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Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | Guess that Character Blogfest

Guess that Character Blogfest

Today is the Guess That Character Blogfest, sponsored by Jen at Unedited. Below you will find a scene from my current WIP — The Caged Graves. The object is for you to guess what my character looks like and post your ideas in the comments. In this scene, Verity Boone has just met her fiancé, Nate McClure, a man she knows only through his letters. The meeting has not gone well, and it’s about to get worse …

Verity had no idea what to talk about now. Every conversational topic she’d chosen had led to disaster. Nate didn’t seem capable of helping. He gazed around as if he might find something by the side of the road to salvage the situation.

She looked too, hoping to find some neutral subject for discourse. “What are those?” she asked, her eyes alighting on an interesting sight in the graveyard. She struck out across the grass to get a closer look. Amidst the tombstones behind the church, there were two odd metal structures that looked like tiny conservatories, without the glass. Verity had never seen anything like them.

“Oh … no … wait a minute, Verity.”

They weren’t conservatories—how could they be? The closer she got, the more they looked like overlarge bird cages.


Strangely large, iron filigree cages, each one about four feet high and—she felt a shiver run through her—six feet long.

“Miss Boone!” he said, quite loudly.

That made her turn around, hearing him revert to a formality they had not used since their third exchange of letters. Letters, she now knew, that his sisters had written or, at least, guided. They had read her responses, Verity realized, and possibly met in committee to decide how Nate would answer each one.

He should go back to calling her Miss Boone. He really had no right to anything else. He should start from scratch and introduce himself all over again.

“Please,” he said, standing on the road and holding out his hand. “I think we should go back.”

He looked so wretched that she would have done what he asked if he’d stopped talking then. But he didn’t. “I’m sorry I brought you here,” he rambled on. “I should have realized you hadn’t seen them yet.”

Verity felt as if her heart dropped straight through her body. He wasn’t apologizing for being a buffoon; he was apologizing for something else entirely. Every part of her went cold. Ignoring Nate’s hand, held out so plaintively, she turned back toward the cemetery.

The cages were six feet long, and outside each one there was a headstone.

She broke into a run, her feet pounding across the grass, her skirt hauled up in both hands.

Iron cages surrounded two graves in this cemetery. With a growing dread born of Nate’s urgency and the sound of him chasing after her, she started for the nearest one—then diverted and ran past it as her eyes made out the shape of the lettering on the farther marker …

In the comments tell me how you picture Verity (or Nate, if you like). Tomorrow, I will reveal pictures of these two characters as I envision them, and share the comments which came closest to my idea. Click HERE to find a list of other participating blogs (over 40!) read some great writing – and meet some fascinating new bloggers!

27 Responses to Guess that Character Blogfest

  1. Lenny says:

    hi miss dianne! youre my first one. this sounds like a scary book.for me when i close my eyes and see verity running cross that graveyard i see shes dressed in a long fluffy skirt and old fashion lace up shoes and a long sleeve low neck shirt. shes got brown hair and its piled up on her head maybe in braids. shes sorta inbetween tall and not fat. shes got real dark brown eyes and shes got really white skin.
    …smiles from lenny

  2. Jen says:

    Yay I’m number 2!!! I’m glad to see Lenny is already starting to make his rounds!!! Okay before I cheat and look at Lenny’s here is my official guess:

    She has wavy dark brown hair, a little past the shoulders, bright green eyes, quite pale and her build is about 5’6 with a few curves. I also picture her wearing dark jeans and a cute lacey style top.

    Thanks for playing I look forward to seeing how off I am!

  3. mshatch says:

    you know what, I hardly care what they look like. I just want to know more about those cages (I have a bad feeling I know) and how Verity ever got there and where she came from and…ok, I just want to read the story.

  4. I want to know more. So not fair where you left me here. 🙂
    Verity-Long, dark hair (black), blue eyes, pale skin.
    I can’t even think of anything else wondering what is in those cages.

  5. Francine says:


    Wow, intriguing snippet:

    Given the formal outburst by Nate, I’m thinking slightly modern historical, so see Verity as young (barely) woman, pretty but not beautiful, in long skirt petticoats flying and wearing ankle boots as she runs through the graveyard, her dark hair pinned back and wayward wisps trailing in her wake, her grey-blue eyes looking fearful expectant.

    Nate, I’m seeing as all man, shy, tending reserve in nature, brooding looks with dark brown eyes, and Verity his first real love interest.

    Probably right off the ball park. 😉

  6. Vicki Rocho says:

    I can’t believe you cut it off at the lettering. That was wicked of you!

    Miss Verity Boone. Hmmm. I see long dark hair, smooth and sleek. Worn up most of the time, probably with bits working their way out which frustrates her because it’s a reminder she’s not in full control.

