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She is an older woman, in her 50s, and she has a name that you can pronounce in English even though she’s not. As always when I start a new story, I begin with IKEA names. For now, her name is Kallax. I will change/update that as soon as she tells me her real name. They always do, my characters, but they like to keep me waiting.
Kallax, like the vast majority of my MCs (Main Characters), is not a normie. She is an ambulatory wheelchair user due to injury and illness, and she describes herself as neurospicy.
Her family tree is like a big old yew with branches that reach for the sky and roots as old as times. Kallax loves her tree and she’s fiercely proud of it. Especially of its flaws and imperfections. Yews are evergreens and damn near indestructible. There’s beauty in that.
My girl has studied more than anyone needs to, strictly speaking, but not even half as much as she would have liked to. She says she’s knowsy and forever falling into new rabbit holes or revisiting old ones.
Kallax has very strong opinions, but she doesn’t share them as freely as you may believe. She’s tried hard to balance her personal take on things with a (perceived) need to be accommodating.
She likes things that make her feel good. What that is may vary, but it’s probably warm, sweet, cute, fluffy, strong, funny, and likely to scratch her constant curiosity. She dislikes chaos so much she learned to create spaces to withdraw to, and disassociate in, at an early age. People make fun of her for “spacing out” not knowing that’s exactly what she’s doing, because she’s never opened up about it.
Kallax has many hobbies, but telling and listening to stories have always been her main passions. Or passion. She doesn’t really consider them two different hobbies, at least not in the sense buying books and reading them clearly are.
This is a woman who has lived her life in fear and taught/forced herself to do it anyway, just like Astrid Lindgren said. Now her fears are mainly for other people and for running out of time before she’s done. Kallax has very clear boundaries for what she won’t, or really doesn’t want to, do or accept. She doesn’t care much for morals or organised religion as they tend to do more harm than good, but she has a strong faith in something far older than that.
This was the first of nine questions from Uta Hagen’s technique for actors to get to know their characters. I find that it can be a useful tool for writers too. We’ll talk more about that when we have asked Kallax all the questions.