticks to what he believes in, which is awesome. I adore characters like that. Despite being heroic, he’s also a little confused and a little lost about everything. He’s trying to grow up and figure everything out, and without a father, that’s especially hard. (His father died when he was young.)

He also has this desire to be strong and to show that he’s just like everyone else or better…which leads to lots of flirting with girls. (I don’t know whether to facepalm or headdesk.) But he just struggles and it’s awesome.

Fun Fact: In the first draft, Kai was totally honest. Like, he could only remember telling one lie in his life. *claps for Kai* So that’s part of what inspired me to have him be the hero, but yeah, no, he fails as much as the rest of us, don’t worry. He makes mistakes, too, but it’s just that in the end, good triumphs over evil.

MERYN …

Meryn who also doesn’t have a last name, oops. She’s the hairstyle up above, remember? She’s lived in the city (see Places–The City) her entire life, and she is a little spoiled (read: very spoiled). She goes on dates and flirts with guys and loves fashion designing. She fights with her sister Aislynn and also has some loving conversations with her at times as well.

And because I have nothing else to say at the moment, here is a full picture of her:

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She’s actually a little shorter than in that picture, but yeah, that’s a pretty good representation. And yes, she puts pockets in all of her dress designs because she understands the painnn.


MAJOR CHARACTERS (NON-POV)

TAIRA …

She actually has a last name, but I can’t remember it…I’d have to look at the first draft to find it. Anyway, Taira is very blunt and generally rude to everyone except for Will, her cousin (see Characters–Will). She’s rude to him, too, just not as much. And she glares at everyone because other people should not exist she has bad headaches the more she’s around people.

Mainly, she just chooses to stay away from people as much as possible. And she has some good reasons for it, but some would say that they aren’t really excuses. So yeah, she has problems and is very enjoyable to think about.

Fun Fact: Taira was one of the main characters in the first draft. Then, she was just going to be one of the POV characters in Enhanced, and then Brie decided she was more important and took over her spot. But she’s definitely going to show up as a POV in the second book, Cryonic, where you’ll get to see some of her internal thoughts, which will be fun.

SETH ELLINGS

As you may have figured out by now, Seth is Brie’s (see Characters–Brie) older brother. He’s adventurous and always looking for some new thing to do. He might possibly be an adrenaline junkie if he lived in our day. And he loves other people, but he kind of loves nature more. He loves to be outside and exploring the great outdoors, and that’s where he gets the most joy.

Fun Fact: He also has curly hair like Brie’s, but his is a bit more under control. Actually, he’s *coughs* kind of good-looking. I mean, according to the pinterest picture I found.

AISLYNN …

Aislynn is Meryn’s (see Characters–Meryn) younger sister. She’s very analytical and ordered and structured about things, which kind of clashes with Meryn’s very creative way of thinking. Hence fights. Also, Aislynn steals Meryn’s stuff, especially her holographic computer (she doesn’t really care about stealing clothes), and basically they fight a lot but also love each other deeper. Aislynn isn’t very good at showing that love, though. She’s also into science and psychology and loves learning.

Fun Fact: Hawaiian pizza is her choice of pizza. Because you need to know that for the story to make sense.

CHARLES BENNETT

He goes by Bennett (possibly because his name sounds like it’s from a Jane Austen novel–but if it actually is, then tell me, because I could use that) and he’s a politician. Or, I should say politician-in-training  or attempting-politician because he’s only in his early twenties and hasn’t done much yet.

But yes, Bennett has an oversized opinion of himself (which could be because he really is handsome and popular and all the girls flock around him) and he and Taira clash dynamically in the second book which is quite fun! He doesn’t do much in the first book, though, but, you know, he’s there.

Fun Fact: Bennett kind of spawned into the story by accident? I was writing the first part of Cryonic and Taira ended up meeting him, and they clashed so much that I developed him more, and he’s actually really important. For spoilerous reasons.

JETHRO CAVRILLO

Jethro is–do I dare to say?–the villian…ish. I need to develop his role in the story better because he’s kind of not at the moment and he needs to be. (Even though he has a heartwrenching reason for what he’s doing…*sobs in a corner because no one knows my pain because spoilers*)

Anyway, he’s the Lead Enhancer and founder of the Enhancement Facility (see Places–The Enhancement Facility), and he does lots of cruel things. Enough said. Possibly because his personality isn’t developed super well…shhh.

Fun Fact: His name used to be Javier until I realized that a) that was basically like Javert from Les Mis, and b) that Javier was pronounced with an ‘H’ sound rather than being pronounced like Javert from Les Mis. So I needed a new name, and I was reading the Bible…and yeah, even though Jethro is a great guy, I decided his name was awesome and would be used.

