How Well Do You Know Your Characters?

© 2014 Patricia Bradley

In six short months, the third book in my Logan Point Series is due. I’m starting to sweat bullets here. I’ve set a deadline to begin writing, but before I can write the first word, I have to know my characters inside and out. Who are they? What is their spiritual journey? What do they value? And these are just a few of the questions I have to answer.

Since the series is romantic suspense, I have to have a crime for the suspense part as well as obstacles that will keep the hero and heroine apart romantically. Not just external obstacles but internal, too—they will need a wound that only the hero or heroine can heal.

Gulp. The obstacles. Hmm. Maybe we can work on this together. External first. What if the heroine is a by-the-book cop and the hero is a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants private investigator? That’s like mixing oil and water. Good. And maybe he’s from Texas or California and wouldn’t be caught dead living in Mississippi, where the story is set. And maybe she’s plain suspicious of PI’s to start with. I think I can work with these external obstacles.

Now their internal obstacles. This is usually caused by something from the character’s past that creates a wound so deep the character is afraid to fall in love. Often it’s harder to overcome than the external obstacles.

Maybe my PI was left standing at the altar and doesn’t want to risk rejection or looking foolish again. So he becomes a love-them-and-leave-them playboy. Not that she’s interested anyway. He definitely isn’t her type. She’s a meticulous list maker, operates with a plan, and he wouldn’t know a plan if it bit him. Besides, she’s tired of turning herself into someone else to please a man. She did that with her father, and she was never able to earn his love. If her own father didn’t love her, it stands to reason no other man will love her either.

I like these internal obstacles. Each character has deep emotional wounds. Do you think my hero and heroine will be able to heal the other’s wound? We’ll see…
Patricia Bradley lives in North Mississippi and is a former abstinence educator and co-author of RISE To Your Dreams, an abstinence curriculum. But her heart is tuned to suspense. Patricia’s mini-mysteries have been published in Woman’s World, and her debut novel,Shadows of the Past, is the first of three set in Mississippi and will release February 4, 2014. She will present a workshop, Writing 50,000 Words in 30 Days, at the Mid-South Christian Writer’s Conference. Visit Patricia on her website or blog or follow her on Twitter, @PTBradley1.Patricia_Bradley.1

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