The Life Choices Writing Tag

Thank you to Sophie@Sophie’s Corner and Malanie@Malanie Loves Fiction for tagging me in this latest writing activity!  And thank you to Kat Impossible@ Life and Other Disasters for creating this tag!

 

Rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you but also link back to the original post
  • Provide a short description of your WIP/story!
  • This is pretty focused on main characters but don’t hesitate to use several characters for the answers if you want to! (We want to get to know as many of your characters as possible)

 

My Current Novel

 

Justin and Tobakus is the third book in my fantasy romance series.  I still haven’t decided on the name of the series, but I will eventually!  The first book is Theoten and Pyris, and the second is Revillon and Klint.  Each book centers on the couple named in the title, but every couple’s story continues throughout the series.  I introduced the protagonists of Books One and Two already in the Milestones Write Tag and the WIP in GIFs tag, but I’ll give a quick rundown of the main characters again after describing their story universe:

 

This series is set in a future where the society has become LGBT-friendly on the whole; only a minority of folks have some implicit prejudice; for example, parents who are fine with others being queer or trans, but are unhappy if their own children are LGBTQ+.

 

My characters also live in a magical world!  Most of my protagonists are enchanters (Revillon, Klint, Theoten, and Pyris), while some others are spell casters (Justin and Tobakus).  Enchanters and spell casters are both magic users, like sorcerers; but when a spell caster unleashes a spell, they emit magical energy of a specific color, while enchanters don’t release any visible, colored energy.  Some enchanters can conjure up colored lights to pretend to be a spell caster, however.

Spell casting Lucy Heartfilia

In this magical world, there are many different kinds of vocations and careers, but my story focuses on the fighters, savers, and healers.  Fighters protect the country from foreign invaders, savers rescue citizens in need, and healers cure the sick and wounded.  Only fighters get to have a fairy partner, which may imply what the government (and the monarchs) value most.  Fairies, in my story, are winged creatures that look like animals, and they can change size at will.  Fighters ride their fairies while travelling or battling.  In addition to fairies, there are many other magical creatures, such as dragons, unicorns, nymphs, dark spirits, and faeries.  Faeries, unlike fairies, are humanoid and tend to have pointy ears.

 

Interdimensional- and time-travel happen in this universe as well, but most enchanters and spell casters don’t have the magic to transport themselves across timelines or dimensions without the help of someone who can.  The vast majority of living beings reside in the lighter dimension, while dark spirits, including ghouls, live in the darker dimension.  Species from either dimension can travel to the other side, though, provided they know how to.  Justin, for example, is from the lighter dimension, but he occasionally visits the darker dimension.

 

The Characters

 

Here is a quick description of the MCs in the previous books, before I jump to the leads in the third book.

 

Theoten is a 21-year-old gay trans boy, with black hair, grey eyes, and is of medium height.  He’s sweet, strong, and highly protective of his friends and his partner Pyris.  Theo is generally a frank and direct person, but sometimes he tries to be more tactful and sensitive.  He is a fighter and his fairy partner is called Killion.

 

Pyris (pronounced “peer-ris”) can be a bit cynical and rejecting sometimes, as well as lacking in self-esteem.  But he adores his partner Theo, and is very supportive and encouraging towards him.  Pyris is also 21, with black hair, brown eyes, and he is short and cute.  Pyris is a gay cis boy.  He is a saver, but unlike all my other main characters, he doesn’t enjoy his job.

 

Revillon (pronounced “Reh-vee-on”) is 18, with reddish-brown hair and amber eyes; fae is the same height as Theo.  Revy goes by the pronouns fae, faer, faers, faerself, and is an androphilic nonbinary transgender person.  Fae is adorable, full of youthful energy and optimism, though fae can be snappish and impatient too.  Revy does not know for sure whether fae loves Klint (faer love interest) romantically, but fae clearly feels physical and some intense emotional attraction towards him.  Revy is willing to try out a relationship with Klint, however.  Revy was a healer once, but fae had found that boring.  Fae is much happier with faer present job as a saver.

 

Klint is Theo’s ex-partner, and most believe that Klint is a psychopath.  It’s true that he’s often cold, detached, and unsympathetic, but is he as heartless as he looks?  Klint is a gay cis guy, aged 24, with red hair and dark grey eyes.  He is slightly taller than average.  Klint is a fighter with a fairy named Tiger.  Despite how much bad blood there is between Klint and Theo, they share a love for their career as fighters.  Contrary to what you might expect, Klint actually still likes Theo as a person, but romantically, Klint loves Revillon now.