JULIUS …

I still don’t know how I feel about the name Julius. Like, part of me says yes, and the other part of me says no, and then the other part of me says yum, orange julius. So I may need to change his name, but I need suggestions. Anyone?

Julius is the leader of the Reapers (and they may be explained in the Other section of the Field Guide, if I do decide to post it?) and he makes elaborate plans but doesn’t share them with people. And then gets upset with people when they tell him something that conflicts with his plans even though that’s because he didn’t tell anyone.

He has a lot of annoying faults like this, and probably the most so is that whenever people try to tell him this, he won’t listen to them. So yeah, he annoys me sometimes, too, but he’s also really cool. He really does have a brilliant and strategic mind, and he does love people, but it’s even harder for him to show it than for Aislynn.

Fun Fact: He does, indeed, like orange julius. He’ll never admit it, though, because, let’s admit it, you can’t ever live that down.

RICK & RUBEN

I figured I should put them together to save times. They’re brothers and look very similar…but their personalities are fairly different. Rick acts stupid on purpose, and he pulls it off well, so he ends up being fun. He also has an obsession with old stories and fables. And he has a ponytail and a gold tooth.

Ruben, on the other hand, is more practical and refuses to laugh at Rick (that’s okay, Rick knows that he thinks he’s funny) and he likes to cook food and make lists and be ready for anything (while Rick takes things impromptu for the fun of it). Basically, he could be a butler?

Fun Fact: Rick and Ruben once broke into a chocolate factory…don’t ask.



Sometimes I forget about how much I love this novel until I think about how much I love all of my characters…seriously, all of them. *hugs them all* Anyway, be sure to watch out for the third part of The Field Guide–Plots! And if you didn’t see it the first part, here’s the link again: Enhanced: The Complete Field Guide, Part One (Places).



Do you, too, ever have the problem of not choosing a last name for your characters? It happens to me all the time obviously. Which was your favorite character? Which do you want to learn more about? I need to choose one to use for Beautiful People this month, so opinions are obviously needed! Oh, and tell me about your characters! What are they like?

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Let Me Introduce You to the Cast of Enhanced

I wasn’t sure really what to post about today, but I finally decided that I would talk to you about Enhanced, the novel that I have been preparing to rewrite during this month.

More specifically, the characters. Because I know that even though you may have read the little summary on the page for Enhanced on this blog, you probably still have no idea what it’s about. (If I just read that summary, I’d have no idea what it was about either.) I was originally going to throw my rambling for the entire novel into one post but that might be a little too long…hehe. So instead, you get to meet the main cast of characters…and learn a few things about the novel along the way.

Have fun! (Also the (POV) next to the first five characters’ names indicates that they are POV or Point of View characters)


KAI (POV)

Up first is Kai, mainly because he is the first character I came up with from my very first idea of the first draft’s first scene (which was (fun fact) originally conceived in biology class and then written in choir).

Basic Premise/Role: Kai has grown up in the Outer Regions (think third-world living) that surround the city (think first-world living), working as an agriculturalist. Yes…he’s a farmer. His father died when he was young, but now his mother has contracted some sort of disease that he has no medicine for–that no one has medicine for in the OR (Outer Regions). He decides to travel to the city in an attempt to earn money to at least give her some comfort before she dies–or maybe find the medicine that will save her.

Personality: Kai is…kind of complicated. He’s friendly and will talk to people, but I can’t say he has any real friends, except for maybe his mother. He sort of keeps his important thoughts all to himself, and kind of feels a need to impress people. Especially the ladies. But inside, he’s really not as shallow as he seems.

Fun Fact: Kai’s name was actually chosen by a friend of mine when I asked her to give me a name, though she was actually thinking of the name Ky. I heard her say it as Kai, however, and have therefore spelled it that way since. However, writing this post, I’m now thinking of actually changing it to Ky. I actually had this big long frustrated rant with myself about possibly changing Kai’s name to something else, but I couldn’t think of what to change it to. I do like the name Ky though…so maybe…0.0

Character Interview: Character Study: Comforts


TAIRA (POV)

Basic Premise/Role: Though Taira (POV character) was born in the city, she grew up in the OR with her cousin, Will (soon to be introduced). She went with Will when he decided to go back to the city, however, and what she really wants is to fix herself. When she was younger, she was Enhanced (genetically modified) to have the ability to feel/detect other people’s emotions. The thing is, she can’t turn it off, and even just standing a few feet away from a person gives her a headache. Standing right next to someone makes her feel like her head will explode. So she’s determined to go back to the Enhancement Facility and force them to change her back to normal. if that made any sense at all.

