Monday, October 14, 2013

Moving On

If you read my last blog post you probably walked...or rather clicked away thinking....Whine Much??  Or something less flattering. But, whatever. I'm over it.

So, now I'm going to post something writing related. This is actually a repost of an article I did a while back on another blog...with some minor adjustments. Why am I reposting?? Well....cuz I need to post something and my mind is a bit of a blank and lately I've had a few people make that irritating comment "I always wanted to write a book". 

Anyway....writing is as easy or as hard as you want to make it, but, truly, not everyone should try it without learning the proper technique....yes, there is one and then some. And, once you learn it then put your own spin on it. How do you learn technique? By READING! Me, I love to read, doesn’t matter the genre—mystery, thriller, suspense, romance, and I tend to fall in love with the characters, especially if they’re recurring.

One of my favorite characters is Lee Child’s Jack Reacher. Lee is eighteen novels into this character and every book takes you on a pulse-pounding adventure and you can’t wait to grab the next book to see where he goes next. But, I have to admit, the first character I fell in love with wasn’t so much a single character as it was a family of characters.  

One of the first romance writers I ever read was Nora Roberts. My kids gave me one of her books for my birthday back in the early 90’s…okay, I bought it and said it was from them…they were still babies. Haha  Anyway, after devouring that book I tried to get my hands on as many of her books as I could find and that’s when I came across the Macgregor's! If you’re not familiar with them, look for them at your local library or on Amazon. Love her or hate her, Nora knows how to bring a character to life so much so that you just want to adopt them.

Building a character isn’t really as hard as some seem to think. There are workshops and blog posts galore about how to build a character using worksheets and graphs and whatever. More power to you if that’s how you do it, but like plotting….I just can’t go there. It’s not that I don’t know anything about my character when I start writing because I do, they are generally a part of me and some members of my family—Hispanic, lower to middle class, everyday people---so I don’t need to chart it all.
In my novella, Her Will His Way, I started the story knowing only one thing about my character Anita Perez—she didn’t speak Spanish. Why is this a character trait? Because Anita has just moved to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, which is predominately Hispanic, to run a flower shop. She’s too stubborn to admit she won’t succeed, especially when her sexy state trooper neighbor Antonio Hernandez tells her she can’t do it. (you’ll have to read the book…heh)

So anyway when I sit down to write a new novel the only information I need to know about my character is “What traumatic event happened to her/him as a child to make her/him the person s/he is today?” The rest—back-story, goal, motivation, conflict— will fall into place as I write.

But, I will say....though I find it easy to write a character, I sometimes have trouble naming them. So, I should do a contest or something, huh? Comment below, and I'll use your name in my next book as either a character or something else. We'll have to see where the book is going. haha

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The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews