The Fleshy Character Questionnaire, featuring Puck

While I’m busy working on the next set of Skata questions, I decided to exercise myself mentally with another of these deep, involved questionnaires. They’re more work than one would realize, but the reward is worth the time. So sit back, relax, and enjoy getting to know the Otherside’s most disarmingly dangerous faerie. (And if you want more? I made a thirty-second trailer that you can view here!)

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1. What color is your character’s hair? Dark reddish-brown, best described as cinnamon.

2. What color are your character’s eyes? The shade differs, depending on the slant of light; it can range from hazel to forest green.

3. What color is your character’s skin? His skin is naturally pale due to the light and atmosphere of Otherside, but he gets a vague tan very quickly in the human world.

4. What special aesthetic characteristics does your character have? Puck’s true, unglamored appearance shows pointed ears, teeth a little too pointed, and eyes as black as tar.

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5. Does your character have any piercings? Tattoos? No. Like most faeries, he shies away from unnaturally marring his appearance.

6. What’s the sexiest physical characteristic of your character? While he has the appearance of a slender guy in his early twenties, he has strong, manly hands.

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7. What’s the ugliest physical characteristic of your character? Puck carries many scars that are only visible under the light of a faerie moon.

BONUS: What element of their appearance is your character most insecure about? Puck doesn’t tend to care about his appearance or have insecurities. When he does worry about things, they’re more important.

8. What does your character wear? He wears jeans and tee shirts both in and out of the human world, as they’re comfortable, well-suited to most occasions, and they look well on his frame.

9. When your character smiles, what does their smile look like? His smile has three main modes. There is his sweet and unassuming smile, which comes less often than it should; his false, forced smile when he’s hiding the truth; and his dark, smirkish smile when his mood turns malicious. Any of these, however, is preferable to the look of calculating indifference he gets before he does something truly terrible.

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10. What does your character’s laugh sound like? Like an explosive, manly giggle.

BONUS: What sort of things would make your character laugh? Someone being stupid or dense, or falling for a prank.

11. What is your character’s normal style of speech? He speaks like a normal guy, but will correct your grammar. His voice gets louder if he’s angry, excited or really vehement. His voice is surprisingly deep and a little rough, not what most people expect based on his appearance.

12. How does your character express/handle anger? Anger is met with clenched jaw and fists, and hopefully that’s the extent of it. If you really, really make him mad, you will be lucky if you escape with body and pride intact.

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13. Does your character cry? Yes, but he rarely weeps. He’d have to be very emotionally exhausted for that. Tears will linger in his eyes and one or two may fall, but he’ll brush them off and try to hide them.

BONUS: What sorts of things would make them cry? Hopelessness, a broken heart, or if he’s kept his true feelings caged for too long and he finally admits the truth.

14. How easy is it for other people to read your character’s emotions? He likes to deflect questions and concern away from himself by flinging up smoke-screens. Only those who are exceptionally caring and/or keen will see his genuine feelings.

15. Is your character religious? He is not ‘religious’ per se, but he believes in heaven and hell. He lives with fierce rash behavior because he truly believes he’s damned already.

16. How does your character view those of other faiths? He doesn’t care much what you believe.

17. What are your character’s core values? Until he grows to love Leaf like a daughter, he doesn’t have any ‘core values’ to speak of. He has to learn them over the course of the story.

18. How willing is your character to fight for those values? Leaf is his value, and he will fight through hell for her.

19. What is your character’s favorite food? He eats like a teenage boy, which is to say – everything is his favorite food.

20 .What is your character’s favorite color? He likes dark blues and grays, and it translates into his clothes.

21. What are your character’s sleeping preferences? He never sleeps on his side, but is always either on his back or his stomach with his arms under his head.

22. What type of music does your character like? The longer Puck is in the human world, the less he can tolerate noise. Crowded places, music blaring through the radio – all of these begin to wear on him. He prefers silence.

BONUS: Does your character have a theme song? ‘Reel Around the Sun’ by Bill Whalen embodies the spirit of Puck, so far as one can.

23. What is your character’s birthday? While he’s very old, Puck has no idea what his birthday is. Faeries don’t celebrate things like that.

24. What family structure did your character have growing up? Puck, like all faeries, had no real family structure. Faeries are left to grow up on their own as soon as they are able – and in Puck’s case, it landed him in all kinds of trouble (which is, I suppose, the reason he’s so good at getting out of it now).

