Name and age?
Rajvi LastnameTBD (Mehta? Patel? We'll see), 16
Nickname – given by whom, and how?
None yet, but it seems like a good idea.
What is most noticeable about your character’s appearance/physical presence? How does he or she feel about it?
Rajvi feels like she's kind of an ogre, unfortunately. She's tall for a girl, but especially for an Indian girl, her skin is pretty dark, and her eyebrows are very thick and very straight and very close together - almost a uni-brow. In general, her facial features are very angular and rough and her hands are thick. Rajvi is torn between resenting society for not being more accepting of physical variance (the eyebrows aren't her fault!) and using her appearance as a tool to beat herself up ("you're so ugly!").
Describe his or her voice, verbal ticks, pet phrases etc.
Rajvi's voice is not especially animated; she often sounds bored or annoyed when she doesn't intend to (though on the other hand, she is often bored or annoyed). There just isn't a lot of warmth there
Describe a gesture your character makes.
Rajvi isn't very aware of her body; she is not graceful, though not "klutzy" exactly - her movements are just a bit rough (it doesn't help her "ogre" complex). It's too bad because as a child she would have loved to do gymnastics, but its hard to be good at gymnastics when you don't notice that your arm is bent the wrong way. Her hand-eye coordination is also on the poor side, so she's never been good at sports. In fact, she resents gym class for existing. Rajvi often has standoffish posture - arms cross over her chest, fidgeting, wandering eyes. She's just difficult.
Where does he or she now live? Describe the city, town or village, the house itself. Be very specific. Any feelings about this place?
Rajvi lives in the suburbs, possibly a fake Chicago suburb. She's mostly annoyed that everything is so spread out. She hasn't learned to drive yet, so if she wants to go anywhere she has to walk. She hates how the lawns look so nice, how everyone's trying to look so normal and cute. Her house is pretty big - a four bedroom, even though they only have three people, and they rarely, if ever, have guests. It makes Rajvi wonder if her parents intended to have more kids, but they only ever had her. The house is big enough that she and her parents barely need to interact - there are so many rooms that even as the three avoid each other, there are still extras. And Rajvi thinks the decorating is terrible and impersonal. It pains her that she's supposed to be Indian, but there is almost nothing Indian in her house, except for in the guest room that's turned into her father's hobby room.
Has s/he lived elsewhere?
What part of her home is her favourite? Least favourite? Why. Describe, using specific details.
Her favorite room is her bedroom, because its hers. Her least favorite is the dining room, because it is especially never, ever used, and she thinks is looks fake.
What does your character’s bedroom/sleeping place look like? (lots of detail please)
Hmmm. I actually hadn't thought about that. I imagine it looks a bit suspended. In many respects, Rajvi has been on autopilot for the past two years. Her room would reflect her childhood self more than her teenage self then. Rajvi is very drawn to extremes and intensities. She likes gymnastics (and rues the fact that her tall, uncoordinated body can't preform the easiest tricks; and it used to be a contention point between her and Beth, because Beth watches gymnasts and sees only abuse and eating disorders where Rajvi sees greatness), so there might be a gymnastics figurine somewhere. She always loved big cats, so there might be a tiger poster on the wall. The furniture is probably not much. Rajvi's parents are distant, they're the type that got married on autopilot, so I can't imagine the furniture is anything to write home about, just basic pieces in reasonable wood. The comforter of her twin bed would be navy, and so would the curtains. The room does looked lived in, as Rajvi spends most of her time there, but its lived in the same way that a hotel is lived in. Its clear someone sleeps in the bed, and writes at the desk, but the little traces of the girl who lives there are muted, out of reach.
What does he or she wear to sleep in?
Plan pajama bottoms and a t-shirt. Old gym uniforms.
What does your character dream of at night?
I'm not sure she remembers her dreams. They're probably a bit tortured - lots of anxiety/failure dreams, nervous dreams.
Who are/were her parents? Rest of family? What does she feel for them?
