I’m joining the Beautiful People meme for March! Beautiful People is an ongoing tag/blog meme that helps you get to know your characters by providing lists of questions to answer. It has worked so well that I use that list of questions to develop every one of my own characters.
And the character I’ll feature today is Lennox. He’s from my steampunk story, which is actually a cross between steampunk, social sci-fi, and hard sci-fi. To complicate things further, I’m not actively working on that story either, just jotting ideas and plot notes as they come. But Lennox’s character is pretty well developed by now, so he gets a spotlight.
If he looks like a friendly and easygoing fellow, that’s because he is. Until you limit his independence. Also, Lennox is his Christian name. It was his mother’s maiden, an idea I
stole borrowed from Wuthering Heights.
1.) What’s his favorite book/movie/play/etc.? Lennox reads anything he can get his hands on (and if he lived in the modern day and age, he would be that person up until midnight reading random, but interesting, stuff on the Internet), and he has lots of favorite volumes. Many favorites are non-fiction works about chemistry and astronomy, and others are character-centered fiction stories, such as Middlemarch. A few favorites are biographies of social figures and scientific men.
2.) Is there anything he regrets doing? He sometimes regrets moving to London. He went there to live with his grandfather, and also hoped to meet men of science, to learn more about what was going on the scientific world and to have more time for study and research. But he often feels homesick for Cambridge.
3.) If he were sick or wounded, who would take care of him and how? When his mother was alive, she would care for him by making him tea or broth. (I haven’t researched late-Victorian medicines, so I’m not sure what else.)
4.) Is there an object he can’t bear to part with and why? He would be upset if an accident befell his cat. Lennox is not an animal-lover per se, but the cat was a half-starved, shivering stray that he accidentally stepped on while hurrying home one 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. (And later burned the box because the cat turned out to have fleas.) After initial recovery, the cat went back to its alley life, stopping by Lennox’s house every now and then for food. And wandering in and out as it pleased. And finally making its home on the corner armchair near the hearth and letting itself be a house pet.
5.) What are 5 ways to win his heart (or friendship)? 1.) First and foremost is to respect his independence: to let him make his own choices and to let him fulfill his curiosity (within reason–he habitually explores places or situations that he probably shouldn’t).
2.) To talk with him, to be honest and intelligent, and to keep the conversation going. Double points if you’re interested in scientific pursuits, but Lennox can talk about anything provided the company is at ease and informed.
3.) Loyalty and companionship.
4.) Working with him at something interesting or important, some investigation, research, or chemical experiment. Lennox prefers to work with a companion and appreciates anyone willing to share his interests.
5). And to accept him as he is, not try to pressure him or fit him into a mold (or abandon him because he doesn’t fit)
Anybody care to guess his MBTI personality type now?
6.) Describe a typical outfit for him from top to bottom. This honestly depends on whether he is with his grandfather in London society or by himself. In social situations, he will be dressed like a Victorian gentleman in the appropriate shade of black or brown, with accessories of hat, gloves, and cane. (Which he does not like to carry around.) In the privacy of his home, Lennox doesn’t give a rip about correct social attire and dresses way below his station in whatever is comfortable. Some of these outfits are out-of-date or a little shabby, and he discards his coat and rolls up his sleeves whenever possible.
7.) What’s his favorite type of weather? Sunny, but cool, afternoons. Perfect for taking a walk or sitting outside with friends.
8.) What’s the worst fight he’s ever been in? Before the story starts, you mean? *rubs hands evilly* He was a student at Cambridge, and older students thought he was the never-put-up-a-fight type and ordered him around. Lennox complied when he could and refused when the demands interfered with his studies. Matters finally came to a crisis; the bullies demanded that Lennox do X instead of show up to the lecture on time. Lennox refused, and the bullies threatened to make his life miserable if he didn’t obey. Lennox pointed out they already had by their demands, and one bully punched him. And then abruptly discovered that Lennox was perfectly capable of fighting back. All parties involved got into trouble for the fight–but Lennox had no more trouble with those idiots for the rest of the term.
9.) What names or nicknames has he been called throughout his life? He is called by his surname by colleagues at Cambridge, and his his family calls him by his Christian name. He doesn’t have any nicknames.
10.) What makes his heart feel alive? Figuring out the answers to a problem. Being neck-deep in experiments and research. Deep conversation with a friend. Exploring and discovering. Trying new things.
And his personality type is ENFP, though unlike the stereotype, he can sit still and focus on things that don’t interest him. He was fully prepared to work for his living under his own discipline and industry. And even his own explorations and interests benefit from order every now and then.