When I started planning my COVID fiction story ‘Unprecedented Time’, I realised I had overlooked one thing, the characters! I was so focused on this exciting COVID story idea in my mind that I hadn’t thought about how I was going to portray it. I wanted to show the impact of the virus from all angles. I also wanted to provide scientific knowledge, statistics and real-life information about the pandemic. And I wanted the story about COVID to be mysterious, funny and romantic, to have little elements of every genre. So, I came to the conclusion that instead of having one main character, I would need a few. Four to be precise. When it came to giving these characters their personality, without realising it, I attributed them all elements of my own personality. I’ve decided to share these elements of my personality with you now. Here’s how I injected my personality into this coronavirus fiction story:
Character One in Unprecedented Times: Clara
Clara was the first character I created for Unprecedented Times. I accidentally gave her my shy and reserved side. The part of me that hates being centre of attention and much prefers to blend into the background. The bit of me that feels awkward in large crowds and social gatherings, especially formal ones. I’ve never enjoyed having the attention, which is weird considering I started performing (musically) at the age of 10. Just in the choir at first, so it wasn’t too bad. But then I was singing in small groups and a year or two later, once I’d began piano lessons, started solo performances. Those were the worst. All eyes on me, deadly silent, nobody else to share the spotlight. I felt like a goldfish in a bowl with no escape. It was nerve-wrecking. I always did it, and the performances were always fine, as in nothing ever went wrong. But I rarely felt comfortable on stage. After I stopped performing when I was 17, I lost more confidence and my hatred of being the centre of attention got worse. To the point where when I got married, there were only 30 guests (including me and my husband) because I hated the idea of speaking in front of 100+ people.
Like me, she’s also a geek, academically speaking. She’s the kind of girl that came top in her classes, and gave up her lunch breaks to study for extra GCSE’s. Like me, she has a thirst for knowledge, she loves learning and wants to know as much as she can. Unlike me, she’s focused mainly on science, whereas I have a lot of different interests, and a lot to learn! I took 12 GCSE’s and received all C’s and above. I did 4 A’ levels and went onto study a bachelor’s degree in English, Media and Communications. Since, I have gained more certifications. I became an ‘expert trainer, PAT tested and have been first-aid trained (although these have expired now). I completed accounting courses (I worked in invoice finance), a foundation diploma in digital marketing, an advanced diploma in digital marketing, and an advanced diploma in social media marketing. I’m also qualified to teach English as a second language, and have completed some SEN courses.
Character Two in this COVID fiction story: Rosa
Rosa was the second character I created, Clara’s twin sister. Rosa is the flip side of my Clara-like personality. While the Clara part of me quite enjoys being a hermit and hiding away from people. The Rosa side of me loves people. I love being around people, hearing what they have to say. I learn a lot from listening to other people. Not just facts and things we learn about through education. But about people, humanity, and ideas like love and trust. Listening to other people broadens my perspective. This is a quality I inadvertently embedded into Rosa. Like me, she also sees a person or an animal in need and immediately wants to “fix them better”. She personally reacts to things that happen to other people, she worries about and cares for other people. This side of me has grown exponentially since becoming a mother, which was one of the many reasons I decided to make Rosa a mom too.
Although she seems like an extrovert, Rosa likes her comfort zone, she doesn’t welcome change. In many respects, I am the same. I like adventure, I enjoy going places and experiencing new things. But ultimately, I’m a homely girl. At the end of a fantastic holiday, I want nothing more than to come home, see my cats and have a decent cup of tea. Like Rosa, I voted remain during Brexit. Not because I whole-heartedly believed that was the right decision, I didn’t, the facts from both sides were too conflicting. I voted remain because I was worried about Britain’s economy post-Brexit, I was worried about change. Had I have known COVID19 was going to damage the economy so badly anyway, I perhaps wouldn’t have worried so much.
Character Three in this COVID story: Ben
Ben is probably my favourite character and I think this is because he embodies the biggest part of my personality. My love of laughter. My silly, immature brain that hears an inuendo (which it does most days) and has to stop itself from saying “that’s what she said” or “title of your sex tape”. Just the word inuendo makes me giggle internally as I try to stop myself from saying “in-your-endo”. Laughter is the best medicine and a good sense of honour (I think) is the most attractive thing in a person. Ben wasn’t going to be a main character, but his sense of humour made his character too big to be a secondary one. I had to bump him up to a main role.
Ben also has similar tastes to me, from comedies, to music, even to dress sense. I’ve always been the kind of girl that will choose a rock band over a boy band, and I like my comfy ripped jeans, t-shirt and converse trainers. I hate dressing up, I just feel so awkward in a dress and heels. Ben’s taste in things is also a reflection of my geeky nature. His reference to things like Lord of the Rings, came from me. That’s what I watch. I don’t like soaps, or reality TV, I like comedies and things like X-Men. I actually think I was born with geek genes instead of girl ones. I honestly don’t mind.
Character Four in my story about COVID: Dr Vincente/Antonio
Antonio/Dr Vicente (however you feel more comfortable referring to him) was not going to be a main character either, until he took on a life of his own. This man has a brilliant and insightful mind, neither of which I possess. But he does have my naïve approach to life. He meets someone and he WANTS to see the good in them. He wants to trust them and he wants to believe they are good people. And that’s me. Yes, I know there are some royally screwed up, horrid people in this world. But I genuinely believe the good people in this world FAR outweigh the bad. I try to see the good in everyone and I try to understand things from other people’s perspective. In Dr Vincente/Antonio I instilled my positivity, my glass is half full attitude towards life. Like me, he refuses to give up, he cannot break a promise and he thinks pretty much anything, can be seen as beautiful.
Like me, Antonio is also a pensive person. He doesn’t seem to respond immediately all the time. He processes information he’s been given and he tries to approach everything with a rational mind. Unlike me, he is able to do this. Antonio has a calming centre that I was just not born with. He also appreciates the value of love, in the many forms it comes in. He knows that the love he feels for others, their love for him, and the magical memories they make together, are what makes him rich. He appreciates that material possessions mean nothing when there is no one to share them with. And he is not afraid to love. I am not driven by money, or fame. I’m driven by love, and yes, I hear (read) how cheesy that sounds, but I don’t care. A spade, is a spade.
The Maxwell women and their stubbornness.
Clara, Rosa and Maggie all share one particular trait with me too. Their blind stubbornness. Their refusal to give up and accept defeat. Their determination to see everything through to the end. Their drive to do what feels right. All very much me. Once I bought a dimmer switch for my home. My husband (before leaving for work) said “don’t try and install that while I’m gone, you’ll blow yourself up”. My mind said “challenge accepted”. And boy did I take pleasure in showing him how well my dimmer switch worked and how very not-blown-up I was when he got home. I hate being told I can’t do something, or I won’t be able to do something. I don’t like relying on other people, or asking for help. But I love that sense of achievement when I’ve accomplished something for myself, especially when other people said I wouldn’t be able too. So, yes, I am stubborn and independent, to the point of being willing to play with electrics and blow myself up.
Your thoughts on the characters in this coronavirus fiction story
Did you relate to any of my characters? Which one? And why? Who was your favourite character? And your least favourite? I want to hear your thoughts on the characters in this coronavirus fiction story.
Take care, x
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