For today’s Writer’s Wednesday I’ve decided to share an excerpt from my tutorial “Crafting Characters: Strengthening Your Motivation To Write”. This is a brief publication that I decided to create when asked by new writers what it takes for me to keep my head in the writing game. You may obtain this title in full online at no charge.
In addition to delving into the soul of your characters, giving focus to their backgrounds is yet another method/way of maintaining motivation to complete your story. This is a bit more of a task when the characters are brand new. When the characters are part of a series, this gives the author the chance to flesh out facets of the character’s persona that may have been planted in earlier stories in the series.
For instance, the readers already know that the hero of A Lover’s Beauty Taurus Ramsey and his cousin Quest Ramsey (A Lover’s Dream, A Lover’s Soul) don’t get along, but the reader isn’t given the benefit of knowing why when Taurus is first introduced in book one in the series A Lover’s Dream. Taurus’ appearance in the book is brief, but it was memorable enough to peak the reader curiosity to know more about him.
When a book is a standalone, it is just as relevant to flesh out character aspects which have been planted earlier. In my 2004 release In The Midst of Passion (Kensington/Dafina Books) my hero Alex Rice was extremely complex. We discover early in the story that he owns a paper but spends little time there- why? We learn that he has a love/hate relationship with his cousin Melissa-why?
As the story progresses, we return to this seed and others planted. We learn that Alex desires to have a legitimate interest far removed from his former occupation as a killer-for-hire. This seed opens up a host of other issues within the story. We also learn that Alex’s strained relationship with his cousin has much to do with racial issues revolving around the disapproval from his mother’s family towards Alex’s father.
As earlier stated, occupation can open another trail of issues within your story. For my first traditionally published novel Remember Love, our hero, Trinidad Salem’s profession did not mix well with his wife Dominique’s career as a reporter. The emerging events created chaos in their marriage and well-being.
Personal interests go a long way in bringing life to your characters- making them more real to the readers and to you the author. Giving focus to your characters’ food or clothing preferences, musical tastes, sports interests even their choice of transportation can offer many entertaining insights into your characters and often allow for various plot twists.
**Remember: Make the most of character interests. Use them to add substance to your plot instead of simply adding numbers to your word count.**