Let’s Talk About Juliana!

Hey folks! I feel bad about not having a chapter out today, so let’s do something else! I’m feeling the spirit of Discovering Juliana today, so instead of reading about it, let’s talk about it! Post some comments about how you feel about the story, the characters, and whatever else comes to mind. It’s still Juliana’s day 🙂 I’ll start…

I love the accent I give Juliana in my head, and I wish you all could hear it! Does she have an accent when you read her lines? What does she sound like to you?

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29 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Juliana!”

  • She does have an accent when I hear her–it’s Italian or Mediterranean. It’s always a tough decision, I feel, for a writer to write in dialect. (Also a very old tradition!)

    For me, her accent and developing abilities with this new language she’s learning provide a way for us to see her strength, intelligence, and courage. There’s also the cultural differences, which are at least as foreign to her as the language.

    I have a few favorite aspects of this story. What first drew me in was the narrative voice: there’s a luxury to it, especially in the opening chapters, which makes me feel like curling up with a cup of tea in a spot of sun on the couch. There’s such warmth and care. Having a narrative voice that feels accepting and nurturing opens up a safe place in this story for us to begin to explore challenging characters. Each one of these characters either faces specific challenges or creates them or both! These are not simple characters. And because of the warmth in the narration, I approach each of these characters with love, wanting to understand them, learn more about them, and discover both what they face and what are the secrets of their past. The acceptance of flaws, hurts, and challenges in this story makes it feel so healing to me each time I read it. So far, this is my favorite story of yours–which is saying a lot, for I love all of them!

    • Hmmm…cultural differences! I hadn’t really thought about that much. I should put more emphasis on that. True, we haven’t really heard from her much, but I think I’ve been seeing her as only someone who’s learning a new language. I need to figure out how she’s different from the Humphries.

      You know what’s funny about me and these characters? True, I created them, and I understand them, but I don’t know everything about them! I’m also getting to know them as the story unfolds. Sometimes when I’m writing and I have a rhythm going and the words are just pouring out of me, I’ll write a piece of the dialogue, or a thought, and I’m like, “REALLY?! That’s how you are? Ok!” That happens a lot with Hillary lol.

      • I think the approach you’re taking is right-on perfect. It’s great to let the characters reveal themselves to you–these characters are so strong and deep that they are doing just that. Sometimes the surprises that we get when that happens, like with Hillary, feel so true! With the cultural differences, I don’t think you need to do anything different. The cultural distinctions are already there–and for me, as a reader, they’re working! It seems like you have a good idea of who Juliana is (or she has a good idea of who she is!) so as you go about presenting her, the cultural distinctions become apparent. The chapter in the bar is a great example of this! I’d say just keep going in the same direction, discovering who these characters are as they reveal themselves!

  • So…lovesstorms made me think about Harold and all of his complexity. I think he intimidates even me! I have a plan for him (although it’s incomplete right now), but I still avoid him except to give us some cranky one-liners. Has anyone noticed that? lol

    Questions for writers:
    Have you ever had a character that intimidated you?
    What did you do about it?

  • I’m finished! I love, love, love this story!

    Juliana may feel more at home, but she still has a past that she’ll have to face. Hopefully, she can get some kind of note to her Mama and family to let them know she’s ok.

    Willow Springs is a wonderful place to bring up a family and Juliana. I’m glad Harriet has taken the responsibility. She makes me wish I was more welcoming and open to help outside my comfort zone. With young kids, an almost full-time job, a house, a husband, kid extra-curricular activities, plus aspirations to write, there is never any spare time. However, when the kids are older and can start to take care of themselves, I’ll definitely think back to this. 😀

    I’ve been told I intimidate people. I think I do that with my attitude and sometimes my confidence plus my voice. So, I can see him being intimidating with his voice as well. His whole attitude and crankiness makes you avoid him. Perhaps because happy people would rather not be around grumpy people and vice versa.

    I’m learning about complaining because myself and my co-workers are reading through a book called “A Complaint Free World”. I am a MASSIVE complainer. My mother is one as well. I recognize it, but I’m not sure she does currently. We wear a purple bracelet and EVERY time we voice a complaint, we must switch our bracelet from one hand to another. At the beginning, I have to say, I didn’t notice a lot of complaining. Now, I see it, but I’m almost TOO analytical about it. I probably waste time dissecting the comment.