Personality: Taira is very grumpy and rather pessimistic (though she prefers to call herself “realistic”). She basically restrains herself from ever laughing or feeling happy because why should she. She does occasionally show happiness around her cousin, Will, though otherwise she keeps it inside. She spends a lot of time alone and is introverted but blunt and can be rude. Quite fun to write, really.

Fun Fact: Well, there isn’t exactly anything “fun” about her…okay, okay. She has a younger brother that she hasn’t talked to in years. (She also hasn’t talked to her parents in years, but eh, the brother is more interesting.)

Character InterviewCharacter Studies: Introductions with Taira


WILL (POV)

Basic Premise/Role: Will is Taira’s cousin, and he came from the OR to the city like I said before, and trust me, there’s some reason why he did that, but I haven’t figured it out yet. (I will, though. Haha, I will. So funny. *facepalms*) Oh, also, he comes to the city about a year before the book starts, whereas Kai comes at the beginning. The Reapers (who are like this subterfuge criminal/rebel group that for some reason has only four people in it before this point) recruit him to be their computer hacker. In Enhanced, he finds out that there’s a new computer code and he has to figure out how to use it, which is easier said than done when you don’t have tutorials or books or websites to explain it.

Personality: Unlike Taira, Will is very happy, and he also tends to make stupid jokes. (He actually laughed at the one I did above. I mean, I did too, but that’s irrelevant.) He really likes to talk to people and never really thinks about what he’s going to say before he says it, which makes him simultaneously fun to listen to and also makes you want to headdesk repeatedly. He can get distracted by anything, except when he’s doing computer work–then he’ll talk to you, but only if you talk to him first. Otherwise he’ll just zone out everything.

Fun Fact: These are surprisingly difficult to think of…  Well, Will can actually be serious, though that is rare. And if he were back a few hundred years to our day, he would very much enjoy cat memes.

Character Interview: Character Studies: Will’s Flaws


MERYN (POV)

Basic Premise/Role: Meryn is one of my very favorite characters, though I’m not exactly sure why…? She’s just awesome. And also really spoiled. She grew up in the city in a wealthy family, in contrast to a lot of the other characters, and she loves dresses and dancing and music. But her parents have actually lost a bunch of money recently but they’re unwilling to change their lifestyle, which leaves Meryn to try to earn enough money to pay for taxes…well, something like that. I’m still ironing out plot details. It doesn’t help that her younger sister, Aislynn, is also sick.

Personality: Meryn is fun-loving and like I said before, fairly spoiled. She loves to be with her friends, fights a lot with her sister Aislynn, and her favorite part of the week is dancing. The worst part of her life is school, and she mainly just leads a very carefree life…at least at the beginning of the book. She’s…pretty normal.

Fun Fact: In the first draft of Enhanced, Meryn was blind. Now, I’ve decided to alter that so she just can’t see very well out of her left eye.

Character Interview: Character Studies: Meryn’s Hobbies


LIL(IAN) (POV)

Basic Premise/Role: Lilian, or rather Lil, which she goes by, is a member of the Reapers. She found them after her young son and husband were taken away by government officials and killed in the Enhancement Facility. Throughout the novel, she’s trying to get revenge on the government and the Enhancement Facility, while figuring out how to live without them.

Personality: Lil, despite what she’s trying to do, does not have a vengeful personality at all. She’s actually really sweet and motherly, but she’s confused with desperation and sadness and all of that. I feel like her personality can be summed up in one word: “mother”. She tends to put others’ needs before herself and tries to see things from others’ points of view.

Fun Fact: Lil always wears her hair in lots of little tiny braids (she’s also black, which is cool, though there’s really not any racial discrimination in the books, so it doesn’t really come up much) and she weaves ribbons through several of the braids. Throughout the book, she occasionally redoes her hair with new ribbons of different colors. When she first appears in the book, the ribbons in her hair are gold-colored.

Character Interview: [coming shortly–this post may or may not be updated when it’s done]


JETHRO

Basic Premise/Role: I suppose you could call him the “villain” of the book, although in my opinion that’s not really a fair title. He’s the Lead Enhancer of the Enhancement Facility and also its founder. He doesn’t appear much in the flesh throughout the novel, but he does play an important role and the characters definitely know about him.

Personality: Jethro is on a conquest for knowledge and to push the limits of all known science through his genetic testing–his “Enhancements”. He keeps most of his thoughts and ideas to himself and has a fantastic poker face. He does not show outward joy in successes, or pain at failures. We could call him stone cold, perhaps.