25. How well did your character get along with their family? He doesn’t recall much of his family, except his mother. He recalls her as being beautiful and cold.

26. What is the worst thing your character has ever done? Puck has done many great and terrible things in his lifetime. He has ensnared, tormented, and murdered both in Oberon’s service and out of it. I think, however, if you asked him what the most terrible thing he’s ever done was, he would answer that Leaf is both his biggest pride and his biggest regret.

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27. What is the most significant romantic encounter of your character’s past? There has been no ‘true romance’ in Puck’s life. He has had his flings and encounters, but the truth is that he has no grasp on actual love until Leaf. Even then, it’s the love of a father for a daughter, but it’s the step that enables him to care for Hayley, another character who springs up in the novel.

28. What is your character’s biggest goal in life? His biggest goal at the beginning of the tale is to finally be free of Oberon’s service. His priorities shift once Leaf is dumped into his life, however.

29. What does your character believe is their greatest virtue? Puck is extremely clever and cunning; traits which enable him to have the upper hand in almost any situation.

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25. What does your character believe is his greatest vice? Puck is the last of a rare kind of faerie. His very nature thrives on chaos, on beating everyone else at their own game. This makes him an unstoppable force, but a very dangerous one.

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26. What motivates your character? His own need to feed off chaos and strife, his fear of Oberon, and his love for Leaf.

27. Is your character objective-oriented? He will do anything to accomplish his goals.

28. Would your character rather be a great person or a good person? He would rather be his own person, to belong to and know himself rather than survive as the faerie king’s amusement and hand of judgment.

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29. Would your character rather be hated for being who they are or loved for pretending to be someone else? Love has never mattered before to Puck. He is feared and treated with due caution, but once he feels love, he realizes his own fragility – a dangerous thing, on his part; as it both weakens and strengthens him.

30. Is your character an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert? Puck is an ambivert; his tolerance and moods pendulum wildly, as do most faeries’.

31. Is your character creatively expressive? In a way. His treatment of others could be called ‘creative expression.’ He manipulates other people to get the result he desires, and he is an absolute master.

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32. What’s your character’s disorder? He has an almost overpowering bipolar disorder; his personality will be friendly and relaxed and the next instant he’ll be the dark shadow of himself, someone who would rather pit you in a fight against your closest friend and feed off the strife.

33. What is your character’s standard emotional state? Risky. He is (almost) never out of control emotionally, no matter the state of his personality. He’s too clever to do things without thinking, and he is never less than three steps ahead.

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34. Is your character materialistic? No, most faeries live in the moment with little thought for earthly possessions.

35. What is your character’s major learning style? He learns from experience and observation. He is always watching, assessing and learning; and he never makes the same mistake twice.

36. I am _______. How would your character complete that sentence? Insatiable.

37. Life is an act of _________. How would your character complete that sentence? Checkmate.

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March Snippets

tumblr_mt2kaxh2Vw1sqtd8yo1_500“Have care, my pet.” Titania’s smile was a gleeful sickle in the darkness. “You are in danger of burning in your own flame.”

– Sometime a Fire

“I cannot, in all good conscience, let you go out that door.” Skata narrowed his eyes. “Why not?” “You are simply too inept,” was the diplomatic answer. 

– This Mortal Coil

He was intangible, nothing more than a pale shadow, and it was maddening. How she wanted to touch him; to feel his salt-skin and tame the thick, wind-blown darkness of his hair.

– This Rough Magic

“I’m a wizardess,” she responded, unnerved at his insight. “Nothing about me is natural. And you – there is nothing natural about you, either. Natural implies the normal, the ordinary – what would you know of it?”

            “A great deal.” His voice was soft and thoughtful, calling back a hundred memories Prosper would never know. “For twelve years I gazed upon the natural, and watched. Fighters battling with swords until the ground soaked up their blood, lovers tangled in their own embrace. Children, playing hide-and-seek, screaming when their companions discovered them. Killers killing – once, even hiding a body underneath the roots of my tree.” He bent his head, and drew his arms together as though the cold was affecting him. “I was unable to help or hinder any of them and that,” – here he lifted his head and pierced her with the fathoms of his frozen eyes – “that was unthinkable. That was what caused me pain. To refuse my help, to refuse me – is unnatural of you, my noble mistress.”

– This Rough Magic

        “Silence, Quockerwodger, or I’ll have you in splinters!” thundered Azrael, pointing his finger at the ceiling with such enthusiasm he nearly fell backward out of his chair.

