I like writing characters with sharp wit and humor who fall desperately in love (after a whole lot of trial and error), so imagine my surprise when the hero of my latest release Deadly Bloodlines turned out to be dark, brooding, and down right unlikeable.
I tried to lighten her up, but she wouldn’t have it. Jeez! Didn’t she know I was the writer? The person in charge?
My characters always think for themselves, so why I thought things would change with this book was beyond me.
So, my heroine is a brooding inspector with a dark past. That’s not a cliché right? I shook my fists at the computer many times while writing the book even as my character explained why she couldn’t lighten up. The verdict is still out. 🙂
With nowhere to go but forward, I trudged through the scenes looking for a glimmer of hope I’d get to throw in a joke, or better yet a snarky remark (my favorite). Thankfully, my secondary characters came to the rescue and I got to write both in a bar scene that also showed (finally) a softer side to my character right before all hell broke out.
By the time I got to the end of the book I was an emotional wreck, frustrated, and a whole lot of annoyed. I even second guessed publishing the book since it was so different from my first book. Thank goodness for people asking when the next book is coming out and holding me to my deadlines. 🙂
While I hated my character didn’t let me write her laughing, making snarky remarks, or ribbing her fellow officers, she did force me to dig deep and write from a darker place than I had before.
The benefit? I wrote a gritty killing scene for the anthology, A Kind of Mad Courage, stories about mothers. Yes, I did a gruesome murder scene for a mother’s day book, cause that’s how I roll. 🙂 No, not really, but writing the heroine from Deadly Bloodlines, helped me write another different character (passive) I wouldn’t have written otherwise.
I learned our characters are always right (they made me say that) and take us places we wouldn’t go without being pushed or forced at gun point. 😀 Or is it just me?
WHAT HAVE CHARACTERS TAUGHT YOU?
I envy you. I wish my characters would speak up more. Somehow I imagine just being the secretary recording what they have to say.
I like that your Inspector Angel is a brooding character with a dark past. Makes her interesting. And what did you expect for a crime novel?
I’ve already written how much I liked your short story The Sacrifice in another post but it was interesting to learn how the idea to write this story was fueled by Inspector Angel.
Keep on writing, Elke 🙂
I totally relate to being a secretary, Carol. I interrogate my characters to get them talking, or write scenes forcing them to open up.
I’m glad you liked her. She didn’t turn out the way I expected, which is usually the case with characters. I guess I didn’t want her to be a cliché, but the brooding inspectors thing works, so who am I to argue. 🙂