Monday, March 3, 2014

~ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly ~

           "You take people, you put them on a journey, 
           you give them peril, you find out 
          who they really are. "
                                                   -Joss Whedon

Character development. 

Here is where the Good, the Bad and the Ugly comes in to play. Even my darling hero/heroine has flaws. I shouldn't cover them up or sweep them under the rug. The flaws are what humanize characters. I have learned to embrace their imperfections, and allow my character to
  G  R   O   W. 

When Kate first whispered her story to me (while in my bathtub, over a year and a half ago) I knew I liked her right from the start. I loved the fact that she was 'every girl '. Not too perfect. Pretty, but not gorgeous. She often thought of a splendid retort, hours after an embarrassing incident. In other words, she was a girl every one could relate to.


 And it was important that she remain that way throughout the story. As an author one can become so intimately involved with our characters, it's sometimes hard to watch them get kicked around. But it's important that they don't always win at everything ... because hey, that's life. 

So I had to fight my instinct to protect Kate. I had to let her fail a time or two. But in the end it makes for a stronger character and a better story. It's up to my reader to discover the character for themselves. And in that discovery, they will either fall in love ... or they won't. That is the beauty of reading. For how do you know that the ending is fitting...if you haven't been on the entire journey, page by page?

Likewise, I let my reader follow a trail of breadcrumbs that allow them to take a small peek into the mind of my hero's nemesis. Even if the antagonist's logic is flawed, in their little world they have a reason for their behavior. The evil villain in a cartoon, is just that...a cartoon. REAL people have many layers.

In my current novel, The Bootlegger's Wife, 
there are plenty of flaws and weaknesses to go around. But hopefully the characters are lovable in spite of them...or perhaps... BECAUSE of them. 

But that,dear friends,will be for you... to tell me!


  1. I always fall for the bad ones :) Maybe it's because villains can get away with things we can't in life. Look forward to hearing more about Mrs. Bootlegger! Happy March, Terri~

  2. This is why Mary Sues are a no-no. A certain vampire universe author is guilty of this, but so is none other than Louisa May Alcott, whom I love. Her Poly Milton in "An Old-Fashioned Girl" is such a Mary Sue, so perfect, I can't stand her. I couldn't even finish the book. As people do with their loved ones, even if they know their characters have flaws, the don't want others to recognize it. No one likes people they perceive as perfect and that would include, our characters.


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