Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Character Development by Jamie Carie

This Writer’s Journey Wednesday, we're giving Ocieanna the day off. But, author Jamie Carie is here to share a little bit about her own journey and how she handles stubborn characters. Enjoy!

Character Development

Have you ever had a character who is stubborn? You know the type. Wants to remain distant and two-dimensional, and oh so elusive. Like recalcitrant children (or maybe just shy) they dodge and deflect when I'm trying to bring out their true feelings, their foibles, that inner dialog/back story that will make me and the reader fall in love with them. I try this turn of phrase or those clothes, a veritable feast of peccadilloes and habits (both bad and good) but nothing is just right. Nothing fits. And so I continue with the beast that is plot and hope to later fill in the proverbial blanks.

Well, I am happy (relieved, thrilled, ecstatic?) to say that my latest heroine, an English woman and an impoverished Earl's daughter, has finally fleshed out. It was my current WIP and due in a little over a month - and yes, I was beginning to panic and pray a lot! Her name is Lady Kendra Townsend and I've recently learned two things about her. One - she and her father "encourage" one another by a gentle, spoken reminder of the fruit of the spirit as needed for an occasion.

Sometimes I scramble for new, fresh ways to portray my characters as Christians aside from the prayers and Scripture verses. This (I hope) has a light hearted comical effect. When someone irritates her, Kendra (silently) yells the word "patience!" or "goodness," or when times are good "joy" to herself. When dealing with pain and heartbreak of losing her father she remembers his gentle admonition of "long-suffering" and "love." I do miss her father almost as much as she does - sniff!

Then, just this week in late edits, I learned that she harbors a love for hats. She can't afford many but oh, my, like my love for shoes . . . well, enough said. She loves them big and full of fripperies, feathered and bejeweled. The drooping brim, the shallow crown, straw, felt and fur. The gaudier the better and I just love that about her.

So, if your characters are being shy or just plain giving you fits, keep plotting along and who knows what you will discover at the ninth hour.

Know what I mean?

Jamie Carie is an inspirational fiction novelist who believes in the power of “story” to touch hearts and change lives. She is the author of Snow Angel, a USA News Book winner for Best Romance of 2007, a ForeWord Magazine award winner and a RITA Awards® finalist. She is the author of several historical romances and her first novella, The Snowflake, out later this year. Jamie lives in Indiana with her husband, three boys and a giant of a dog named Leo.

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1 comment:

  1. Oh yes. My current WIP is based on the life of my mother and at first I was afraid to add any dimension for fear of misrepresenting her. But this is fiction. She's turning out to be three dimensional after all....just like I remembered her to be!


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