I haven't named her parents yet. Her mother is a first generation Indian American. In personality she's pretty similar to Rajvi, not that Rajvi or her mother would ever notice or admit this; but they have the same intensity. Her mother channels that into her job; she's the director of bussiness systems at a retail chain, more than a little bit or a workaholic. Her home life is like a chore to her. After Rajvi and Beth's friendship dissolved, Rajvi stopped really caring about school. Its not that she started failing, she just stopped getting straight A's, which she'd done all through 8th grade. At first, her mom was really angry. Then her mom just stopped talking to her about it. Part of Rajvi really resents that; her mom never tried to help, or figure out what was wrong, or even asked why Beth stopped coming over. She couldn't even substain disappointment. Rajvi's father is an immigrant from India. Rajvi takes after him physically, he is very, very tall. If Rajvi's mom is distant, then her father is just silent. He rarely talks, starts a conversation. He comes home from work, eats, and retreats to his hobby room. When Rajvi was younger, she would read and do homework in his hobby room while he did... whatever he does... but now, that's gone. Rajvi has no idea where he stands with her. At this point, Rajvi is very much alone.
Class, ethnic group, religious background?
Middle class; Indian American; not sure - probably agnostic, with maybe vague Hindu upbringings. Her father is somewhat religious, her mother not at all.
Who does s/he love, or has s/he loved? Or what. Detail.
1) Beth Meyer is probably the only person that Rajvi has loved; they have been best friends since Rajvi understood what a friend was. Beth is more easy going than Rajvi, and much more social and easy to get along with. Their views are very different - Rajvi yearns for perfection and greatness, while Beth wants to change the world and end injustice (and, indeed, she sticks up to Rajvi's bullies, everyone's bullies; she walks the walk). But they both understand how the other feels. They are both kind of perfectionists, both a little (or a lot) anxious, both feel like they don't quite fit. That's why they made perfect recruits into the world of magic, because they don't quite belong to this one. When they're 12/13ish they encounter a wizard, who brings them into the shadow world of magic. Beth loves magic, especially for what she thinks it can do; but Rajvi really loves magic, she just loves it for what it is. And Rajvi is great at it. It is her calling. But Beth is able to maintain a little distance. When they are on the verge of stepping into the magical world completely, leaving their old lives behind, Beth convinces Rajvi that they can't. And because Rajvi loves Beth, she makes the wrenching decision to turn away from magic. But it hurts. The decision comes at a huge emotional cost. It tears Beth and Rajvi's friendship apart. Beth moves on. Rajvi isolates herself completely. Which brings us to the beginning of the story....
2) Magic. Once Rajvi leanrs that magic exists, its what she lives and breathes. It is everything to her. Its like a second body. Its her real life. And she's great at it. She'd amazing. It could eat her up and she'd want it to.
Who loves him or her?
1) Beth loves Rajvi. It was love that motivated her to pull Rajvi out of the magical world in the first place. One of their teacher died in a dangerous experiment. Rajvi was especially close to him, and was devastated - but also thought his experiment was noble. Beth thought it was pointless. Beth realized she could lose Rajvi the same way, and devised a plan to keep Rajvi safe. It cost their friendship, but as far as Beth is concerned, the decision saved Rajvi's life.
2) The inciting incident to Rajvi's story is Beth's sudden disappearance. Beth is dismissed as a runaway, but Rajvi knows that Beth's disappearance is related to their time in the magic world, she can sense traces of the magic in Beth's bedroom. Rajvi is on a quest to find Beth, and one of her companions on that quest becomes Beth's recently ex boyfriend, Warren Chang. Warren understand Rajvi in a way Rajvi isn't used to. Beth's told him a lot about Rajvi, so he knows her history. But he's also just very intuative, sensitive. He's the artsy intellectual sort, though he's also passive and somewhat of a coward. He and Rajvi begin to have feelings for each other.
3) Rajvi will also learn to be friends with Beth's current best friend, Sterling. Rajvi and starling start off with more animosity than Warren and Rajvi do, largely because Rajvi sees Sterling as her direct replacement and is very, very threatened.
Married/ in relationship/single? Give names and specifics.
How does your character feel about sex/intimacy? What sexual relationship(s) is he or she involved in?
