This week's thoughts are brought to you by Tessa Gray, author of Last Chance Texas.
A dozen years ago I read a book by author, Debbie Macomber, called Dakota Home. By the time I finished, I’d fallen in love with her hero, Jeb. I couldn’t stop thinking about him and for three weeks I headed to bed early so I could dream about him. He wasn’t some shirtless hunk, but a rancher who probably wore overalls to do chores. I’m guessing Macomber spent months (or even years) working with the character of Jeb until she had it just right. Twelve years later I still think about Jeb and his family.
If we fast forward to 2015, it’s obvious the writing industry has changed considerably. Today’s authors are sometimes forced to crank out 3-4 (or more) books per year, leaving them little time to create a cast of unforgettable characters that will stay with their readers long after the book has ended. Three years ago as I set out to self-publish my first novel, Last Chance Texas, it became apparent to me that while I liked the hero, Nathan Wainwright well enough, he didn’t stand out as an unforgettable hero. Something had to give.
The best money I ever spent was purchasing The Complete Writer’s Guide to HEROES & HEROINES: Sixteen Master Archetypes by Cowden, LaFever, and Viders. Not only did it help me create authentic characters, but it gave specific examples of how different character types would interact and what problems they’d undoubtedly encounter in their relationships. There are a multitude of books on character development, and although this worked for me, it’s not for everyone. Which leads me to . . .
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