27 June 2016

Character Discussions - Philippe Woodhouse

Welcome to the first character discussions post!  Because this is only the first one, I chose the character from the suggestions in the comments that I personally know best.  As it turns out, she is also the hardest of my characters to work with, so please bear with me. ;)
At the end of this post, you will find her profile -- feel free to click on it to enlarge.

Without further ado, I present . . . Philippe Belle Woodhouse!

As you might have noticed if you either read or skimmed her profile, Philippe Woodhouse is not your model young woman in the 1800s.  But, as in some of the greatest novels of all time, this is what makes her so charming to the reader.  The fact that she isn't a perfect character with angelic morals is what makes her so interesting.
On the other hand, we can't bypass the fact that, inside, Philippe truly does have a kind heart.  She tries so hard to fix life for those around her, but always ends up making the mistake of doing it in a dishonest way.  (Not that she has ever done anything truly bad, but just gets herself into some ugly scrapes.) ;)
Those who know her best, I count five or more of these people in the novel (counting her three sisters) understand that she does have a true heart, but in the place of apparent or ample kindness, an incredibly determined will.  She will flatter and cheat to get her way if only for the good of someone else.

Let me explain.

When the prologue starts, Philippe is eight-years-old.  She literally worships her sisters and loves them more than even she could ever imagine.  When they were split up at ages five, seven, and eight, she looses all contact with them and has no idea if they're even alive.  The novel then skips over seven years after explaining a major occurrence that changed her life, and she is fifteen.  At this point, her personality has really started to develop.  She has discovered the truth about the unfairness of life; that the world can be cruel and beautiful and she feels empty.  She's broken and lost.  She can't live knowing she let her sisters get torn from her.  She can't see the whole picture and she can't escape herself.
When she is finally reunited with them, she feels that her life isn't that bad and it will get better.  Only, it doesn't.  Basically, her reaction to the world is different from how many would react.  She becomes picky, unromantic, vulnerable, and stubborn, and as the eldest of her sisters, she tries desperately to shield herself and her sisters from poverty and starvation.  She sees that the situation is hopeless and so, for the first time in her life, she pretty much gives up using crossness and harshness for a cover for her utter frustration with life. 

At this point, Providence intervenes.  I'm not going to describe her feelings throughout the whole plotline here, but her life now begins to brighten up.  Then, when she meets the young farmer Teddy Winsor, he shows her that just because she had a rotten start to life, it's not the end and that she can change its direction.  The friendless Philippe now has a friend.  But because the beginning of her life has pretty much been destroyed and wrecked by bad luck, now that something good comes her way, she's not quite sure what to do and later rejects his friendship thinking she has done the right thing.

Yes, now our character's life really is in a big tangle.  Sucess! ;)  There's more, but let's not fill this post with too many spoilers. ;)


Thank you for reading this post and for your character suggestions!  I had the best time ever writing this post and I hope you enjoyed reading it just as much.  Don't forget to check out Philippe's two-page plotline through the novels page and please comment below with your thoughts on this character discussion.  Also, stay tuned for upcoming excerpts from her novel, The Woodhouse Girls!


  1. LOVE it!!!
    Super great post, Sophie!
    SOOOO much character development with SOOOO much talent!!

    Amelia xxxxxxxx

    1. Oh my goodness, Milly!! I am so glad. Thank you billions for the extra sweet comment. <3.

  2. Phillipe sounds like so much fun to write! I love the mess you've put her in!;)

    1. Thanks, Emma! Oh boy, she's lots of fun for sure. ;)


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