Guess what? Today, you get a special post because….*Drumroll*…
…It’s the first birthday of my messy work in progress The Stars Fill Infinity. Exactly a year ago, I sat down with a gold notebook I’d received as a birthday present a few days before and I wrote the first words that would eventually lead to the birth of TSFI. They were, very appropriately, Chessy Verde–Main Character ENFJ.
Over the next year, my five words have grown into 200,000+ words, two novels, two and a half outlines and plans for a trilogy (plus a companion novella), plus countless pages of character charts, Beautiful People interviews, blog posts, random (usually discarded and humorous) ideas and a billion and a half sticky notes.
Why yes, I am slightly obsessed.
The truth is, I love this story. I love the characters. I love Chessy and Sapphire, Jean and Quillon, Justice, Zac, Jonas, Rain, Neva, Stasya and the plethora of other characters I brought to life in my writing. I’ve dedicated large amounts of time to this work because I feel it is a work I need and that others need and that God wants me to write.
So, today’s post is a celebration of all things Infinity! And it’s a little bittersweet, and slightly scary, but also exciting. First of all, this is going to be the last post about TSFI for a while.
The reason for that is simply this: I am pursuing publishing with it. While it was so much fun to walk through the first year of this trilogy’s life with you, I am a paranoid human. I don’t necessarily want all the details of these books over the internet. I believe most of humanity is fairly okay, but you never know who might be out to steal your intellectual property 😉
Okay, I don’t really believe that, but I would feel more comfortable working on the editing stage without continually posting stuff about it on here. However, tomorrow I’m doing another special post in order to introduce you to my proposed NaNo novel, which is going to be my main first draft for the foreseeable future. And also, if you ever have questions or just want to check in on how TSFI is going, feel free to ask! I’ll usually be happy to answer 😀
And now that that’s all out of the way! Let’s proceed with the rest of the celebratory post. A few of you asked me to do a post on my characters Myers Briggs Types, so I thought I’d do that and scatter 25 random trivia facts about my novels, characters and everything else TSFI in between each MBTI entry :P.
Let’s get into it!
Chessy Verde // ENFJ // Pretty much from the moment I conceived the idea of Chessy, I knew she was extroverted, but it took me a while to pin down whether she was an ENFP or an ENFJ. Eventually I chose ENFJ, because 16Personalities bills the ENFJ as the “Protagonist” and Chessy fits a lot of the stock characteristics, she’s reliable, loyal, altruistic, warm and exuberant, etc.
Trivia #1: Chessy’s middle name is Mae, Sapphire’s is Analee, Jean’s is Edward, Justice’s is Henrik, Rain’s is Alexa, Neva’s is Rose, Zac’s is Stoner, Quillon’s is James and Adelaide’s is Jane. And yes, all my characters have middle names.
Sapphire Verde // ISFJ // Sapphire was much harder to get than Chessy for some reason. Soon after creating Chessy, I decided I wanted her sister to contrast against her by being much more introverted, more feminine and less of a tomboy. For ages, I deliberated between ISTJ and ISFJ, and I ended up writing her personality on her profile as ISTJ/FJ. However, since writing and editing a novel from her point of view, I’m not sure that she fits either type very well and I’m not sure what I would type her as now. (If you’re into MBTI and have read my book, let me know what you think).
Trivia #2 : Sapphire was named after two little girls I met called Sapphire and I wrote her for all the broken girls I have ever known and ever will know. She’s supposed to remind you that even those seen as “damaged goods” by both the world and the church, are still valuable. More valuable, in fact, than sapphires.
Trivia #3 : Stasya is Russian Orthodox and I’ve found it very interesting researching the fundamental differences between the Orthodox branch of Christianity and the Protestant leanings I have.
Jean Verde // INFJ // Jean fits himself very neatly into most of the INFJ stereotypes. He hates conflict and goes out of his way to avoid it, he’s somewhat of a coward (that’s not necessarily a INFJ stereotype but a result of his desire to avoid confrontation at all costs). He has a very strong moral compass, likes structure and routine, is deeply compassionate and empathetic and spends all day holed up in his study, working on his various artistic pursuits, or in the kitchen cooking, or gardening.
