Since Regan’s story is one of my current WIPs (and by that, I mean that I’m actually working on it this month, and not simply that it’s one of my many, many WIPs), I thought she would be an interesting character to look at, plus I have a good idea of how she looks. And, more importantly, this story actually has a title now! My only WIP officially called “WIP” (or “The Regan Greer Story”) is now called That Cheap Shimmer and Glitter, a bit of lyrics that comes from the superb “Solitaire” by Marina & the Diamonds. Most of my recent story titles are song titles or lyrics, so I’m pretty happy with this latest one.
(1) Give a brief overview of their looks. (Include a photo if you want!)
<– There’s a little look at a picture that shows Regan pretty well. Basically, she’s a fairly small, white girl with long, thick, and curly blond hair. Her main love interest and eventual best friend quickly nicknames her “Little Lion” and other iterations due to her hair. She’s the type of person who will work on her appearance, but if it takes longer than ten or fifteen minutes, she gets bored and moves on, so some days she might have great makeup and hair that she slaved over and the next her face will be naked and her hair in a simple ponytail. She’s happy with her appearances, but simply in the sense that she’s comfortably confident (I try to write most of my characters that way because we need more confidence in YA and our society in general!), not overly vain.
(2) Share a snippet that involves a description of their appearance.
The wind was blowing, and my very long, curly hair, which had always seemed to have a mind of its own, was flying around everywhere.
*shrugs* There’s apparently all I’ve written about Regan’s appearance so far, nearly 20,000 words into the story. Oops? Oh well, that’s what rewriting is for!
(3) What is the first thing people might notice about them?
Either her blond, curly hair or her short stature – every once in awhile, I write tall protagonists, but I am a short girl and this is one area where I prefer writing what I know.
(4) What are their unique features? (Ex: freckles, big ears, birthmark, scars, etc.)
Her very thick hair – my sister has extremely thick, curly hair, although hers is brown, so I kind of picture that when I’m thinking of it. Otherwise, she’s pretty average – she and her mother don’t have a lot of money, so there are days they have to stretch their food a bit, and she spends much of her time working at a diner where she’s running around as a waitress a lot, so she’s fairly slim, but that’s certainly not unusual in YA, unfortunately. I’m going to do my best to make sure that my protagonists are only thin if it makes sense with their character, but I can definitely fall prey to the shallowness of just making the protagonist skinny for no reason.
(5) How tall are they? What is their build (ex: stocky, slender, petite, etc.)
Oops, I need to look ahead at questions. She’s short and slim, the type of person who likes playing sports and running around in gym class but doesn’t have the time to do high school sports.
(6) What is their posture like? How do they usually carry themselves?
I’d say she’s a pretty typical teenager – she slouches a lot, but when she’s working, she’ll probably utilize good posture to seem very profession and such. She’ll also make sure that her back is as straight and tall as possible when she’s trying to appear less small.
(7) Your character has been seen on a “lazy day” (free from usual routine/expectations): what are they wearing and how do they look?
Whatever is clean in comfortable. If she’s being lazy, then she’ll definitely be sans-makeup and just let her hair be hair, either up in a simple ponytail or down. She wears makeup because she wants to, but she only wants to when she’s out and about and people can admire her makeup skills (or at least applaud her for not looking like a clown, which she considers to be an accomplishment, thank you very much – one we share, because seriously, when did everyone realize how to do makeup without telling me?!).
(8) Do they wear glasses, accessories, or jewelry on a regular basis? Do they have any article of clothing or accessory that could be considered their trademark?
No, but that’s a good idea, right? I probably shouldn’t be coming up with ideas based on questions about my story, should I? If she does have a trademark accessory or whatever at some point in future drafts, it’d probably be a necklace that’s related to her absentee father she never met or the single mother she’s loved with all her heart all her life.
(9) Have they ever been bullied or shamed because of their looks? Explain!
No – she goes to a private school full of a bunch of rich kids, but they’re too busy being competitive and regular teenagers to bug her much. She’s a fairly small (height and weight), white girl, so no one is going to give her a lot of shit for her looks. She’s also not super-popular or super-unpopular, so that helps.
(10) Are they happy with how they look? If they could change anything about their appearance, what would it be?
She’s quite happy, but if she realized that her powers of manipulation (the ability to change things, like Transfiguration ala Harry Potter but without spells and a wan) extend to taming her hair, she would do it in a second. She loves her hair, but she does wish that it was a bit more manageable and would look like the hair in all these pictures without nearly as much work involved.