Saturday, April 2, 2011

Babes With Bodacious Driving Skills - "B"


Beautiful babe with bodacious driving skills and emotional baggage.

So here's the thing. I write romance. Actually, I write romantic suspense which is a romance story intertwined with a suspense plot...very fun and very challenging to write.

Coming from a suspense background, the first books I wrote were suspense-thrillers, I just can't help but throw some action into my story lines.  This I'm good at. Explosions - how fiery you want? Bad Guy - one diabolical madman coming up! 

Beautiful heroine in need of rescuing - Uhhh...? I don't do that.


I want to like my main character and one thing I value in a book is a woman with some spunk. I'm not talking Glock strapped to the thigh a' la Lara Croft in Tomb Raider, but I don't want the chick tied to the train tracks either. I mean...really?

Characters can and should be vulnerable. Your plot depends on them messing up or butting up against someone that is both formidable and, for most of the book, seemingly unbeatable. But there's a fine line between a main character in crisis and a main character that is a door mat.

Besides, if I want you to spend time with my character, time you have to carve out of your busy day... then I want you to go with her on a crazy ride. Something filled with adventure and breathless kisses and maybe even a car chase!  As for the love interest, he needs to see both the strength and softness - and value them both.



How do you choose your main character's personality types? Do you choose profession first? Or do you fit them to the plot?  Maybe its the opposite...maybe you choose the character and follow their lead?  I'd love to hear what your process is.  

Until next time...Go Write!

32 comments:

Toby Neal said...

Yeah baby.
You'd like my heroine, she's exactly that and I write suspense mysteries with a touch of romance (she can never make up her mind about that part and the Baggage gets in the way) Glad I found you on the Challenge!
Aloha
Toby
http://www.tobyneal.net/

Bz said...

Great to meet you, I love to learn about writers. Can't wait to get to know you better!

Trisha said...

I'm getting the impression I'd love your works! :D

Murees Dupé said...

Great post!

I like to create strong and independant female characters. So when it comes to writing the story, she tells me what I should and should not write. She is so bossy!

Jessica Bell said...

I always work my story lines around my characters as my stories are all very character based! Great post!

Jessica @ The Alliterative Allomporph

Karen Sanders said...

Just found your blog through the A-Z challenge! Great stuff :D

Grammy said...

Hi, I haven't really written any book but I might someday, and I guess she would be patterned after just your every day person, since they say only write about what you know. Ha. Thank you for you very charming posting. Ruby

Renee Silvana said...

I like to let my characters develop themselves. Usually that means that they are works-in-progress for a few thousand words, but once I've learned their personalities I can go back and fix the gaps.

I write romance as well... though recently haven't been doing much writing!

Laura Josephsen said...

Exactly this! I like my heroines to be able to be capable and strong--which doesn't mean they can't lean on others for support or show vulnerability.

With my current heroine, I knew exactly what her profession was going to be (and it definitely fit the plot). I knew what her personality was going to be like, and it made me wonder how I was going to ever get her to the point of vulnerability with ANYONE. I'm happy to say that she got there--slowly, but she had a lot of walls. I like characters who are resourceful (even if they don't start out that way, but grow toward knowing what to do), whether men or women.

Stephen Tremp said...

Ijust start writing. Often, the characters will define themselves as I go along. I also base them sometimes on other people too.

Laura Marcella said...

I like spunky heroines, too! I like to plan my characters before writing, but once I start they often surprise me!

Trevor Peck said...

But women can't drive! I mean, it has to be believable doesn't it? JUST KIDDING!! Great post. Happy A2Z!

Rebecca Bradley said...

I'm not sure on my process to be honest, I haven't really thought about it, they have kind of just grown. My main character is a female and though she's tough she has her issues which will definitely come around to bite her.

Linda Glaz said...

I write seat of the pants, so her personality changes as the story progresses, sometimes for the good, and sometimes for the bad.

Brigid said...

Just visiting via the A-Z.
Great post and fab blog you have.

Sarah Allen said...

I think you're right, I hate a whiny heroine and love a strongly soft hero. Good stuff :)

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Niki said...

Men should be tied to railway lines! haha

Susan Oloier said...

Your B entry just made me want to read one of your books! I think all characters (male and female) should have vulnerable parts. But I do like a strong female lead.
Choosing characters: Starts with an impression, morphs into personality type, then the details (history, interests, etc. get filled in last).
Off to click the follow button on your blog :)

Arlee Bird said...

I love car chases! Go Beautiful Babes who can maneuver a car well!


Contrary to my usual practice of subscribing to comments, to save time during challenge I will not be doing so during April. If you want to respond to my comment , please email me directly from your email notification for the comment.
Thanks.

Lee
Tossing It Out
Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I really enjoyed your post, it must be great to be able to write a book. You seem to have so much talent.


Thanks for the kind comment on my blog, I do appreciate it.

Yvonne.

Damyanti said...

My characters choose themselves, and their own characteristics, along with everything else about themselves :)

Good to be back on your blog!

Talli Roland said...

Love this B word!

I usually think of the end goal: how do I want my character to be at the end of the story? Then I work backwards and give her character that will ensure lots of conflict!

Bish Denham said...

My characters just sort come to me, often times mostly fully formed.

Jennifer Hoffine said...

In YA, I find that the naive, self-doubting girl protag is most common (the equivalent of that girl tied to the train tracks), so while each of my characters grows into her own skin along the way, I do start by avoiding those cliches that annoy me in other books.

Sure, every teen is insecure about some thing(s) at some level(s) (every person, for that matter), but every teen can also show amazing amounts of strength, wisdom and/or confidence, given the right situation/motivation.

Jamie (Mithril Wisdom) said...

I tend to choose profession last, since it's a reflection of the character or of aspects of their character that they lack. For example, my protagonist becomes an apprentice apothecary because, during his period of national military service in the Border Guard, he fails to stop the murder of an entire family on the outskirts of the town. He is so guilt ridden about his failure that he dedicates his life to helping people to NOT die.

Gregg said...

Not being a writer or an author, I don't have characters. But I am old fashion, I like it when Prince Charming rides in and saves a fair maiden in distress.


Gregg Metcalf
Colossians 1:28-29

Gospel-driven Disciples

Donna Hole said...

I always have my characters personality in mind, then create the story to match them.

I've enjoyed reading your excerpts Raquel.

Is Ruby Dawn published? I'll have to look for it.

......dhole

Hannah Kincade said...

My characters personalities just come naturally, I guess. I don't really think about it as I'm writing. I hammer out that first draft and then after analyze. Only then can I see their personality and focus on making it stronger and clearer in the second draft.

Jennee said...

Vulnerability is a big factor for characters! Thanks for the reminder.

Talei said...

I'd love to write a really good mystery, maybe one day. Great post! ;-)

Sheila said...

I like to find my character and let he/she take the lead. But I can tell that I would really like your heroines. Nice informational post.


Sheila Staley : Reviewer & Writer
Book reviews and Author Interviews at my blog at http://whynotbecauseisaidso.blogspot.com/

Kari Marie said...

I do love me a good prince charming, however, I like my female leads to hold their own.