Trivia #4: Jean Verde was named after a character in a sci-fi short story (I give the premise here, who, in turn, was named after Jean Valjean and a character of my own named Spencer Verne.
Trivia #5: 1 Corinthians 13 is the theme passage for TSFI, John 11: 26-27 is for When Infinity is Empty and Hebrews 11 is the theme for The Author of Infinity.
Justice Rift // INTJ // So far, all these characters have been judgers, for some unknown reason. Anyway, Justice is an INTJ and he panders to all the stereotypes, probably on purpose. He appears as a cold, mechanical robot, anti-social, obsessed, has absolutely no room for stupidity or ignorance, and is usually right when it comes to logical things. He has some charisma, though that tends to be associated more with ENTJs, but for the most part, he’s a textbook INTJ.
Trivia #6: Justice is heavily inspired by three different characters: Enjolras, Sherlock Holmes and Prince Albert. Enjolras, because obviously Justice is on the warpath like Enjolras. Sherlock (specifically the BBC series one) because he tends to behave in a similar way. And Prince Albert (again, specifically the BBC version rather than actual real-life Albert) because of the shared unhappy childhoods and the complex relationship with his beloved brother Ernst.
Trivia #7 : Zac was originally supposed to be a Charles Darnay type character, rather than a Sydney Carton one, as he ended up being.
Jonas Oriah // ENFP // Jonas I originally typed as an ENFP, but like Sapphire, he’s changed a lot since his conception. He’s definitely one of those quiet extroverts, but he’s still very much an extrovert. Still he doesn’t really fit into most descriptions of ENFPs I’ve read. So again, I’m not sure what type he actually is (any ideas?).
Trivia #8: Jonas got his name from the ENFP 16Personalities page, which attributed and ENFP quote to Oriah Mountain Dreamer (no idea who that is, but I just looked it up and it seems she’s a writer).
Trivia #9: Money in my novel is named after Australian animals. For example, rab(bit), (e)Mu, (k)Anga(roo), (e)Chidna, (go)Anna, (p)Arrot. I’m extremely original, I know. By the way, current Australian coins do have animals on them, which was part of the inspiration.
Rain Delaney // ESTP // Rain’s probably one of the few characters who’s stayed (mostly) true to my original idea of her. ESTPs have a reputation for being action-orientated and problem solvers. They also like adrenaline and can be kind of rash. It’s hard to find lists of ESTP stereotypes, but Rain embodies the ones I have found very well.
Trivia #10: Rain was one of the first character to come into my head. Along with Maria Caderousse, both of them being inspired by pictures which you can find on my TSFI Pinterest page (bonus points if you can work out which pictures without me telling you!)
Trivia #11 : It took me approximately six weeks to write the first draft of TSFI and approximately three weeks to write the first draft of When Infinity is Empty.
Augustine Quillon // ISFP // Now, my minor characters (of which Quillon was one) were typed at random, so ISFP was a label I just slapped on Quillon’s name. But it suits him perfectly. He’s artistic, loves literature, is adverse to conflict, is fun-loving and loves nothing better than making people laugh. He’s happy-go-lucky, but also serious. The ISFP stereotypes conflict with each other, often wildly, but Quillon fits a lot of them.
Trivia #12: Quillon’s name was adapted from Quillan (and is actually spelt Quillan in the original notebook), which is an Irish name meaning “Cub”. A quillon is also part of a sword hilt.
Trivia #13 : For those of you who are desperately wanting to know what Waif’s real name is, you may wonder no more. His name is Thomas Buchanan.
Sean Darcy // ESTJ // I guess Sean still falls fairly neatly into ESTJ (extremely unhealthy, unbalanced ESTJ). While ESTJs are supposed to be loyal, patient and reliable, this translates in Sean as being stubborn, cunning and very patient. They enjoy creating order, but Sean micromanages everything, he’s strong-willed, dedicated, and basically every virtue gone wrong.
Trivia #14: Sean Darcy isn’t his real name, but his real name won’t be included here because that would mean spoilers.
Trivia #15 : At different times I’ve had ideas for follow up books to the series, including: A Great Expectations retelling focussing on Kai, a Jane Eyre retelling set in the same world but dealing with different characters, a Little Dorrit retelling, an Oliver Twist retelling dealing with Waif and Rain and set before TSFI and a The Secret Garden retelling. I don’t know how likely any of these are to happen, but who knows?
