Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Reading Questionnaire for Teenagers - The Results

I took my teen reading questionnaire (which everyone should do!) to my local community college and had some of the kids in the library fill it out. Now I've turned the results into some funky graphs. I'm going to get more questionnaires filled out at a later date, as the school has now closed for the summer holidays.
On another note, but not totally unrelated, I am having second thoughts about my ECP idea, it turns out that a lot of teens like fantasy and mine isn't very fantastical. In fact, the more I think about it, the more boring it becomes. Anyway, enjoy these results first and I will be posting some other ECP plot synopses soon.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Reading Questionnaire for Teenagers

Here is a questionnaire I've come up with as part of some research for my dissertation. It's to see what teenagers are interested in reading. I am planning on going to my old school and handing it out to a couple of students but in the meantime I thought I would post it here and see what you guys are interested in. I would prefer teenagers/young adults to fill this out but if you're older and still want to fill it out try and do so with a teenagers mindset.

So here we go!

Gender: Female     Male


I am a keen reader (choose one)…
Strongly Agree        Agree         Neither Agree or Disagree       Disagree      Strongly Disagree     

Favourite book/book series:

Favourite author:

Favourite genre (choose one):
Action/Adventure     Comedy     Horror     Romance     Mystery     Sci-fi     Supernatural/Paranormal Graphic Novel      Fantasy      Drama     Other (please state)

Least favourite genre (choose one):
Action/Adventure     Comedy     Horror     Romance     Mystery     Sci-fi     Supernatural/Paranormal Graphic Novel      Fantasy      Drama     Other (please state)

How do you decide on what to read?
Book cover     Blurb    Author     Recommended by a friend    Book reputation     Part of series    Saw the film adaptation     Other (please state)

Do you prefer reading books (choose one)…
In First Person (I)    or     Third Person (He/She/They)
In Past Tense     or    Present Tense
With Happy Endings     or    Sad Endings      or      Ambiguous Endings
With Male Protagonist      or     Female Protagonist  

Further Comments…

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Character Profile Sheet - Lenore

Another character profile sheet, this time for my ECP character, Lenore. I find these sheets are great for developing characters and after filling this out I can't wait to write her story. My lecturer has suggested that Mr Usher is too 2D so I was thinking about doing a sheet for him as well to expand upon his character. I want to give him some background and make him more relatable, or at least make the readers understand what he did and why. 

Anyway, less about Mr Usher and more about Lenore. 

Character Profile Sheet

Name: Lenore Corvus
Gender: Female
Date of Birth: 19th of January 1995
Age: 17
Birthplace: Stoke Newington
Nationality: British
Social Class: My mum would probably want us to be middle or even upper but we’re just like most other people, simply working class.

Parents & Siblings Names: My mum’s name is Madeline and my dad’s called Roderick. No siblings.
Family Background: Like I said, I’m a single child. My parents aren’t really into the whole children scene. Sure they love me but they kind of have to. They’re more interested in their jobs. Just because I’m a single child doesn’t make me spoilt or anything. I probably had to work harder to get their attention; I swear sometimes as a kid they even forgot about me while they went off to work. My parents met through their jobs. My mum is a stage actress, well was. She’s not a massive star but she’s perfectly happy where she is. She says she never wants to go into TV or film because she considers them ‘fake and require no talent’.  Whatever.
My dad’s a writer, he writes a column in Curtain Up magazine. He does theatre reviews; see how this is working out? So one day he goes to review one of mum’s shows and it’s love at first sight. Well, according to my parents it is. But you know what parents are like; just make up anything to shut kids up. Anyway, my mum doesn’t do any acting anymore. She’s really ill. She suffers from catalepsy. It’s pretty obscure. It basically means that your muscles go really stiff and you barely breathe. It makes you appear dead. When mum collapsed on stage that’s what everyone thought she was. Dead, I mean. That was the first of her cataleptic attacks. Now all she does is sleep or rest. She’s lost loads of weight and everything. Dad cares for her around the clock. He barely writes any more. I’ve notice that his hair is starting to go grey, a clear sign of stress.
Marital Status: Not married.
Children & Ages: No children.
Pets: Sadly, no. I always wanted a pet. But if I thought my parents didn’t have time for children they certainly don’t have time for animals.

