When you start writing there are always things that you wish you could do better. Sometimes it’s dialogue or plotting. For me it was making my characters come alive on the page. I struggled with this through four books that didn’t sell. Then I wrote an inspirational romance. For those not familiar with that term, it means the romance had a faith element central to the plot.
Having the characters deal with real life issues related to their faith (The hero had a plan for his life and he failed to take into account that God might have another plan. The heroine was running from life, blaming herself and God for the deaths of her parents). Getting to this level helped the characters “come alive” and sell the book.
I no longer write inspirational romance, but I now try to give the characters characteristics that people can relate to…
In my book that will be out the end of this month, If The Ring Fits, I had Mary Karen be a person who had her dreams but got pregnant in college and all her plans went out the window. Travis was a guy who, because his parents died and he had to raise his seven younger siblings, didn’t want kids. He wanted to enjoy life. Even if we’ve never had anything like this happen to us, we can relate to such people.
I think it’s also easy to relate to the fact that Mary Karen and Travis were friends since childhood. He was the best friend of her older brother, someone she’d always looked up too. I don’t know about you but I had a crush on several of my older brother’s friends. (They didn’t know I was alive).
Regardless of how an author does it, you have to care about the characters or you’re not going to keep reading.
I’d be interested in knowing what book you’ve read where the characters really spoke to you…and what do you think made them come alive for you…