Tribulation – definition: a severe trial or period of suffering
To thoroughly engage our readers our characters have to face or overcome trials of one sort or another. This is the core of our stories.
In my novel, Life in Slake Patch, my POV character, Evan had a difficult dilemma. Whether to choose between upholding the matriarchy laws and suffer separation from his lover, side with the rebellious Tribe or somehow find a compromise.
With my reincarnation romance, The Twesome Loop, my 18th century character, Gabriella wanted to escape from her cruel but wealthy husband. She would have to risk destitution with her young son or follow her heart with her husband’s younger brother, Arthur. Within the modern era of the same novel, Melissa could suffer years of neglect from her conniving husband as he spent her inheritance or forge a new life for herself in Italy.
And my fantasy, The Rython Kingdom, sees a troubadour become instrumental in the battle against a vengeful witch, along side a beautiful but mysterious young woman, who has her own agenda.
Care to share some of your stories core tribulations?
Sacrificial – definition: pertaining to sacrifice, or short-term loss for longer term gain
Once in a while we come across a character, who for whatever reason needs to be sacrificed. This is a hard choice because we have invested time and effort into their development. This link explains some of the reasons.
My novel, The Twesome Loop, has quite an array of characters, mainly because it is dealing with two time periods. There are four main characters, which ‘overlap’ in each era. I had to apply similar characteristics to each of them, so my readers would come to realize who was who in each era
I detailed their personality traits in similar ways, taking into account the differences expected in each culture. It was the obnoxious male character that became the easiest to recognise!
Anathema – definition: a person or thing detested, loathed, or hated
My anathema is abuse of animals and children. It makes my blood boil – literally. If something is defenseless there is no excuse to harm it. I will not rant anymore – suffice to say if I can rescue or prevent harm I will.
In my novel, The Twesome Loop, I have two detestable characters, William and Brett. Even though they are separated by decades in the two era story, both have character traits that people dislike. When I have read parts of the novel to my writing circle, it is obvious everyone hates them both. Which, of course, is what I wanted. Writing these types of characters is a lot of fun. There are no barriers to how debauched we can make them, down to their base nature.
Is it a weird writer trait to love developing such distasteful personalities, if only on paper?
Here’s a snippet from Twesome:
William had her pinned too tightly to the carriage side for her to reach the door handle. The more she struggled and pleaded the more he seemed to enjoy himself. She turned her face away to avoid his wet lips but he grabbed her chin and forced his tongue into her mouth. Gabriella gagged as his saliva dripped into her mouth. I want to die, please take me Lord. At last the carriage’s pace slowed and William sat up adjusting his breeches.
Do you have a loathsome character you would like to share?
Flawed characters can be difficult to write on occasion as they are far removed from our own personality (well I certainly hope so!)My antagonist in Life in Slake Patch, was actually the leader of a group of young men fighting against the matriarchal system they wanted to change and in The Rython Kingdom, it was a vengeful witch, Malgraf, who gave my protagonist trouble.
However, in my reincarnation themed novel, The Twesome Loop, I admit to going further into the dark depths of a character. The character, William, is a wealthy landowner, expecting all his servants and serfs to be at his beck and call, no matter what he desires. William has a very dark side and carnal lusts. As I wrote scenes that included William I imagined a loathsome, brute of a man. This imagery helped me write from his viewpoint. Compassion was not a trait William possessed, he felt as the law of his domain nothing was forbidden to him.
Once I had finished my first draft and gave it to a few trusted friends, I waited for their reactions. Yes no-one liked William – perfect. However, it was suggested I write a redeeming feature for him. This would give some balance to his character without detracting from his main personality traits. Bizarrely finding and writing this part of William’s personality was the hardest.
Eventually I found a ’cause’ for his despicable attitude to women but it didn’t completely redeem his actions. I still needed my readers to dislike him after all.
Excerpt – adult content: Gabriella has tried to evade William during the wedding reception but he is impatient to have his new bride alone.
“My sweet, it is time to go.”
“But maybe a while longer…”
“No more dancing. Watching you sway back and forth has my mind on more delicious delights.”
His breath stank of ale and his brow gleamed with sweat. She was at his mercy now, the night ahead a fearful proposition.
With her cloak wrapped tightly around her shoulders, Gabriella stepped into the carriage. She looked back at her childhood home to see her mother wave. A tear ran down her cheek as William stepped in and closed the door. The horses hooves crunched on the gravel and the carriage lurched forward.
“Make haste, Hall, we are impatient to be home.”
William’s hand grabbed Gabriella’s thigh.
“Alone at last, my sweet, now I can taste your young flesh with no interruptions.”
“We must wait…”
“Wait, whatever for?”
“I have a surprise for you but I cannot show you until we reach our bedroom.”
“A surprise, how wonderful, you are quite the temptress. In the meantime I will enjoy those beautiful breasts.”
Before she could stop him, William plunged his hands down the front of her bodice and squeezed painfully.
“You are hurting me, please stop.”
Who are your favorite despicable characters from your stories?