The 5-Part Writing Special, Part 4: Supporting Characters (And Villain!)

7:26 AM

A work in progress really does mean a work in progress, in some cases. Thank heavens "in progress" means that changes can still be made.

Cause, man did I mess that introductory post up. This is what happens when I get super excited, guys, I spoils things. I do it all the time, ask my brothers.  It drives them CRAZY.


As I develop this story further, and in conjunction with some changing personal philosophies, I think I'm going to change up my focus of The White Rose a little.

Instead of focusing on JUST the romance, I really need to focus on the character development between Janina and Ealdread. How Janina matures. How Ealdread lightens up a little. The romance will stay as a subplot, but this thing is getting restructured before it goes to be "officially" written during Camp NaNoWriMo this April.

Which is excellent news for all of my side characters, because that means that instead being relegated to the wings, they get a much larger presence in the story. Which is really good because I dearly love these side characters.

Speaking of which - today is the day that I get to officially reveal them to you!!!

Introduce your side characters, explain what makes them unique, and perhaps include their relationship to the MC.

I'll introduce 7 of the main "side characters" that are in The White Rose. These are the ones that are closest to Janina and bear a lot on her story. (And they are the most developed, *shrug*)

King Ealdread Leofwine: 

Ealdread is the sovereign of the High Kingdom of Aistaraina. He's in his 35th year, and has competed in at least 2-3 other Karala Games before this one. He is one of the very few "bachelor" kings (the first in many generations for Aistaraina, at least) in the "world" that I have. His seal is two swans set in white wax. His temperament is a melancholy phlegmatic.

Ealdread is about 5'10, has rich dark brown hair and gray eyes. He has a muscular and trim build, though that stomach region is threatening to pudge out a little.

Relationship to Janina: At first friend, then good friend, then...well, I think you know already (because I was a bad author and spoiled it all...*facepalm*)

King Reijo Sigurdnir:

Reijo is the sovereign of the High Kingdom of Duventoliel, and married to Carina. He does have a propensity of forgetting his manners at times...a trait that causes great annoyance to his wife and daughters. His seal is a dragon set in silver wax (his sons have the same seal, except that they are set in blue wax), and the livery is set in royal navy with silver dragons. His temperament is a sanguine phlegmatic.

Reijo is 6ft tall, has dirty blond/golden brown hair, and has blue eyes. He has a solid husky build.

Relationship to Janina: Beloved father, and king of her homeland.

Credit: David Revoy

Queen Carina Sigurdnir:

Carina is the queen of Duventoliel, and married to Reijo. She (and Reijo) have 8 children: Eljas, 32, married (Birgetta); Rikhard, 26, married; Orla, 25, married; Leon, 23, single; Tobias, 22, single; Magdalena, 19, single; Alvilda, 16 (almost 17), single; and Janina, 15 (almost 16), single.

She values refinement and deportment a lot and takes her role as role model to the women of Duventoliel very seriously. Carina has dark hair, green hazel eyes, and stands about 5'6. Her birthstone is peridot, a light green gem. Her seal is a rose flower set in red wax, and her standard is a red rose on a light blue field. Her temperatment is a melancholy choleric.

Relationship to Janina: Her dearest mother. 

Princess Magdalena Sigurdnir:

Magdalena, or more commonly known as Magda, is the "villain" of this WIP. She is rather vain, loves more masculine pursuits (she is, in fact, the Patroness of Huntsmen and Grooms for Duventoliel), and despises singleness. The colors red and black are associated with her a lot. Her birthstone is ruby, her standard is a black horse on a red field, and her seal is a horse set in red (and later black) wax. Oh yes, and she has a strange obsession with gloves recently....

Magda is paler than most Duventolians, has alluring dark green eyes, and her mother's dark hair. She stands about 5'6"-5'7". Her temperament is a choleric melancholy.

Relationship to Janina:  Older sister by about 3 1/2 years. Thorn in her side would also be a good relationship title too.....

Princess Alvilda Sigurdnir:

Alvilda is probably the closest character to being Janina's "sidekick". Alvilda is Patroness of Musicians and of the Navy of Duventoliel. One of her favorite hobbies is embroidery and sewing - she, in fact, sewed Janina's first standard banner. She is also a solid book lover. Her seal is an anchor set in dark blue wax, her standard is a dark blue anchor on a gold field. Her birthstone is a sapphire.

