Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Writing Craft

Romance novels are all about the characters. After all it is a love story, which means it is the lovers' journey from that first meeting to a mutual lasting commitment. For this age old story to make engaging entertainment, we readers have to care about the couple.

Many readers are hooked by the hero.This makes sense to me. He's human, attractive, honorable, sexy as all get out, wild for the heroine and a one-woman man. :) What could be more magnetic to a reader?

Precisely because the hero is such a paragon, the heroine needs to be worthy of this drool-worthy hunk. She must be equally human, intelligent, kind, attractive, modest and all things noble. She may not see herself as sex goddess, but the hero does and that's what counts.

Just how does one go about building these entertaining charcters? The longer I study this problem, the more I'm convinced one needs to do everything well.

Dialogue, action, description and introspection all serve to expose character. Character is revealed in everything your hero and heroine do. Every choice they make, every move, every word, every thought reveals them.

As in real life, when we meet a new person we aren't ready to hear their life story or deepest secrets. So it is with story people. They attract the reader first, by word or deed. Or even by thought.

The ability to share a character's thoughts is unique to the world of literature. For a romance writer this is one of the most powerful tools with which to show the reader what ones characters are truly made of - by sharing their inner fears, hopes and dreams.

Conflict is another key to deepening character. Character is forged under pressure. The stronger the opposition, the stronger and more the hero and heroine grow.


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