Inspy Romance readers–we are halfway through the week. Yay!
Lindi here, bringing you your midweek post, your hump day post, your we’re heading for the weekend post. I love Wednesdays because it’s Bible study day. :) So question 1 for today–why do you like Wednesday?
Today we’re chatting about building character. Yes, character and characters. Because all characters need character, right? For our heros and heroines we want them to have good character.
And those are the traits we want to have as well, right?
Character is defined as the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.
So, when building a character we want to build them with good characteristics. But sometimes our heros and heroines have to grow into these “good” characteristics. I remember writing my book, Her Best Catch, and my heroine, Allison, was rolling along in life as a reactor instead of an initiator. She let the circumstances of her life dictate her response to life. Her “character arc” was to grow into a women who could take hold of life and lean into it on her terms instead of reacting to what was happening around her.
Before the book was bought by Belle Books for publication I entered the manuscript in several contests. I either finaled or tanked. A lot of the feedback I received indicated my heroine was weak, I needed to make her stronger. But wasn’t that what I was doing as the book went along? Granted, the judges only saw a first chapter and sometimes no synopsis, but I couldn’t figure out how to make her stronger and have her be the same character I had envisioned and written the book around.
I found I had to fine tune building her character with characteristics that made her stronger. I hinted at it sooner, and made sure she was motivated well to be not as strong in the beginning.
In looking back on my journey in life, I’m sure Allison is a hint of myself. I was always a crowd follower. I had a lot of friends, and I loved doing what they were doing. Sometimes, it wasn’t even my thing, but I went along with it. I guess I was a late bloomer. It took me a while to come into who I was.
That didn’t happen until I was a Christian. When I saw who I was in God, well, that can change a story, can’t it? It didn’t happen overnight, it’s still a work in progress, but that’s okay.
We don’t want to read about characters who never change or grow. If they kept the same faults and same mindsets the stories wouldn’t have the ah-ha moments, the realization moments. The moments that resonate with readers are moments where the characters have come into who we knew they could be.
So, building character in our characters is a journey. One that we’ve often walked and lived out.
One of my favorite character journeys as a reader was Angel/Sarah in Redeeming Love. I can’t tell you how that journey impacted me. I mean I literally can’t put it into words. All I can say is tears fell for days. Every time I thought about that journey. They are tickling the back of my eyes as I write this now. (And I read the book over 5 years ago.)
I’d love to hear one (or more) of a character journey that has impacted you or one that you loved reading.
I’d love to give an e-version of Her Best Catch to one commenter.