Getting Inside a Character’s Head Revisited – Answers with Zita

Getting Inside a Character’s Head Revisited – Answers with Zita

Way in the long ago I did this exercise with Domerin and Catilen. Since I’ve introduced a few more characters since then, I thought it would be fun to revisit. This time we’ll take a closer look at Zita/StarStriker.

Where does your character live? Go with them through the door and tour every room of their abode.
Zita lives in a small, two-story townhouse in a community on the outskirts of Toronto. From the outside, it is nondescript, nearly identical to every other house on the block. The development is tucked into a small patch of green just beyond the reach of the city’s skyscrapers. While the outside is nothing special, the inside is warm and homey, decorated in warm, neutral colors. The door opens onto a tiny foyer with a compact closet for coats and shoes. A narrow hallway leads to a living room decorated with furniture and paintings of bright colors. The TV is set over a fireplace, which is almost always lit during the winter months. Beyond that is a modern kitchen with dining space and a set of glass doors leading to a small backyard. There is no grill in the backyard, but there is a well-maintained garden of brightly colored flowers and a small tree that will someday be a large tree.

The staircase to the second floor can be found in the living room. It is narrow but walled on both sides with a railing lining the far wall. Upstairs are two bedrooms of about equal size and a large bathroom. They are located in a sort of cluster at the top of the stairs so there is no real hallway, with all the living space being devoted to the rooms. There is a small linen closet tucked beside the bathroom. Said bathroom has a sizable tub and shower. Both of the bedrooms are decorated in soothing blues and greens and each has a wide window. The one in Zita’s room looks out onto the back yard, while the other faces the front of the townhouse complex. The bathroom is sandwiched between the two rooms. Zita’s decorating sensibilities are random and somewhat eccentric, but somehow it manages to suit the house. Aside from paintings, statues and masks decorating the house, it is also filled with bookshelves that are overflowing with books.

What is your character’s normal routine? Go with your character for an entire day.
Zita wakes early on weekdays (she sleeps in on weekends and quite enjoys it), showers and prepares for a long day. She commutes to work and so must leave almost two hours before she intends to arrive if she wants to be on time. She works for the Royal Ontario Museum (known to local residence as ‘The ROM’) and spends most of her days there. While she sometimes prepares exhibits and runs tours, most of her time is spent working on archival and preservation of old documents, books and scrolls. She has a small office at the museum, barely larger than a closet, where she spends a portion of every day, preferring not to take her work home with her.

Zita often disappears during her lunch hour to tend tasks unrelated to her work. Usually these things are halfway across the city, but most of the time she makes it back by the end of her break. Her method for dealing with these issues is unorthodox and would be rejected by the average person as ludicrous. Never-the-less, these little interludes are often more important than her job. When she is finished working for the day, she lingers in the city, tending to more strange and abnormal things, often using rooftops and back alleys to traverse between locations, keeping an eye on something particularly important. This work is done from the shadows. She is rarely seen and, when she is, she does not appear as herself.

These other tasks keep Zita in the city until late most nights. When she is finished, she takes the transit back to her little house, eats dinner (if she hasn’t already managed to grab something downtown) and falls into bed to do it all over the next day.

What is the most defining moment in your character’s history?
Nearly a thousand years ago, Zita’s world came undone. Once she lived in a vast empire among the stars. While the civilization thrived and flourished, she worked as a historian, documenting the history of her assigned world, Earth, from her vast library tower overlooking the planet below. She and her sister mingled with the royal families of hundreds of worlds, attending feasts and parties, speaking of the history and culture they had gathered from their post. Her people did the same for thousands of other worlds, cultivating the history of the universe. Until the war came.

Youngest among their kind, Zita and her sister were kept away from the war as long as possible, hidden from the forces that meant to destroy the empire they served. But the tide of battle never turned, and the empire fell. Alone and without guidance, she and her sister stepped from their safe haven into a world torn by chaos. They chased the remains of their civilization across a hundred war-torn worlds but never found another trace of their own kind. Battered and confused, they saw only one way to save their once great empire; they must find the heir to the throne, hidden by the Empress in the final months, and restore her to her tattered throne.

To do this, they descended to Earth, the planet they had watched for so long. Together, they hid themselves among Earth’s people, discarding identities and gaining new ones as the years turned, though they never aged. In all those years, Zita has never forgotten what it was like to watch her life dissolve, to see so many slain by the thirst for greed and power, and it has shaped her actions since her descent to Earth.

How does your character view the world?
Zita views the world through the eyes of an outsider. She strives to understand, rather than judge. She believes that most people are fundamentally good and can be encouraged to do good things. But she knows that believing everyone and everything is good is naive. Zita has seen the darkness that lurks in the world and she believes it must be extinguished before it can cause more harm to the innocent people of the universe. To that end, she has devoted her life.

As always, here are some bonus facts about Zita:
-I’ve mentioned this before, but Zita started as a Sailor Moon Fan Character (Sailor StarStriker), the only one of my Sailor Moon characters to survive into a new incarnation (so far anyway).
-At one point, Zita’s race were supposed to live among the stars, quite literally in the vacuum of space. So she and her sister did not need to breathe. It was a handy little ability for them to have in a world where characters often end up getting choked by the enemy, but I will probably scrap it for future iterations of the story.
-Zita and her sister Nefazia were originally twins, but I have since decided that Nefazia is actually two years older than Zita. This sibling dynamic suits them a lot better than one of twins.
-Zita tends to be very rational, logical and methodical, while her sister tends to be brash and spontaneous.

You can read more about Zita here.

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