I did the Beautiful People Link-Up for the first time last month (if you didn’t see my August Link-Up, you should check it out here) and really enjoyed participating. It is a monthly link-up hosted by Cait from Paper Fury and Sky from Further Up and Further In where you answer questions about your own book/characters. I talked about the premise of my NaNoWriMo novel “Break Up Buddy” the last time, but let me summarise it here again:
Raeleen broke up with her boyfriend just in time for her best friend and roommate Jemma to announce that she’ll be leaving to work abroad for a year. But Jemma wouldn’t be Rae’s best friend if she didn’t have a plan. She organises a replacement roommate in the shape of Nick Mooney, an aspiring director from England, but neglects to tell Raeleen anything about it. She finds out about it the day of his arrival and is of course not too pleased at first. Yet, after Nick finds out that Jemma left behind a self-help-book titled “Break Up Buddy” he knows exactly what to do to win over his new roommate.
Now on to the questions, which will be answered in order to get to know Raeleen a bit more!
1. They’re in a crisis: who would they really like to see right now?
Jemma! They’ve been friends since High School and if there is something exciting happening she wants to tell her. The same goes for moments of crisis. (Since Jemma is halfway across the planet now, Nick would be Rae’s default choice and if he’s not available then she’d ask her co-worker Lacey.)
2. Are they easy to get along with?
Raeleen is a bit impulsive and stubborn, but she is one of those people that hates confrontation. She will always try to get along with people, even apologise when she hasn’t done anything wrong, just to avoid tension. I think she clashes a bit with overly extroverted people sometimes, because they don’t know how to deal with her personality, but she is generally a likable person.
3. Who was the last person they had a deep conversation with?
At the current point of the story probably Nick. They are still at the getting-to-know-each-other-phase, but they try to make it work as roommates. In order to do that, they know that they have to be open with each other and talk about everything.
4. They’re in the middle of a huge crowd of people: how do they feel?
Raeleen is a bit anxious at first. Crowds make her nervous, but she’s actually really good at talking in front of people. She still doesn’t ever really get used to it though.
5. Do they believe in luck or miracles?
Rae believes in luck, not so much in miracles though.
6. Do they like and get along with their neighbours?
Raeleen and Nick/Jemma don’t really have that many neighbours. They would probably be able to borrow some sugar if necessary, but they don’t exchange more than a friendly “hello” on the hallway.
7. If they could travel anywhere in the world, where would they go?
Rae is a huge Anglophile which is why she’s so jealous at Jemma going to work in the UK and Nick coming from England. She doesn’t really get why he isn’t that homesick, because she would give anything to visit the country.
8. How do they feel about their body?
She’s comfortable with her body. Rae knows that she is not a supermodel, but she’s happy. Still, she more or less tries to blend in rather than stand out.
9. What is the cruelest thing someone has ever said to them? How did they react?
Rae wasn’t exactly part of the popular crowd back in High School and one time she overheard some people talking about her. They said that she was boring, because she always kept talking about the same stuff. It really hurt her, because who wants to be called “boring”? She didn’t confront them, but for a while she set her mind to proving them differently, which didn’t really work all that well but rather made her look desperate. It took her a while though to realise that she wasn’t not boring at all. In fact, Rae can be very enthusiastic about things that interest her, and that field is huge, but those kids back in High School didn’t like the same stuff. They wanted to talk about sports, make-up, fashion or about the latest parties, but those weren’t any interests of Rae. She liked books, blogging and writing. She wanted to learn about different cultures and languages and as soon as she found people with the same interests, they appreciated her ability to go on about one topic for hours.
10. What’s the kindest thing someone has ever said to them? How did they react?
“You are good.” I know it sounds very simple, but when you are insecure about what you’re doing, it makes all the difference. It really struck Rae because it was a teacher who said it during one of the improvisation exercises in her very dreaded debating class. She hated getting up on stage and arguing for her grade, but during a break the teacher came up to her, took her aside and told her that she was good at what she was doing. He said it with an odd intensity, repeating himself and looking her straight in the eyes to really make her understand. First, she blushed and even got a little angry. He only meant well, but somehow she took offense to it. She felt tears welling up and excused herself to go to the bathroom. As the wheels in her brain started turning, she realised that he only meant to build her confidence. He saw in her hesitant behaviour that she could be really good at this. She flunked the next exercise because his encouragement only made her more nervous, but in hindsight, she thought that it was extremely kind of him to single her out and tell her that he believed in her. Usually people just didn’t take the time.
So, that was it for this month. I have continued to edit Break Up Buddy, but it is a slow process. Well, I’d rather do it right and slow than rush through it and don’t actually change a thing. What are your thoughts on Raeleen? Do you think she’s someone you’d like to hear more about?