    The point of the bracelet is to go 21 consecutive days without complaining. Currently, I can’t even get past one. I’m actually pretty good at work, but when I come home, I explode. I’m overwhelmed with work and kids not listening. Most Mom’s will understand that. I’ve learned over time to let some of it go, but I am still a work in progress. lol

    So, again, maybe his cantankerous personality and words make you avoid him. You’re not like that. Personally, I like his one-liners. He makes me laugh and doesn’t intimidate me at all. I’d just want to run over and give him a hug. Or even sit with him awhile, even if there isn’t much talking. Perhaps he just needs someone to listen or distract him. Maybe someone to shut up and just “be” with him. Sometimes I find that more comforting than trying to talk things out. I can be a loner, though, so that could be why.

    My whole Ramsey Wishacy is intimidating to me. I think I got in over my head. I’m not really a writer. I like to tell a story, but I’m not an in depth person, so I struggle. I enjoy telling a story from my point of view, which is why I started the There Goes the Neighborhood. Trying to get into characters heads that are NOT like me, now that’s intimidating. It does broaden my thinking, though, so I enjoy it. When I have time to concentrate and think.

    Honestly, I’d say my current Gen 2 sim is intimidating. I didn’t pick him. My audience did. He’s currently why I haven’t written a chapter in 2 months.

    What am I doing about it? I’m trying to push my way through it. It’s tough, but I’m working on it.

    You are one of my inspirations! I kind of wish I’d have not just started writing and instead took a class first. But, I’m impatient. I just wanted to tell my game story. lol You among so many others inspire me to do a better job….or at least try. 😉 Thanks!

    PS: I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your new website!!!! <3

      • Ha! Y’all know I love the long ones!

        I love Harold’s one-liners too! I would be content to just leave him as being the guy with the one-liners, but I feel like because I went through the trouble of creating a reason for his cantankerousness, he should evolve and show signs of growth just like everyone else. I don’t consider him to be one of the main characters, but he’s definitely a large part of Hillary’s subplot, so he has to do something, acknowledge something…something! I’m probably just scared of getting emotional with it as I can be a sap sometimes lol.

        Girl, you don’t need a class lol. Just write your heart out! 😀 I’m honored to be an inspiration!

        I had a couple Pruett heirs that I wasn’t necessarily intimidated by, but I definitely wasn’t inspired by them and I dreaded writing the story in those times. At first I would just push it to the side and avoid it for a while. But, after a while of doing that and pressuring myself to keep going, some kind of way I would find a way to make them more interesting to me. I remember I didn’t like Lance too much in the beginning. I don’t remember what I did to him, but after a while he grew on me. Then there was his kids. UGH! I didn’t like any of those triplets. They were soooooooo boring to me! Luckily for me, I had the Melody & River saga going on to keep myself entertained, but when they got married, I had to go back home to the triplets…oy. I remember…I told the story of their teenage life in one paragraph LOL. I can’t believe I actually got away with that, but it worked! I guess with legacy stories, you have to be willing to try anything lol.

      • lovesstorms – I adore the long comment you left here! So much to this! So honest and open. I have to tell you that getting through a single day without a complaint is a huge accomplishment, so I hope that you give yourself lots of credit for that. Even to become mindful of every complaint is a huge and very valuable accomplishment!

  • I forgot to answer about her accent amongst my rambling. Hehe. I actually try to imagine an Italian accent, but it always seems to slip to a Spanish kind of accent. lol

    • Spanish…Italian…tomato tomato :-p

      It’s funny…I don’t know Italian (even though Monte Vista is supposed to be in Italy), so I make her speak Spanish whenever she says things in her native tongue. But, her accent in my head isn’t all the way Spanish either lol. I can’t really place where her accent is from. I just know she ain’t from around these parts lol. Juliana’s voice is Juliana’s voice!

