Friday, November 16, 2012

Guest Kathryn Springer: "Making Your Characters Come Alive!"

We all know that creating great characters--the kind a reader will stick with even if the hero or heroine is staring out the window, drinking a cup of coffee--can be a challenge.
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Physical descriptions, dialogue and internal conflict are all important elements when it comes to creating multi-dimensional characters. Our heroes and heroines should be larger-than-life, but we have to be able to relate to them, too. Yes, we’re talking about fiction, but the fiction has to be real. You know exactly what I mean, don’t you? (further proof that we writers are an odd bunch!)
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Your hero can be stubborn and aloof, your heroine fearful or slow to trust. Watching them grow and change is what keeps a reader’s interest throughout the course of the book. And a great way to give your character...well, character...is to give them something we all understand. And something, like it or not, that all of us have.
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Imperfections.
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I like that word better than flaws because it brings to mind my favorite coffee mug--the one with the lopsided handle and crazy kaleidoscope of splotches and speckles that one of my children made in pottery class. I have a connection to that cup because I can picture my daughter’s hands shaping it. I can hear her laughter when she took it out of the kiln and saw the result of her first effort. I can see her.
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That’s what you want to accomplish. You want your readers to see your characters. Not just their physical appearance, but their mannerisms. Their movements. I’ve discovered two things that can bring your characters to life are habits and hang-ups.
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Habits
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What is a habit? Quite simply, it’s an ingrained pattern of behavior. And as writers, we’re all about shaking things up, aren’t we?
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When I talk about a habit, I’m talking about more than having your heroine bite her lip, twist a strand of hair or clear her throat when she’s nervous. If the goal is creating a multi-dimensional character, even  seat-of-the-pants writers like myself must be purposeful. That means it’s important to know your characters’ backstory.
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Link the habit to something in the character’s past.
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In the Davis Landing series, my heroine, Felicity Simmons, was a reporter. She was also a redhead, which seems to be synonymous with a temperamental personality. Felicity was a go-getter, confidant and headstrong to the point where she could have been unlikeable. She needed something to make her seem more sympathetic. More human.
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She needed a habit.
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I decided that Felicity had always been strong-willed. When she was a little girl, her dad gave her a butterscotch candy instead of the familiar admonition to “take a deep breath and count to ten”. She carried that reminder into adulthood and kept a supply of the candy in her pocket. She even knew exactly how long it took one to dissolve (six minutes and thirty-eight seconds!) Enter Chris Hamilton, the officer assigned to protect our fearless reporter from a stalker. During one of their interactions, Felicity can see that Chris is frustrated with her, so she offers him a piece of candy. When they clash in another scene, the hero asks for one. By the end of the story, he has his own private stash!
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Another one of my heroes, an architect, was discouraged from pursuing art because his father wanted him to eventually take over the family business. He drummed his fingers when he was feeling restless or upset, a habit the heroine connected to the fact that he couldn’t express his emotions with a paintbrush.
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You can use habits to reveal deeper emotion. You can also use them as comic relief. For example, your super-analytical aerospace engineer hero and free-spirited heroine are traveling together in a car. He is quiet. Deep in thought ... ignoring her. She realizes he is counting the boxcars on a passing train and suddenly starts to shout out numbers, just to mess him up.
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You want to be careful not to overdo it, though, or your reader may begin to focus on the habit rather than the character. If you’ve ever watched someone bite their nails, from left to right and back again, you understand! Whatever your character’s habit, make sure it’s more endearing than annoying.
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Hang-ups
