Sunday, December 7, 2008

Matching Your Characters

This is one of the most irritating things I see coming across my desk. Stories with characters that just don't belong together. Now, I'm not just talking about personalities, I am talking about the whole thing. By the time I have met both the characters, I spend the rest of the book cheering them on to find someone better.

This is not a good way to sell a book.

Too often, writers, in an attempt to find something unique for a story, shove together characters that are so different and do all they can to bring them together. No, you can not use the phrase, opposites attract. What I am referring to here are stories that only have the situation to tie them together. If the plot the writer created wasn't there, then these characters would not ever consider hooking up.

If you are a person that likes to start with the characters, then consider going back to the GMC's. There has to be something there that might be hidden away in the crevices of their minds that make them similar. I'm not talking about their jobs, I'm talking about the emotional side of them. We as readers need to see this similarity early on so we can start screaming, "Don't you two see that you want the same thing?"

If you are a person that starts with the plot, don't give up on those wild premises, but you have to consider characters that would likely come together even outside of this. Think Medieval's here. The Lords would never consider marrying a servant. Never, Never, Never. They might do other things, but not marry, therefore the Happily Ever After is gone. Remember that the story, even the fantasies and the like, need to be grounded in reality.

So, stop right now and look at your characters. Would they really like each other? Would they really want to hook up? If they don't, make changes FAST!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the post--I have had the same thoughts about characters before when reading books, or even some movies.

    I was beginning to wonder if I was too critical. ;)

    Now I don't feel like I am. ;)