I am a member of Romance Writers of America. Every month they send out the Romance Writers Report. It’s a magazine filled with information about the industry. There is a section on first sales, contests, online classes, conferences, you get the idea. There are also articles.
I am going to be honest with you. There are times I set The RWR aside with the best intentions of getting back to it. You know how that goes.
I needed to organize my office. I spent several days last week doing just that. I came across several RWR magazines. If I hadn’t read them, I knew they should be tossed. Except…there were some interesting articles I wanted to read first. I found gold in the April 2012 edition.
I am shamelessly stealing this from Virna Depaul’s article, Characters That Call to Us.
You know I have this “Chart issue.” What I’m doing is taking Ms. Depaul’s information and placing it in a chart.
Ms. Depaul talks about creating S-M-U-R-F-A-B-L-E characters.
|Sympathetic: This is the likable factor. Ex.She quit college, got a job, and takes care of her sick mother.
|Motivated: This is what gives them to reason to act. Ex.They were scammed and are about to lose the family home
(Are you getting the idea?)
|Unique: What makes them interesting/what sets them apart|
|Redeemable: This is them being restored. It’s their arc.|
|Flawed: They aren’t perfect. This is part of their arc as well.At least, that’s how I took it. If you have a different spin, let me know.|
|Active: We want our h/h to be active, not someone who just drifts along.|
|Layered: All is not as it appears. There is a lot going on beneath the surface.|
|Experienced: The experiences of their past have created this person. It’s their dreams, fears, shadows.|
Take a look at your WIP.
Have you created S-M-U-R-F-A-B-L-E characters?