Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Hello everyone

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.

Happy reading

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


Tina Donahue said...

Glad you came through your surgery all right, Jane. I really want to see The Hunger Games - looks fascinating.

Mrs Condit said...

I actually prefer books with a small cast of characters. I get confused when there are lots of minor characters, some of whom don't add much to the story. Great post!

Fiona McGier said...

I agree that too many points of view get confusing. But I wrote a series about a family and the romances experienced by each member, and in the subsequent books the previous heroines and heroes make appearances. You don't have to be familiar with their back-story, but they are still important to the action.

I don't usually read what is popular because if I dislike the books I can't understand how they got to be best-sellers. I only got about 2/3 of the way through the first Twilight book before I drop-kicked it across the room in frustration for many reasons, not the least of which was that it was so poorly-written. I know that makes me a minority.

Fiona McGier said...

Oh, and congrats on your successful knee surgery. My MIL and 2 SILs had to have it also, and it's painful and takes a while to recover from. I hope you ultimately get full use of the knee back, to make it worth your while!

JaneB said...

Hi Tina, many thanks, the Hunger Games was something i would normally not read, but i did find it a page turner, so that in itself is successful for the author, however, i did wonder how particularly book 1 got contracted as the writing was not great, nor the editing i might add, however what do i know LOL!


JaneB said...

Thanks Mrs Condit for popping by. The Hunger Games sure had a bunch of characters and at times i must admit it was hard to keep track.
I always like my sub characters to be important to the story, to have an affect on the characters lives both in their backstory and how they go forward and find happiness


JaneB said...

Fiona, good on for writing a series. I'm currently reading some of Sandra Hill's Viking II series and it's nice revisit characters in subsequent books, kind of like making sure their getting on okay!
Tks re the surgery, getting there slowly. It's kinda like look Ma no crutches (nearly)

Robyn Grady said...

Jane, what lovely friends! Glad you came through the surgery okay =)
I'm reading Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I've seen both movies (subtitled as well as the one with Daniel Craig :yum!:) And thought I'd finally get out the book I'd bought yonks ago.
Well, it is simply brilliant. It's one of those books where everything (to my mind) is perfect. I love the main character. He's so layered, with numerous flaws but with fabulous characteristics too. Tenacious, honest, he likes cats...
My enormous TBR pile? We won't go there lol

JaneB said...

Thanks for stopping by Robyn - i've a huge TBR pile, just recently have read 2 of Sandra Hill's viking time travels. fab.