I’ve never been one for character building through questionnaires or other short-answer type activities. However, while browsing tumblr, I happened upon a list of unusual questions for MCs (or muses as it was originally postulated) and I actually found myself–and my characters–responding to them. Below are a collection of answers, featuring the full main cast of Garden of the Gods: Ami, Kriah, Kio and Rei.
- Does your MC prefer to sleep under many layers of blankets or only under a few?
Ami always likes a blanket of some sorts for security and comfort. Even if it’s stifling hot she will want something on her to feel relaxed enough to sleep. She doesn’t like too many though, as it makes her feel trapped and worries about becoming entangled should she need to rise quickly.
Dear Kriah is a man of minimal simplicity: his bed consists of a pillow and blanket, no more no less. If it’s a particularly frosty night he may add a fur throw for extra warmth but that’s it. Due to his mixed heritage, Kriah sleeps but once a week and associates bed with an irritating necessity rather than comfort.
Being a traveller, Rei spends more nights sleeping on the road than in the comfort of an inn. As he is required to keep his supplies to a minimum, he tends to not burden himself with blankets or a bedroll. Training has taught him to ignore his desired comforts and to rest sitting upright. Rei, however, is a naturally cold person and whenever afforded the joy of bedding, piles as many blankets atop of him as he can find.
As a prince, Kio has grown up with an abundance of comfort, including beds layered with plush quilts, furs and silk sheets. While he is quite content to snuggle down under all this luxury, more often than not he wakes to find them thrown to the floor. Kio is a hot, restless sleeper and although he would love to sleep buried under all that comforting weight, his body does not agree.
- Does your MC like to accessorise?
Try as she might, it’s hard for Ami to shake off her upbringing surrounded by trinkets and jewels. While Ami has ways been a practicality-over-fashion kind of girl, she does enjoy the little rush she feels getting dolled up in regal finery for special occasions. In her everyday life, Ami only wore a single necklace—her family crest—which she had left behind in Adria, along with the rest of her past.
It’s a no from Kriah: if it serves no purpose, there’s really no point in having it.
Rei is a player of roles and will go to great lengths to assume a convincing persona. Hair colouring, makeup, jewellery and frocks—Rei will don it all if it assures the success of his mission. Even when not in character, Rei has a number of chains and rings—gifts from Prince Kio—that he carries on his person at all times if unable to wear them out of fear of being identified.
Kio lives his princely life to the fullest. Although he generally likes to be well presented and visibly identified as the Crown Prince, there are days when exhaustion takes a hold and it all becomes too bothersome. While his accessories tend to change on any given day or occasion, Kio always wears his family crest around his neck and his wedding band, despite being a widower.
- Does your MC collect/hoard anything?
Ami is required to provide proof of her kills in order to reap the rewards for the demons she slays. Many billers are content with just seeing the trophy, while others demand it be handed over for their own bragging rights. Any unwanted spoils Ami tends to sell—she has killed countless ukarat and their pelts fetch decent coin at market. For rarer game or marks particularly difficult to fell, she may keep a claw or tooth as a memento.
Kriah’s one joy in his sheltered forest existence is collecting hunting bows and decorative quivers. Using his connections with the nomad traders, he has been able to acquire a number of weapons—both practical and ornamental—from all across Whyt’hallen. In recent years he has also developed an interest in hunting blades.
By definition, Rei-Haw Shaw is a Collector—his primary function at the Tower is to procure goods for his employers, be they trinkets, intel or, in very rare cares, actual people. Of course, none of these items are actually his. He sees things in his possession as just a fleeting moment and treats everything in his life with the same temporality. This is done in an attempt to rid himself of any sentiment, though he has struggled to discard a number of gifts from Kio and memories of his mother.
In contrast to his fellow cast members, Kio loves holding on to things. His room with filled with odds and ends, physical memories collected throughout the years to remind him of all he has lost. Among his most precious collections are sister Amikharlia’s necklace; a chest filled with letters from Rei; his deceased wife’s wedding band; and the gown that his unborn son would have worn to his naming ceremony. Unlike the rest of the royal family, who attempt to bury and ignore painful memories, Kio keeps them by his side so he can never forget.
- Does your MC like to have company over?
I’m going to chuck a blanket ‘NO!’ over this one, though none of them truly enjoy being alone-alone. Kriah is most certainly the most antisocial of the bunch, being unused to company outside of his grandfather. Kio on the other hand is capable of receiving guests and playing the gracious host, but even he finds it mentally draining and prefers to be with a small group of his nearest and dearest instead.
- Is your MC the “oversharing” type?
My cast are all pretty reserved when it comes to their personal lives and emotions. They’ve all grown up isolated in some way or another and find it difficult to open up, even when someone wants to listen. Kio would be the exception. He feels too much—and certainly more than is permitted for a Holanian prince. He has learnt to better compose himself, having been scolded as a child for being too transparent with his feelings. Ami was raised much the same and so the only people the siblings could really confide in were each other—and their friend Rei-Hai Shaw.
Rei, however, doesn’t share their desire to talk. He isn’t so much an “undersharer” as he would be a “nonsharer”. Nothing his discussed unless directly asked, and even then, only if there stands something to gain by doing so. He envies how freely Kio can express himself (granted, the prince only allowed himself to be this way through his marriage to the gentle-hearted Moyna Berne) and wishes he could return the gesture.
Kriah too falls into the “can’t compute feels” basket due to his mix of immortal and mortal blood. As they have countless years at their disposal, the Meah-Hyren seem somewhat emotionally lacking and, with his greatly increased lifespan, Kriah has learnt to be more pragmatic and stoic with his own emotional responses; however due to his isolated upbringing, interacting with other people and understanding their wants and needs is a little beyond him. He struggles consoling others and in turn finds it difficult to offload his own troubles and so tries to avoid it all together.
- Is your MC drawn to things that sparkle?
What? No! No one is that vain. The only sparkles that may attract interest is if Kriah happens upon a rare bow that is encrusted in diamonds.
- Is your MC a daydreamer? What do they tend to think about? Have they ever caught themselves lost in thought?
Ami is an “anywhere but here” girl and is constantly lost in thought, unless in the heat of battle when concentration is paramount. She tends to ruminate over what her powers mean, why she has them and how her life might be different if they were never bestowed upon her in the first place. Pondering her decision to leave Adria and her arranged marriage—and whether or not it was the right thing to do—is another topic that weighs on her mind frequently, though she pushes it aside whenever it arises due to guilt.
Kio is another daydreamer, often musing about what it would be like to live without the obligations of his crown. As much as he takes pride in being the future ruler of Holania, there are times he would love to throw it all away for a chance to just be himself.
Kriah, however (and this really shouldn’t surprise anyone), is a man of knowledge, not imagination. He spends little time in his head wondering what could be and more time in a book determining why it is.
Rei also lacks the dreamer spark, having resigned himself to the fact he has no control over his life and doesn’t dare make it worse by pondering what might be.
Pt 2 coming soon …
Have a question for an MC?
Send your questions and who you’d like to ask (Ami, Kriah, Rei or Kio) through to firstname.lastname@example.org, comment below or hit me up on @jamjam_pie on twitter