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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Characterization


Hello Fellow Writers!

Yesterday I received a very good piece of advice from my writing teacher, Vinnie Dacquino, a published author. He said that while he was having fun reading Chapter 2 of "Marrying a Millionaire", there was one piece that seemed out of character for my heroine. And you know what? He was right! So I reworked it and now I think it reads a lot better.

I also worked on my plot for my work in progress, "Snowed in with a Millionaire". I realized, after bouncing ideas off of my husband, that I need to really make the snow storm extreme, and put our hero and heroine stranded together for days, not just one night. So today I'd like to work on that some more.

Characterization is key in any novel, but especially a romance novel, where we know there will be a happily ever after (HEA) ending - so we need a reason for these characters to have conflict.

Bronwyn Jameson, a romance author who has published several Silhouette Desire novels, has a really good article on her website, www.bronwynjameson.com.

"What makes a satisfying end to a romance? What leaves you with a smile on your face, convinced the characters have achieved a lasting happy-ever-after?
  1. Satisfying resolution of internal conflict.
  2. Plot has a believable resolution.
  3. You believe the hero and heroine will make it together, even after the consuming heat of first love has cooled.

What works against this happening? Why would you doubt that the h/H will be happy together and not facing the divorce court in a couple of years' time?
  • The I hate you-I hate you-I hate you, swiftly followed by the I-love-you about face without sufficient motivation/credibility
  • The relationship is all about lust rather than love
  • They have nothing in common beyond a mutual physical attraction
  • They haven't resolved the conflict satisfactorily
  • They still have issues
  • They haven't changed or grown during the book.

In a romance we need the reader to believe that this pair has something very special going on, that despite all the conflict pushing them apart during the pages of the book, they will make it. And yet…if we make that too obvious, too early, we risk diminishing the tension.

How do we set up a believable HEA without sacrificing tension?

We need to recognise that this is a juggling act of conflict vs attraction. We need to acknowledge that our characters will clash and will bond. We can think about the points or road-signs only the rocky path to love.

Ensure your characters clash (conflict) and bond."

There's more to the article than what I quoted here, so be sure to check it out.

Today I plan on working on my plot more for "Snowed in with a Millionaire." Wish me luck, and good luck to you too!

Yours Truly,
Shoshanna Evers

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