 

Now to introduce the third book’s protagonists!

Justin

Justin has light brown hair, green eyes, and he’s rather tall.  He is 19 and a gay cis boy.  Justin is exceptional in his magical abilities and many other skills, thanks to being forced to fend for himself at an early age (more on this later), and being laser focused on developing his magic.  He is also a social isolate, as he has virtually no friends, though he does meet up with his business partners and allies.  Justin’s only friends are Revy and Tobakus; Justin sees Klint as both an ally and an enemy.

 

Personality-wise, Justin appears to be friendly, calm, and polite.  But Tobakus knows that Justin is concealing intense feelings underneath.  Justin feels a fervent physical attraction towards Tobakus, and even though Justin doesn’t want to admit it, he’s growing emotionally attached to Tobakus too.

 

My impression of Justin’s personality:

Edited Justin Composite

Tobakus

Tobakus is also a gay cis boy, aged 25, even taller than Justin, with black hair and stormy eyes.  He gives off a sense of destruction and devastation.  Tobakus is in fact half spell caster, half ghoul.  His mom, a ghoul named Berrilae, had a sexual fling with his spell caster father.  But she grew sick of how “needy” this spell caster became, and so when she discovered that she was pregnant with his baby, she erased her sexual partner’s memories of her, and returned to the darker dimension to give birth to Tobakus.  Tobakus has no idea who his spell caster father is, and Berrilae has no interest in telling her son very much about his father.

 

At the mention of my father, my mom frowned and glared at me.  “Argh, don’t remind me of that man again.  He was a fun fling, but he was way too much.  I couldn’t stand him anymore.”

Berrilae pissed off.gif

As a person, Tobakus is mischievous, playful, but also surprisingly sensitive when he wants to be.  He enjoys introspection, speculating on other people’s feelings, and even giving out relationship advice.  He is very fond of Justin both on a sexual and an emotional level.

 

My impression of Tobakus’s personality:

Composite Tobakus

For the following questions, I am going to focus on Justin and Tobakus.

 

Where does your main character (MC) live?  Were they born there or did they move to that place?

 

Justin lives in a mansion in the middle of nowhere, though it’s still in the lighter dimension.  He moved here when he saved enough money to buy this mansion.  When Justin was a kid, he lived with his adoptive parents in a much more populated neighborhood.  But he ran away from home because they were abusive parents; plus, he was haunted by his ability to see dark spirits, even when they were invisible.  Most spell casters and enchanters cannot see dark spirits unless the latter choose to be visible.

Honestly how I imagined Justin’s mansion, minus the trees and lightning:

Mansion.gif

Tobakus has always lived in a little house with his mother, in the darker dimension, at the end of a winding, sandy road.  However, to his mother’s displeasure, Tobakus has been staying at Justin’s mansion so often, that it has almost become a second home to Tobakus.

 

Does your MC have a dream career?  What (if anything) stops them from pursuing it?

 

I don’t think either of my protagonists want to be tied down by any one career, but I can talk about activities that they like to do.

 

Tobakus enjoys influencing people, but he doesn’t like to force others to do things.  Instead, he prefers to indirectly sway people’s thoughts and feelings, through gentle persuasion, enticement, “friendly suggestions,” and other ways of nudging people where he wants them to go.

 

Justin likes to be in full control of situations.  He macro-manages and tweaks circumstances and conditions however he wants, but he wouldn’t wish to control or influence people directly.  So if we say that Tobakus likes to deal with people, then Justin likes to deal with situations, conditions, and circumstances.  Justin wants to orchestrate things.

 

Both Tobakus and Justin are already involved in work that contain the things they love to do.  Their jobs are hard to define.

 

Did any of your characters ever go against their parents/ family’s wishes?  How did that change their relationship?

 

Justin’s foster parents were physically abusive, so he ran away from home.  He has not seen them since he was a child.