  • I’ve had a few characters that intimidated me. Palo Verde definitely did–he was just so different from me. Eventually, I got to know him and love him. The gen 6 girl Sugar Maple could be a little intimidating to me because she is so amazingly accomplished, and I don’t yet understand her sense of humor–but since I knew her from a baby, and because she seems to look up to me (silly thing to say, but true!), I am finding her more inspirational than intimidating. There’s still a lot I don’t know about her. I always find the Goths intimidating–all of them except Alexander. And I’m ridiculously intimidated by Nancy Landgraab. Ok–enough gossip!

    • I definitely struggle with intimidating with those who seem more accomplished. I look like a lazy slob next to them. Hehe. I agree about the Goths! They are all intimidating. I think it might be their looks and money and perhaps attitude.

      I wouldn’t think that was gossip, but I understand what you’re saying. You crack me up! 😉

  • This was a great idea, to talk about Juliana. I pictured her with an Italian or Mediterranean accent because of Monte Vista. It’s so true that it highlighted her strengths as a character as she was a complete outsider in the new community, even to the point of speaking a different language; I thought you wrote those cultural differences purposely; it sounds like it flowed from your inspiration of the characters! At any rate, I love the way CathyTea described wanting to curl up to read this story, how warm and inviting it was. I felt that way, I felt like it was very welcoming and safe (in spite of the truly hard things the characters were dealing with), and then, as I commented before, I had some pretty deep connections to the story through your characters’ world view.

    Jes2G, your description of the way you don’t know everything about Hillary, and as you are writing, you are discovering her, that is so awesome, and kind of funny that it ties in with your title, Discovering Juliana! (Although as I guess is part of the irony of the story, this “lost” girl, Juliana, helps everyone around her find their true selves!) Along with your perfectionism and hard work, I think you must be a very highly intuitive person, Jes, because of the way you describe that inspired process of discovering your characters, and how it all comes together beautifully in your story.

    That’s a really interesting question, about which characters do you feel intimidated by? I guess I would say the characters whose choices I don’t really understand, I struggle to write. If I don’t understand their choices, how can I show what happened in them that helped them arrive at those choices? Unless, of course, they are a character who don’t understand their own choices! In my Sims 2 writing, I was trying to branch out much more with character development, and I am doing that to a smaller extent in my current legacy-style story. However, the legacy-style story is such a huge safety net, like this week, it has been really intense and stressful at work so I pulled back and wrote a simpler post about their aspirations, an area I haven’t really told the readers about. Anyway, the legacy-style story format is giving me permission to explore character development more at my own pace. Funny how everyone agrees (almost everyone!) that the Goths are intimidating. I have limited understanding of what it is like to have that kind of privilege, I guess, and so I was lucky they weren’t central characters and I didn’t feel pressure to write certain things about them.

    Lovesstorms, I totally agree, you don’t need a class, just write — I am so glad you are!

  • I find it really interesting that Juliana speaks Spanish words, but her accent doesn’t seem to be written as an actual Spanish accent. It’s kinda cool, because it makes it seem like her language/accent is something very unique ^_^

    • Oh, well that’s good lol. Spanish is the only language I know well enough to portray accurately. And, as far as the accent goes…well…I’m not very good at it lol. Without writing words phonetically, all my written accents sound the same lol. But you know what’s funny though? In my head, she doesn’t have a Spanish accent either! lol, I don’t know where I think she sounds like she’s from, but I think it’s a pretty cool accent 🙂

  • I just wanted to say, that I’ve been thinking recently about various characters you created. You really have a talent for making even the least important character so intriguing! I find myself often wishing they become main characters too.

      • Jace of course! I’m such a sucker for lovesick… And I’m curious about this Kevin. And I love Harriet’s selflessness. She’s such a good soul. I wish she could help Harold to find joy in his life, but I guess it’s too late for that.

        • We’ll see a lot more of Kevin next season, and a little bit more Jase. Harriett is ALWAYS around lol. We won’t see Harold as much, but I think you’ll enjoy it when you do 🙂

  • I like Harold, Hillary and Jase in that order. I hope Hillary finally gives him a chance but a part of me wishes him for Juliana although I know Kevin is reserved for her. I’m a bit worried about him because he ha clients in Monte Vista. He could be a part of the underground.

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