Fun Fact: He actually travelled to all eight sectors/regions of the Outer Regions when he was much younger, before creating the Enhancement Facility, but he’s never told anyone what he saw or what he thought about it.

Character Interview: [possibly forthcoming, possibly not]


AISLYNN

Basic Premise/Role: Aislynn is Meryn’s younger sister, and basically her role in the book is to be sick. Okay, just kidding. She’s actually convinced that the Pinnacles (the four “presidents,” shall we say, over the city) have a million secrets that they’re not revealing to the people, and she’s determined to figure them out. Of course, Meryn thinks she’s crazy, but she won’t let that dissuade her.

Personality: Aislynn absolutely loves reading and learning new things, and she’s very determined to prove herself right. She feels a little outcast by her peers (which Meryn really doesn’t understand) but makes up for that by reading lots of books and hanging out with Meryn and with her friends. While Meryn loves to go out, Aislynn is definitely more of a homebody.

Fun Fact: According to Meryn, Aislynn has no style, and Meryn is constantly trying to dress her up and make her look all fancy. Also, she likes dogs.

Character Interview: Beautiful People: June with Aislynn


RUBEN

Basic Premise/Role: Ruben is part of the mysterious Reapers and also very underdeveloped, so I can’t really tell you what his role is, exactly. But he does stuff. Important stuff. It’s just stuff I haven’t figured out yet. I think he’s in charge of basic supplies and stuff, and he’s also their cook, but I haven’t worked on developing him yet, so he’s just kind of…there. Yay.

Personality: I’m not really sure how to describe him… He scoffs at teasing and Rick’s (to be introduced) jokes, but he secretly enjoys them. He just…finds joy in being around other people. He likes everyone to feel welcome and happy and well-fed…I don’t know if there’s a specific way to describe him. He’s just Ruben.

Fun Fact: Ruben is famous for his pancakes. Also, he has a fake gold earring that I’m pretty sure Rick gave him…

Character Interview: [non-existent currently, though who knows, maybe I’ll do the next Beautiful People with him]


RICK

Basic Premise/Role: Rick is Ruben’s clone at least I think so? It could be the other way around, I suppose… and could be called the comic relief. He’s very amusing to me, mainly because he does stupid things, knowing that they’re stupid. I also haven’t really worked on developing him yet, so he’s also just there, like Ruben, but he’s also the Reapers’ weapon master–which I really don’t understand. I would not trust Rick with a gun.

Personality: Rick has a very good self-worth, I guess you could say. He does what he wants and he doesn’t ever care what other people think of him, no matter how idiotic he looks or how other people look at him, which I think is admirable, even though he’s not really someone I aspire to become like. He’s daredevilish, makes even worse jokes than Will, and teases everyone mercilessly, especially Lil.

Fun Fact: Want to know why the Reapers are called the Reapers? Because of Rick. He’s fascinated with old stories/legends/fairy tales, you name it. After learning about The Grim Reaper, he decided it would be awesome for them to be called the Reapers…and the name just happened to stick. I think even Julius (to be introduced) calls them the Reapers, which is amusing to me.

Character Interview: [not applicable at the moment]


JULIUS

Basic Premise/Role: Meet Julius Shaw, the gruff and quietly mysterious leader of the Reapers. His role? The leader, the planner, the strategist, the one who makes everything fit together.

Personality: He’s very secretive, and doesn’t give any clues to what’s going on in his head until he finds it to be the proper time. He always has a plan, no matter the situation. He’d be a brilliant chess player and is great at predicting things. However, he’s not very good at showing or receiving affection to/from other people, and he always seems a little bit distant from everyone else.

Fun Fact: He thinks fun facts are a waste of time. But I, as the author and creator of these people, will override his opinion and tell you that he really likes sandwiches. Roast beef, specifically.

Character Interview: [nope not yet]


SETH

Basic Premise/Role: A few months or so before the story begins, Seth leaves the Outer Regions to go find out what the city is like and have a grand adventure. He ends up trapped in the Enhancement Facility with no way of getting out, until Kai comes along and they start forming escape plans.

Personality: Seth is really cool. He’s the “let’s go have an adventure!” type who loves doing things with little-to-no notice and is definitely never over-prepared. He makes do with what he has, and what he doesn’t, he does without. He is a little bit of a risk-taker and loves being in the outdoors.

Fun Fact: Seth has this really awesome walking stick that he carved himself from an orchard tree branch years ago. It has little drawings all over it, and what’s even better is that his younger sister, Brie, really wanted to carve something in it at the time, so Seth helped her carve a picture of the two of them in it. He is the sweetest big brother ever.

