Character Development Questions: Hard Mode — Pria

The last of my three main characters for the unnamed novel project


1. Does your character have siblings or family members in their age group? which one are they closest with?

Yes. Brandon (older brother by 2 years), Eveline [Eve, Evie] (younger sister by 2 years), and Jordan (younger brother by 4 years). She’s closest to Evie.

 

And in case you’re wondering, Pria had her name legally changed. It used to be Dinah. She hated that name. Evie and Jordan are also planning to legally change their names when they turn 18, although neither are sure what to, yet.

2. What is/was your character’s relationship with their mother like?

Bad. Really bad. Pria’s mom, Charity, was emotionally abusive to Pria, in the name of ‘saving her soul’ and getting her to ‘act like a lady’. Basically, Pria could never be feminine enough for her Mom.

3. What is/was your character’s relationship with their father like?

Bad. Not as bad as as with her Mom, but bad. As a teen, Pria kept expecting physical abuse from Joseph, her Dad, in the infrequent circumstances she actually got caught being ‘sinful’, but it never happened. She doesn’t realize it, but it didn’t happen because Joseph could tell she’d swing back.

4. Has your character ever witnessed something that fundamentally changed them? If so, does anyone else know?

No, but only because she’d already lost all trust in her parents and older brother. Honestly, she thinks it should have changed her, but seeing Brandon attack Evie really only confirmed what she suspected about Brandon and about herself (no, she didn’t freeze, yes, she did attack him). So, obviously Evie knows. Evie told Jordan later, and Pria told Gwen and Roland, her grandmother and grandfather, the outlines of what happened.

5. On an average day, what can be found in your character’s pockets?

Her phone. In her backpack is her laptop, books for class, binder to take notes in, pencils, a couple pens, highlighters, index cards, lunch (probably), and a water bottle. She has a bunch of sympathetic tokens on the insides of a bunch of bracelets she wears.

6. Does your character have recurring themes in their dreams?

No.

7. Does your character have recurring themes in their nightmares?

Still being at her parents’ ranch. Getting to the barn too late.

8. Has your character ever fired a gun? If so, what was their first target?

No.

9. Is your character’s current socioeconomic status different than it was when they were growing up?

Yes. Her parents were barely on the middle-class side of lower-middle class. Now that she (and her younger siblings) are under her grandparents’ care, they’re really wealthy.

10. Does your character feel more comfortable with more clothing, or with less clothing?

Less. But she’s living in a group house in New England. She dresses for the temperature and her roommates’ comfort level.

11. In what situation was your character the most afraid they’ve ever been?

In the barn when Brandon was attacking Evie and later while she was trying to get herself, Evie, and Jordan across the entire freaking country to Boston (and her grandparents) without getting caught by their parents or the police. 

12. In what situation was your character the most calm they’ve ever been?

When she was breaking up with her high school sweetheart, Betsy.

13. Is your character bothered by the sight of blood? If so, in what way?

No.

14. Does your character remember names or faces easier?

Names but only as they attach to faces.

15. Is your character preoccupied with money or material possession? Why or why not?

No, not anymore. She was preoccupied with money as it could enable her to get the hell out of her parents’ home, but now that she has access to more than she knows was to do with, she sees it as a useful tool that she’d like to learn how to utilize to the full extent it can protect her and her family. So maybe a little preoccupied with money.

16. Which does your character idealize most: happiness or success?

Happiness.

17. What was your character’s favorite toy as a child?

The copy of The Hobbit she managed to successfully keep hidden for four years.

18. Is your character more likely to admire wisdom, or ambition in others?

Wisdom.

19. What is your character’s biggest relationship flaw? Has this flaw destroyed relationships for them before?

She’s so careful about keeping and enforcing her boundaries that she’s not as careful of other people’s needs and feelings as she should be, to be a good partner. It’s stopped relationships from ever getting started before, which if she’d noticed would have been alright with her — she wasn’t interested in a relationship since she broke up with her girlfriend in high school, although she’s ready to date again, now that she’s in college.

20. In what ways does your character compare themselves to others? Do they do this for the sake of self-validation, or self-criticism?

She compares her knowledge of pop culture, general knowledge, and life skills to others, in order to find what was deliberately kept from her growing up. 

21. If something tragic or negative happens to your character, do they believe they may have caused or deserved it, or are they quick to blame others?

Somewhere in between those two extremes.

22. What does your character like in other people?

Integrity, willingness to learn, willingness to teach, respecting other people’s different life choices 

23. What does your character dislike in other people?

Zealotry, bigotry, sexism

24. How quick is your character to trust someone else?

Very slow

25. How quick is your character to suspect someone else? Does this change if they are close with that person?

Reasonably quick but that completely flips if they’re close — Pria doesn’t get close to people she hasn’t decided if she can trust them.

26. How does your character behave around children?

A little standoffish. She doesn’t really know how to relate and hasn’t learned yet how to draw them out to find something to interact over. She’s protective of her younger sister and brother though — them she knows how to interact with.

27. How does your character normally deal with confrontation?

Blank stone-face. She’s learned to control her impulse to lash out in anger from having so much practice dealing with her parents. 

28. How quick or slow is your character to resort to physical violence in a confrontation?

But if it’s a physical confrontation, she entirely willing to stand in their faces, not back down, and deck them if they swing first. So, quick to intimidation and quick to respond with physical violence if offered — she don’t start none, but damn if she doesn’t want to end it.

29. What did your character dream of being or doing as a child? Did that dream come true?

Run away. And yes, she did that.

30. What does your character find repulsive or disgusting?

Religious zealotry/fanaticism/fundamentalism.

31. Describe a scenario in which your character feels most comfortable.

Honestly, that moment right after sex at her place when her partner has dropped off to sleep and she’ll fall asleep shortly.

32. Describe a scenario in which your character feels most uncomfortable.

Dealing with her parents or her older brother again.

33. In the face of criticism, is your character defensive, self-deprecating, or willing to improve?

Defensive — she perceives it as an attack on her self and her boundaries. Yeah, she knows that’s not healthy and she’s working on it.

34. Is your character more likely to keep trying a solution/method that didn’t work the first time, or immediately move on to a different solution/method?

Different solution.

35. How does your character behave around people they like?

Like as in interesting in sleeping with them? Vivacious. Like as in like being around them? Quiet — she’s comfortable enough not to be ‘on’.

36. How does your character behave around people they dislike?

Dismissive. Unless she’s trying not to let on she dislikes them.

37. Is your character more concerned with defending their honor, or protecting their status?

Defending their honor.

38. Is your character more likely to remove a problem/threat, or remove themselves from a problem/threat?

Remove the problem.

39. Has your character ever been bitten by an animal? How were they affected (or unaffected)?

Yeah sure — she grew up on a ranch. Animals occasionally lip or take a bite out of you. She learned how to handle them better.

40. How does your character treat people in service jobs?

Politely.

41. Does your character feel that they deserve to have what they want, whether it be material or abstract, or do they feel they must earn it first?

Earn it.

42. Has your character ever had a parental figure who was not related to them?

Nope.

43. Has your character ever had a dependent figure who was not related to them?

Nu-uh.

44. How easy or difficult is it for your character to say “I love you?” Can they say it without meaning it?

Very easy to say if she doesn’t mean it — she’s had so much practice lying in that way to her parents.

45. What does your character believe will happen to them after they die? Does this belief scare them?

No damn clue. She figures she’ll find out when she gets there. And yes, that’s a scary thought, but it’s the only one she’s got to work with.