Carol: A Sketchy Character
Character sketches are fun and part of an author’s ‘research’. They may be based on people we know, or they may be total fabrications. Sometimes, we take the best or worst traits of people we know and use them to jump-start our thinking. Then there is CAROL: the character many of you love to hate. Where did she come from and why?
CAROL is a natural antagonist, just like some people we know. Life gave her lemons and she decided to squeeze the sourness onto everything and everyone she knows or comes into contact with during Marta’s story in 84 Ribbons. She has a boulder rather than a chip on her shoulder and tamps down any happiness around her. In 84 Ribbons she sulks at the dinner table, answers in monosyllables, slams the door on Marta, complains about the little girls dancing in the basement and begrudgingly gets Marta ice when she is injured.
What do we know about CAROL from the book? We know she’s a college student who appears to study most evenings, but does she? Is she too lazy to study or struggling to learn or wrapped up in personal turmoil? Has a trauma wrapped her inside it’s darkness? Does she have a terrible family life or a ruthless boyfriend? Was she negative before Marta arrived or, did she become jealous once Marta became the sweetheart of the boarding house? In truth, I do not know. I only know what she told me when I wrote her dialogue and created her mannerism.
Does that surprise you? It surprises me, but I feel enough of her anger and dark moods that I could write about her without developing her personality.
Readers have asked what happened to Carol after the story ends? I’m not certain I know. How did her character come across to you? I’d like to hear what you think happened next for her. I encourage you to share this blog with friends who have read or are reading 84 Ribbons. The more input the better!
NOTE: In a future blog I’ll explore Madame Cosper.