Saturday, March 22, 2014

A congregation of characters

I was wondering what would happen if all my main female characters came together in one room... How would they interact? Would they be similar in mind and like so that they would all immediately like each other and get along?

So then I started analysing them. Of course, in the real world, women who are completely different, from opposite walks of life, do strike up friendships, so it's hard to know, really, whether my characters would be friends or not. I guess the real question I was asking myself was, as a writer, do I write all my characters similarly, or are they completely contrasting?

Let's find out...

We'll start with Cassie, my first and probably most beloved character to come to full fruition in a book. I have to be careful here and not write any spoilers - I don't want to give anything away to potential readers, so I'll try and stick to character traits rather than what they've been through.

Cassie gets along with most people. She's a people-pleaser. Family oriented with strong basic values, she's still learning to put herself first, but after much hardship, she's getting her life back on track. She was pregnant at a young age and married young, so a career has never been high on the priority list and money has never been an issue.

I'm going to skip to Alex from Alexandra the Great next, for one simple reason: she has already met Cassie. It was a natural progression for me, because both stories briefly involved hospitals, and the setting and timeline were easily matched for the two characters to come together. Alex and Cassie are very different in one respect - Alex is career focused and manages her own business, but they are similar in background: they both have tragic pasts and many hardships that have been overcome. Is that enough to make them solid friends?

Kirsten from Beside the Brook is younger than these two characters. She hasn't come from a tragic past, but a normal, straight-laced family with solid values: values she carries with her and is not afraid to voice. Her flaring red-haired nature gets her into hot water sometimes, but her heart is always in the right place.

Adrienne from A Diamond in the Dust is also very sure of herself. She knows what she wants from life, but unlike Kirsten, she tends to be a bit more secretive about that. She's strong: she's beat the odds. She knows life is precious and she's very resourceful. Given the right circumstances, she might give Sarah Connor a run for her money.

Then there's Jess. She had her life ripped apart early on and her heart never really mended. She put up a wall so that it wouldn't happen again - to focus on building a business, a grand home and a stately life. She's proud of who she is and the people she lets inside the walls. Her 'family' is her rock but she's very careful about who she lets in. She's fiercely loyal and would do anything to keep those she loves safe.

Last but not least there's Briley. She likes to look for the silver lining in any situation rather than focus on the negative. She comes from solid country stock, where a spade is always called a spade, but she feels a little bit like the black sheep of the family because she left farming behind and chose instead to live in the city. Like Cassie, she married and had children young, so a career or money has never been the focus of her life.

I'm sure from a reader's perspective, there's some similar flavour to all of my novels, but I'm not sure whether it's within the characters I write or rather just my general style of writing. I can't answer that. Only my readers can.

I think my characters have enough in common that they would certainly be able to converse and have a good time all together. There is huge potential there for friendships. Let's just leave the rest to the imagination...