Physical Appearance
Height: Average 5 ft 6in.
Weight: Well, haven’t weighed myself lately but last time I checked it was like 9 stone something. That’s average, right?
Hair Colour: Black like my mum’s. I usually have the fringe clipped back because it always gets in the way no matter how I have it cut or styled. People always think I colour my hair black, that my natural hair colour must be blonde like my dad’s. Not true.
Eye Colour: Light blue like my dad’s. Sometimes I think it makes me look spooky. Dark haired people usually have dark eyes too, not bright blue ones.
Tattoos or Piercings: Nope. Even though my parents don’t pay much attention to me I think they’d flip if I ever got a piercing or tattoo. Maybe not if it was just my ears pierced. But anything else, definitely not.
What do they sound like: What do I sound like? I guess I must have an accent though I’ve never noticed it. But now I’ve moved to the countryside maybe it will become more obvious. You know, a Stoke Newington accent compared to a farmer’s, must sound pretty strange.
Typical Outfit: I’ve never really been into fashion. My mum always says I’m a pain when it comes to clothes shopping. But she’s a complete fashionista. Clothes are practically everything to her, which is a shame because nowadays all she wears is a cotton nighty and dressing gown. If she was more aware of what was happening I’m sure she would be embarrassed to be seen. Anyway, what I wear? Let’s just say I’m your average Topshop or H&M teen – jeans and t-shirts.
What would you find in their pocket/handbag: Well, I only ever use one bag, one I got from Topshop years ago. I probably should get a new one but it’s been so good to me. When I go out I have my purse in there, along with my keys, and phone. I always keep some plasters, paracetamol, lip balm, tissues, and a pen in there, though. Because you never know what could happen while you’re out. That’s quite a mumsy thing to say, isn’t it?
Any Other Info:

Where do they live (City, Countryside): I used to live in the Stoke Newington but we have recently moved to a town called Ravensborough on the edge of Nevermoor, down in the South West. So, basically, the middle of nowhere.
Living Arrangements (House, Shared, Rented): The house we’re living in is rented, and dead cheap, as my dad keeps going on about. It’s a massive creepy manor, The House of Usher. It use to belong to the wealthiest family in Ravensborough but now the only living member lives on the other side of town in a more modern place. Can’t blame him really.
Do they share it with anyone: Just my parents, though it has rooms for like another eight people.
What is their home like: I wouldn’t consider it home just yet. It’s falling apart and totally old. Like I said, can’t blame the Ushers for wanting to get away from it, I would too if I could.
How do they get around: Ravensborough isn’t exactly big, only like two miles across so everything is in walking distance. This is good because I don’t think my dad would give me a lift anywhere any time soon. I don’t think there is any good public transport either; I’ve only seen one bus stop. So I won’t be leaving Ravensborough at all.
Personal Information
Hobbies or Pastimes: I like doing a good crossword or word puzzle. When I’m bored I go to the local newsagents and buy one of those cheap puzzle books. I haven’t been to the newsagents here yet, I hope it’s a good one. I also like the normal stuff, too, like hanging out with friends, going to the cinema, the internet. Though we don’t have an internet connection here yet so I better find a newsagents quickly.
Favourite Films: Tricky, you know? I don’t have a particular favourite right now. I guess, genre wise, I like thrillers and horrors. You know what; my guilty pleasure is actually Paranormal Activity, pretty bad, right? My mum is always annoyed at me for liking films more than her plays. It’s nothing to do with her acting; I just find theatres really dull. I don’t dare tell her that.
Favourite Books: I really like Dan Brown books, particularly Angels & Demons. Films are bit naff though; I don’t see Tom Hanks getting hot babes in real life.
Favourite Album: Music? Girls Aloud, are they still popular? That’s the last album I bought anyway.
Favourite TV Programme: Again, mum doesn’t like TV so we rarely watch it. Though, I did catch that new Sherlock Holmes programme; that was good.
Favourite Sport and Team: Sports? Geez. Don’t get me wrong I know about sports but I’ve never been interested in it. So I’m gonna pass on this one.
Favourite Food: M&Ms, easy. They do count as food, right?
Favourite Drink: Pepsi, not Coke. Controversial.
Favourite Colour: Blue.
Perfect Weekend: I would love to go to the cinema and have a meal out with my parents. But good luck getting my mum to watch a film. It’s not been made any easier now that she’s sick.
Ideal Holiday Destination: Not the countryside that’s for sure. Maybe some European country, I’ve always wanted to go to Prague, don’t know why, it just appeals to me.

