Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Aggravatin' Characters

Well, since everyone else is having issues with their aggravatin' characters, I thought I might share some of my pain with you all and let us commisserate together.

I write erotic romance. The stuff I write has a very definite sexual slant to it, and I am fond of using sex as character development--how a character grows sexually is a very important aspect of who that character is overall, and to gloss over that aspect is, I feel, a disservice to the character, especially when their sexual growth is a significant part of their character growth. So my books usually have a lot of sex in them--love scenes, sensual and sexual awareness playing a high-visibility role in the themes of the stories.

My current WIP, however, is causing some aggravation. My female lead suffers from amnesia along with severe cultural conditioning against sex. It takes a lot for her to even acknowledge that she has sexual feelings, much less actually engage with the hero. As a result, this current WIP isn't as chock-full o' nookie as I like to write 'em.

I don't think this will be a problem for my publisher, as they are great about accepting stories that are a little different. But that doesn't mean I don't still worry.

But sometimes the troublesome characters are the most fun to write. Having limits to what you can do with them means having to think creatively and think on your feet. For me as a writer, that lets me stretch my brain into new contortions--the kind that strike you at three AM and you wake up to a dark house thinking, "a-HA! Now I know how I'll get past that scene!" Even though your family is baffled by the dark circles under your eyes the next morning.

Man, I love this job!

3 comments:

MK Mancos/Kathleen Scott said...

I sometimes think that our characters are just put in our minds to challenge and confound us. They are those little hurdles in life that once we're past them we realize that they were building us up for a bigger, harder task. It's funny how some characters come so easy to us and others are so hard. I have one character from Immorati, my police chief Karl Urich, who was so easy to write in the novel. Well, now that he's the hero and the star, he's gotten what I equate to stage fright. His dialogue seems stiff and he's not as easy to write. I think it might be because he's going to finally get a shot at the woman he's REALLY loved for years and it's making him nervous. Now, if I can only transfer that motivation into the story, I think it might just work.

Good luck with your characters Xandra. I 'm sure you'll triumph.

-Kat

Angela Verdenius said...

I find that when I write about a series character that a lot of readers have been waiting for, a character that has so much promise, that I start to worry that I'm not doing him/her justice, that the readers will be disappointed, and even worse, that he/she is developing into something entirely diferent to what they were as side chaarcters in previous books!

But then I think, that's good, too. If they develop differently, it means they have grown as a 'real' person, and we're seeing their personal issues.

Right?

Right? Please?

LOL - Angela

Lynda K. Scott said...

My characters are rebellious too. I keep shouting at them 'I brought you into this world--I can take you out of it'

This doesn't seem to scare them. Sigh.

But I figure it's a measure of their character growth when the book is finished. And, damn, it's a measure of mine too :D