Monday, Oct. 03
Required: Protagonist Profile ▼
Complete a character profile of your protagonist. Include detailed information such as name, age, physical attributes, occupation, education, culture, religion, family, relationship status, personality, likes, dislikes, strengths, weakness, motivations and desires. The point of this exercise is for you to get to know your character inside and out before you write your novel. If you don't know your character, how can you expect it of your readers? Flesh out your pre-story character in detail. Keep in mind that your protagonist will grow in some way during your story. Add the profile to your character database (if applicable.) For more serious character profilers, here is an optional, very extensive template: "Character Interview / Profile Sheet"
Bonus: Protagonist Voice ▼
Have your protagonist introduce themselves to us in first person using their own voice. Brainstorm ways to make their voice unique. Add the introduction to your character database (if applicable.)
CHARACTER INTERVIEW / PROFILE
Birthday: Summer of 1839
Place of birth: slum section of Pittsburgh, PA
Parents: Molly and Seamus O’Connor
What was important to the people who raised her: Catholic upbringing. Nothing went to waste.
Siblings: She quit counting when it got to 12. (4 died before age 2).
Economic/social status growing up: Poor, and it showed. Pulled from school to work toward keeping the family together.
Ethnic background: Irish descent.
Places lived: Just the tenement section
Current address and phone number: none.
Education: quit at age 8
Favorite subject in school: none. She just did the work required so she would not get her knuckles slapped with a ruler.
Special training: none.
Jobs: just worked laborer jobs that came up.
Salary: Children’s earnings were paid to the head of household. She never saw any of her earnings.
Travel: Only when she was sent off to Oregon to marry Bob Whitehead.
How do people view this character: Softspoken, skiddish, obstinate.
Lives with: her parents until they sent her off to marry someone she did not know. His picture was comforting in that he appeared more suitable than the suitors presenting in her hometown.
Fights with: Too scared. She would rather run. when she does get stubborn, her mother and father are the main ones on the receiving end of her biting tongue.
Spends time with: Loner.
Wishes to spend time with: Jacob Ansetti. He is off limits because he is a dark skinned Italian man.
Who depends on her and why: Her parents because of her income. When the income is not enough to meet her keep, the parents send her off as a mail order bride.
What people does she most admire: rich and elite.
Enemies: street gangs.
Dating, marriage: no
Relationship with God: taught in the Catholic ways.
Overall outlook on life: With a sign and acceptance that there is nothing better
Does this character like herself: Might as well.
What, if anything, would she like to change about her life: She wants to be anywhere away from the leaches her parents are trying to set her up with.
What personal demons haunt her: She blames herself for the deaths of the youngest siblings. All she had to do was take care of them, but she did not know how. If she had tried harder, maybe she would not have been pulled from school to work in the mills.
Is she lying to herself about something: She does not know how to tell a lie. She always gets caught.
Optimistic/pessimistic: Neither. She accepts her position in life.
Real/feigned: She does not know how to fake anything. There was no time or talent to learn subterfuge.
Morality level: high
Confidence level: low
Typical day: eat, sleep, work.
Body type: sturdy. about 5’5”
Head shape: oval
Mouth: set in grim straight line
Hair: thick, long red/blond tresses
Skin: pale, no freckles
Voice: soft Irish accent that can be covered up if she concentrates.
What people notice first: She rarely smiles and when she does it is one built on years of pain
Clothing: limited and hand made or used by another
How would she describe herself: Just the basics. Name, parents and address. She keeps to herself and does not care to develop a personality.
Health/disabilities/handicaps: Healthy. and she considers the accent a handicap and tries to cover it up in most cases.
Personality type (choleric, sanguine, phlegmatic, melancholy): melancholic
Strongest/weakest character traits: strongest is stubbornness, weakest is her lack of self confidence in most cases
How can the flip side of her strong point be a weakness: She scares easily. She would rather slip or run away than face conflict. She is able to manipulate situations so that her stubborn streak is rarely observed and she usually gets her way.
How much self-control and self-discipline does she have: She is frugal in all things.
What makes her irrationally angry: Children under two who are unruly and not attended.
What makes her cry: Nothing. She would rather die than admit she is hurt.
Fears: Unfamiliar situations.
Talents: Physically strong.
What people like best about her: She goes to church on Sunday. It is the most contact she has with her neighbors.
Interests and favorites
Political leaning: Not interested.
Collections: Not interested.
Food, drink: Irish ale and beef and cabbage.
Music: Irish jigs and reels.
Books: limited reading ability. She might be able to read the bible if the family had one.
Movies: not applicable. But she does like to watch the church performances when they come out.
Sports, recreation: She liked to watch street boxing and minstrel shows.
Did she play in school: no schooling.
Best way to spend a weekend: cleaning the house or working at the mills.
A great gift for this person: money
Pets: could not afford one.
Vehicles: walked everywhere. could not afford a street car.
What large possessions does she own (car, home, furnishings, boat, etc.)
and which does she like best: Just basic possessions like fit in a steamer trunk.
When happy: smiles
When angry: clinches fists
When frustrated: walks away
When sad: walks away.
Laughs or jeers at: well done minstrel shows.
Ways to cheer up this person: let her daydream
Ways to annoy this person:
Hopes and dreams: to be away from “here”
How does he see herself accomplishing these dreams: Her life is not her own, anything that would suggest independence would be a step up.
What’s the worst thing she’s ever done to someone and why: found money, knew who it belonged to and kept it. The person who “lost” it was rich and did not miss it.
Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to her:
What does she care about most in the world:
Does she have a secret:
If she could do one thing and succeed at it, what would it be:
SHe is the kind of person who:
What do you love most about this character: This person has no idea how powerful she is that she can impact lives without knowing it or expecting anything in return.
Why will the reader sympathize with this person right away:
How is the character ordinary or extraordinary:
How is his situation ordinary or extraordinary:
Corresponding psychological maneuver (delusions, obsessions,
compulsions, addictions, denials, hysterical ailments, hypochondria, illnesses,
behaviors harming the self, behavior harming others, manias, and phobias):
Anecdote (defining moment):
Me name is Evangeline. I grew up in this hateful town of Pittsburgh with so many brothers and sisters I can scarce keep count of all of them. I have known 19 summers. I have a chance to flee far away from here and be away from these loud screeching noises, and I’m taking my ticket. It is so scary. It is taking every bit of me to go. I just look at the eyes of the men me ma and da want me to marry and know that I cannot stay here any longer and it calms the fears. They have been presenting me to all of these prospects since I was 13 and all have been rejected as unsuitable. This angered me ma and da to the point they sold me to a farmer in Oregon Territory. And yet, it is far more scary to stay here than to go to him. I am fleet of foot. I may have to stay with him for a bit of time, but I will run if he raises his hand to me. I have been taking care of meself since I was 8 years old, and caring for the wee ones since I was 5 years old. I do not have to be beholden to any one anymore. I may not have book learnin’, but I know how to get about and take care of meself. Oh, just thinking about what I have to do and where I must go and why I must do this – the palpitations are starting again and threaten to have me take leave of me senses. I tap me heart over and over but I can still hear it pounding so hard it may just burst forth from my chest. It’s like my old granny used to say: Just breathe deep child. Cain’t do anythin’ if you are passed out.