Best Point: How can you really say your best point without sounding totally big headed? I’m going to say my forgiving personality…Ha, no. Okay, my patience with my family. That will do.
Worst Point: Dad says I’m too much of a daydreamer. I’m not daydreaming though, just thinking.
Mannerisms: I don’t notice them at all, really. Who does? I bite my nails though, my mum hates it and always makes me wear that nail biting stuff, it tastes gross but I’ve kind of got used to it now.  
Morals: Don’t harm animals, don’t sleep around, and don’t do drugs, the usual junk.
Fears: My mum dying.
What is the thing that worries them most: At the moment, I worry that mum will never get better. Her doctor prescribed fresh air and rest but how can that really help, honestly?
What do they look forward to: Equally, I look forward to when she’s better, for two reasons. Firstly, because I want her to be healthy again. Secondly, so we can move back to the city.
Temperament: I would say that I’m pretty patient, I rarely yell or anything. I can be stroppy at times, but then again, what teenager isn’t?
Have they lost anything important to them: I once lost my favourite teddy bear, Rumple Ted, at a holiday camp, does that count? I’ve been relatively lucky and not lost anything too important. But things can change.
What do they hate most: Right now, this bloody house. I don’t usually get scared but I really can’t stand this house at night. I hear some really weird noises coming from the attic, but when I go up there during the day I can’t see a thing. Not to mention the bizarre mark on my ceiling, I swear it looks just like the shape of a body. It gives me major creeps.
What is most important to them: Naffly, I’m going to say family. It’s all I have. I have no friends or anything in Ravensborough. It’s pretty lonely.
What are their obsessions: Obsessions are for weird people. But I suppose the closest thing I have to an obsession is my love for M&Ms. Mmmm.
Do they have an ambition: I’ve never told anyone about this before but I one day hope to be a critic like my dad. Not a theatre one, I just don’t know what for yet. I would never tell dad though, it’s too gushy. It would be really embarrassing. He’d probably hug me and be proud. Please.
What do they dream about: Lately I don’t dream. I only have nightmares. I blame the house. It’s too spooky. A dream analyser would probably say it’s my inner me worrying about my mum, but I know it’s the house and all the weird noises.
What are their secrets: Apart from the ambition thing, not much. There is nothing that I know that needs to be kept a secret. Well, one time I did steal a packet of sweets, I never told anyone about that. But I was only five or something. That’s understandable.
Do they believe in religion or life after death: I’m leaning more towards ghosts these days. I mean, in this house how can you not? I’m sure there are loads of skeletons in the closet, figuratively and literally.
Do they get on with other people or avoid them: I try to get on with other people. At my old school I had a nice group of friends and I was happy with that. But now it’s going to be awkward. I guess we’ll see if people avoid me or not on Monday, my first day at a new school.
Who do they love: No one, sadly.
Has their heart ever been broken: Nope, is that sad or not?
Do they have a best friend or someone they can confide in: I used to, Annabel Lee, she was best friend at Stoke Newington. But not anymore. Not because we fell out but because I had to move. I still like her but let’s face it, long distance relationships never work out. 
Did they have a happy childhood: Relatively, I think a sibling may have made it better. Overall, I can’t complain. 
What were they like in their childhood: A good, quiet little child. I haven’t really changed much actually.
When were they happiest: I will be happiest when we move away from this Godforsaken place.

Schools attended: I was at Stoke Newington School & Sixth Form. On Monday I will be starting my first day at Manor House College, sounds great. I hope there are no bitchy girls, yet I get the feeling that there probably is. They’re everywhere. It’s a relatively small school, much smaller than my old one, at least. Less than one thousand students probably.
Current year/grade: Just started A-Levels a couple of months ago. I’m studying Biology, English Literature, Psychology, and at my parent’s insistence, Drama.
How well are they doing: Well, I did great at GCSE’s and doing well at Stoke Newington School & Sixth Form, so hopefully that will continue through to my A-Levels at Manor House College, too.
Favourite Subject: English, it has reading, what more could you want?
Most Hated Subject: It used to be physics; I just didn’t get all the formulas and sciency bits. It was mind boggling. Luckily, I don’t have to do it anymore.