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A hang-up is to ‘become stuck or snagged so as to be immovable”. And once again, as writers it’s our duty to get our characters unstuck. We want them to grow.
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The reader wants them to grow. Giving your character a hang-up is a good way to keep the ‘show, don’t tell’ rule. Hang-ups are a bit more subtle and will usually manifest themselves in other ways. Think of it like this. When it comes to our heroes and heroines, hang-ups are their emotional security blanket.
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Under pressure, your wealthy, top-of-the-social-ladder heroine turns to comfort food when she’s stressed, but don’t fall into the familiar scene in which she grabs a piece of chocolate or opens the freezer door and pulls out a pint of Rocky Road. Instead, have your hero catch her eating cold ravioli straight from the can--because that’s what she and her little sister snacked on before they were separated in the foster care system.
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We hear the advice to get our characters out of their “comfort zone.” And this is exactly what is happening when something gets in the way of the hang-up.
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And just for the record, nothing challenges our hang-ups like children and pets! If you have either one--or both--you know this is true.
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Why?
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Because they are unpredictable. Your solitary hero’s life will be turned upside down when the heroine and her triplets (and their Old English sheepdog) move in next door.
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Middle school science teacher Evie McBride--the dutiful middle daughter in A Treasure Worth Keeping--has looked after her widowed father for years. She doesn’t like surprises and is always prepared for everything.
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Evie’s purse (think Linus clutching his fuzzy blanket) is more than a stylish container for her stuff—it’s her security. To relinquish her purse is to relinquish control. Evie doesn’t think she wants adventure but the contents of that purse prepare her for it.
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In the beginning, the hero, Sam Cutter, gives Evie a hard time about the gigantic purse she insists on carrying everywhere—until the contents of that purse come in handy when they’re on the run from the bad guys.
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Do you see how much fun this can be?
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Habits and hang-ups shine a light into our characters’ hearts. They connect those slightly imperfect characters to each other. And to the reader.
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That’s our goal, isn’t it?
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Do you notice I ask a lot of questions? Mmm. It seems to be a habit of mine...
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Kathryn Springer
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If you’d like to be entered in a drawing for a copy of Kathryn’s The Soldier’s Newfound Family,” please mention it in the comments section--then watch our Weekend Edition for the winner!  By the way, this book just made the USA Today Bestseller List, so join us in congratulating Kathryn!!
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ABOUT KATHRYN: Kathryn Springer, author of 19 books, winner of the 2009 Carol Award (short contemporary) and a USA Today bestseller, grew up in a small town in northern Wisconsin, where her parents published a weekly newspaper. As a child, she spent many hours plunking out stories on her mother's typewriter and she credits her parents for instilling in her a love of books--which eventually turned into a desire to tell stories of her own. Encouraging women in their faith journey is the reason Kathryn loves to write inspirational fiction. When she isn't at the computer, you'll find her curled up with a good book, spending time with family and friends or walking on the trails near her country home.
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The Soldier’s Newfound Family is Book 5 in the new 6-book Harlequin Love Inspired "Texas Twins" series. (Following Seeker Glynna Kaye’s book #4, “Look Alike Lawman!)
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When he returns to Texas from overseas, U.S. Marine Carter Wallace makes good on a promise to tell a fallen soldier's wife that her husband loved her. But widowed Savannah Blackmore, pregnant and alone, shares a different story with Carter—one that tests everything he believes. He brings Savannah back to the Triple C ranch, where family secrets—and siblings he hadn't known about—await him. Now the marine who never needed anyone suddenly needs Savannah. Will opening his heart be the bravest thing he'll ever do?
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Texas Twins: Two sets of twins, torn apart by family secrets, find their way home.

