Stephanie writes young adult contemporary novels and is the creator of GoTeenWriters.com. Her novels include The Reinvention of Skylar Hoyt series (Revell) and the soon-to-be-released The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet (Playlist). You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and check out samples of her work on her author website.
I'm fascinated by the ways people perceive themselves. Sometimes people have a really good grasp on who they are. They know their strengths and flaws, and they don't mind talking about either.
I also know people who pour tons of energy into building an image they can project, that they seem to buy into as well. Like coworkers I had at my old office, who knew how to appear busy and hard-working, and who even seemed to fool themselves.
And then I know people who, for various reasons, don't see themselves clearly at all. I've had friends who will tell me they're horrible at entertaining when they regularly throw the best parties. Or like my sister-in-law who tells me she's horrible with kids...then spends an hour playing hide-and-seek with my children, who completely adore her.
What about your characters? How would they describe his or herself in one word or phrase? Do they see themselves clearly or no?
My new book, The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet, releases in one week. (You can get a little preview and read the first chapter on my website.) Here are a few words and phrases my characters would use to describe who they are at the start of the story:
Ellie: InvisibleOver the course of a story, your characters' word or phrase should be put to the test. Like in The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet, Ellie will have times where she'll feel invisible, times when she wishes she were invisible, times when she has to admit she's not invisible, etc.
Palmer: In control.
Chase: Bad news.
Lucy: The life of the party.
Bianca: Second best.
With a villain or antagonist, sometimes that descriptor doesn't get revealed until the end, when they let it slip and the reader gets a great moment of clarity and understanding.
Try picking a handful of your characters and listing how they would describe who they are. If you feel like it, share your list below!