a blog on the craft of writing
Today I have on guest author Summer Mahan. Summer is a blogger from Her Story Calls and a fellow romance author from CRW. She’s lively and fun and one of the best people to hang around with if you meet her at a convention or a retreat. She also has great advice for aurthors on making connections today, so read on!
Connections. The number one trait all best-selling authors have is creating a connection with their audience.
Somehow they can fulfill a need or satisfy a want within their readers. Loyal fans who wait for months for their books and then stay up late into the night and forget to cook dinner for their loved ones.
How can some authors make this hair pulling journey of writing seem so simple and effortless from the start of chapter one down to the end? If you find out please let me know. Now, I’m no expert, but my research has pointed me on the path that begins and ends with characters.
While it’s true that you might pick a book in a grocery store line because of the back read, mostly due towards plot, or because of a great cover-the reason you continue to read is because characters.
Story is about the characters. Great story is about great characters.
Take your favorite book, movie or play. Now dissect why you love it so much.
Is it because of the heart pounding plot? The flow or voice of sequence? The eloquence of speech, scenery or structure? Perhaps. But I’d bet nine times out of ten the story you love is all because of the characters.
For some reason their struggle has become your struggle. Their pain has become your pain. And you’re rooting for them right up until their hopefully happy ending and they get what they deserve. Because you’re right there with them all along the way.
And fingers crossed, in the end we all get what we deserve.
So how does one go about creating this awe inspiring connection?
- Make your character likeable
- Make a compelling and interesting career or past
- Honorable, loyal
- Flawed and/or vulnerable
- Capable of fear
- Heroic in some way (big or small)
- Unique in their voice
- Capable of learning and/or changing
- Real to the reader due to motivations, desires, loyalties(this is big)
- A dirty little secret. Or just a secret
- Let them struggle for redemption (big or small)
And no matter what you do don’t…
- Let the characters be stupid
- Or do stupid things
- Stereotype (always add spice and special twists)
I hope this helps in some way in your writing. I’ll continue throughout the month with more details about these above traits on my blog www.herstorycalls.com .
Please add any connections you think are notable in the comments. The wonderful thing about writers is all the great information we share.
Thanks for having me, Jessica! Until next time. 😉
Loves to laugh. Adores sparkling conversation, wit, and charm. Believes reading is a pleasure one should indulge in at least once a day and writing is for the fearless. She loves her family, diet Coke, Scotland and pasta. Contemplates that picking a favorite genre to write is much like choosing a favorite child-it’s not possible. Summer hopes to never stop learning what the world has to offer and telling the stories it reveals.
Thanks Summer. Please leave a comment for Summer below and don’t forget to enter to win great prizes (including 4 copies of Little Red Riding Wolf, by Jessica Aspen) during my January and February promotion. To enter please click HERE and follow the directions.
(Details available on the contest page HERE).