Say hello to the main characters of ONE TWO THREE..

I have been thinking about my characters a lot. They’re off to my awesome beta readers (–> more on this later, I promise) and it’s like having them going on holidays, wondering how they’re doing.

Then, I read those posts in the recent weeks which highlight the need for the main characters to be fully layered, somewhat unique and “true” to themselves. As writers and readers, we know this but I thought their posts to be quite to the point in reminding us why it’s important. You should go ahead and read them 😀

  • August Characters: Intro by Vickie Motter (Agent with Andrea Hurst Literary Management).
  • Your Thing by Taryn Albright (writer, reader, lit agency intern, and freelance editor)

And then, I turned back to my WiP ONE TWO THREE and wondered how I would answer Vickie’s question: “What makes this character unique? Why will a reader fall in love with him/her?” And the answer was actually easy. I didn’t have to think much because I know them. Inside and out.

Let me introduce you to Natalja, Antonio, Beverley and James.

grace in winter 2
Uploaded by Ekabhishek (Wikicommons)

Natalja used to know how to fly. Not anymore. Not since her injury destroyed her ballet career. She loves the piano, Chopin. She does enjoy a bit of sangria from times to times and has issues hugging people. Personal contact, so not her thing. She has some personal issues she doesn’t like to talk about. She can become the music when she dances even if she cannot do much ballet any longer. Her knee hurts when it’s about to rain and she thought of making a career out of this. She can eat a lot of pelmeni but she also enjoys enchiladas. She misses New York, the buzz of people. Oh and her favourite Disney movie is Beauty and the Beast. Because of the dance scene. And the books.

Antonio loves his family. He is short tempered and doesn’t take any crap. He is very helpful, kind and protective. He enjoys cracking jokes and he loves the feel of the wind when he runs. He sometimes likes tequila a bit too much and his little sister has him wrapped around her little finger. His favourite Disney movie – he only admitted to it because of Karina, his little sister – is Sleeping Beauty. Because the guy gets to fight a dragon and wins the girl.

Beverley is Student President. She’s nice and funny and talks to her car to make sure it stays alive. She has a bubbly personality but she can also be very quiet and listen. She thinks she’s too tall to wear any heels no matter what Natalja tells her. She wears her heart on her sleeve. She loves to organize things and to be right. She is always responsible but doesn’t mind breaking the rules from times to times. She’s the best friend one can ask for.

James is tall. No really, he’s taller than Beverley. He is calm and collected unless you cross one of his friends, then you’re in trouble. You can lean on him if you have any issues and he will tell you things as they are. No sugar coating from that guy. James and Antonio are quite funny when they hang together, they’ve been friends only a few years but it seems like they’ve known each other forever. It could be their experience on the soccer field or the fact that both are non-judgemental and just down-to-earth guys.

So, tell me what is the first thing that comes in your mind when you think about your main characters?

or about a character you recently read about?

writing, ya, young adult

You’re not perfect but you’re perfect for my story…

In recent weeks, I read a lot about the building of characters, how to make sure they are believable, that readers can root for them, love or hate them…Here are some of the posts which got me to ponder (or smile):

After all, we all have flaws and so do the people in the novels we read. On top of my head, I am thinking about a trilogy by Catherine Hermary-Vieille in which the women are clearly not perfect but they are idealistic or cynical, secret, fragile but strong, they commit errors, sometimes do not learn from them until it is too late, they embrace their feminine side or reject it. While my characters may not be as extreme (I promise I will do a book review on her trilogy soon :-)), they need to be authentic.

“A writer should create living people; people, not characters.  A character is a caricature.”

Ernest Hemingway

My “people” grow with the novel itself, they tell me their past as they react to events thrown at them. One of my main male protagonists, Aleksi, is rebellious, tender, cynical, loving, mysterious, funny, clearly hot, complicated, smart and charming (totally reminds me of my husband *Disclaimer: he is reading this blog* :-))

He would be a mix of:

Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and no Aleksi is not a vampire)

Pacey from Dawson’s creek  

Dylan from Beverly Hills(the early episodes)

Now tell me 🙂 As a reader: what makes you fall in love with a character? As a writer: who does your male protagonist remind you of?