Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Backstory - when characters come to life

 The plus side of writing a series is that you get to know your characters so when they make cameos in subsequent books, you already have a handle on who they are. The down side is that when the spotlight turns to them, you need to know MORE about them. I had the basic information on the main characters in EPITAPH 3, but as I started to write (and I've made significant progress into the writing of this story), the characters started to reveal things I didn't know in the previous books.

The structure to every book is that your characters need goals, motivation and conflict. The hard part is clearly defining those things. I know the conflict, I know the goals. The motivation often comes from backstory, and that is what I've been concentrating on before I go further into E3, and let me tell you, it's keeping me up at night! Why would my heroine allow herself to be manipulated? What does the antagonist hold over her? How antagonistic is he going to be? And the hero? How much does he know and what is he going to do with the information he has? Will he get in the way or will he be able to "save" the heroine? How much help will a strong woman allow a man to give her? As I consider these questions, I have to weigh whether what I've written to date will fit with the answers or whether I have to start over. The basic storyline hasn't changed, but the "how do they get there" has.

For those readers who have asked me about the rest of the series, EPITAPH 2: THE TWINS (Siobhan's book) is off to the editor, so yes, its on schedule (actually, its ahead of schedule). Hoping to see the cover this week. The plan is to release it the beginning of April. Stay tuned.

I'm hoping to have EPITAPH 3 (Garth's book) ready by July. After that, I have four more siblings standing by. I'd also like to write another Northwest Suburbs book, but since I can only write one book at a time, I'm concentrating on finishing this one first.

For those of you who've read Epitaph, what do you think? Which sibling do you want to read about next?

1 comment:

  1. I feel the struggle. Asking "WHY" (and finding the answers) is what makes the characters into people readers can bond with. People do "dumb" things, but if there's a good reason, readers will accept it and empathize with the character.