Beautiful People — Cassandra

17 June 2014

for you i'd bleed myself dry.
coldplay, "yellow"

Let the cheering commence, because Beautiful People is back! After a two year hiatus, Sky and new host Cait are reintroducing this fun meme for writers with a whole new slew of questions in store. And since this month's questionnaire is best suited to a new character, I'm going to use it as a means of introducing you to my planned novella for Anne Elisabeth Stengl's Five Enchanted Roses contest (for more about that, click here). It's no more than a few lines in a Word document at present, but in the meantime, I thought you'd like to meet

cassandra the unseen

1. What is their full name and is there a story behind why they got it?

She was christened Cassandra — no more, no less — at birth, a name that had long been a favorite of her father's, but none have used that title since. Her slaves address her as their revered mistress, and outside the boundaries of her father's home she is known as the Veiled One or the Fourth Gorgon, depending on who you ask.

2. How old are they, and when were they born?

Cassandra is rapidly nearing her twenty-first birthday, a fact that haunts her every waking hour. She knows only that she was born almost twenty one years before the present time, as the actual date was purposely concealed from her.

3. Describe their physical appearance. (Bonus questions: 1. What is their race/nationality/ethnicity? 2. Do you have a picture of them? If so, include it!)

Cassandra is a Cretan by birth. Her frame is slender, but she's quite tall, nearer to six feet than five. This fact makes her self-conscious and she often walks hunched over, even though her slaves and occasionally her father are the only people who see her now. Her hair is long and heavy in its length, curling on the ends and around her face, but otherwise straight. She possesses a relatively dark complexion, and she once claimed several dozen freckles sprinkled over her nose and cheeks, but they faded long ago under the shadow of the indoors. Her Grecian nose gives her great pride; her small hands and long limbs do not.

4. Describe your character's personality first in one word, and then elaborate with a few sentences. 

Desperate.

Her life depends on another human being's choice. She has little control over her own existence, and with each ticking minute that passes, she claws at every chance to live free of time's chains.

5. What theme song(s) fit their personality and story arc? 

A lot of Coldplay songs, believe it or not.

Oh what good is it to live
With nothing left to give
Forget but not forgive
Not loving all you see

Oh the streets you're walking on
A thousand houses long
Well that's where I belong
And you belong with me
Not swallowed in the sea
"swallowed in the sea"

Hold my head inside your hands,
I need someone who understands.
I need someone, someone who hears,
For you, I've waited all these years.

For you, I'd wait 'til kingdom come.
Until my day, my day is done.
And say you'll come, and set me free,
Just say you'll wait, you'll wait for me.
"til kingdom come"

6. Which one of the seven deadly sins describes your character?

Hubris brings Cassandra low on a daily basis. She fights it and goes through occasional bouts of humility only to be snagged by vainglory again. Her pride and arrogance were the qualities that originally bound her to the chains she drags.

7. If they were an element (fire, water, earth, air), which one would they be? 

Fire, by all means. Cassandra bears every earmark: impulsiveness, quick temper, passion, magnetism, and ambition. She hopes her charm will be enough to wear away her sharper edges, but in the quiet confines of her mind, she's not so sure.

8. What is their favorite word? 

Beloved.

9. Who’s one person they really miss? (It could be someone who’s passed away, or someone they’re not close to anymore, or someone who’s moved away.)

Cassandra misses the father she knew before he traded his soul for his life. The father in whose home she still lives is but a walking shadow of his former self; though she despises the shadow, there was a time when she loved the man.

10. What sights, sounds, and smells remind them of that person?

Blood-red pomegranate stains, salt-crusted beards, the smell of a wood fire, the darkest wine, whistling of any kind, and the sound of rocks skimming the surface of the sea.

8 epistles:

  1. Hurrah! You did it. I was waiting for you to do it. (Though, if I recall, you claimed you were going to feature a character from Rifles. Tsk, tsk. ;)) And I like your collage. I'm tempted to post mine now. What say you?

    In regards to the post itself, I think I like this dark, goblet-red story of yours. I'm loving seeing the very different Beauty and the Beast themes we're incorporating into our very different stories. While you are going with the age of twenty-one, I'm focusing more on the sheer reliability of the Rose. But I'm speaking in Code, so I'll shut up.

    And did I ever mention I really like the name Cassandra? (It's so YOU, Lizzy.) ;D

    I like you.

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    1. I've been wanting to write a story with a Greco-Roman influence — and name a character Cassandra, come to think of it — for an awfully long time, so when the opportunity arose, I seized it with both hands. Isn't it fascinating to see how different each story becomes even though they ultimately stem (aha XD) from the same fairy-tale? Yours is so you. I say you should share your own collage as well.

      You may end up beta-reading this story sometime in the fall. I hope it does not disappoint.

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  2. She is very well thought out! Lots of back story planning

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jack! There's still a bit more groundwork to be laid, but in the meantime, I'm glad you like her.

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  3. Oh my!! I am so excited you are joining this contest, dear Elizabeth! With so many friends joining in, the temptation is very high for me to attempt a Beauty and the Beast retelling myself as well. Your participation makes me all the more eager :D.

    I love this beautiful people post and the exciting twist or retelling you are working with - veils, twenty-first birthdays and such. It carries a lot of mystery. Also that, I suppose, your beast is the woman this time is a special twist that I think will be very captivating.

    The little I glimpse of Cassandra makes me think I will really sympathize and care for her. . . All the best with the writing of this story, - by the way, I love that collage! It captures something raw and fragile and beautiful in the images. I am really looking forward to reading your retelling of this classic fairytale, Elizabeth!

    Oh, by the way! my blog turned 3 years old last week, and in celebration I am hosting a fun literary-themed week- long party with tags about book genres and all things literary, and a fun giveaway for cherry-topping. It would be really lovely if you can join in - I think it can prove to be some fun and I would dearly love it if you did :)

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    Replies
    1. Cassandra's an interesting woman — veiled in more ways than one, as I think you recognized — and yet still so red and fierce and alive that she's hard to ignore (or take in large doses). She's not quite three-dimensional yet, but she's getting there, and when I'm ready, I'll share some snippets that I hope will further strike your interest. ^.^ Thank you for your good wishes; Lord willing, you will be able to eventually meet her in full.

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  4. Wow ... I'm intrigued! I would really love to see this whole story played out. Wonderful writing, as usual!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Kelsey! Stick around and you'll probably hear your full of it. ;)

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"Gracious words are like a honeycomb; sweetness to the soul and health to the body." —Proverbs 16:24

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