77 comments:

Christina said...

Kathryn, welcome and congratulations on USA Today!

Butterscotch candy and over-sized purses. Oh, I love when the hero shouts out the rail cars. Priceless. By the way, I'm a counter. I blame it on my OCD.

You've got me wanting to write back story, just to figure out my mc's little habits.

Melissa Jagears said...

Congrats on the bestseller!

What great advice. My heroine loves candy--because she hates baking. I'll have to see if there's a deep seated reason why. :) But love your examples, makes me want to make mine better! I can't remember whose lecture it was that said you have to question why the person fiddles with their ring until you find the deep deep reason for it. Maybe Susan May Warren???

Enter me for your bestseller list book, please!

Mary Cline said...

Wow, a best seller, congratulations!
I have always been a why person but I don't know if I have always given a why do they do what they do, to my characters. This is very helpful, thank you Kathryn.
This has been a great Seekerville week for me Lots of helpful advice and ideas.

Mary Cline said...

Oh, please enter me for your book.

Cindy W. said...

Characterization is an area I really need to work on. Thank you so very much for your post this morning. I know I notice the quirks of characters in some of my favorite author's books and expect to see it if the books are in a series.

Have a blessed day!

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

Jenny Blake said...

I have read the first in the Texas Twins series and have Glynna's and Jillian Harts just need the other three.

I remember reading one of your books not that long ago. I read The promise of Home and loved it.

I love the idea of the hero or heroine having quirks or habits and why.

Mary Curry said...

Good morning, Kathryn. Welcome to Seekerville.

Thanks so much for this inspiring post. You've certainly got us thinking of ways to mess up our characters. ;)

No need to enter me in the drawing, I'm in the middle of reading your book right now. No surprise it's a best seller because it's fabulous! Congratulations on making the USA Today list.

Glynna Kaye said...

I'm going to try this again...blogger ate my comment.

GOOD MORNING, KATHRYN! And congratulations on Book #5 of the Texas Twins series making the USA Today bestseller list. WOW!

Thank you, too, for the insights into deepening our characterization. This was just what I needed to tweak my current WIP!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Kathryn, I'm so stinkin' delighted to have you here and congrats on breaking through to the USA Today Bestseller list!!!

Happy dancing for you, and I've just been lovin' on this continuity.

First: TWINS??? YES!!!!

Second: Hot Texas guys????

Double YES!!! YES!!!!

:)

And set between Fort Worth (which I loved when I visited) and small towns in Texas.

Oh my stars, and now military guy comes home.

Happy dancing in upstate! Huge congrats and keep up the good work!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Welcome to Seekerville Kathryn, And WOW the USA bestseller list. Congratulations. What a thrill and should be an indication that the whole series has been a hit.

Congrats to all of you who wrote the series.

Have fun today.

Rose said...

Kathryn,

Congratulations on hitting the USA bestseller list. Woo-hoo.

I just love this series concept.

Anonymous said...

Good morning Seekerville! What a great way to start the day! Thank you for your encouraging words about the USA Today list--it was definitely a "pinch me" moment. I'm looking forward to visiting today!
Kathryn Springer

Jackie said...

Kathryn,

Congratulations on the USA today bestseller list!

I appreciate all of your great advice. I've already copied it off.

Thanks!

Please enter me in the drawing for your book. Thanks.

Jackie L.

Bridgett Henson said...

Kathryn,

I love character quirks and the deep seated reasons behind them. Thanks for the reminder of why we writers need to search out the backstory. This is a very timely post for me.

And congratulations on the bestseller status.

Jeanne T said...

Kathryn, congratulations on your name being on the USA Today, list. That's wonderful!

I loved this post. As I've been really working to make my characters relatable and deeper, I so appreciate your suggestions. I'm thinking on what coping my characters would have learned when they were younger and dealing with the things that formed who they are today. Does that loooong sentence make sense? I'm thinking if I can figure that out, I can see what their habits and hang ups are today.

My mind is a'whirlin'.

Please do enter me for your book.

karenk said...

congratulations, kathryn!

a great posting ;)

please add my name for your book giveaway

karenk
kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Audra Harders said...

Ooookay, so I'm in the middle of making a really intellectually deep comment and my computer just shuts down in order to configure Windows, and then pops back on.

What's up with that??

Anyway, once again, welcome to Seekerville, Kathryn!

I love the quirky habits and flaws you talked about. I think we tend to get into a rut and reach for the first flaw that comes to mind.

You've challenged me to become more creative!

Thanks for joining us!

Pepper said...

Kathryn,
GREAT post today! Thank you for providing such solid examples. My mind is spinning with thoughts about how I need to make the 'habits' and 'hang-ups' clearer with my characters.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

And I love quirky habits. This is good advice, Kathryn... must examine wip for rewards per page and quirks.

