Today I’m jumping in on the Beautiful People Meme hosted by Cait at The Notebook Sisters and Sky at Further Up and Further In. Once a month they ask questions to help us delve further into our characters. Today, I’ll be looking at arguably my most ‘famous’ female Main Character, Aidelle. The sharp-spirited ‘heroine’ of When the Clock Broke, Aidelle provides us with quite a unique look at this NeoVictorian fantasy world, considering that she was born into a falling upper-middle class family, yet managed to snag the love of an eligible bachelor from one of the greatest upper-class families.
“In those days, I encountered general physics and the logic puzzles that my father set for my sisters and me. He did it as practise for administration at the College. The others followed my mother to the letter with her marital ideas. Oh, look what happened to me when I tried to marry!”
1) What is their full name and is there a story behind why they got it?
Aidelle Harre Masters. There’s no fictional story behind her name – her parents simply liked the name, as they had with Aidelle’s older sisters ‘Mariene’, ‘Emilie’, and ‘Sabrine’. In terms of my creation of the name, the fun fact is that Aidelle is a typo of her original name Adielle, and the former stuck to the character far better.
2) How old are they, and when were they born?
In When the Clock Broke, which is set in 2010, Aidelle is 20, meaning she was born in 1990. On the family tree, I still have her birthday cheekily down as the 13th May (that’s my birthday), but I don’t actually want to play a Rowling here. Nevertheless, Aidelle would work as having some May birthday.
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!
Aidelle is a Continentian, which means she lives on the largest (as far as Continentians are concerned) landmass in their world. Her fair skin shows that she has grown up in the middle of The Continent – away from the mountainous regions and strong sunshine of the Uppers. According to legend, she ought to be somewhat descended from Uppers, due to her brown hair – it is described as ‘chocolate’ coloured by her fiancé, but tends towards chestnut during the summer months; doubtless, a recessive or dormant gene has provided some mix of the light hair-pigment of higher class that once lived in the Lower part of The Continent and the ‘pure’ black hair-pigment that shows consistently through inbred Vallente and Costello trees.
4) Describe your character’s personality first in one word, and then elaborate with a few sentences.
Feisty. Okay, it’s a bit cliché, but when I think of Aidelle’s flaws and why she isn’t my favourite character of When the Clock Broke, that word comes to mind. She’s stubborn and self-centred. I can’t help thinking that if she’d had a more subservient personality (as one of the Vallentes wrongly mocks her for in the first chapter), she would have been more open to her fiancé’s decisions.
Then again, she wouldn’t have been as fun to write, and, without her temper, the plot would never have come to be.
5) What theme song(s) fit their personality and story arc?
Difficult question. I always have a hard time fitting music to my fiction, in particular the Time, Stopped Trilogy. I choose Stuck on Repeat by Little Boots for the persistence of Aidelle’s heart and the temporal element of the plot, ie. the timey-wimey. 😉
6) Which one of the seven deadly sins describes your character?
Envy, since Aidelle is prone to bouts of wishing she were as pretty as the upper-classed socialites. She needs to ease off judging herself, but also stop associating her feeling good with others’ appearances and opinions.
7) If they were an element (fire, water, earth, air, spirit [AB: I added this last one, since I believe there are technically five elements]), which one would they be?
A difficult question, since I can see Aidelle possessing traits relevant to several of the elements. If I had to pick a single one, I’m inclined towards fire, for her perchance to erupt in angry bursts. Aidelle’s tried containing her stubbornness, but at times she is still very much concerned with her own opinion over that of others’. On the other hand, like fire she needs oxygen to keep her alive – and without her source, she flounders in a very depressive state.
8) What is their favourite word?
(Keep me from searching my 80-thousand-word manuscript, thank you!) As well as being fashion-orientated, Aidelle is very curious about the universe beyond her world – not the other continents, but the starry sky. She lacks the diction and training of her fiancé’s family and class, but this does not negate her ability to create neologisms. ‘Paradox’ might come close, were her dreams of space not defeated by her dreams of love. So, a favourite word? Possibly something as simple as ‘passion’.
9) Who’s one person they really miss?
Hehe, without question, the answer to this question is her fiancé, Phillip. Without giving away spoilers, unforeseen circumstances provoke a rift between the couple that Aidelle aggravates. She might have had the skill to stop Phillip from leaving, but, instead, she let her anger take hold of her and send him away.
10) What sights, sounds, and smells remind them of that person?
Aidelle tends to associate the hum of Phillip’s cologne with a sunset – that warmth in ambers and golds as the sun disappears into the ocean. When he’s gone, at first she focuses on the physical attraction that’s missing: things like the particular shape of a chair or the colour of another’s eyes remind her of his appearance. Later, as Aidelle begins to think through what she can do to win him back, her mind strays from her own physical work to the way Phillip, who gained a philosophy ‘education’ (BA) with an emphasis on meta-physics, would deal with her situation.