Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Mighty Pen (Or, In This Case, Computer)

Posted by Bethany at September 02, 2009
Morning Folks,

Yesterday I managed on one coffee. Don't ask me how, I was surprised myself. Today, however, I pulled out an extra coffee. I have a funny feeling I'm definitely going to need it today.

Last night I managed to finish about a chapter or two of Conjure A Man. I was impressed because I had been frustrated with where it was going for a bit there. But after working on some editing and letting my imagination jump around the possibilities, I managed to come up with some ideas. I actually like where it is much better. Hopefully it works, but so far I think it'll add to the already tangled web that exists. A tangle, that I haven't exactly decided how to unravel, but I'm working on it (I have some ideas bouncing around in my head...although if they're literally bouncing, I couldn't say...sometimes it feels like it LOL).

I cut a scene where Caruso was a complete smart aleck (that wasn't why I cut the scene, I actually found him amusing in that one) but it wasn't going to least, not there and I wasn't sure I wanted it to go exactly that way, anyway. But I have an idea now if I do work in a scene like that of how Caruso would act.

I don't know what it is about me but I always love my goofy, "comic relief" characters. Sometimes more than any other character. It's sort of my trademark to put one in. My editor noticed this with Surreal and said she could see aspects of my personality, but she loved the way he and the male main character interacted, she said it was much like the men in her life (her husband and sons). I was proud of myself, in that respect, because that means it's believable.

What I like about these characters is not just that they've got nutty senses of humor (usually) or not just that they're the carefree characters, but that they're fiercely loyal. In Surreal, my "comic" character, Bast Cantrell is always there for my male main character, Monroe Dubay. While he knows how to press Monroe's buttons, when Monroe most needs him, Bast is always there for him. He's a sounding board, a support system, and a good friend. Same with Caruso Valetti in Conjure A Man. He's Delaney Ryan's best friend (known her over 20 years). And while he's a bit on the dramatic side, he's also willing to do almost anything for her. He encourages her to go after something that she's afraid to pursue, but that he believes is good for her.

I like creating characters like that because that's who I am. I'm goofy, and love to joke around, but I also have a serious side. I'm incredibly loyal to my friends. I try hard to be supportive, understanding and encouraging. I try to surround myself with people like that. The good thing about having friends that are loyal to you (especially as a writer) is that they believe in you even when you're facing some of your worst doubts. They recognize the talents you have despite any short comings. That's the kind of people writers need in their lives.

That's another reason fans are important to writers. Fans are the ones buying, reading, checking out, recommending, forming opinions, and following any given author on any given day. They're some of the people that make or break an author because they're the ones buying or not buying books. They're the ones out there saying "Oh my gosh, you have got to read this book. It's awesome." (I'd be so honored and privileged to have people say that about my work). So, any fans I already have, thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You humble me, you make me smile, and you encourage me. This is what authors want...people enjoying their work (at least it's what I want).

In any case, do you all have characters like that? Do you pour part of your personality into your characters or are they complete opposites?

Be sure to surround yourself with helpful, encouraging and supportive people that will help you improve your work, but also help you believe in yourself.

Have A Wonderful Wednesday!


Regina Quentin on Wednesday, 02 September, 2009 said...

I definitely have characters that I like. The current fiction I'm working on is probably 70% me and my life experiences. I have written myself, family and friends into my story. My characters are believable and likable to me, hopefully they will be to others too.

Bethany on Wednesday, 02 September, 2009 said...


Sounds good. I'm sure they're believable. Best of luck in your work!


Stephanie Faris on Wednesday, 02 September, 2009 said...

I think there's a little of me in all of my main female characters. And there's probably a lot of my boyfriend in my male characters. I've already noticed a change in my characters since I met him.

Unknown on Wednesday, 02 September, 2009 said...

I read somewhere that writers are part of every character they create. Writers choose what each character will do... based on themselves and their choices. Just a thought...

Anonymous said...

I believe I write each character with a little something I have or would love to have...even the evil ones, which is difficult to do, but I always think the most malicious antagonists are the ones the readers love first, then realize they're bad!


Bethany on Thursday, 03 September, 2009 said...


True, true about the evil characters. Sometimes you don't realize how bad they are until later! I'm often like "Ooohhh why'd I like THAT one???" LOL That's another mark of some excellent writing--when a writer can make an evil character likable.


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