Well it’s that time of the month again (now where have I heard that saying before!) and as I laze in bed with my laptop propped on my knees I thought about the last few months as I recovered from total knee joint surgery (very ouchy ouchy!) I reflected on the books I’ve read during this time. Firstly I was really spoilt when writer friends gave me a kindle as a get well gift. So sweet of them. So that was a new toy to start with. What I’ve found myself doing is reading books in genres that I normally wouldn’t read because over the years I’ve kinda narrowed my reading down to plain old romance. But I wanted to read The Hunger Games series as I wanted to see what all the fuss was about – and I surprised myself as I really enjoyed them, apart from when the dogs attacked, that was a bit too ikky for me. But it got me thinking about characters and characterization. Now I know I’ve already talked about heroes and heroines in this blog before, but I thought I might chat about the other characters that make up books and what endears them to a reader. Now endear might not be the right word here. Maybe it should be what grabs us about them.
In my books I tend to really only have a small cast of characters. I’ve tried writing multiple character books years ago but found it hard to find each person’s different ‘voice’. These days I mostly have only four main players, two of which obviously are the hero/heroine and then sometimes there’s a child or aunt, mother, father, brother, grandmother or sister. These are the ones I love to develop a personality for. They are the counter-personality of either the hero/heroine.
In The Hunger Games Katniss had Prim who was the complete opposite in Kat’s eyes to her. Prim was just that – prim – she was sweet, caring, nurturing, naive in some ways, though I did find Kat quite naive too, taking a long time to figure people out.
Gale and Peeter. Now to me both men were like puppy dogs in that they loved Kat and would do anything for her and did, but as the series unfolded both men went in different directions. Gale – a hunter in a small closed world drew apart from Kat and as the war unfolded he became the warrior, whereas Peeter I felt really ended up wanting the quiet life – but who wouldn’t’ after all those experiences.
But it was Finnick who I was intrigued with most. This smart mouth veteran of the Games was kinda the sleaze ball guy at first but his redemption was huge in my eyes as his journey continued.
So here we have characters who though not the ‘main’ character they are pivotal in the story and MUST grab the reader.
For me I think my sub-character Zane Harper, who is hero’s Cade Harper’s brother in HE’S THE ONE, is one of my favorites. This guy has a smart mouth, but a caring heart and would stand guard to protect his brother no matter what. He’ll also push his brother into love despite his brothers’ avowal that he’s not interested.
Then there is Carly’s family in ROMEO FOR HIRE . This loser family is what makes Carly who she is. Hard working, career orientated, determined not to be like them. But when she becomes pregnant she realises she’s becoming just like her family. Their characteristics are in her despite all her hard work.
Characters and their traits play such a role. I suppose that is just the same in our own lives. We are a mix of our family, heritage and culture.
So on I go with reading and being brave and reading across different genres. Would love to know what you’re reading now, and what’s in your to be read pile and what you like and loathe in characters.
HE’S THE ONE: A house full of antiques and dead animals, and a mother who won’t let her forget her dead fiancé - http://tinyurl.com/cxskfud
SECRETS AND SEDUCTION: Want tug-your-heart love, raise-the-roof lust, a marriage of convenience and hot sex that will give a whole new meaning to the word “wildcatter”. http://tinyurl.com/8793elo