Do you like to read stories with contrasting characters? I love writing such novels. Night and day. Hot and cold. Dark and light. Up and down. Positive and negative. Rich and poor. I find it fascinating that opposites do sometimes attract, when clearly the two people just couldn’t possibly get along. Or could they? Love happens, right?
I smile when I think of doesn’t-have-it-together Tina meeting the meticulously-organized Byron in the Bahamas in Smile for Me (Vacation Sweethearts Book 1). How do I make them get on the same boat? Incidentally, they did literally get on a boat heading for Moss Cay at one point, when Tina, of course did something Byron would expect her to do (I almost wrote a spoiler here LOL). I enjoyed writing that novel a lot, even though for the large part, I set it in a Christian school and I didn’t want to add too much drama to my idyllic island in the Caribbean sun. The art camp kept the campus busy all summer, a backdrop to the static and friction between Tina and Byron.
What about artists? Who would they be contrasted with? When I was plotting Ask You Later (Savannah Sweethearts Book 1), the assignment I gave myself was almost too hard to pull off (for me, anyway). As a creative person who loves art my whole life, from crayon to watercolor to pottery, I just couldn’t imagine someone with zero interest in art and who was unable to appreciate it. Well, had I written myself into a corner then? A technical writer who was busy writing user manuals, Sophie had to fill the shoes of such a character, and all I could see was her wearing clothes of beige, white, black, and on rare occasions, charcoal. I made folk artist and sculptor Leon notice that when he saw her walking away from him at the art gallery. Read Ask You Later for free.
Yes, and then there’s the Jane Austen contrast: rich and poor. Since there are plenty of books out there featuring poor damsels in distress meeting billionaire dudes, I decided to flip that concept around. I thought of a struggling male violinist (cue music haha) whose life is just filled with one disaster after another: debt, poverty, rundown house, dead-end jobs, and whatever else I could throw at him. Poor Ivan would meet a female billionaire or billionairess (yes, there is such a word but you knew that, even though autocorrect doesn’t LOL) who…dramatically changed his life. Or did he change hers? Better yet, did God step in to change both of their lives? All those things were in my head in those ten fun years it took me to write His Longing Heart (Seaside Chapel Book 1).
What about you? Have you enjoyed novels with contrasting characters in them? Do comment on what resonated with you when you read those books.