March 8, 2011

Dramatis Personae - The White Sail's Shaking

Having had such fun doing this the first time with Wordcrafter, I decided to waste time and do it again with The White Sail's Shaking. Fortunately this one was, generally speaking, not so difficult. Again, I do not own these photos (and so on and so forth).

Tip Brighton

The youngest of four sons in a New England family, Tip Brighton had several great misfortunes at birth, the two greatest being that his older brothers obtained all the superlatives - the most genial, the most brilliant, the most dutiful - before he came around, and that he managed to be given the name "Edward." Only his parents, however, call him that, and he goes by Tip with all his acquaintances. The only thing that he has ever really excelled in is the use of his fists, but he is not a bully, for he would lose all self-respect if ever he fought anyone smaller than himself (except Charlie Bent). But even this useful knowledge is not enough to ensure his survival in the strange, brutal world of the Navy, especially with the fellows he finds himself among on the Enterprize. He has a great deal to learn, and that has never been something he does particularly well.

Marta Rais

Marta's father was a British officer and her mother was a Syracusan actress; the two married while he was stationed in the Mediterranean, but they were apart for most of their marriage and Marta rarely saw her father. She lived with her mother in Syracuse, Sicily, for the first sixteen years of her life, and when her mother dies, Marta expects to be taken back to England with her father. He, however, is killed in action and she is left friendless in Sicily, so she means to make it to England in search of relations.

In Gibraltar her life takes a turn after she witnesses a murder and accidentally stows away on the American brig Enterprize - the murderer being one of the Americans. Tip discovers her and, with no chance of getting her back to land and the prospect of battles to come, agrees to help her pose as a British deserter; but between maintaining this fake identity and trying to keep the murderer from discovering what she knows, she is quite out of her depth.

Charlie Bent

Charlie, a fellow midshipman on the Argus and then the Enterprize with Tip, is the youngest of the officers at the age of fourteen; he joined the Navy when he was ten. He hails from South Carolina and, at least in Tip's opinion, is the epitome of Southern culture. He is something of a dandy, extremely arrogant, and quick to snap if you rub him the wrong way, but he also has another side - a boyish, insecure side - and he carries a secret that he would rather not be let out. He and Tip, coming from completely different paradigms, clash on their first meeting, but trouble on the Enterprize throws them into a tenuous alliance.

Joseph Darkwood

Darkwood, who has a heavy strain of Native American blood in his veins, is the oldest of the midshipmen and by rights should be a lieutenant, but for his own reasons has never taken a promotion. He does, however, have something of a "right of seniority" among the four midshipmen on the Enterprize, which comes as much from his quiet, feline nature and reputation of being a crack shot as from his greater experience. He is not quick to like anyone and keeps his own council, but Tip respects him all the same. Despite his formidable character, he is so withdrawn as to prompt the belief that he would have been more at home in the clergy than at sea.


Tip's first encounter with Lewis was even less promising than his first encounter with Charlie; they crossed paths in Tip's Pennsylvanian hometown, where Tip gave Lewis a thrashing for being a bully. That was when Lewis was only a friend of Tip's older brother, however, and he is none too pleased when he finds that they are to be fellow officers on the Mediterranean cruise - especially since Tip is now on foreign territory, and it is Lewis who has the advantage.

But Tip is not the only one to earn Lewis' ill-will, and Lewis has a fine little plan of retaliation for each one of his messmates.

Stephen Decatur

Decatur is one of the few major players in The White Sail's Shaking to also be historical; most of the historical characters, while they play a part, are kept in the background. He commands the brig Enterprize as a lieutenant, but after the burning of the Philadelphia he is promoted to the rank of captain (bypassing that of "master and commander"). In The White Sail's Shaking he is sly, but good-natured and kind to his officers, including the lowly midshipmen. Like Darkwood, Decatur earns Tip's respect, which only serves to make Tip's life more difficult.


Because there always has to be a pet. After this Barbary macaque's mother is shot by one of the American officers, Tip adopts it and is allowed to keep it on the Enterprize so long as it causes no trouble. Charlie, however, is the one who gets to name it, as he has a better knowledge of the history of the Mediterranean than does Tip, and the macaque is thus named after Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus Africanus Numantinus (better known as Scipio Africanus the Younger), the Roman general responsible for defeating and destroying Carthage in the second century B.C. The macaque is extremely attached to Tip, and he insists that its hideous exterior hides a heart of gold.

[Note: All previous warnings apply. In case of forgetfulness, I will reiterate them: I own all of these characters and all things attached to said characters; any use of them is against the law. And remember the "part Sicilian" bit.]


  1. You already know what I think about most of these ... but then this is the first time I've seen your descriptions, and even those by themselves are impressive. Tip looks almost exactly how I'd imagined him (except his hair is lighter); Marta looks as if she's got a good deal more depth to her than meets the eyes; Charlie ... well, he's Charlie. :P Promise me you won't kill him? Please? I think I like Joseph Darkwood already, and Lewis /does/ have sad eyes, but he, like Marta, looks as if there's more to him than one might imagine. HOW did you find Decatur? He IS Decatur. And Scipio is so ugly he's adorable.

    I applaud you, friend o' mine! Wonderful work.

  2. Hey!

    I just saw that you are a Christian author in SC. I also live in SC and was just wondering if you were going to the Carolina Christian Writer's Workshop next week? (

  3. Hi Tessa! I'm afraid I'm not planning on attending the Writer's Workshop; it doesn't fit into my schedule. Thanks for letting me know about it, though, and if I do attend one some other time I'll let you know!


meet the authoress
I am a writer of historical fiction and fantasy, scribbling from my home in the United States. More importantly, I am a Christian, which flavors everything I write. My debut novel, "The Soldier's Cross," was published by Ambassador Intl. in 2010.
find me elsewhere
take my button


Follow by Email

published writings

The Soldier's Cross: Set in the early 15th Century, this is the story of an English girl's journey to find her brother's cross pendant, lost at the Battle of Agincourt, and of her search for peace in the chaotic world of the Middle Ages.
finished writings

Tempus Regina:Hurled back in time and caught in the worlds of ages past, a Victorian woman finds herself called out with the title of the time queen. The death of one legend and the birth of another rest on her shoulders - but far weightier than both is her duty to the brother she left alone in her own era. Querying.
currently writing

Wordcrafter: "One man in a thousand, Solomon says / will stick more close than a brother. / And it's worthwhile seeking him half your days / if you find him before the other." Justin King unwittingly plunges into one such friendship the day he lets a stranger come in from the cold. Wordcount: 124,000 words

Bookmarks In...

Search This Blog