Writers’ Camp: Day 11

Would you Rather/What Now?  This will be a Writing Game! Basically, you will pick a character from a book you are writing on and put him through a Would You Rather/What Now? Test. I will supply the test. You have three days to complete it. This game helps you to understand your characters better, and it also helps you think as a writer.

I’m conflicted about discussing my characters.  On the one hand, I would love to talk about them, share the details that make them quirky, that make them seem alive.  On the other, I don’t want to have to explain that, oh yeah, I changed their personalities, or that their story fizzled out.  And there’s something to be said for working in privacy.

I haven’t fully decided the matter one way or the other.  But I like today’s challenge, and after some deliberation, I picked my character Lennox.  He is from my late Victorian steampunk story, a story still in the ideas stage, although the characters are developing nicely.

Lennox is a friendly and social young man, a talker, clever and inventive, but too trusting, and a little too curious for his own good.  He’s close to his friends and family, but he also values his independence and will not be controlled.  And “Lennox” is his Christian name.  His mother was an aristocrat’s daughter with the maiden name of Lennox, but she eloped with her artist suitor and never returned home.  She gave her son her maiden name in memory of the family she’d lost.  (I got that idea from Wuthering Heights.)

(I won’t record the answers in his voice for two reasons: 1) I’m still figuring out what his voice sounds like, and 2) I’ve tried the answer-questions-in-my-character’s-voice technique, and it does not work.  Not for anything outside of the actual story.)

So on we go!

1.) Would You Rather Be Hot or Cold?

I think he would rather be hot.  You can’t move around much when bundled under layers of clothing.

2.) Would you rather work at night or during the day? 

Either one is fine; Lennox is not picky about working at a certain time.  He is, however, a morning person, and can’t concentrate too late into the night.

3.) Someone knocks on your door. What now?

Provided he wasn’t so absorbed in reading or scientific research that he missed the knock, he would get up and go answer the door.

4.) Would you rather go without food or water for a day?

Well, neither.  But if he had to choose, he’d rather go without food.  You can survive longer without food than water.

5.) Someone tells you your life is a lie. What now?

At face value, he wouldn’t believe it.  But if the person was more or less a friend/acquaintance and offered sufficient proofs, Lennox would start to become convinced.  And worried–questioning everything he thought was true would haunt him.

6.) Would you rather be settled or have the open road?

Ooh, tough question because he has a restless spirit, but also loyalty to his family and friends.  I’m not sure which he would choose.

7.) Would you rather lose sight or hearing? 


8.)  Would you rather have a dog or cat?

I’m not sure which he would rather have, but he does own an orange cat.  It was a half-starved, shivering stray that he accidentally stepped on while hurrying home one rainy night; once he heard the animal cry out and saw how pitiful its condition, he couldn’t ignore it.  So he took it home and gave it food and a box to sleep in.

9.) How do you respond to betrayal, pain, loss?

Betrayal would crush him because he values honesty and friendship.  As for pain, Lennox is oddly quiet about his own feelings and struggles; he processes these internally.  Loss also hurts him, especially if it was through the death of a family member, or something like that.  It always takes him a while to recover from any of the three categories.

10.) Do you like music?

He does like music, pretty much all kinds (that existed in the Victorian age, that is).

11.) Do you like reading?

He reads anything he can get his hands on, particularly non-fiction and scientific works.  (And if he lived in the modern age, he would be that person up until the wee hours of the morning reading random, but interesting, stuff on the Internet.)

12.) Would you rather face a lion or a bear?

A bear.  Because he knows you can sometimes play dead to escape from a bear.  No such luck with a lion.

13.) What is something that scares you?

He became afraid of drowning after he fell of a bridge once and nearly did drown (he can’t swim).  He also becomes afraid of his own mistakes and how they affect others.

14.) Would you rather be in a crowd or alone?

In a crowd.  Lennox likes visiting others and talking with them.

15.) You’re family is threatened. What now?

Lennox would fight tooth and nail to protect his family.  He will protect their name as well; if someone insults his mother, he is apt to start a fight.

16.) Do you put a lot of importance on family? (Answer honestly.)

He does, to the point that he tries to keep peace with and to please his family so far as he can.  Even if they want him to do something he dislikes.  However, he pushes back when he feels he is being robbed of the power to make choices for his own life.

17.) Do you believe in God/heaven/angels, or something of the like?

I’m honestly not sure about his thoughts on this.

18.) Would you rather have coffee or tea?


19.) Would you rather take a long walk in the forest, or a bike ride down a parkway?

He likes taking walks, so a walk in the forest.

20.) Do you like snow?

Eh, moderately.  But he gets restless after being trapped indoors during a long winter.

21.) Do you like rain?

No, not really.  It’s often cold and gloomy-looking.

22.) What is your favorite thing to do?

He likes talking with others and collaborating on research or projects (provided the other does his share of the work).  He also likes reading, doing his own research, exploring new places, and experimenting.

23.) Would you rather spend the day indoors or outdoors?


24. Do you like summer days?

Yes; I think summer is his favorite season.

25.) If there was one person you would drop everything for in their time of need, who would it be?

When his parents were alive, it would have been them.  Once Lennox moves to London to live with his grandfather…I’m not sure.  He doesn’t have any close friends there.






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