Fiction Friday: Meet Ariyanna

   I recently took part in a character deep-dive workshop hosted by the amazing Debbie Burns. This workshop was fan-freaking-tastic and I was impressed with how effective it was in helping me to flesh out one of my characters which in turn allowed me to write scenes for her that are beyond anything I had written for her before.

   I chose Ariyanna (ar-eye-yah-nuh), my story's princess, and co-main character. This girl is everything I am not. Seriously, she is my polar opposite in personality, so she has not been my easiest character to write. Diving deep into who she is made a big difference in my relationship with this character and I understand her enough to do her justice in my novel.

   The first writing challenge of the workshop (which took place after an exercise to find out who the character really is) was to write about what would happen if our character was placed into a room with a group of people they did not know. Now if it were me, I would have a panic attack, but as I said, Ariyanna is so not me. Here is how she handled this situation....

   Ariyanna sat at the royal table staring in wonder at the sights around her. The citi square was resplendent. Twinkling lights were strung from pole to pole and blue and gold banners waved in the soft breeze. The royal gardener had even somehow managed to grow enough flowers to make beautiful bouquets of larkspur, bellflower, and goldenrod to place about the square. It seemed everyone from the citadel had turned up for the party as well as a great number of villagers from both of the neighboring villages. While it was easy to spot the citi dwellers from the village folk by the quality of their clothing, it was obvious everyone had worn their very finest.
   Ariyanna could not help to but to glance down and admire the fine golden embroidery of her own cobalt silk gown. There were so few occasions to wear such finery in these dark times. Nor was there much reason to wear her tiara with its sparkling sapphires. She had been elated to pull it from it's case today and place it atop her honey-colored locks. For the first time in her fifteen years she finally felt like the princess she was, and thrilled at the notion that all eyes were on her.

   Perhaps she shouldn't take such pleasure in the attention she was being shown tonight. The party was, after all, meant to be for all the girls turning fifteen this year and not just for her. But this was her actual birthday, and she was the princess, and if the citizens of Khoya Asa chose to pay homage to her should she not be allowed to enjoy it?
   She had accepted their compliments with humble grace and complemented each and every person in turn. She meant every kind word or gushing praise and felt tremendous joy in meeting them all, speaking with each of them longer perhaps than she should have considering the sheer number of people waiting to speak to her. Having been sheltered away in the castle due to her parent's overprotecting nature, she had grown up feeling incredibly lonely. She had her brother of course, and truly could not complain about her luck in having his loving companionship, but it never quite filled the void that only friends could satisfy.
   The evening was grander than she could possibly have dreamed, Not even the beloved fairy stories she had grown up reading could compare to her own reality in this moment. It was everything she had imagined life as a princess was supposed to be. Oh how she wished it could be like this always.
   Looking out through the crowd she glimpsed a group of high-born citi girls laughing together. In a perfect world she would spend her life amongst them, batting her eyelids and giggling foolishly at boys. But this was not a perfect world, and nights like this were never to be again. Time was running out. The time for the sacrifice was approaching far too quickly. Her heart raced at the thought, and her stomach churned. Suddenly the music started and the dance floor became crowded with people. All those smiling faces and dancing feet made her smile. For tonight at least she would throw aside her worries and celebrate with the people she was born to save.

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