Alvilda has dark blue eyes, dark hair, and stands about 5'5". Her temperament is a phlegmatic sanguine.

Relationship to Janina: Older sister by a year, they are best friends, greatest allies as well as sisters.

Prince Karsten Vehiron:

Karsten is the 4th prince of the High Kingdom of Ceberlandon. He is very genial and is set to come to Duventoliel at the time of the Karala Games, but ends up late because of a small skirmish war with the Giants of the North. He is also the first Ceberlandon royal to ever consider a foreign bride.

Karsten is 5'11", has dark brown eyes and hair. His temperament is sanguine phlegmatic.

Relationship to Janina: Rather indirect. He becomes great friends with Ealdread, and has his eyes on a certain favorite sister of hers....

Arnor Ansgar:

Arnor is the son of the arms-keeper of the castle, who has just become a brand new liveryman at the young age of 15. He acts as a courier and bodyguard, and is later assigned to the Princess's Wing upon suggestion by Janina and Alvilda.

Arnor is 5'5", has light brown hair, and browm eyes. His temperament is choleric melancholy.

Relationship to Janina: Childhood playmate, courior and later bodyguard.

File:Medieval weapons (29305184176).jpg
Credit: Thomas Quine
 Besides these side characters, there is also a whole host of foreign soveriegns, nobles, and other Royal siblings and cousins that are mentioned, but not major enough to deserve a spot in this post (at least, at the moment, anyway).

Provide snippets from your WIP for each side character (can include the villain).

King Ealdread:

“May I remind you, Your Majesty, that you are fast approaching your fourth decade of life? And that you have no heir to the throne?”

Ealdread crossed his arms and looked solidly at his aging counselman. “Mmmm, funny, I thought that was still about 5 years away.”

“Five years is not that much time compared to decades, Your Majesty. No Leofwine King, in all the years of the line’s existence, has ever NOT had an heir by this time in his life! Why should you be the first to break such an illustrious tradition?” The counselman opened his arms in exasperation.

Ealdread was tempted to roll his eyes, but refrained. “If you must know, my dear counselman, I have not found a bride that suited me. All of the “eligible” women that you and the council have paraded before me have either been stuck-up, silly, or…..” He paused briefly, gesturing as if to catch the word that was escaping him. “Slinky!”

King Reijo:

“Is everything all right, daughter?”

“Yes, of course, Father.” Janina fingered the medal around her neck, giving her father a clear view of the shimmering ring of amethyst gems on her finger. She saw the relief in her father's eyes as Ealdread spoke up. “The Princess was feeling a little indisposed, your Majesty. I believe it was the shrimp that was the cause.”

King Reijo’s face crumbled inward as he slapped it with his hand. “I knew there was something I had forgotten to mention to the stewards…..” He gave a short sharp exclamation, and immediately regretted it as his daughter pinned him a sharp look. “Forgive me, Janina….it slipped.”

Queen Carina and Princess Magda:

“Where is Alvilda?” Janina asked her mother.

“She is abed this morning. Time of the Moon, I’m afraid.” Queen Carina’s face flickered concern. Alvilda’s Time of the Moon was one of the severest of all the recent generations, often requiring that she take to her bed for several hours for the pain to diminish.

“Odd, she’s early this month, Mother.” Magda forked a piece of perch into her mouth…still with her gloves on.

“She is…but I assure you, she isn’t faking it, Magda. You know your sister better than that, so don’t even think about it.” Queen Carina’s eyes took on a hard edge as she eyed her middle daughter.

Magda’s eyes opened wide with exasperation and she opened her hands. “Mother! Did I give any hint that I suspected her of such?”

The queen eyed Magda. “Considering your recent behavior, my daughter, I was afraid you might have. Forgive me, I seem to have misjudged you.” Seeing the glint in Magda’s eyes, she quickly added, “This time.”

They continued eating in silence.

Princess Alvilda:

“Good morning Alvie!” Janina said softly as she set herself down on the footstool near the bed.

“Janina….I’m so glad you’ve come.” A cheery, though tired, voice emerged from the blanket.

“I heard from Mother of your condition, so I thought I would steal away to cheer you up for a little while.” Seeing the fire low, Janina got up and stuck another log on herself.

“Oh Janina…you’ll get your good dress dirty if you keep tending the fire like that!” Alvilda playfully scolded her. Janina smiled. “Your comfort is much more important than any dress. It can be washed easily. Besides, I don’t see another servant around, unless you’ve got one hiding under the bed!”