Peeta runs away.gif

Berrilae isn’t happy that Tobakus is spending so much time with Justin, who is a mortal from the lighter dimension.  She and most other dark spirits believe that it is foolish to become emotionally involved with mortals, let alone romantically involved, though sexual engagements are okay.  Tobakus reassures her that nothing serious is going on between him and Justin.  Tobakus and Justin are still far from becoming lovers, but when they do, Berrilae would be furious; yet, I don’t believe she would ever stop loving her son.

 

If faced with their greatest fear, would your MC try to overcome it or run the other way?

 

At the moment, I’m not sure what Justin’s greatest fear is, but he certainly would not want to be tossed into some world or situation where he feels helpless and out of control.  He probably doesn’t want to fall in love or become vulnerable to anyone either.  When the time comes, I’m sure he will want to run the other way and deny his feelings.

 

Tobakus seems to be fearless, but if I had to hazard a guess, he would be afraid of losing his mom and Justin, and would probably be fearful of meeting his father and discovering that he’s a jerk—a jerk even by dark spirit standards.

Dante Son of Who.gif

Tobakus would confront his fears; he would fight to get Justin and his mother back.  If Justin or Berrilae died, Tobakus would try to get in touch with their dead spirits!  Ghouls are not the same as dead spirits or ghosts, and the darker dimension is not the same as hell, but Tobakus would find a way to see Justin and Berrilae again.

 

And if his father turns out to be a disappointment, Tobakus would confront him too, and try with all his might, cunning, and powers of persuasion to render his father a more decent person.  Decent by dark spirit standards.

 

Did any character have to cut a person out of their life?  Why?

 

Tobakus had to cut out almost all of his friends from his life, and even the few friends he still has, not including Justin, are distant ones.  Tobakus’s friends were disloyal, abandoning and betraying him during times of peril.

Obliviate

Aside from Justin, all his friends were beings from the darker dimension, but still, Tobakus yearns for friends who are sincere and true to him.  Perhaps his desire for loyal and genuine friends springs from his spell caster father, who is a warmer and more sentimental person than Berrilae is.

 

Justin cut his foster parents out of his life, since they were physically abusive.  He has indirectly cut out Revy, his childhood friend, from his life too, as Justin had fled from home and never tried to contact faer again until now, when he is already 19.  As it stands, Justin and Revy’s relationship is nebulous.  Are they still friends?  Are they sort of friends, sort of not?  Not even Revy or Justin could tell you the answer.

 

What is your main character’s biggest regret?

 

Tobakus probably regrets being friends with those ghouls and other dark spirits, as their desertion and betrayal were saddening.  However, a part of him appreciates these experiences, because he’s now more selective in making friends, though maybe too selective, as Justin is the only real friend he has now.  The estranged friends don’t count.

 

I don’t think Justin realizes this, but he secretly regrets not trying to contact Revy after running away.  Aside from his distress over his abusive parents and the “cursed ability” of being able to see invisible dark spirits, Justin was also feeling crushed because Revy did not reciprocate his romantic love.  Maybe life would have been less lonely if he had tried to stay in touch with faer nevertheless, even if things were awkward between them for a while.

 

Which character is most likely going to help a stranger, even if they got nothing out of it in return?

 

Neither Justin nor Tobakus are altruistic or charitable, to tell you the truth.  If they do help a stranger, it means that they perceive a benefit for themselves, even if the reader doesn’t see what they would be gaining.  Theoten and Revy are much more likely to help a stranger without wanting anything in return, because they are generous and warm-hearted people, unlike Justin and Tobakus (sorry, guys, I had to be honest in this tag!)

 

If your character got good/ bad news, who would be the person they first tell?

 

The only person Justin feels close to is Tobakus, even though they’re not “close” friends yet.  So if Justin wants to share the news with anyone at all, he would share it with Tobakus.  Alternatively, Justin would tell the person whom the news relates to first.

Dante and Virgil.gif

As for Tobakus, he might actually tell his mom.  He has an interesting relationship with Berrilae.  They annoy each other, and Tobakus feels that there is no way to please her; yet, they are also close, and Berrilae does not regret giving birth to her son.  There are of course subjects that Tobakus doesn’t want to talk to his mom about, like his sex life.  Justin would be his second confidant, though Tobakus isn’t much of a confider.

 

Bonus: Make an aesthetic for your MC’s life if there had been no obstacles (money, geographical, etc.) and they had everything they wanted.  (It is up to you if you want to explain it or not!)