    Slender build, tall compared to most other girls. Fair skin, and blue eyes that twinkle when she’s about to rush headlong into trouble

  7. I can’t give physical description- I’d be cheating since I already got some description on this peice at writeoncon! lol. But I’m intrigued by the caged graves! creepy!

  8. DL Hammons says:

    This was a tough one, but the image that came to mind when I read through this scene a second time was Neve Campbell. Very subdued, but compelling. 🙂

  9. Love it and need to know RIGHT NOW darn-it what it says on the grave! ;–) Okay brown wavy hair, pale skin, dark eyes and she’s wearing a dress!

  10. Meika says:

    Tall with long black waves, pale skin and dark blue eyes.

  11. aspiring_x says:

    i pictured Kaya Scodelario. small, dark hair, amazingly blue eyes… frail and morbid, philosophical and dark…

  12. Summer Ross says:

    “Verity” I love the name- great choice. I think she has shoulder length light brown hair with brown eyes. Jeans and blouses might be her thing to wear regularly. Shes probably 5ft 3 possibly which isn’t exactly short but not quite tall either. She athletic and slender.

  13. I see the Old West somehow. Medium brown hair, tied back with a black ribbon. White blouse, high neck buttoned up. Long brown skirt, lace-up boots. Brown eyes, thick dark lashes. Pink cheeks.

    Love this! Real creepy!

  14. Her eyes are intelligent, strong, yet shy. Her chin is firm. Her bearing wavers from determination in an intellectual goal, slightly hunched-shouldered when it comes to exposing herself emotionally.

    Her hair I would think is brown, her build medium : she does not stand out in the crowd, or else she would not be seeking companionship through the internet.

    Her fingers are long as befitting a scholar and writer. Her hands strong yet small.

    That’s all the Sherlock Holmes I can be at the moment.

  15. Candyland says:

    With a name like that, I see a young, brunette with loose waves. She’s skinny and fair-skinned. And I’m awful at this.

  16. Diane J. says:

    UGH! I can’t believe you left us hanging, you’re gooood!

    Verity is about 5’6″. She has thick brown hair with wispy bangs, ocean green eyes, and heart-shaped face.

  17. Susan Fields says:

    Wow – this scene was so exciting! I’m dying to read more of this!

    I think Verity’s very pretty and feminine. She has long black hair and dark brown eyes. She’s tall and slender.

  18. Wow. I want to read more 🙂

    I agree with Susan. Verity is pretty, with long black hair. She also has green eyes and a soft face.

  19. Brenda Drake says:

    That. Is. Not. Nice. Now, I want to know what was on the grave marker. LOL

    I’d say Verity is medium height, strawberry blond hair pile on top of her head, blue eyes, rosebud lips, slightly curvy, and has a lot of curiosity.

    Can’t wait to meet her tomorrow! 😀

  20. Lorna says:

    I think she is in her late 20s, with blondish-brown hair (which is straight or a bit wavy, going past her shoulders, with a fringe). I think she has a feminine, petite sort of face. She looks mischievous but with an air of intelligence and confidence. I think she looks a bit like Anna Friel, but with blonder hair.

  21. I picture her as a refined Victorian lady, with smokey brown curls piled on top of her head. Pale skin, slender, full lips. Gray eyes. She walks in a very poised way, with her back straight. Youngish, perhaps 20.

  22. Talei says:

    I’m really curious about those cages, need to know more please!! ;))

    Verity sounds like an old fashioned name so I’m thinking this is a historical romance? I’m picturing edwardian dress, her powdered face with dark lashes, dark hair pulled up in a bun with a few loose tresses. Lovely light brown eyes and a defiant stare despite the delicate features.

  23. I don’t want to stop reading! I’m curious to why Nate doesn’t want her to go in there!
    I love her name, too!
    I imagine her with a fair complexion, dark blue eyes and short black hair. 🙂

  24. Renae says:

    Was not even close to finished reading this one! I am picturing long dark wavy hair and bright blue eyes. Well done!

    Can’t wait for the reveal!

  25. I’m with the others. I want to know more about the cages!

    I picture Verity with dark wavy hair, and bright curious eyes. I also picture her as a stylish dresser, but I have no idea why.

  26. I also want more story!!!!!

    But your gal is dark haired, light eyes and skin. Feminine features but defiant stare.

  27. Ooh, how grotesque! Do they really put cages over graves like that? Great snippet!

    Verity strikes me as a Southern Belle, with strawberry blonde hair neatly pinned in a bun. Blue-green eyes, a small nose with a cute point.

    As for Nate, I see a younger, quieter, shyer version of Mr Darcy, dark brown hair tied back in a ponytail, handsome but unassumingly so: not too chiselled, not too muscular, but still easy on the eyes. I’d go for soulful brown eyes.