Noting right now!!!

Glynna Kaye said...

All -- what are some of the imperfections, habits and hang-ups you've used to add a deeper dimension to your characters?

In my "At Home in His Heart," heroine Sandi Bradshaw was always pulling out a "To Do" list of handyman things she needed the hero to do at the local museum property his grandma owned. The hero began to dread that little red notebook. That is, until the end of the story...! :)

Annie Rains said...

Kathryn, congratulations on making the USA Today's Bestseller list! That is fantastic!...And thank you so much for today's post. Now to go back to my wip and stir up the habits and hang ups :)

I would love to be entered in today's drawing for your book!

Jan Drexler said...

Good morning, Kathryn! I'm going to join in on the USA today congrats!

I always struggle to bring depth to my characters - or maybe my struggle is getting their back story to affect the current story. Using habits and hangups will definitely help with this. Thanks for the advice.

By the way, my husband counts ceiling tiles. It's a lot like counting railroad cars :)

And I'd love to be in on the drawing...

Clari Dees said...

WooHoo! Congrats on the the USA Today bestseller. So excited for you!

Loved the imperfections, habits and quirks. They made me smile this morning. And like so many others have mentioned, you've got my mind whirling about my character's backstory.

Elaine Clampitt said...

Congratulatons, Kathryn! How exciting!

I loved your post. I've been working on this exact thing in my WIP and you helped me see the bigger picture.
Thanks!

DebH said...

Snoopy dancing for your USA Today's Bestseller listing. I've got one of the Texas Twins books - I MUST GET the rest of them. They're on my wish list.

I just love the entire premise of the series. I also happen to love your samples and questions in your post. I love it when characters have "character". Quirks with meaning help make them less annoying, yes?

Rich information here to remember. Thanks for sharing with us!!

Mary Connealy said...

CONGRATULATIONS ON THE BESTSELLER LIST!!!!

SO SO SO SO SO SWEET!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

It's been so exciting to read your posts this morning! I'm glad the creative wheels are turning :) Glynna, love your 'little red book' example. That is exactly what we're talking about! I'm looking forward to more and if anyone has a character you would like to match with a habit or hangup, post a comment and we'll do some brainstorming!
Kathryn Springer

Mary Connealy said...

Kathryn, I love that butterscotch candy quirk. So fun and different and I love that the hero starts doing it.

What a great, fresh, fun, charming way to reveal an imperfect character trait.

Marianne said...

How lovely that this novel made best sellers list this week! i would love to read the complete series of the twins, so to win this one would be awesome. Thanks for the chance to win A Soldiers Newfound Family

Tina Pinson said...

Hello Kathryn,

I like some of your ideas to give your characters as you said character.

I had character who was too flawed or mean and had to tone him down because no one liked him, so I gave him more interaction with his daughters, and showed his heart in other ways and I think it helped. Now he's not a total jerk that I'm tempted to kill him off.

I'm a counter, yes it's true. Train cars, VW Beetles... birds, which my granddaughter has joined in as we go back and forth to school or in the car.

32 birds this morning, in case inquiring minds wanted to know.

Funny you mention Butterscotch, that was one of my father's quirk's, that and lemon drops, when he quit smoking he started carrying a pocketful of them and was known as the candy man.

blessings

Tina P

Lyndee said...

Congratulations Kathryn! Very cool to be on 'the list!'

And really great ideas about character habits. Reminded me that I carry a stone in my purse. Really hadn't thought about it since RWA Anaheim this summer because I clean my out my purse before going on trips and found it again. Butterscotch was my grandfather's favorite and he doled them out liberally. That's a very distinctive color and flavor that would stick with readers. It does with me, at least, as I can still imagine the taste of those candies. Fun.

Missy Tippens said...

Kathryn, congratulations on the best seller honor!!! I'm so happy for you!

Thanks for your fantastic post. It inspired all kinds of ideas!! I'm so glad you're with us today!

Missy Tippens said...