Justin:

Justin Aesthetic.jpg

Tobakus:

Tobakus Aesthetic.jpg

In case of confusion, the ghost girl here represents his mom, Berrilae, and the male sorcerer here represents his spell caster dad.

 

And there we are!  What do you think of Justin and Tobakus?  Did you like the aesthetics and character compositions for the two heroes?  Do you have any further questions for me?

21 thoughts on “The Life Choices Writing Tag

  1. THE PLOT FOR THIS IS SO AMAZING!!! OH MY GOSH!!! AND I SHIP THEOTEN AND PYRIS SO MUCHHH. I love the diversity, I love the *amazing supportive relationship* and I’m in love with these aesthetics. I would like to formally adopt Justin please and thank you. c:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw!!!! Thank you, Malanie, your enthusiasm is infectious as usual!! ^_^ I love queerness so much, haha. Oh my, this is the first time I actually made aesthetics rather than inserting pictures and hoping they look like an aesthetic, lol. I downloaded and used Gimp to do this. 🙂

      Aw, Theo and Pyris. ^^ Currently, they are the only couple who actually call themselves a couple. Revy and Klint are still dancing around each other, not using labels, and Tobakus and Justin still believe that there’s nothing romantic between them, lol!!

      Yay! That’s good because Justin doesn’t have parents. ^_^ I don’t know if we will ever meet his biological parents, but I would be curious about them. I’m curious about Tobakus’s dad too.

      Thank you again so much for your amazing support!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Sieran!
    Glad that you had the chance to do this tag! I enjoyed reading your answers. It shows that you’ve put a lot of thought into the world building for this series. I like that each book in this series focus on a different couple.
    Tobakus and Justin seem like a sweet couple. Glad to have learned more about your WIP and your characters in this post! Great aesthetics! Hope writing is going well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Haha I’m a pure pantser, so I didn’t plan any of this. Even the world-building comes as I write. XD I didn’t even know what Tobakus’s species was until the start of this book, haha. (Tobakus makes his first appearance near the end of Revillon and Klint.)

      LOL I don’t know if they’re sweet! But they do touch my heart. They both need some solace and companionship in their lives, that’s what I think.

      Yay thanks! This is my first time making proper aesthetics rather than just throwing in images on the post, lol. What program do you use to make aesthetics? I used Gimp.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol wow that’s awesome that you come up with the world-building as you go along. Do you make notes as the world evolves to keep things consistent?
        I use Fotor for aesthetics which is so easy to use! You can choose the layout you like and literally drag and drop photos into the boxes 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s like digging for dinosaur bones. The more I dig (write), the more I discover of the dinosaur skeleton (story world)!

        Oh yeah I note down everything as I go along, haha.

        Cool, I can check out Fotor next time. 🙂 Sorry, my replying speed has gone down again. ^_^”

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I like that each book focuses on one couple but their stories continue throughout the series. I’ve read contemporary books like that and was always glad to see glimpses of the previous couples.
    I really liked the detail with which you answered the questions, because it always proves to me that people have really taken the time to get to know their characters and their backstory, which in my opinion, can help a lot during the writing process. You’ll naturally feel when a decision or action is not in tune with the character’s persona.
    For now I am really intrigued by the relationship between Tobakus and his mother, but I can see the overall story and the couple being very fun to read about as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kat, for the kind words. 😊

      Yes, I read so many contemporary gay romance novel series with that kind of format, haha. But my romances take so long that they have to carry on even after their book is done. 😂

      On getting to know my characters and their backstory, haha, I’m a complete pantser, so I don’t plan anything beforehand. I write according to my intuition, and bit by bit, their backstories, personalities, and other details come out organically! 😀 It’s quite an exciting process of discovery, like unearthing and discovering dinosaur bones. 🙂

      Omg, yeah, I’m intrigued by this mother-son relationship too. Honestly I think Berrilae is my favorite mom I’ve ever written about in my stories; she’s so hilarious to me because she’s a ghoul, so her moral values are so different from human beings’! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am a complete pantser too. I don’t know how plotters do anything, I’d be forever stuck in the planning stage and then bored with teh actual writing of it all.

        I think characters that are different from humanity, but somehow tethered to it are always fascinating. I get why she’d be your favourite mum to write about 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah! It’s intriguing because plotters think the same of us pantsers. 😂😂😂 I might “plan” something, and then scrap 99.9% of the plan, and wonder why I wasted several hours plotting, lol!

