We have author Robin Gianna talking about Character Pitfalls and ways to avoid then. There's a giveaway her latest release Her Greek Doctor's Proposal!
Robin Gianna on the web:
Top Five Character Pitfalls and Ways to Avoid Them
1. Heroes that are too good
You want to create a character readers can feel empathy for, or some kind of admiration and connection. But it’s important to recognize that your hero (and heroine) must have flaws, too. They have strengths, weaknesses, and needs they often don’t acknowledge that sometimes get them in trouble. They might not even be aware of these traits at all. When they act a certain way, they’ll give a reason they believe, but often it’s not the real reason. That reason could be a deep-rooted fear, pain from the past, or any number of things. When developing characters with depth, decide on what their flaws and character traits are, then have them have to face these at points in the story when their needs aren’t being fulfilled.
2. Characters with no conflict
Just as a story without conflict isn’t very interesting, characters without internal conflict aren’t particularly interesting either. A story isn’t going to be particularly compelling if a character doesn’t have a particular goal that’s hard to accomplish. Also boring if they get pretty much everything they want in the story without sometimes being worried about whether or not they’re going to get it. You don’t want them going through scene after scene feeling pretty happy and content, without conflicted feelings from wanting two things at the same time that are mutually exclusive. That’s conflict, and that’s what keeps readers turning the pages.
3. Antagonists that are two dimensional
There are a lot of books (and movies) out there with antagonists who come across as pretty cartoonish. They’re bad just because they are, or we never really know why they want to rob that bank or keep the hero from getting what he wants. Put as much time into exploring your antagonists as your heroes. Know who they are, and not only what they want, but why they want it. The character shouldn’t view himself as a villain, but as a person who’s doing what he has to do. When the reader understands who the antagonist really is and why they’re a formidable foe, it makes the hero seem a lot more heroic having to deal with him or her.
4. Characters that don’t change
If a character is the same person at the end of the book as they are at the beginning, you haven’t created a satisfying journey for them. Show at the beginning who they are in their everyday life. Then make them deal with obstacles and problems that force them to face their flaws and preconceived attitudes about what they want, and why. By the end of the book, they should have done something they never thought they’d do and come out a better person for it.
5. Having characters that all seem too similar
We all have our own voice, and it takes an effort to make sure our characters don’t all talk like us, walk like us, act like us. If you’re struggling with this, a good exercise is to go sit in a coffee shop and eavesdrop. Listen to women, men and children talk. Watch people coming and going, how they sit in their chairs, etc. Make notes about how they differ from one another, and how some stand out. Also think about friends and relatives, or actors and actresses you like, and study how they sound and move. Getting those visuals and voices in our heads as we write can really help differentiate one character from another, and enrich your story.
Her Greek Doctor's Proposal
Archaeologist Laurel Evans put her career on hold to care for her younger sisters. Now, close to achieving her goals, she won't let anything distract her. Laurel has come to Delphi to dig up ancient treasures, but she finds a modern-day Greek god instead—local doctor Andros Drakoulias!
A devoted single dad, Andros is determined to give his little girl stability. He knows his fling with Laurel can't last, so why is it so hard to imagine a future without her by his side?
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