She tries to deal with sex/intimacy by denial. She doesn't believe anyone could want her, nor does she really have the ability to seek anyone out, so she just buries any sexual or romantic feelings that she might have. Unless she's in the mood to make herself feel bad, then she thinks about what a freak she is. She does masturbate, but often feels bad afterwards because it highlights how lonely she feels.
Exactly what does your character do to make a living (or in the case of a child, what do his/ her parents do; or in the case of independent wealth, how does he or she pass the time?)? How much does s/he earn? Feelings about work? What is the best part of the job, the worst?
Who or what does/he fear?
In the context of the story, her worst fear is that when she finds Beth (she can't let herself say if), Beth will reject her. In a broader context, she fears that she'll never touch greatness again. She fears she'll end up like her parents, living these shadow lives they never wanted, these small lives. She fears that she'll never be loved, and that she deserves never to be loved.
What about his or her life would he or she change if s/he could?
She'd have stepped into the magic world when she had the chance.
Does the character have a hobby? Secret passion? (Can be something ordinary like soccer playing or yoga classes or mountain biking or sewing or fixing up old trucks - or an unusual interest like some Greek poet from the third century, or collecting spiders, or walking the tightrope…
She's a gymnastics fan. She loves reading about big cats, especially tigers. She's pretty fascinated by the vastness of the universe, the power of gravity, black holes. As she's gotten older, her family eats dinner together less and less, so Rajvi has gotten into cooking. Its what she pours her perfectionism into, since magic is out of her life, and she's decided school is beneath her care.
What would be his or her favourite smell ( why)?
Not sure. Maybe something related to Beth's house (or, well, apartment). She probably spent a lot of time at Beth's. Maybe her favorite scent is Beth's mother's shampoo - which, of course, is also Beth's.
What kind of shoes does he or she wear, (e.g. furry slippers or gumboot or trainers… new or old, style, what colour, fitting properly or too tight or too loose, nice and clean or old and smelly)? Describe exactly.
She buys the plainest athletic shoes she can find.
Favourite meal? Attitude to food?
Rajvi likes to cook, but eating food she cooked can be stressful since she's always judging it. Her favorite meal is the hardest one she can successfully prepare.
None right now.
What is the worst thing that could happen to him or her right now?
Hmmm... not sure, since she starts off in a pretty low place. Maybe finding out magic was never real and that she was crazy?
What vehicles does your character use/own? (for example: bike, skateboard, truck, yacht, stroller, canoe, spaceship, battered pickup, etc.. please be as exact as possible). What are his/her feelings towards it/them. What kind of journeys does he or she make?
Rajvi hasn't learned how to drive. Teaching her is hardly her parents' priority, and Rajvi doesn't care to spend time with them, either. She walks.
What is his or her most treasured possession?
Probably something from Peabody, the teacher who died, since that would be a connection to magic and the greatness of magic. Not sure what. TBD.
What illnesses has he or she suffered, if any?
Nothing notable. Depression, I guess.
What’s his/her philosophy of life? For example’ You’ve got to look after Number 1’ or ‘Never say die’ or ‘Don’t ask for reasons.” What are his or her most strongly held beliefs?
She worships greatness for its own sake. I guess be the best?
What does he or she feel guilty about?
Ending her friendship with Beth. She's angry and hurt and confused about it, but guilt is mixed in there, too. Beth is the only person she's loved, and quite possibly the only person to love her.
Biggest mistake ever made?
Cutting herself off from all social interaction, not that she didn't have her reasons. She's a true loner when we meet her, and one of the challenges she'll face is learning to be a friend to Warren Chang and Beth's new best friend, Sterling LastnameTBD.
Best thing he/she ever did?
In essence, this book will be about her best act - rescuing someone she loves, believing completely that her love will be rejected.
What, right now, does your character want most of all? His or her deepest desire – a glass of water, to get out of her marriage, a new pair of shoes, peace and quiet…
To get magic back. And to have Beth back. To have both. For her and Beth to be best friends, and the magicians they were supposed to be.
~ Arcadia ~
I don’t mind waiting if it takes a long, long time.
And I don’t mind wasting the best years of our lives.
And I don’t mind racing through our goodbyes.
- Rilo Kiley "Capturing Moods"
This message was edited by the author on January 5, 2012 at 4:53:25 AM