        A plotter friend of mine once misunderstood and believed that pantsers can’t finish anything. Lol! I’ve actually finished writing quite a number of books, through pure pantsing. What I take forever on is the editing, but that has nothing to do with my pantsing, haha. It probably has more to do with me spending too much time writing and not enough time editing! After I finish writing this WIP series, I plan to get back to editing the second edition of another novel (I’m very dissatisfied with the first edition, haha.)

        Conversely, a plotter might never finish anything because they may get so bogged down by all the planning, that they don’t manage to write that much. So ultimately it depends on the person rather than how much of a pantser vs plotter they are. I’m more of a writing person than an ideas person, if that makes sense. I enjoy the actual writing and execution more than the process of coming up with ideas. Especially as my ideas pretty much only come to me during the physical act of writing.

        Writing about different species is fascinating indeed. 🙂 Their moral code is probably different, but they still need to be understandable so that readers can relate to and like the characters, haha.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I can totally understand where you are coming from. I only finished one book thus far, but it was also through the pure act of pantsing. It’s also the editing I struggle with. Also, just general time management. I am quite a slow writer and then I get bored or distracted or scenes become hard and I can’t figure out a way to write myself out of it. But in the end, editing is forever my big nemesis.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. One reason why editing takes so long for me, is that I keep finding and fixing plot holes or world-building inconsistencies… That novel I mentioned is a futuristic sci-fi one, which involves a very detailed fictional world, i.e. so many opportunities to see things that don’t seem completely logical, lol. But from experience, the vast majority of plot holes or world-building inconsistencies, are merely because we neglected to mention or explain something. (You know those things that don’t seem to make sense until someone explains it to you?)

        About time management, I just started blogging in April, and wow, it takes so much time that I’ve been reading and writing less than before. So I have to learn to balance blogging with reading and writing fiction. One writer friend suggested writing one or two blog posts a week, but I find even that challenging, because I could typically spend more than ten hours on a single post… Even more if I need to find images and GIFs. (The Life Choices write tag took me about 15 hours. Not sure if that’s unusual.)

        My editing process for my posts is very slow too. I put my document on my Kindle to make it easier for my eyes, edit with the note-taking function on my Kindle, and then type up the edits on my laptop. I repeat this process many more times until I’m finally satisfied with the post. XD Editing typically takes several hours too.

        Thus, though I really, really enjoy blogging, I’m still learning to balance blogging time with writing and reading time, haha.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I usually take about 1 hour to write a blog post if I don’t procrastinate too much. Which I always do.
        With me the struggle is just not knowing what needs fixing and what needs rephrasing in editing. And as for time management, it’s mostly that I need to balance it with offline commitments, like work, family gatherings, etc. But I’ve been doing this whole blog thing for over 5 years, so I am pretty used to it by now.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Oh yeah it’s the summer holidays for me right now, but it’ll be busier for when school rolls around again. 😂😂😂

        But even during the summer, there was a time when I was going to events and friend hang-outs way too often, such that I wasn’t getting enough reading and writing done. So I had to gradually cut down on those events, haha. I know I need a certain amount of in-person social interaction in my life, or else I will actually develop health problems (found this out the hard way), but I don’t want to neglect my personal projects either. So yes, it’s all a balancing act!

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Yes, we will get there! 😀 A friend of mine is super productive, in writing, reading, blogging, exercise, and work-wise. I don’t know how she does it. So I was thinking that maybe I spend too much time talking online… Yet, I really enjoy communicating with others, and I find that when we exchange ideas and verbalize our thoughts, we learn so much! (Often we don’t even realize some things until we put them into words. It’s like pulling out thoughts and ideas from our subconscious into the world outside.) So it’s fine to like socializing both online and offline, as long as I don’t talk too much that I do too little of my work, writing, and reading! LOL

        Liked by 1 person

      8. I love socialising online, to the point where I think I may have more friends I frequently talk to on the web than off screen. But sometimes I just really need to talk to someone face to face or call them.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Same here. 😂😂😂 I think part of the reason why, for me, is that online chatting is more convenient. Plus, I’m more eloquent and confident in writing than in speaking. Yet, like you, I need to talk to people IRL as well, again, I learned this the hard way, lol.

        Liked by 1 person

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