When we pick up a new book, I think we all expect to meet characters who change and grow as the story progresses. What makes each story unique is how those characters handle the challenges they face. Often, the characters are wounded in one way or another, whether it is physical or emotional.
Sometimes, only one character has a major wound they have to heal from. For example, in my book Marrying Mandy, the heroine has all kinds of emotional baggage she needs to come to terms with. Her parents abandoned her when she was young, and now the beloved grandparents who raised her have passed away. The bed and breakfast that meant so much to them is important to Mandy. But because of a stipulation in the will, she has to consider a marriage of convenience to her best friend, Preston, in order to keep the business in the family.
In this case, while Preston has some challenges of his own, the biggest one is the fact that he’s in love with Mandy, and that she may never return those feelings. For the most part, he’s there to support Mandy as she works through her past, what the future holds, and the unrealistic expectations she’s placed on herself.
In other books, both the hero and heroine struggle to recover from their own issues. In Marrying Emma, Emma grew up with a heart condition that meant her childhood was less than normal. Once she received a new heart a couple of years ago, it should have meant a new lease on life–but Emma struggles to fight her way through the fear that continues to hold her back.
Then there’s Marty, who lost part of his leg in a motorcycle accident. He’s gone through years of physical therapy to get to where he is now. Being himself in a relationship, however, is difficult when the last thing he wants is to be pitied by someone he cares about.
On their own, their physical wounds along with the emotional ramifications of them are overwhelming. But together, maybe they can piece their lives back together again.
Do you have a preference? In general, would you rather read a book where one character plays more of a solid and supportive role for the other character who is truly struggling? Or do you like to see both the hero and heroine recover from emotional or physical wounds together? Or does it matter to you? Personally, I find I gravitate toward the first as a reader, and tend to write more of the first type than the second.
Giveaway: To enter for a chance to choose one of my digital ebooks, I’d love for you to comment below and let me know what you think. A winner will be randomly chosen April 3rd and contacted through e-mail.