By the way... I'm at the middle school today taking to almost 800 kids in small groups about writing. I just had a kid ask if I'm famous. :) And, darn it, I had to be honest and say no. LOL Butt she asked for my autograph anyway and said it was just in case I'm rich and famous someday. :) I like that kind of confidence!

Myra Johnson said...

Kathryn, what wonderful ideas for character development! I'm definitely taking notes!

Congrats, too, on the USA Today bestseller list--super-exciting!

Glynna asked, "what are some of the imperfections, habits and hang-ups you've used to add a deeper dimension to your characters?" In the first book of my "Till We Meet Again" series for Abingdon Press, When the Clouds Roll By (coming October 2013), my heroine is a ceramicist, so whenever she's upset or stressed, her first instinct is to work at her potter's wheel. Even in the middle of the night!

Deborah Dunson said...

I would to win a copy of Kathryn's book.

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hi Kathryn,

So neat to 'meet' you! It's one of those weird coincidences because I just finished your book "The Promise of Home" and loved it so much that I made a mental note "to remember that author's name"! I also re-read it immediately after finishing it! I do that sometimes with books I really like.

The way the heroine and hero meet, with her thinking his dog was a wolf, was so much fun!

Thanks for the great tips - quirks, habits and imperfections are all good ways for the character to stick in your mind. Must work on that!

I'd love to be in the draw for your Texas Twin book!

Congrats on all the success!

Cheers,
Sue
sbmason at sympatico dot ca

Susan Anne Mason said...

Hey, Missy - you're famous to us!

Julie Lessman said...

WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE, KATHRYN, AND HOLY COW -- SUPER CONGRATS ON THE USA TODAY BESTSELLER STATUS!!

LOVE this blog today and soooo very true!!

Cute cover, by the way! :)

Hugs,
Julie

Renee (SteelerGirl83) said...

Congrats on making the bestseller list! AWESOME!

As a reader I definitely like characters with flaws, if they're too perfect they get annoying reaaaal fast and I just don't care enough to finish a book which definitely isn't a good thing!

Janet Dean said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Kathryn! Mega congratulations on making the USA Today Bestseller list!!!!!

Thanks for the excellent post on using habits and hangups to flesh out our characters.

Your butterscotch candy reminded me of a habit of my hero Charles Graves in Courting Miss Adelaide. Charles had a difficult childhood with an abusive father. On his way home from school a neighbor lady would often call him up to her porch and ask him how he was doing in school, then would give him a peppermint and tell him if he worked hard he'd make something of himself. As an adult, Charles kept a stash of peppermints in his desk, a reminder of the one person who had believed in him and given him hope for the future.

Little details carry a whopper of an impact. Your post has helped remind me to give my characters habits and hangups that touch the reader.

Janet

Ganise said...

Welcome Kathryn and CONGRATS!

Great post! As a reader, I love it when the characters are well-developed.

Your book sounds good! Please include me in the giveaway.

Thanks and good day to you all!

:-)

Anonymous said...

Alright Kathryn,I've not read any of your books but now I'm going to have to go buy the Texas Twins book. Everyone saying how good it is.

Your advice on characters makes a lot of sense and I'm looking over my ms right now for where I can improve all those little flaws and quirks, and still have them make sense w/their background!

Thanks,
Connie Queen

PatriciaW said...

No way one of my favorite LI authors was visiting and I didn't stop by.

Hi Kathyrn (waving while jumping up and down, embarrassing those nearby)! Loved The Soldier's Newfound Family (and the whole series). Congratulations on making the USA Today list.

Thanks for sharing one of the secrets that elevates your writing. I always think about giving characters some type of quirk or habit, but by linking it to their past, that opens up so many possibilities for digging deeper into the character.

Anonymous said...

