Today I’m participating in Beautiful People, a monthly linkup about WRITING hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In! One of my goals for 2016 is to slowly but surely become more comfortable sharing and talking about my writing with others, and one of the ways I intend to do that is by participating in this linkup every month!
February’s theme is, of course, Valentine’s Day! HOORAY FOR SHIPPING. I’m going to answer the following questions with Gwen & Morgan, the couple from my zombie short story, in mind. You can find out more about that story here, if you’re interested.
And no, I don’t plan to talk about them every month – they’ve just been on my mind a lot lately because I recently finished editing and revising that story so I can include it with the rest of my application for the Irish Writing Program. (I hope to study abroad in Dublin this summer!) Next time, I’ll talk about a different story… I hope to find time to write something new, actually, but if not then I’ll just pick one of my other projects.
Anyway, I’ve rambled on for long enough. Here are my answers, and I hope you enjoy learning more about my characters!
How did they first meet?
Morgan got lost on campus while looking for the dining hall on the first day of her freshman year of college and Gwen, who noticed that she seemed confused, offered to show her around and they ended up eating lunch together.
What were their first impressions of each other?
Gwen thought Morgan was a nerd and kind of dorky, but endearingly so. Morgan was super intimidated by Gwen because she was pretty and much, much better at this whole adulting thing – she has her whole life planned out.
I may or may not have based my characters’ reactions to each other on how I think of my crushes and how they (probably) think of me. I’m a total dork and I hide from my crushes because I can’t deal with my feelings.
How long have they been a couple?
They met in August, but they didn’t start dating until Halloween. My story takes place in March, so they’ve been together for about five months. (I had to count the months off on my fingers because I am really, really bad at mental math.)
How committed/loyal are they to each other? Would they break up over a secret or a disagreement? Could stress drive them apart? Would they die for each other?
The short answer: Very, no, no, and yes.
The long answer: They both had to grow up very fast due to the apocalypse, so they’ve been through a lot together and had to figure out what was important to them. So yeah, they’re young, but they’re both pretty sure the other person is “the one.” They’re very loyal to each other, and always have each other’s backs in a fight.
They don’t keep secrets from each other, so that’s not an issue. They don’t really argue, either – instead, they’re more likely to snap at one another due to stress, and that’s how their fights start. Someone will take something the wrong way or roll their eyes or whatever, and then naturally the other person is upset.
And yes, they would definitely die for each other, but they won’t in this story because, as I said, we desperately need more happy F/F. This may be a zombie story, but it’s a zombie story with a hopeful ending. Theoretically, they would totally die protecting each other, but it’s not gonna happen BECAUSE REASONS.
List 5 “food quirks” they know about each other. (Ex: how they take their coffee, if they’re allergic to something, etc….and feel free to mention other non-food quirks!)
Five food quirks Gwen knows about Morgan:
- She’s hungry, like, all the time
- She gets cranky when she needs a snack
- She is willing to do anything to get that snack, including killing zombies that happen to be lurking too close to the gas station convenience store
- SHE LOVES CHOCOLATE
- She would marry pasta if she could because she loves it that much
Five food quirks Morgan knows about Gwen:
- She’s a much better cook than Morgan
- Breakfast is her favorite meal of the day
- One of the reasons she’s very good at adulting is that she actually remembers to eat things like fruits and vegetables
- SHE LOVES COFFEE
- One of the things she misses most from before the zombie apocalypse is restaurants, because there aren’t very many open (or even still standing) anymore
Does anyone disapprove of their relationship?
Maybe? I don’t know, I haven’t really thought about this. There are almost certainly people who judge them for being gay, but I haven’t actually explored that in my story or anything because I was trying to write a happy F/F story. (Because there aren’t enough of those and that makes me sad…)
I do think there is a place for homophobia in stories as long as you’re not condoning it, because it’s a daily reality for so many people and to gloss over it would be unrealistic. It’s just not something I included in this particular story, though.
Omgggg, now I want to write a scene where they kick some frat boy’s ass after he harasses him, but A) that’s not really relevant to the rest of my story and B) I’ve kind of already established that Gwen and Morgan, while decent fighters, are by no means outstanding. They can defend themselves from zombies, but that’s not too difficult unless lots and lots of them come at you all at once, because the undead are slow and rotting and not too bright.
(…this is only tangentially relevant, but I based their fighting style on that of Peggy Carter. They’re not nearly as good as her, but the three of them use the same “hit people repeatedly over the head with the nearest heavy object you can find until they collapse” method. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. I would probably fight that way. I own a lot of heavy books… my textbook for Intro to the Short Story is an 1800-page anthology, so I could probably do some damage with that. Or I could swing my backpack full of books at someone and knock them off balance. But I digress.)
What would be an ideal date?
Honestly? Probably anything where they just get to sit for a while and relax and eat a little something and not feel the weight of the world on their shoulders. They’re both only nineteen years old, and their parents are dead and/or missing, and they’ve been on the run without enough food or sleep for the past few months, so I don’t think they’d be picky about dates.
…I think mostly they just need a very long nap. Purely coincidentally, this is also my idea of a perfect date. To all interested parties: Please bring the fluffiest blankets you can find, and I’ll hog all the blankets and make cranky noises if you talk/attempt to cuddle/wake me up. College is exhausting.
What are their personality dynamics? Similar? Contrasting? Do they fight a lot or mesh perfectly?
Contrasting, definitely, but they mesh well. Morgan is a little quieter and more reserved, whereas Gwen is more likely to go up to someone who she doesn’t know well or has never even met before and talk to them. (…before the zombie apocalypse, that is.) They don’t usually fight unless they’re exceptionally tired or stressed out, but even then they both feel guilty about it and make up almost immediately after it happens.
What have been their best and worst moments together as a couple?
Their best moment was seeing each other a lot during winter break, because they live just a few towns apart. They introduced each other to their families and made lots of cookies and ate lots of chocolate and enjoyed the vacation from school.
Their worst moment was when Gwen’s younger brother was killed by zombie and became one himself – they saw him get attacked, but they were too far away to get there in time to save him. I wanted to subvert the trope of fridging female characters, so I killed him off and that’s the main source of their angst. I AM A TINY QUEER FEMINIST WRITER WHO HAS NO TIME FOR YOUR SAD, STEREOTYPICAL F/F WHERE ALL THE WOMEN DIE IN ORDER FOR THE WRITER TO CAUSE MEN EMOTIONAL PAIN.
Where do they see themselves and their relationship in the next few years?
Alive and happy, hopefully. They have no idea what the future will bring – mostly because, let’s face it, I have no idea what the future will bring for them because my story takes place over just a few months. I haven’t thought that far ahead since the far future isn’t a part of my story.
I think it would be nice, though, if the remaining people on this planet eventually made heavily guarded communities that were safe and walled off from the outside world. Maybe Gwen and Morgan would end up there, and not have to worry about zombies for a while.
(And at that point they might want to become parents, so they could adopt one of the many young orphans… oh my god, that’s such a cute idea and now I want to write a sequel! I think I will, actually. I’m so glad I stuck with my goal of doing this linkup every month, because I never would have had that idea were it not for this post.)
What have YOU written and/or revised lately? (Tell me all about your favorite couple from one of your stories!) And feel free to leave a link to your Beautiful People post in the comments section below so I can read it!
P.S. Stay tuned for some BIG WRITING NEWS from me sometime within the next few weeks!