Friday, February 15, 2013

How Well Do you know your Characters?

I hit a milestone yesterday. I finished the first draft of Baby Stetson, a contemporary romance.  The book comes in at just over 96,000 words. As i reflect on my thoughts of the story, and how it differs from how it's written, I wonder, how well do you know your characters? How much do they change and grow from how you originally created them during your writing process?

For instance-

There's a character in Baby Stetson that I hadn't planned on making him a 'good guy'  He's Avery's ex, and you'll meet him in the beginning of the book, but it turns out that I happened to like Jameson, and I didn't want him to be a bad character. He changed my mind. Now, Jameson will get his own story in the next Love and Music In Texas book.  Funny thing with that is, I'd had the heroine's story planned out for that book, although at the time, I didn't plan it to be a series, but now I want that heroine, her name is Melody, to be paired up with Jameson. It's perfect!  You'll even get to catch up with Avery and Lucas, and there will be some big happenings with the band.

I'd say Jameson was my biggest surprise, but he wasn't the only one.  There's a few others that surprised me with they way they turned out, but it worked out for the best.

I've also noticed that my last two heroes, Lucas and Jacob from The Secret Santa Wishing well, are both very jaded. I loved helping them come alive just by finding love.   And yes, fans of Jacob, Cheyenne, Ben and Desi will get to catch up on their lives too, as this summer I'll start writing Robin's story, and will of course include Cheyenne and Jacob's wedding.

Can I just say I love being a writer? Well, I just did say it, lol. But I do! I love creating stories of love and life, and yes, I cry and laugh and get angry right along with my characters. It feels great.

So tell me, how have characters surprised you in your books?  How much do you let them run away from your own idea and make their own?


  1. I know what you mean, Nikki. Having just finished book two in the Loving Leonardo story, (yay!) I cried several times writing it for all sorts of reasons, not all sad. Then again, a good TV commercial can make me cry. Kodak and Cotton commercials used to just kill me. :)

    I've returned to another I'd been working on set in the Isle of Skye. I have a family there with three brothers and a sister. The middle brother, Alex, is the hero in this tale, but Lachlan, the oldest, keeps popping up. He's a completely different personality and it's all I can do to keep him in a minor role. I've never had a character push his own story on me like he has. Wow that sounds odd. lol


  2. Nikki~

    Thoughtful post.

    The times when I hit really bad writer's block is when I don't know enough about my characters. I, as the author and the controller of all things in my story, gets to decide what my characters will do when, right? Wrong. More than once everything - and I mean EVERYTHING - came to a screeching halt because a fictional someone in my head says, "I don't think so, Tim."

    I'm not a patient person by nature. So when I get a great idea for a story, I want to write RIGHT NOW. I've had to learn the art of patience. Saves me from extra wrinkles and more gray hair.

  3. Nikki~
    For me, one of the best parts of being a writer is letting my characters have thier heads and being who they want to be! It's exciting to watch them come alive, good or bad.

  4. In The Secret Life of Miss Anna Marsh, I have a character, Georges, that I originally thought was just another French spy, boy was I wrong. And in my current WIP, my hero, Lord Wively has turned out to be nothing like I thought he was. In the other books he's appears in, he was very quiet. Ha!

  5. Congrats on finishing your first draft!

    Since I don't plot, my characters always surprise me. :)
    I love watching/reading as the story unfolds and joining them on their journey.