I am loving all these butterscotch candy stories! A simple piece of candy becomes something that bonds us together--and you want your readers to bond with your characters! I'm smiling at those of you who confessed to being 'a counter'. My son, a mechanical engineering major, can tell you exactly how many stairs are in our house, how many windows, etc. etc. I don't count stairs, I trip on them!
Tina, your comment about making your hero more likeable was right on. I had to do that with Alex Porter, my hero in "Longing for Home". He was such a control freak in the first book of the series, I wasn't sure I could make him likeable! His interactions with the heroine's foster children revealed his marshnallow center. Now, he's one of my favorite guys!
Kathryn Springer
PS Can I just say how much fun I'm having today? You guys are aweseome!

Glynna Kaye said...

Hi again, Kathryn! Thanks for stopping back in! I'm home for lunch, so thought I'd drop by and see what's up.

Is there a trick to ensuring that your character's habits and hang-ups aren't overboard to the point that they become irritating or a caricature of themselves?

I FINALLY got my hands on a copy of "The Soldier's Newfound Family," so am looking forward to reading it as soon as I get this current WIP out the door. Even though I know in advance the high level stuff that happens in each of the Texas Twins books, it's been so much fun to see how each of us has fleshed out those basics and made the individual stories come alive!

Will we see habits/hang-ups in your Texas Twins #5 characters?

What's been your most fun character habit/hang-up to write about?

Glynna Kaye said...

Gee, Audra, I'm sorry your computer is acting up and we missed that "intellectual ly deep comment." :)

I think you're right, though, that sometimes we grab the first idea we get and don't really root it in anything that comes from deep within the character or their past. It's shallow and without significance. Digging deeper to give habits/hang-ups a source is a very simple way to engage your reader's sympathy and to underline the premise of your story.

Glynna Kaye said...

LYNDEE -- Are you going to tell us WHY you carry a stone in your purse?

Glynna Kaye said...

800 middle schoolers, Missy? Let us know if you've survived!

Glynna Kaye said...

KATHRYN -- Have you ever had an editor nix an imperfection, habit, or hang-up of one of your characters?

Glynna Kaye said...

JANET -- I love the peppermint stash. It has a direct link to his past and a symbolic meaning for his future.

Anonymous said...

This is Kathryn again (waving back to Patricia!)
Glynna, in response to your questions, I guess there's no trick to making sure I don't go overboard with my hero and heroine's habits or hangups. My rule of thumb would be, if they start to irritate me, they are probably irritating the reader, too!
The one that was the most fun was Felicity's butterscotch candies (and I hope the mention of this isn't getting irritating!) It was actually my inspiration for the blog today.
I loved "Look-Alike Lawman" by the way! I have a soft spot for police officers because I've been married to one for almost twenty-five years!
Kathryn

Christina said...

In my western, my hero asks the heroine why she named her horse Brown, she tells him the same reason she name the one he's riding Spot and to be thankful she just didn't name them both Horse. He asks her what she'd name a dog and she tells him Dog. When asked why she tells them if you don't care enough to name them it won't hurt as bad when they leave.

I have two Biblical characters I'm trying to figure imperfections and hangups for. He's an important warrior who has been caught and tortured to be used as a pawn. He's always been carefree, jolly and fun. She's the castaway daughter of the dead queen the villain hopes to use to take control of the country and marry. She's a shy wallflower type, not a great beauty.

To bad they didn't have butterscotch candy back then.

Jenny Blake said...

I forgot to say congrats on the best seller list.

CatMom said...

Welcome and Congratulations on making that Best-sellers list, Kathryn! Thanks so much for all this advice on characters--I know I'll be re-reading this post. And I LOVE your book cover featured on today's post--Wow! Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo
p.s. I'm thinking you're friends with a precious friend I met at my very first conference--Susan Kinney? We keep in touch via e-mail, and she's a sweetheart!

CatMom said...

P.P.S. Am smiling at Missy's "middle school" post--and for what it's worth, Missy....I think you're FAMOUS!!! :)
Hugs, PJ

Lyndee said...

Hey Glynna Kaye,
The stone is a reminder given to me by my Weight Watchers leader - It's a round aqua colored stone and on the back it says, 'I did it!'

Lyndee said...