Character Interview: [there isn’t one yet, but I should definitely do one of him]


BRIE

Basic Premise/Role: Brie is Seth’s younger sister, and she’s actually kind of what sets the entire story in motion. Once Seth hasn’t come back after his long absence, she decides to go looking for him, in case he’s in some sort of trouble. She almost gives up before finding the Reapers, at which point she finds out that Seth is in the Enhancement Facility and convinces them to help her rescue him.

Personality: Brie is very emotional and acts like a child a lot of the time, though no one can really tell if she’s just never grown up or if she does it by choice. So she’s also fairly innocent and naive, and she finds it hard to alter her small home in the orchard region view of life to the big city, with all its new technology and people and everything inside of it. She has unfailing faith and optimism in people that a lot of the other characters lack in exchange for a more “realistic” view of life.

Fun Fact: Brie is a devoted follower of the religion of Cajinism, and she loves singing, birds, flowers, and all sorts of bright and happy things. She’ll also talk to you all day if you just half-pretend to to listen.

Character Interview: [there isn’t one, but I did do a Spotlight on her last Monday]


Hm, yes, perhaps I do have too many characters…but now you know all of them! And now, for a quiz on everything you learned…just kidding. But seeing as this post is really long already, why not make it a little longer with some updates?

So, first off, I lost Camp NaNoWriMo but it really doesn’t bother me for some reason, and I’m finishing up my 40 hours of prep during these first two weeks of August. You can find my progress on the blog sidebar.

Also on the blog sidebar, you’ll see that I have lots of new books that I read! While procrastinating from Camp, I finished 12 books in July, which was awesome, and I’m working on reading more.

And lastly, apparently now I have a Goodreads created on a whim that I don’t know what to do with… What else do you do with a Goodreads account besides read books?

Anyway, yay for August! How was your July and what did you accomplish?

Spotlight #1: First Draft Brie

First things first: Brie is not cheese, she is a character from Enhanced.

Second things second: What is this “Spotlight” you speak of? you may be asking. Well, I’ll explain it to you. During the week or two I’ve been gone from the blogosphere did you notice? I was (as well as procrastinating from Camp NaNo) thinking a bit about how to improve my blogging. And I decided I wanted to share more writing with you more often, but I can’t exactly write a short story every week. Then I thought of writing a novel solely on this blog, which would be fun, but I have no ideas, let alone motivation to actually do it.

So I came up with the idea of the Spotlight. Basically, weekly I will “shine the spotlight” on some of the writing I worked on that week, which will probably include excerpts of some of my favorite parts, anything that I really enjoyed writing, cool descriptions, thoughts, etc. Basically anything that I feel really struck me gets to be posted here!

That means that not only will you get to read more of my writing through excerpts, you’ll also get to know my characters a lot better and get a feel for my novel. Are you in? I hope so!


FIRST DRAFT BRIE

I was reading through my first draft of Enhanced the other day, and found myself thinking about Brie. She is…an interesting character.

Fun Fact: Taira, Will, and Brie all came from a short piece I wrote for an informal writing contest:

Taira took a step. That one step, into the new world, the world they had saved. Will and Brie walked after her, looking about themselves in awe. “We did it,” whispered Will. “We did it.” Brie nodded along, eyes full of wonder.

Taira couldn’t understand them. The world was too empty. There were buildings just down the road from them, with flashing lights and glowing signs, but it was still so empty. She finally realized why — the world had been silenced. There were no people driving cars along the roads. There was no music to be heard. There was no sound of jets flying over them. Everything was totally silent. The only thing that made a noise was the wind blowing the dirt around them, dirt devoid of any sort of life.

She felt like she was in a dream as she walked along with the others, into that maze of buildings. Empty buildings. A soft sound filled the air, a sound Taira wanted to run away from, to never have to listen to again. The sound of sobbing, the sound of pure sorrow, the sound of the worst pain in the world. They didn’t go down that road.

As they walked, they saw no movement until they came upon a little girl, kneeling in front of someone, shaking him. “Daddy, Daddy, wake up!” she said, as if not knowing that he was gone and would never come back.

The little girl looked up as they walked past, and Taira saw her wide eyes staring up at them, clouded with confusion. Taira wanted to go to her, to comfort her, to do something, but Will and Brie held her back. “You can’t do anything about it,” said Brie.

Taira pushed herself away from them, away from everyone, her eyes welling with tears as she ran down the empty streets, finally collapsing under a large tree. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. It had never been meant to be like this.