The girls laughed as Janina settled herself again. Alvilda grasped her sister’s hand. “I was afraid Magda would steal you away for the whole day and I would be left here in total loneliness!”

Janina laughed. “Even if she had, I would have at least sent a note to you…” Janina broke off and gasped. “Oh, Alvie! That reminds me, Arnor gave me this letter for you.” She retrieved it from her belt and handed it to her mystified sister. “He passed all the Keeper’s tests, and is a full liveryman now!”

“Who, Arnor?” Alvilda placed the letter on the bedspread beside her and kept her attention to her sister’s lighted face. Her letter could wait, besides, Arnor was a favorite of hers too.

Prince Karsten:

Ealdread started taking the chess pieces out of the box. "So, tell me something, Karsten. Does Ceberlandon really allow royals to marry those of common blood?" 

Karsten laughed genially and settled back into his chair at the familiar question. "Everybody got tired to marrying their distant cousins generation after generation. Can't says I blame them either."

Ealdread raised his eyebrows as he lined up the dark game pieces on his side of the board. "Is the noble population of Ceberlandon really that small?" 

Smiling, Karsten shook his head as his hands moved a pawn. "I assure you it isn't small. It is, in fact, quite large. The problem is that so many families have intermarried...." He raised his eyebrows as Ealdread's black bishop captured a white pawn. "That it is become an absolute nightmare to determine whether or not a marriage is canonically sound or not."  


Janina walked down the corridor towards the East wing of the castle. Her mother’s news about Alvilda had surprised Janina, and she wanted to see her sister on other matters anyway.

She almost collided into a medium-height boy as she turned the corner. She jumped back and was surprised to see the son of the arms-master in a new suit of livery and carrying a new guard’s spear.

“Arnor!” Janina exclaimed with joy. “You’ve passed the Keeper’s tests??”

“Yes indeed, Ja-I mean, Princess.” He made his “bow of protocol” in respect to her station. “Though, I may say, Princess, it’s…rather odd, calling you Princess now….” He trailed off as Janina giggled.

“Well, you have royal permission to refer to me by my Christian name, when we are not in the presence of…certain officials.” She smiled at her blue-eyed childhood friend.

“Thank you, Janina.” He bowed again, and turned to go but stopped himself. “Oh! I was to give this correspondence to Princess Alvilda. Have you seen her?” He brings forth a letter from his crisp navy shirt embroidered with a silver dragon.

Janina giggled again. “You are in luck! I was about to go to her quarters. I’ll bring it to her, it will save you a few steps.” She held out her hand, and Arnor placed the letter in it. Thanking her, Arnor bowed and left her.

Which of your side characters is closest to the MC?

As previously mentioned, it is Alvilda. Since Janina was born, Alvilda has always been at her side. She knows ever every quirk, every dislike, every thing possible about Janina. Even her mother doesn't know her as well, I would wager.

How do the good guys work together as a team?

This is going to get complicated, so hold on to your seats!

So Ealdread and Karsten become very good friends (Karsten becomes more of a sidekick/brother figure to Ealdread) so they work together a lot.

Karsten and Alvilda also are a team of themselves. They are working to keep Magda from interfering with Janina and the tournament.

Alvilda and Janina are a team, obviously. Queen Carina is often teamed with them too, especially with the Games prep.

Arnor and Ealdread become allies rather quickly, especially after...certain instances happen.

King Reijo, Queen Carina, and Alvilda are support for Janina when she deals with Magda.

And lastly, Janina and Ealdread become a solid team as they get to know each other.

How do they clash with each other?

Queen Carina is suspicious of King Ealdread. She isn't sure that he is totally honorable when it comes to Janina.

Reijo is a little wary of both Ealdread and Karsten simply because they are looking at his daughters. A normal father thing.

Janina sometimes thinks her mother a little harsh.

Describe your antagonist/villain in 3 words.

Vain. Brash. Impure.

That about sums up Magda.

Why is your villain bad?

Well, the main thing that gets Magda in trouble is that she is discovered to be in a...hem...clandestine relationship with a man. If you get my meaning. Which of course, is a great big no-no in every single decent civilized society.

I mentioned that she despises singleness, right? Well, the nobles are fun suitors and she breaks a heart every few weeks. Oh yeah, one of those girls.

So when she is discovered, with the addition of some damaging evidence from Janina, she is disgraced and stripped from ever becoming a Blue Star. And because of that, well, she has a beef with Janina and wants to see her fall. Because there is nothing worse than having a younger sister usurp you.