Christina,

I enjoyed your character's discussion about naming animals. (Especially the insight of why she named them!) We had a rainbow parakeet named Rainbow, a gray Parakeet named Gray, a cobalt one named Blue...well, you get the picture. Thankfully, we got over it with Kodiak, Abigail Bean, Trinket and now Pippa, although we NEARLY fell back into the slump of colors and named Pippa 'Fawn' because her coat is- drum roll- fawn color. Haha...

Christina said...

Missy, my dd was doing my hair yesterday. I wanted to be one of her last clients before she graduates from cosmetology. I told her I was thinking about getting some photos done for a new head shot and would like it if she did my hair. She says, oh my gosh, mamma, I'm a celebrity hairstylist. HAHA. I asked her if authors were considered celebrities and she said, well of course. Love my kids.

Christina said...

Lyndee, I've never owned a bird. Although I would love to have an African Grey. My god-parents had babysat one while there neighbors went on vacation. By the time they got back my god-parents had turned the bird against his owners and taught him to say so (can't remember the name) and so don't live here.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Patricia, you can't possibly look silly here, cheering for Kathryn!

We think she's pretty special, too.

And that continuity????

SO STINKIN' FUN!!!!

Nancy C said...

Kathryn, congrats on the USA Today bestseller list! Obviously your characters come alive :-) Enjoyed your post and will be printing it out to go in my Seekerville notebook.

Nancy C

Anonymous said...

Missy's story reminded me of the time my son's third grade teacher invited me to talk to his class after I sold my first book to Love Inspired. Their top three questions:
Do you know J.K. Rowling?
Are you famous?
Do you make a lot of money?
Answer to all of the above:
Um. . no!
I still think about that day and smile. Nothing like children to keep us humble!
Kathryn

Jamie Adams said...

Congratulations on the bestseller!

Cara Lynn James said...

Thanks for the wonderful advice, Kathryn! It's hard to differentiate characters especially the hero and heroine and make them seem real and memorable. Great examples of habits, hangups etc.

Congratulations on your bestseller!!!!!

Missy Tippens said...

Glynna, I survived! They were all so sweet. Several seemed very interested in writing!

And now I'm horrified to see my typos in my comments! LOL That's what happens when I type on my phone. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Glynna, I survived! They were all so sweet. Several seemed very interested in writing!

And now I'm horrified to see my typos in my comments! LOL That's what happens when I type on my phone. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Sue and Patti Jo, thank you for making me feel better. ;)

Missy Tippens said...

Christina, I'm glad your daughter gave you that boost! Mine tends to bring me back to earth pretty quickly. LOL

Missy Tippens said...

Kathryn, I also had several ask how much money I make. :) No one asked me if I know JK this year. But they have in the past! :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

Kathryn!!!! Congratulations to you!!!

What a wonderful honor. I am delighted for you!!!

Donna said...

Kathryn, what a fun post! I love the idea of tying a habit to something meaningful from the past!

I would love to know if you timed yourself eating a butterscotch for your research.

Should you give the hero and heroine a quirk or just one of them?

Congratulations on making the USA Today Best Seller List!!

Janet, I can't remember, did you tell the reader that was why he kept a bowl of mints or did you just put it in there for the reader to pick up on?

Debby Giusti said...

Hi Kathryn,
I've been out of town so I'm stopping by late this evening. So, so thrilled about your book making the USA Today Best Seller List! Such fantastic news! YAY!

Mary Preston said...

Congratulations Kathryn!!

“The Soldier’s Newfound Family” looks wonderful I would love to read it thank you.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

shelia hall said...

would love to win Kathryn's book!

Anonymous said...

This is Kathryn again! I just wanted to let everyone on Seekerville know how much I enjoyed my visit yesterday. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, encouraging comments and insights. I'm definitely going to stop by again--you are a great group :)
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Jacqui R said...

Enjoyed the discussion of habits and hang-ups of fictional characters--helpful and entertaining. Thanks.

Veronica Sternberg said...

This looks like a great story. Love to win!