The plague had spread over the whole world, infecting almost everyone, with almost unnoticeable symptoms that led quickly to a sickness that was more painful than death. It spread easily, and only few people in the world had been able to resist it.

The only cure was death.

The only way to restore the world was to cleanse it from the disease, to purge it of all of the remaining plague. To kill everyone who’d contracted it.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. It wasn’t supposed to include pain and anguish. It was supposed to take that away, not leave children parentless and parents widowed and people with no one left in the world to care for them.

The tears streamed down Taira’s cheeks and her throat choked as she whispered a prayer, as if someone, somewhere could give her comfort. Those lives shouldn’t have been lost. Life was too precious to be cut short like that, in an instant.

They had saved the world, but had they destroyed it in the process?

Of course, Enhanced is much, much different than this excerpt. Nothing in this happens that does in Enhanced, but it was still the inspiration for those three characters (though you may notice that this Taira is much different than the one in her character interview, who is more of the actual Taira).

I don’t know where Brie really came from besides that, but for some reason, I decided that she was going to be really, really emotional. And kind of childish. And in a way, just relaly weird… I don’t know why, though.

There was a banging sound on the other side of his door, and Kai cautiously stood up and

opened it. Will stood on the other side of the door, looking relieved and also disheveled. “Taira’s missing,” he said.

“What?” he asked, the worry on Will’s face putting him on high alert. “What are you talking about, she’s missing?”

“She’s not here, and there’s this crazy girl in my room, and I have no idea—”

Kai held up a hand. “Hold up, just wait a minute and start from the beginning. What exactly happened?”

“Well, I was going back to my room, and when I came in, there was this girl sitting there on my bed, looking through all my gadgets and stuff. And then she said that she was Seth’s sister and she talked to Taira about something about getting a job here, but that Taira was supposed to come back before I did, and she’s still not here.”

“Seth’s sister?” asked Kai. “Brie?”

Will’s face registered surprise. “How did you know that?”

“I met her once a while ago.”

“And you remember her?” Then he shook his head. “I guess when it’s someone with a crazy personality like that, they’re hard to forget.”

*facepalms at self repeatedly*

Perhaps because of this…this awkwardness, though she did play a part in the beginning of the book, Brie kind of disappeared near the middle. But what I had forgotten was that I brought her back at the end of the book, and…she’s really more amazing than I had thought before.

There’s this part where I really, really love what she says:

Then Brie straightened and thrust herself out of his grasp. He reached out to grab her, but she was too far away already. But instead of heading toward where Jethro was, like he expected, she ran to Seth’s bedside, talking furiously and quietly to the figure there.

Kai began to walk toward her, as his inspiration said, and soon he could hear her softly-spoken words. “What do I do, Seth? Tell me what to do?”

Seth’s words were weary. “Stop fighting. No one can save us now.”

“No, I won’t leave you.” She leaned even closer next to her brother’s head where it lay on his pillow. “I won’t stop fighting. I’ll never stop. Have hope, Seth, please, have hope.”

“Brie…” he said faintly, “all of my hope died a long time ago.”

That second-to-last paragraph…I just love it. I won’t stop fighting. I’ll never stopIt just made me fall in love with her a little, and I had a lot of fun today developing her for the rewrite of Enhanced. Even though she’s still not a POV character, I am hoping to make her a little more major in the rewrite, and also more of the person she is in this last excerpt.

Also, I decided that Brie loves to sing! She’s really awesome…and I think that concludes our Spotlight for this week. Any thoughts on this Spotlight or Spotlights as a whole? Oh and one more thing for all you Miraculous fans out there: I was looking up what type of cheese brie was and apparently it’s similar to Camembert (but more mild). I suppose Plagg would like her.

Character Studies: Will’s Flaws

imageIt’s time for April’s Character Studies, this one themed with flaws. Will will (hehe, sorry) be our interviewee this time, a character from the epic sci-fi. For a little background information, he’s Taira’s cousin (you may remember her from last month’s Character Studies, Introductions with Taira) and he loves to play around with computers.

Character Studies is a monthly character interview hosted by Morgan Dusky from Studies in Character. You can find this month’s interview questions on her blog here and here.


  •  WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?

Wow, you had to pull that out on the first question? Well…I worry about Taira and I’m sometimes afraid she’s going to accidentally allow herself to get hurt (don’t tell her I said that) . I’m afraid that one day I’m going to come back to my family and things just won’t be the same as before because I’ve changed too much. I’m afraid that Kai’s going to think he doesn’t have anyone who cares about him. And sometimes, I’m afraid that deep inside, I’m a monster.

And…that question just killed the lighthearted mood. I’m not going to be able to laugh my way through this, am I?

