Blog by VONNIE DAVIS -- International, Award-Winning Romance Author: Adventurous...Humorous...Amorous.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Who are these people?

I was at 48,000+ words on my manuscript when I realized I didn't know my characters. Odd that. I'd created them, shouldn't I know them?

My heroine, who'd been prim and proper at the beginning of the novel was suddenly acting rather...ah...bold. The hero, who'd been tough as steel, was now more of a caretaker. Words were popping onto the screen, and I was saying to myself she wouldn't act like this. And Rachel, my heroine, replied, "Wanna bet? Watch me!" Whoa...

Time to reassess. Who are these people? Granted we expect our characters to change in the course of a novel, but these personality changes were too drastic. Was my heroine docile or plucky? Was she self-assured or wishy-washy? What about my hero? Could he be strong, yet tender? Crass yet caring? Which couple did I like the best? The ones I'd created in chapter one or the dynamic characters that revealed themselves to me between the lines of dialog and thoughts in chapter fourteen?

Back to the drawing board, as they say. Back to chapter one, tweak this, change that, add here, chop there. I'm slowly working my way through the chapters so actions, thoughts and dialog are all true to the characters. After all, few people turn out to be the people we thought they were when we first met them. Smiling, nice folks sometimes turn out to be stinkers behind the genial masks. Distantly cool people become warm and engaging once we know them. No one knows anyone at first meeting; there's always more under the surface. So it is with our characters. However, as writers, it is our job to know them...even as they start taking control of the story. Write on....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is interesting, I sometimes wonder who my characters are, too!