Thursday, February 28, 2008

Characters: Conforming or Rebelling? And Exciting Contest Update

Before I begin, I have some exciting news about this weeks contest at the end. Go ahead, scroll down and read it and then come back. I’ll wait. :)

I was sent an email this morning about an older woman, who I’ll call Mary, goes to lunch with several much younger women. When it’s time to order, the younger women order healthy food, while the Mary orders dessert and adds chocolate ice cream to it.

Funny thing about this story is the YW’s didn’t actually enjoy their lunch as they watched the Mary eat her dessert. They wished they had done the same thing, but knew in their hearts they couldn’t, wouldn’t, because it wouldn’t be right. Not at all what you should do.

After a second lunch, with much the same effect, one of the women asks Mary why she does this.

Come on, you know that answer to this. She older and doesn’t want to miss out on what she wants in life. Mary also decides to do some of the things she used to love and never takes the time to do them anymore. She says if she dies, then she knows she did what she wanted.

Of course I had to check it out and no, I can’t find that it is a true story, however, that didn’t stop me from thinking about my characters in my book.

What is it they want to do? And do they care what others think of them for doing or not doing such. Now, I’m not talking about murder (okay, maybe I could be), I’m talking about the daily life stuff. The stuff that makes them real in our heads and our hearts.

Do they have to conform to the rules? Is that what makes them tick? If they do, then is it okay with them deep down, or would they really like to (take a deep breath all of you writers) wake up and eat chocolate for breakfast even if that is not consider a meal.

Or maybe simpler still, would they call into work sick, when their not and enjoy the day at the amusement park, or would they go and not eat the corn dog or ride that killer roller coaster because they just plain felt to guilty to be there.

I don’t know about you, but I have both types of characters in my book. Having them and realizing that you have them are two different things. If the one, who conforms to all the ‘expected’ rules, breaks one, then she is miserable. But her friend is totally the opposite. She believes in live and let live, enjoy the ride because you only get one ticket.

Biggest question is this. Am I writing them as such? Do I find that emotion within each of them to convey that to the reader? Will the reader say to herself, ‘OMG, I know just what (insert character name) feel, I want to do that too, but can’t let myself. Or (again insert character name), ‘I’m with you, I say do it, enjoy it, and who cares what others think.’

Knowing this will give your characters more depth and your readers more sympathetic feelings for them either way.

So your turn, do you show this side of your characters? Do you think it makes a difference if do or do not show it?

And remember to leave your comments for this week’s contest. And the big news is this: Diana has linked to the contest on her site. She has also said that rather than make the winner wait until June as soon as she has the ARC’s she’s going to send one to me to give to the winner. How cool is that??? But then, Diana Rocks Big Time!

One last question. Which did you do? Did you read the blog from the top to the bottom even though you wanted to scroll down and read the exciting news first?

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,


Malicious Intent said...

I have to say that my grandmother would be one to eat dessert before dinner. One time I asked her why, her answer was very simple "Because I love dessert." Good enough reason for me and at her age, who cares! If I die, I want it to be by chocolate cake!

Bill Clark said...

I read top to bottom - you had me hooked, and I figured the exciting news would still be there when I got to the end of the page. And guess what? It was! :-)

"We shall not pass this way again" - something I often think when I'm tempted to take a detour from life's highway to check out a side road. Even if it doesn't lead anywhere, I'm still glad I did it. Otherwise, I would wonder forever after, what did I miss...?

Malicious Intent said...

You missed McDonalds.

Malicious Intent said...

heheh, I was telling Bill that HE missed McDonalds taking a deteour from the highway. ;)

Vicki said...

Oh, Vicki says and blushes...again, a blonde moment. :D