It’s impossible to please everyone – we all know that – but it is quite possible to please a broader band of individuals in the same way that a manufacturer of, say, chocolates can satisfy more people with a box of many flavors – People like variety, and writers, too, can offer up more than one flavor, more than one hero and more than one plotline, so, anyhoo, welcome to my assorted box of characters.
One of the reasons I run with a multitude of threads is that it allows for a range of characters to take lead, and different characters appeal to different people in different moods (hopefully a multitude of characters appeal to a multitude of readers).
That does not mean that every character gets to take lead, but there will always be a handful of them that do.
I love to get inside characters’ heads and I love to bring their inner being out for all to see. Whether it’s a villain you can understand and relate to (Sturn, Sevi), a villain you watch develop and feel for (Va’el – yes, wait for it, on the latter), gentle Good Guys (Raoul, Charlie, Morragt), tougher, let’s-get-at-you Good Guys (Jackie, Jim, Diego), comedians (Jim, Diego), sexy women (Sevi, Jackie), full on male-fantasy-girl (Sasha), kids with attitude (Mij, Va’el), or characters that take off on their own with force and determination (Sevi, Va’el), oh, and don’t forget the “something different” aliens (Thain, Tannik), I’ve pretty well got something for everyone.
No one is a rigid all the time, so I like to give my characters versatility also, each with a range of emotions and capabilities.
Jim and Diego tease Santayana (resident virgin and heart-throb) mercilessly, but they’re all business and professionally helpful when she is struggling to learn to shoot accurately.
Jackie is determined to succeed against the Bad Guys – partly as payback for Sturn’s treatment of her – but she also knows that she’s up against heavy odds with Sevi, so she has to make sure that Raoul and the team don’t get too gung-ho about it. Sevi, with her level of training and sophistication of weaponry, can kill them all very, very easily, but Jackie, with her own level of skill, is the only one who can fully appreciate the danger. So there’s a push-pull there.
Sevi was/is the most secretive of my characters for the simple reason of serenity. She is a major force to be reckoned with, yet it’s easy for others to misread her. Like a true professional soldier, she does not fly off at the handle but keeps calm and in control always. Getting her to “strut her stuff” and keep it professional was a major challenge for me as a writer (I couldn’t have it happen inside the villains’ camp, or her “getting professional” would have seen her take out the entire team of Bad Guys. Although I did play with that idea for a time, I ditched it when it brought up more problems than it solved – mainly lack of Bad Guys).
Not every character is a main character, of course, but there is a broad middle range of characters I nevertheless give depth to. I like stories to be three-dimensional, so that means no two-dimensional characters allowed. Even the least advanced characters – the ones right at the bottom and not even listed as secondary.
Such as Tim, a young naïve cop with his new uniform, his love of life and his first baby on the way.
Then there’s Graham in Martin’s Wait who tells wily tales in the local inn to get a free pint, but is careful not to give away any real secrets.
I also have Nails in Farr Ridge – Nails as in “Hammer and”, but “as tough as” also, with his wounded leg and his advice and his quiet appreciation. You know there’s more in there than just a guy at the truck bay complex.
I have a host of such characters, people you will only see once, maybe twice – minor characters that are more rounded in very brief little ways that just make a soul more real.
I do want to elevate Nails, however, he’s got something. I just haven’t worked a plot for him yet, but it will come. Farr Ridge is too good to lose, too. That’s a whole town with attitude. I mean what else do they get up to? It’s not a happy place.
Anyway, we all do these things as writers, it’s what makes our world fun and our books interesting, it’s what keeps us telling the tale and hunting out new ones. It’s the characters – big or small – that delight us and that make it all worthwhile.
Happy writing, everyone. Have a great day/evening, people.
Charactered characters 🙂
It’s been so long long time 😀
Selamat siang, have a wonderful day 🙂
Selamat Siang, Yuna! 😀 Terima kasih – Kamu juga.
[Good afternoon, Yuna! Thank you – you also] 😀
Jackie, no doubt, has a wonderful sexuality. I was so engrossed in the reading when she was in the hold of Sturn. All that taunting and her response afterward was SO entertaining. So real.
One thing I love aside from the storytelling itself is the way you constructed the dialogues, the humor I found at several turns. Sevi, for all the wonderful reasons, stirs up my system–love her character so much.
Diversity of characters makes for an interesting tale, though I must admit that it can at times be challenging for a writer. Your passion for this series makes it so sweet. I can’t wait to read the book 2. I will contact you soon.
What a fantastic comment – and you summarize the event so well. I had a wonderful time writing that scene between Jackie and Sturn and the (many) realistic responses. It is true that I put all my passion into this series, in many ways it is my whole life. I, too, love how well different characters can stand apart. For me, getting to know them well first, makes the writing easier because then each character “knows” how to respond and I don’t have to make decisions about it, so that early groundwork makes it easier as I go along.
I love writing dialogue, again letting each character speak naturally. It’s supposed to be tricky to write, but I suspect that it is harder if a writer hasn’t yet got a full handle on a character and so is not sure what their reaction should be.
All that said, of course, I did spend quite some years getting to know my characters – and yet some are relatively new, including one of the best I’ve got, Sevi.
This “getting to know your own characters” is something I should write about in a full post, I think (thanks for the idea!). 🙂
I look forward to your thoughts on the next one when the time comes.
Have a wonderful day/evening, Uzoma. Cheers!