Is the villain an “I work alone” sort of person, or the kind who has a ton of minions?

Magda is definitely a person that works alone. Sometimes a "devoted" follower will sometimes run interference for her, but it doesn't happen often.

How does your villain walk and talk?

Being haughty, Magda carries herself high. She looks down at a lot of people in spite of her medium height. She walks stiffly and fast in public, and she sneaks a lot when she is out of company.

Talk? Well, the insolent tone of protested innocence never really leaves her, even when she is in earnest. She has a loud, projecting, and a very clear voice (so no one can mistake her meaning).

What are the villain’s main mannerisms that define him/her?

Well, in addition to the above characteristics, the obsession with the gloves is also attached to her vanity. She always has wanted pale skin, and with her Duventoliel heritage, that's a little rough to come by. She always has some kind of flashy jewelry, and she was the first in many generations to experiment with makeup.

Her mind often wool-gathers (fruitless as it is) and her eye contact is horrible. She is easily charmed by handsome looks and easy-going manners. Her speech can range from being smooth as a cat's to forceful as a pitt bull.

*looks above* I think I need to develop Magda a little better....

And now we have come the end! I now release you dear readers to go check out my fellow collaborators' posts, I know that they are really awesome!! 

What do you think of all my supporting characters? Which one was your favorite? Any comments or critiques would be wonderful! Is anyone else doing Camp NaNo? Is April really only about 10 days away??? 

Scribblingly yours, 


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  1. This It has so many little things that remind me of fantasy, LotR, historical fiction, King Arthur, and all sorts of things....

    This though ---> Reijo is a little wary of both Ealdread and Karsten simply because they are looking at his daughters. A normal father thing. <---- HAHA, yes!!! I love it!!!

  2. Magda seems like a very interesting villain. I'm really curious to read more.

    And the rest of the characters sound awesome. I really loved reading about Alvilda! She sounds so sweet! I'd love to meet her.

  3. I'm in love with this book. Idk why I haven't been following your posts lately but THIS, WOWZA. I just love every single character's development and their dialogue and the snippets are just so full of life and dialogue and kingdom politics. YOUR WORLD BUILDING LOOKS DARN COOL CATHERINE. This is going to be an amazing book when it works out. (I SO get you with the romance thing, that's why I gave up with The Spirit Girl, I really butchered the whole thing and I lost interest after a while but this is a really redeemed work and one that is def going places) And that passage up there about Alvilda, gotta love that realism xD We girls need to be able to relate to that in some way.

  4. Wow, I love how you broke down your characters so well during the introduction. There seems to be a fine line between introducing your characters to the point that the reader can get a feel for them, and going on a description overload that makes readers bored. You did it ~perfectly~.

    Also, all the little images at the end of each snippet was so well fitting! A++ for aesthetics.

  5. YAY I LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!


  6. Oh. My. Goodness. Those snippets are GOLD. I love love love your style, Catherine! <3

    I already love Janina and Alvilda's close-knit relationship! Really, all your characters sound so intriguing!! And Magda definitely sounds like a villain I'd love to hate. :D

  7. This sounds so INTERESTING! And all the sister stuff! Sister friendship, sister villainy....I LOVE IT ALL!!!!!

  8. This is so detailed! I love it!!!! :D

  9. This all sounds really good, Catherine!! Though, 'tis a shame your villain is called 'Magdalena'--I love that name. :) But, anyway, I am so anticipating the next part!

    1. Oh, I like that! Hmm...does that mean there's hope for Magda's redemption in the story??

    2. Well, I am even more intrigued now!

  10. I like taking focus off the romance and more on character development ;) I also think your villain sounds super unique!

  11. Sounds like a great book! =) When can we read it? ;)

    Micaiah @ Notebooks and Novels

  12. Ooh it's beautiful! All your characters...meep, I love them so already. Noble knights and fair ladies--it doesn't get much better! Alvida's relationship with Janina sounds stellar. And I have a feeling I'll like Arnor.

  13. I love this!!! Your story, characters, EVERYTHING sounds really amazing!!! I love how sophisticated everything looks!!!

  14. Music and the navy is an intriguing combination! And your book is about sister relationships too! *highfives* Although mine don't have quite the friendship Janina and Alvida have...

    ("Time of the Moon" - so many books just ignore that part of female MCs!)
    - Jem Jones


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