She’s reaching for a lifelong dream.
Penelope has made a living taking concert photos for the newspaper entertainment section, but her dreams are much bigger. She dreams of getting close with a rock and roll band and taking pictures of everything, immersing herself in the rock and roll lifestyle.
He’s searching for a life beyond the stage.
She gets her chance when a band on tour invites her to join them for a few weeks, but Penelope has reservations…is she being invited along because they want a photographer, or because Marcus, the quiet but attractive lead singer, wants to sleep with her? And what would she say if he tried?
Creating a Main Character That No One Will Forget
Instead, I try to be conscious of how I deliver information about a character to the reader and follow the 'show, don't tell' rule. For those of you who haven't heard of this rule before, it's a writer's rule of thumb and it can help rid a story of any nonessential elements, keeping it action-focused and free of pages upon pages of exposition. Allow me to provide an example. Take my friend, Helen, for example. When she's put on the spot, she gets nervous and taps her foot like she's sending a panicked Morse code for 'Get me out of here!" Now, if I were writing this into a scene, I wouldn't say "Helen was nervous." Instead, I'd describe this little quirk with the tapping foot. It's memorable and conveys the same message, that she's nervous. If I were establishing Helen as a character, she's instantly a million times more memorable since she has a quirk and she's much more believable because I gave you something to visualize rather than something nebulous like a feeling.
For my main character, however, usually I go a step beyond describing quirks and showing rather than telling. I find it is very effective to create a main character with one heck of a flaw that she has yet to work through. These flaws can be with how she perceives her body, how she was treated as a child/teen, how she handles her anger, or even how she internalizes frustration at people who use her and how it relates to her self-worth. When I first brought these elements into a main character, I was absolutely blown away by the amount of fan mail I received about how my main characters resonated with my readers because of a shared flaw. It's usually these very personal, very hidden aspects of ourselves that carry the most weight. It's almost like we're walking around each day worrying that someone is about to discover why we feel the way we do...And that holds us back from reaching our goal. That's the next element of creating a memorable main character.
When you create a character whose flaws prevent her from reaching her goal, it makes her journey take on more meaning. After that, it's my job to force my character to come face-to-face with her flaws over and over so that she finally realizes that she's being held back from reaching her goals because of her flaws. Usually, it's the love interest who acts as the catalyst for this realization.
Ultimately, if I've done my job as a writer, my character is memorable because of the feeling of catharsis the reader feels through the main character. Look for these elements in some of your favorite books and I'm sure you'll start to notice why a certain character resonates with you. There's nothing quite like that feeling when you know a main character so well that you can almost predict how she'll behave in a certain situation.
About The Author . . .
Part of her quick rise can be attributed to her small, but growing, group of fans who promote her work and offer her feedback as Beta Readers, an offer she extends to potential fans at the end of each of her works. Interested fans can apply to her beta reader program and receive one of her works for free through her website: http://emmaroseromance.com/beta/
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