September 22, 2011

Beautiful People - Charlie Bent

“She’s a little thing, isn’t she?”

Tip turned and found the alcove occupied by another man, who was also observing the progress on the Argus. He was dressed smartly—much more smartly than Tip—in a dark blue uniform and off-white gloves, with ruffled blond hair pulled back in the classic queue that had begun to go out of style in America. His voice was lazy with confidence, but on second glance Tip saw that he was no more than a boy, and a boy who barely passed his shoulder in height. Tip raised an eyebrow, half in distaste, half in amusement, and faced the ship again. “Know a lot about ships, do you?” he asked, mocking the boy’s sage way of talking.

“More than you, I imagine,” the boy replied easily, eyelids partially drooped. “You think she’s pretty big, don’t you?”

Georgie and Sky have written up the September edition of their Beautiful People series - something I look forward to every month, in case you couldn't tell. If ignorant as to how this works, you can take a look at the basics here. Last month I did Ethan Prince from my novel Wordcrafter and the month before that I did Justin King, also from Wordcrafter, so now I feel it my duty (or something) to return to the characters of my work-in-progress, The White Sail's Shaking. September's beautiful person will therefore be

charlie bent

1. Does he have any habits, annoying or otherwise?

Charlie is quick to notice deficiencies in others and rarely bites his tongue; he also has a rather colorful vocabulary and, though he tries to curb it, it bursts out when he is particularly angry. When agitated he pulls his cuff or shirt buttons.

2. What is his backstory and how does it affect him now?

Telling his backstory would give away a great deal of the novel, but as for how it affects him, for the most part Charlie tries to ignore it. When it is forced upon him, he tends to sink into depression.

3. How does he show love?

Charlie is neither good at loving nor good at showing it when he does. He does stand by the people he cares about, and though he will abuse them himself, he would gladly tear apart anyone else who speaks ill of them.

4. How competitive is he?

Extremely. Despite his cool exterior Charlie has the hot blood of Southern aristocracy in his veins, and he is jealous in all aspects of his life.

5. What does he think about when nothing else is going on?

Sometimes his past, sometimes complex trigonometry problems, sometimes how to cook a Barbary macaque. It depends.

6. Does he have an accent?

Charlie has a Southern drawl, but he is capable of turning it down, if not completely off.

7. What is his station in life?

This is a difficult question. Charlie has been at sea for four years, two of them as a midshipman; as such he is at the low end of the totem pole, but you would not guess it from his attitude.

8. What do others expect from him?

Another difficult question! I don’t know whether this question refers to daily labor or what, so I’ll try to answer as best I can. Not much is expected of Charlie as a midshipman; his duties vary, and the most that is asked of him is to obey without question, keep out of fights, learn (preferably), and eventually pass for lieutenant (hopefully). His relationship with his family is tenuous at best, so little pressure comes from that quarter. Darkwood is the one who expects most from him, encouraging him to progress and to both recognize and battle his faults. Tip is never quite sure what to expect of him.

9. Where was he born, and when?

A plantation in South Carolina, 18 January, 1789. At the start of the novel in 1802, he is fourteen.

10. How does he feel about people in general?

"How can anyone love a pebble in their shoe?" Ahem, sorry. Charlie is a firm believer in total depravity; he is also a believer in the Imago Dei, but unfortunately he has a more difficult time making that show in his relationships. He says himself that he is not good at thinking the best of people, and he tends to need proof. His hates are quite as fierce as his loves, but in between there is a cold region of simply not caring, into which most of humanity falls.

Charlie nodded, keeping a hand against his nostril. He held out the handkerchief and Tip pulled back in revulsion, exclaiming, “I don’t want it! I’m certainly not going to wash it for you now that you’ve bled all over it.”

Bent twitched a mirthless smile. “You’re such a girl,” he said faintly, balling the handkerchief in his fist.


  1. "...sometimes how to cook a Barbary macaque."

    Nah ha hah. :P

    I like Charlie. He's such a full-blooded character, and while one can't call him a foil, he's a good back to Tip's coin. They are liable to be a bad penny, but they are the two sides of a coin anyway.

  2. Hey, I like that - two sides of a bad penny. I should write that down somewhere; I may have to use it.

    I like Charlie, too. The thought of him not being in the story, not having paraded in and elbowed his way into the position of a main character, is rather frightening. There wouldn't be a story without him, and he's jolly fun to write.

  3. Adamantine is much like that too. Without Rhodri's side of the coin, the story would be worth about as much as plug nickle.

  4. I'm having a hard time not superimposing Hornblower images and accents on your descriptions...but that's my problem, not yours! ;-) It will be fascinating to see how you develop this young man. As always, you pique my interest! :-) <><

  5. There are actually no influences from Hornblower in my characters. That's one reason I have kept clear of most naval fiction - I did not want a Jack Aubrey or Horatio Hornblower character. The image is apparently of two midshipmen from Hornblower, but I've not seen the movie they're from. (You know how hard it is to find good drawings of naval officers?)

    Thanks for commenting, Violamom!

  6. Sounds like someone who would annoy me in real life, but who I would really enjoy reading about. :) Thanks for sharing!

  7. Oh, goodness, he would be a real pain in real life. Tip thinks he's a pain, at any rate! However, confined to the page and my imagination, he's really a dear.

  8. I love Charlie Bent!! And I love you answers to the questions!! I look forward to reading more about him once the book is published.

  9. :) Sounds like a fabulous character! I need to work on my villains and/or unsavory characters. I have too many entirely nice people. :P But Charlie Bent sounds great! ~Rachel

  10. Thanks, you two! Charlie isn't exactly a villain, but he isn't entirely nice, either. But then, I don't think there are many entirely nice people. Everyone has flaws. Charlie just...has a lot of them. In reference to your characters, Rachel, I have really liked the ones in the excerpts you've posted. I was about to say that I hoped you would do another Beautiful People post, but then I looked and lo, you already had!


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.
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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

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