– Paper Hearts

The werewolf turned his head to eye Skata in a blaze of angry blue irises. Skata faced him and tilted his head, more than willing to take on another fight in spite of the pain in his shoulder. He had been cooped up for so long, he felt he was beginning to rust. Violence was just the right sort of oil to get him back in working condition.

– This Mortal Coil

“Tell me, how did you acquire the stake in the first place?” Gideon adjusted the cuff of his left sleeve. Jackson looked up and smiled darkly. “Way too easily.”

The elder Moroi sighed and turned to face his brother. “Your penchant for taking things that don’t belong to you will earn you a stake in the heart, and sooner rather than later.”

Jackson swung his legs over the side of the couch and settled comfortably against the pillows. “That may be, but we’ve already lived ‘later’,” he pointed out, following Gideon with his finger. “Sooner seems rather out of the option box.”

– This Mortal Coil

             “You look atrocious,” he hooted. He tapped his finger against the top of the table. It shimmered, and the brown wood rippled out from the center, leaving it shiny and reflective. “You really should see yourself.” I bent down over the top of the table. My reflection met me with a scrunched nose, one eye squinted farther than the other, and a frazzled mass of hair piled around my head. “I look perfectly normal,” I said. “Considering it’s midnight.” “If this is your midnight normal, I’m glad you weren’t Cinderella.”

– Paper Hearts

Angel pried Graham’s fingers away from his arm. “A, don’t touch me. And B – don’t touch me.”

– This Mortal Coil

“We had better get started. I assume you have some diabolical plan, best served with coffee.”

– Natural Disasters

 

Sometime a Fire

sometimeafirecollage“…What fools these mortals be!”

Well, Ariel’s snippet went over well!  A bit of Puck’s story was requested, and so here you have it – when Puck first meets Leaf, a changeling human girl taken by Oberon the way we might adopt a stray kitten in order to spite Titania. This little scrap will probably end up being completely redone, but as it was fun to scribble out, I care not!

_____________________________

Honestly, what was this nonsense?

            I ask you!

            “Master,” I began, “would it not be wiser to have the changeling child accompanied by someone other than myself? You know full well of my penchant for mischief. Suppose something befalls her?”

            “And what do you suppose could befall my charge?”

            Oberon turns to face me, his sharp eyes at once punishing me for my request and probing to seek out the heart of it.

            I continued on anyway. “She may fall into a pond and drown. Or Moth and Peaseblossom may braid her hair to the roots of an oak tree, and I would have to cut it all off to free her.”

            “I can think,” said Oberon, “of worse fates.”

            “I can’t,” I said.

            “We will speak no more of it.” Turning away from me, Oberon waved his hand once. I was dismissed – moreover, if I did not dismiss myself, I would heavily regret it. Fighting some kind of response that would have no doubt landed me in some uncomfortably hot water, I left the king to himself.

            It was not my fault if the king decided to be petty, I thought, pushing aside a splash of green leaves. You would think Titania’s besottment with her own changeling had been the day before, not –

            How long had it been?

            No matter. Quite a long time.

            I cupped my hands around my mouth. “Cobweb!”

            A small flash of light hovered near my left eye, so I had to turn and face him properly. “Any luck?”

            “I spoke with Lady Luck a very long time ago,” I told him with a sigh.

            He buzzed in a small circle; a dizzy, overlarge firefly. “Oh! Truly? What did she say?”

            “She said ‘good-bye’.”

            He folded his arms. “Oh. Well, then, the changeling is ready.”

            “If you did anything strange to her hair, I am going to cut it off with a knife,” I told him, our noses nearly touching at the tip. “My blade may slip, and Oberon would blame you.”

            He threw up his hands. “We left her alone!”

            “I’m almost sorry,” I said, with another sigh.

            “I am sorry.”

            “We did name it, though.”

            I narrowed my eyes and lifted my eyebrows. “You had permission?”

            “Oh, yes.” He rubbed his hands together, a grin putting all his small, sharp teeth on grand display. “King doesn’t care about its name.”

            “What is it, then?”

            Twigs snapped and someone crashed through the shrubbery ahead of us. Moth, Peaseblossom and Mustardseed appeared first, tugging on the – unplaited, praise the Holy One – brown hair of the child Oberon had kidnapped on whim.

            I crouched down in front of the creature. She watched me with wide eyes, almost as green as my own. She had taken my freckles, too.

            Little upstart sprite.

            “Leaf,” said Cobweb, hovering near my head. “We named it Leaf.”