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Character Sketch-Mehitable Munch

This is a profile of the protagonist from a book I am working on. It is my pleasure to introduce you to Mehitable. You can get an idea where her story is going from reading about her below:

Name: Mehitable is a name from long ago and it is seldom encountered in the 21st century; Munch is Norwegian; she has ancient Viking ancestry

Transformational significant event/(s): A tragic fire; a magic shawl; and a magnificent destiny

Family: Mehitable is the oldest of six children; her parents are one of the founding families of a small, Vermont town during the Revolutionary War period

 

Relationships: She shares a close bond with her younger brother; she joins her best friend Polly Lewis Sanford and Polly’s husband Reuben Sanford when they move to the Adirondack Mountains and become the founding settlers of another wilderness town; she has a deep connection with farmyard animals, especially sheep

 

Height, weight, and build: Mehitable is 5 foot 5 inches tall; medium build; weighs 110 pounds

 

Eyes, and hair: She has blue eyes; straight, long, dark-brown hair

 

Physical peculiarities, distinguishing features, habits, and/or mannerisms: A strikingly beautiful young woman which becomes less apparent when she retreats into her own world; as the title suggests, she sees ghosts, a phenomenon that increases as she ages; Mehitable turns her head sideways like an inquisitive mutt when she sees an apparition, unless it is an evil spirit; her best friend, Polly comes to understand when it is happening; when Mehitable sees an evil spirit it is obvious―she tenses in fear, shakes like she is shivering, and people who witness her at such times conclude she is crazy

Clothing: Initially she dresses like young women of her time; very utilitarian clothing subsequently; after the fire she cares little about her appearance except for her hair―a throwback to earlier times, she continues to brush her hair and keep it looking pretty out of habit; “magic” shawls will come later; she spends an enormous amount of time spinning, and making materials which become fine clothing for others

Voice: Initially she is rather outgoing and gregarious; after the tragedy she is very withdrawn except with her best friend Polly, and sometimes with Polly’s husband Rueben; Only when she is with Polly and Reuben she behaves like a beloved aunt among family; After the tragedy her voice becomes mostly internal; she sings beautifully for her friends and their family; she reads Shakespeare to her beloved farm animals

Core needs: Not to live inside a house where she might be burned alive like her family; to avoid interactions with townspeople and the community, especially a judgmental neighbor woman and three vulgar brothers who work for Reuben Sanford; to rid the world of mice

Vital secret: She sees ghosts

Wants, needs, desires, motivation, and ambition: Peace from the spirits; poetry; music; work; farm animals; she is aware of an empty place within the core of her being that needs to be filled… an incompletion that needs completing; always in pursuit of a good night’s sleep which eludes her

Strongest character traits: An immense capacity to endure an extremely heavy weight and maintain positivity despite living a lonely life; hard working; animal lover; can hunt small game; survival skills; hums herself to happiness; a good, dutiful friend

Weakest character traits: Haunted; fear of ghosts; fear of mice; sleep deprivation; she goes wild; doesn’t care what people think about her; withdraws from society

Education: A one room schoolhouse in a frontier town

Religion: Methodist, before she goes feral; remains influenced by Christianity without attending church… at least peripherally

What does the character do when alone: (which is most of the time) hunts mice; makes yarn; weaves; tends farm animals; brushes the shine into her long hair; makes clothes for others; reads poetry; sings songs; makes shawls; wanders in the woods

Will readers like or dislike the character and why: The initial tragedy will draw readers to her; readers will identify with this girl who doesn’t fit in

Romance: Reuben Sanford, her best friend’s husband is interested in Mehitable first, she suggests he pursue Polly instead; she dismisses the possibility of knowing romance

 

Nemeses: The arsonist, killed in the tragic fire haunts her as an evil spirit; judgmental townspeople; mice

Epiphanies: Mehitable can live among the spirits and the physical world at the same time; she is connected to humanity

Conflicts: Woman versus evil spirit; woman apart from society; the challenges of life on the edge of the wilderness