Friday, October 12, 2012

Character Concept: Senona Merlo

So, I'm not supposed to write my comedic Urban Fantasy at all before November 1st (Oops! I'd forgotten NaNo was approaching before), so I'll be posting some of my planning material instead! Today's example is a character concept for Kalara Dahl's live-in maid (yes, she is very rich), Senona Merlo.

Senona knows that Kalara is a mage, and in exchange for never gossiping about it to anyone, Kalara uses magic to clean, allowing Senona to spend her time however she chooses. She chooses to party. Kalara, rich 19 year old who just moved to NYC, spends her time at home, at formal dinner parties, or lounging in high-class places around Columbia Circle. Her maid, who is 28, stays up late drinking with girlfriends like she's the one in college.

When Senona comes home late, Kalara greets her with a glass of water and the advice that she should go to bed. Kalara spends anywhere between five and thirty minutes on cleaning that would have taken Senona all day, commanding dirt to fly off the floor and into the trashcan, for clothes to shrug themselves clean, and for bathroom grime to crawl into the drains. Senona spends a little time each morning preparing meals, which go in the fridge and freezer for Kalara to eat when she's hungry, then she takes off to go shopping or to zumba, depending on the day.

On nights neither Kalara or Senona are out, they sit in their massive living room and talk like equals, describing to each other their polar-opposite lives.

Do you have any suggestions for personality quirks for Senona? What do you think of her and Kalara's role reversal?


  1. Very fun idea! I love that Kalara wants to have a maid, even though she obviously doesn't need one. Is it just a status thing? Does she do it for appearances? Or does she just want the company?

  2. I think Senona needs a goal (or fear) to make her interesting. A 28yo who just parties, doesn't work - who cares about her. If she previously worked as a maid, she probably worked very hard and lived very cheaply in NYC, struggling to get by. Why is she running away from adulthood?

    Kalara sounds like the sad one. Why'd she move to NY? Must have dealt with some hardship to make her grow up early. But I expect that would also give her a goal beyond hanging out at high class places.

  3. Senona has been Kalara's maid since she was a girl. Kalara's parents own a mansion, so they employ Senona's whole family. When Kalara moved to NYC to attend Columbia University, she asked her dad to take Senona with her, and he agreed. And yes, magistra, she took her for appearances and company.

    Blair, her goal currently is to live life as fully as she can, she has a very "carpe diem" mindset. I suspect when people read her, they will care about her because of her vivaciousness and her caring for others. She's taking a break from adulthood because she was introduced to it too young and in a field she had no interest in.

    Kalara's attending Columbia to get a degree and be ready to join the family business, though that's not what she wants to do. She loves to study the buildings in The City and sketch things, but she hasn't yet admitted to herself that she'd rather get a degree in architecture than business management...