Zac Stoner // ENTP // ENTPs are famous for playing the devil’s advocate and that’s exactly what Zac likes doing, though there aren’t many examples of him doing that in the novels. He’s knowledgeable, quick-thinking, analytical, charismatic (as viewed by the fact that absolutely everyone who’s ever read “his” book names him as their favourite character. And even Chessy takes her eyes off Justice long enough to give Zac a second glance), energetic, argumentative, disliking practical things. Yep, Zac is very, very ENTP.
Trivia #16: Zac was originally called Isaac Stone. He was, I believe, inspired by a character from one of Patrick Carr’s novels, called Errol Stone, who is a young drunkard, inspired to greater things by his rivalry with his “perfect” counterpart.
Trivia #17 : Zac was also originally a handsome conman rather in the vein of Dmitry from Anastasia. He was supposed to attempt to con Chessy into some sort of scheme but end up falling in love with her as he was trying to do that.
Neva Marnee // INFJ // Neva fits many of the same stereotypes as Jean, except that she’s much more tolerant of confrontation, though it doesn’t mean she enjoys it. Also, when she sees the brokenness of the world, she’s spurred into doing something to help relieve it, while Jean prefers to hide away and pretend not to see.
Trivia #18: In the second book, When Infinity Is Empty, the idea of resurrection is very prevalent. Two characters are actually named for this, Phoenix and Anastasius (meaning “he will rise again”). The name Neva is also a play on Nova (meaning “new”).
Trivia #19 : A briefly considered working title was “Falling Rain”.
Maria Caderousse // ISTJ // Caderousse is very much an ISTJ. She’s practical, fact-orientated, keen on observing things, she’s honest, direct, focussed, strong-willed and motivated mainly by duty and a misguided sense of justice and honour. An ISTJ stereotype is the need to create and maintain order and law, and that’s definitely Caderousse’s main goal in life.
Trivia #20 : My Javert character is a woman rather than a man simply because I saw a picture whilst browsing on Pinterest of a woman in some sort of military uniform, which immediately reminded me of Javert. I pinned it and later used it to inspire Caderousse. Caderousse also shamelessly stole her name from an antagonist in The Count of Monte Cristo.
Theresa Caelan // ENTJ // Theresa was purposefully written as a foil for Justice, so in many ways she’s quite similar. She’s charismatic, drawing loyal followers to her the moment she opens her mouth. She’s a commander, taking charge in any and all situations, she’s efficient, ruthless, cold, inspiring, arrogant, pours all her emotions into some small corner of her heart where she boils them down into concentrated rage…and yeah, there’s Theresa for you. The only stereotype she seems to defy is that of ENTJs being impatient. Theresa is terrifyingly patient.
Trivia #21 : When I started plotting it was my goal to better understand the different types, so I started off with sixteen main characters and all of them had a different type.
Trivia #22: Justice’s blue and white flag of freedom is based on the Eureka flag. Eureka was a brief Australian riot which ended rather similarly to Justice’s revolution.
Malakai-Freedom Verde // ENFP // Malakai is only a wee child currently, but when he’s grown up, he’ll definitely be an ENFP. He just meets all the criteria–buoyant and happy, cheeky, lack of concern for practical matters…and probably slightly conceited as well.
Trivia #23 : Originally, Sapphire had no child, but reading a review of Abigayle Clare’s Martin Hospitality (in which the main character is a homeless young woman with a son), inspired me to give Sapphire a son as well.
Trivia #24 : Chessy’s mother is named Marguerite, and her maiden name was Blakeney, which is a nod to The Scarlet Pimpernel, which the third book is a retelling of.
Trivia #25: Thinking up twenty-five spoiler-free facts is really hard. Okay… let me think…
I thought the similarity between Sydney Carton and Charles Darnay was way too convenient and didn’t make any sense, so I made my two characters cousins, the sons of identical twins, so that it would make more sense and seem less contrived.
A List of Posts I’ve Done About TSFI:
So…That was a long post. Anyway, how are your projects going? What’s the longest you’ve worked on for a project for? Do you have any questions about my novel or my characters? Do you want to know the MBTIs of any of the characters I didn’t have room to mention?