  • DO YOU HAVE A TEMPER?

I like to think I’m pretty level-headed, but I’m probably not. Taira would say I’m not, definitely. I get frustrated when people won’t be careful in dangerous situations, even though I’m not cautious myself, and I get angry at Taira when she starts off with those self-deprecating comments. She says she doesn’t want me to pity her, but then she starts saying things like she’s a mutant, and I can’t stand it.

  • WHAT KIND OF THINGS WOULD MAKE YOU LOSE YOUR TEMPER?

The things I said above, and I guess people not doing as I say. I don’t mean to be bossy, but it sometimes turns out that way. One of my faults. Lana, why on earth did you choose the flaws interview for me? Do you want me to feel bad about myself?

  • IF YOU’RE ANGRY, HOW DO YOU (TRY TO) CALM DOWN?

Usually spending time alone and away from whatever bothered me helps me to clear my mind, especially if I’m working on a particularly difficult coding tangle. It doesn’t always help, though.

  • YOU’RE IN AN ARGUMENT WITH YOUR BEST FRIEND/SIGNIFICANT OTHER.  WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

No significant other for me. But best friend…I argue with Taira when she’s trying to have her pity party, or if she really insults someone. I guess we do argue some of the time over things I say too, especially when she thinks I don’t spend enough time with other people.

  • WHAT’S YOUR WORST HABIT?

I guess…it’s probably just what Taira accuses me. If I get started on a programming or hacking project, I can disappear into my room and stay there for hours and hours without talking to anyone. I don’t mind company while I work though…it’s just that I can concentrate on what I’m doing while talking to people, and others seem to find it annoying that I can hold an entire conversation while working on something else. Apparently it looks like I’m not paying attention.

  • IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT YOUR APPEARANCE, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

Lana, you should probably figure out my appearance. I mean, I probably wouldn’t change anything, because I look fabulous. Well, maybe my nose. I don’t like my nose–it’s kind of crooked.

  • WHAT ABOUT YOUR PERSONALITY?

I like my personality too; I think I’m friendly and I hope that people like talking to me. If anything, I’d like to have less of a temper while still being spontaneous and fun.

  • YOU’RE WORKING WITH A GROUP OF PEOPLE ON SOME KIND OF OBJECT.  WHAT ROLE DO YOU PLAY?  (LEADER, STRATEGIST, LABORER, ETC.)  DO YOU LIKE YOUR ROLE?

Depends what kind of project it is. If it’s about computers, I’m the leader all the way. If it’s anything else…I’d probably try to be the leader but end up being the person who doesn’t do the work and just talks to the other people. Which isn’t really that bad of a job, if you think about it…

  • BONUS: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE KIND OF ANIMAL?

Good question…I like cats. They’re friendly, but they’re not always begging for attention, which is really good if I get distracted. Plus, they’re soft and cuddly, and who doesn’t want something soft and cuddly to hold once in a while? (I probably should have said something more masculine there, but oh well.)

  • THE WORLD ENDED (LITERALLY OR FIGURATIVELY, YOUR CHOICE).  IT WAS YOUR FAULT.  IF IT HAD BEEN AN ACCIDENT, WHAT HAPPENED?  IF IT HAD BEEN INTENTIONAL, WHAT HAPPENED AND WHY DID YOU DO IT?

[Lana inserts herself into the interview wildly screaming “PLOT BUNNNYYYY” and steals “The world ended” as a first sentence of a story if Shim doesn’t mind.]

Lana’s weird like that sometimes. Anyway, I think the world ending would probably be an accident? I mean, hopefully? I’m not exactly sure how I’d cause the world to end, unless Rick decided to blow it all up and I didn’t stop him in time…or something like that.

Or, well, if this interview is supposed to be deep, maybe it was on purpose. Sometimes I’m not sure who I am inside. What if I turn into some sort of crazy control freak who decides he has to take over the world and kills a bunch of people? Or…or something.

  • WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT WOULD RUIN A FRIENDSHIP FOR YOU?  SOMETHING COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY INEXCUSABLE, EVEN IF YOUR CLOSEST FRIEND DID IT.

I’m kind of forgiving, usually, but…if they hurt someone close to me and didn’t feel sorry for it…it can ruin a friendship. It almost ruined mine with Taira, but we got past it. Barely.

  • SOMEBODY WANTS YOU TO DO SOMETHING YOU DON’T LIKE.  WHAT’S THE BEST WAY FOR THEM TO GET YOU TO DO IT?  (BRIBE, BLACKMAIL, ETC.)

