Category Archives: characters

10 Characters I Wish Would Come to Life

 

Sometimes I’m reading and just wish certain characters would literally jump off the page and into real life. So today I’m introducing 10 of my favorites in that category. In some cases I’ve cheated and counted a duo as one but that’s because I couldn’t possibly bring one to life without the other.

 

  1. Mr. Darcy & Elizabeth. This one was a no-brainer and there’s no way I can separate them.
  2. Mary & James from The Agency series. I don’t know that either of them would qualify as being fun to have around, but I love their interaction and you could definitely have an intelligent conversation with both.
  3. John Thornton from North & South. Sorry, Margaret, but I’m only bringing John.
  4. Liza from The Long Masquerade. I adored her and was peeved by how things worked out. So I would bring her here and let her start over!
  5. Inspector Harding & Dinah from The Unfinished Clue. I just loved them both to…death.
  6. Nick Sabine from Moonraker’s Bride. He was just awesome. And hot.
  7. Eol the Dark Elf from The Silmarillion. Yes, I’m a nerd and actually read this book cover to cover. This guy was definitely my favorite. It was either him or the talking sword.
  8. Cecile de Lac from A Poisoned Season. She was just a side character but I liked her better than the main characters. I would take her and probably Jeremy.
  9. Colum Murtagh from the Kathryn Swinbrooke Mysteries. He’s a trained warrior and a bit crazy, but that’s why I love him.
  10. Robin Hood. OK, so he’s not technically a book character in the strictest sense, but I would still magic-wand him to life if possible!

 

Which characters would you bring to life and why?

>Character Interview Blogfest!

>Here is an exclusive interview with Imogen Bell, the star of my upcoming novel, as part of the Character Interview Blogfest happening today. Enjoy!

What is the deal with your story? You guys have given me such a hard time!

Imogen: (laughs) I know and I’m sorry! We really do love you. It’s been a rough ride for all of us at times I guess. I promise we’ve tried to behave, but you know how characters are. Maybe you made us a little too independent. You’ve gotten us under control though.

I was beginning to think I’d never get the plot in order. What do you think of things as they stand?

Imogen: I think it’s perfect! But I’m a little biased. You have definitely come a long way from, say, last year at this time. We were just getting to know each other then. I think it’s interesting though how similar the story is now to what it was at its earliest stages, despite the digressions in the middle. You really stuck to your guns on that and I think it’s very you.

Why do you think my original, original plot didn’t work for you?

Imogen: Hmm…too simple I think. I needed a storyline with a little more oomph. This plot has texture. You have a little mystery, a little adventure, some danger, and a touch of romance. It feels more complete I think than the very first idea.

What’s your favorite part of the story?

Imogen: Sebastian of course! (laughs) Seriously, though, I think it’s the adventurous nature of it. You get me into lots of trouble, and I love it!

You’re not bothered by the mess I make for you?

Imogen: Well…sometimes it’s rough, what with near-death and experiences and all, but overall I’ve had fun. It all suits me. And things work out so I can’t complain too much.

Should I have kept your name Pinky?

Imogen: (laughs) No! Honestly, can you really see anyone calling me “Pinky?”

Good point. What do you see yourself doing in the future?

Imogen: Starring in another book perhaps? (winks) Honestly, life is pretty good right now. But if you want to throw some more adventure my way, feel free.














>’Til Death Do Us Part

>

Killing off a character can be a tough business. Though I don’t usually write traditional murder mysteries, at some point someone in my stories has to die. I feel bad about it, but it’s just the way I write. Lots of novels (not just mysteries) use the death of one character to raise the stakes of another. There’s an emotional investment there that doesn’t exist with most other events.

Death can also have a domino affect and cause new dimensions to emerge in the survivors. The impact is usually different from one novel to the next. Some are meant to make you cry, while others are more the point of the story and you don’t really feel that much for the victim.

This business is probably easier for some writers than for others. I often know my victim early on in the plotting process and make a point of not getting too close, which can be tough when writing a novel and investing a lot of time in getting to know the characters. Other times, however, it’s extremely important that the writer is as emotionally invested in the character as the reader. It all depends on the story.

So how do you choose a victim? A lot of times for me, the vic comes out of the story itself. The choice becomes obvious because of the events taking place. I don’t like to make the victim too obvious for readers though. I want to keep you guessing for as long as possible. However, sometimes I plot around the victim. Again, it all depends on the story.

In the Donald Maass book Writing the Breakout Novel, he suggests randomly picking a character who is expendable and killing him off. I did this for my current novel, and the results were intriguing. It led to the resurrection of one character and the end of another, which opened up an entire new set of exciting events. The stakes were raised for everyone left standing.

If you don’t normally kill any of your characters, it’s a tactic you might try and see what happens to the surviving cast members and the story. How do they react? What are the consequences?

If you do employ this in your writing, how have you found it helps your stories/characters? What are your methods for choosing a victim?

Photo by hansvandenberg30