Something I don’t like? Well, I’m usually more prone to do something if I know someone else is doing it too that I can talk to. And well, money doesn’t hurt either. Of course, if they’re not good people, blackmail’s probably the way to go. The reason taking hostage family members and threatening to kill them is so cliche is because it’s really, really scary.

  • SOMEBODY IS GETTING ON YOUR NERVES AND YOU REALLY WANT THEM TO GO AWAY BUT THEY DON’T SEEM TO GET THE HINT.  WHAT DO YOU DO?

Probably just give them more and more obvious hints until they leave, or I’d make some sort of half-honest excuse of why I have to leave.

  • WHAT IS, IN YOUR OPINION, THE WORST THING YOU’VE EVER DONE?  WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY?

Oof, that’s a tough question to answer. I think probably joining with the Delorems. I know I didn’t actually hurt anyone by doing that, but…I just wish that things had been different, that I hadn’t been the kind of person that would survive their initiation. It’s not the sort of thing that a good person should be able to do…and I did it.

  • SOMEBODY YOU USED TO TRUST BETRAYED YOU IN A BIG WAY, AND THEN BEGS FOR YOU TO FORGIVE THEM.  DO YOU AND WHY OR WHY NOT?  IF NOT, IS THERE SOMETHING THEY COULD DO TO GET YOU TO CHANGE YOUR MIND?

Yes, eventually, but forgiving is different than trusting again. I want to say that I’d be willing to trust them again…but I’m not so sure that I would. I probably wouldn’t trust them with big things again, even though they might still be trustworthy.

  • WHAT’S YOUR OPINION ON LYING?  IN WHAT SITUATIONS WOULD YOU LIE?  WHEN DO YOU FEEL IT’S IMPORTANT TO TELL THE TRUTH, NO MATTER HOW PAINFUL IT MIGHT BE?

I think it’s okay to hide the truth sometimes, when it would hurt someone, but if it would really hurt someone, they need to know. That probably makes no sense…but I guess there’s a point where someone can live without knowing something and a point where someone needs to know something to keep living.

  • YOU’RE CONFIDENT THAT YOU CAN DO SOMETHING GREAT.  WHAT COULD SOMEONE DO/SAY TO DESTROY THAT CONFIDENCE?  WOULD YOU LET THEM KNOW THEIR COMMENT HURT YOU?

I don’t know that it’d completely destroy my confidence, but it would definitely hurt if they chose someone else to do it instead of me, especially if I’ve already proved that I can do something like that. And no, I probably wouldn’t tell them. I might try to do it myself, though.

  • WHAT’S YOUR OPINION ON LOYALTY?

Loyalty is important and a good quality to have, but taken to the very extreme it can be a little excessive. A decent amount of loyalty is good, though.

  • BONUS: DO YOU LIKE THE RAIN?

…Eh. I don’t really have an opinion on the rain…it’s just there, the water that falls from the sky and lets us live while simultaneously soaking us. It has its ups and downs.


Lana here again: What’s your opinion on what you’ve learned of Will? I think he might need some more work… Do you have any characters with similar views as him? Or any characters with totally different views? Have you done this Character Studies interview on one of your characters? Are you planning to? You should, if you’re not. The Character Studies interviews are a great way to get to know your characters.

And So it Begins…

CNW_Participant.jpgYes, Camp NaNoWriMo has started! The excitement will wear off in a week or two, I know, but right now I’m excited about Camp and life and everything. Plus, I get Spring Break off of school next week, and it is fantastic how it coincides with the first week of Camp. That way I’ll have time to write while I actually want to.

Yesterday, for my first day, I wrote 1563 words, and I’m fairly pleased with that. It would’ve been nice to write a bit more, but I’m satisfied with how much I wrote.

I’m also kind of satisfied with the content I wrote. Obviously, it’s a first draft, and first draft + NaNoWriMo = blehhkghh, but not counting that, it’s actually okay, and my writing is ever so slowly improving.

One thing that was particularly fun to write about was about the airtrains, which is a public transportation system with railroad tracks that are about ten stories high. It was kind of inspired from my trip to New York City this year, where I rode the subway everywhere, but I altered it a little bit to be more sci-fi-y.

So it was fun to add a few of the setting details in that I’ve been thinking about, and I liked having a conversation between Will and Taira, and seeing the dynamic between them (they’re cousins, but their relationship is a little more like a brother and sister).

Other than that, I haven’t really written much that I can report on, or give advice-y things about, so I think I shall wrap up this post soon. I’m super excited to continue writing and see the plot take shape, and I’ll keep you updated on how my writing goes throughout the month.

For those of you who are doing Camp, how are all of your novels coming along?