Characters Wanted?

I was reading excerpts from books last night from one publishing company’s site.  They publish mostly romance, and though this is not my favorite genre, it is what my first book, Miracles, is classified as.

The “back cover blurbs” were exciting; different plots that aren’t your standard, run-of-the-mill romance story.  But when I got to the excerpt, I was let down.  A few books stood out, but most caused my eyes to blur with boredom.

The ones that stood out to me had dynamic characters, ones that you could connect with even in the few sentences the excerpt contained.  Maybe I gravitated toward these books because I am a character writer.  I focus on my characters, their emotions, their actions.  I spend a great deal of time with them before I even begin writing the novel. 

As dynamic as characters need to be, the plot has to be just as compelling.  It is the thing that grabs the editor/agent when they read your query.  As I scan the examples of published works from scores of book sites, I wonder how much my focus on sculpting dynamic characters are wanted.  No matter how endearing the characters are, without a tantalizing, original and compelling plot, the readers, editors and agents will just keep walking by.

As I finish up the final touches on Miracles, preparing it for publishing, I fear I have failed in this area.  My characters are dynamic; it took a lot of work, but I finally molded Kristina into the character I wanted.  Nathan is not just cute and charming, but he has depth, compassion, and strength. 

But, when a reader surveys my excerpt, will they be just as bored?  Will they smile at the characters, but just keep passing by?  Did I work enough on the plot; did it propel the reader through the pages of my book?  Only time will tell.

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Comments

  1. look forward to checking it out- the plot is important, but surely the work you’ve done on the characters will pay off-
    btw- good work getting my attention! now i want to read it just to see how well you did on the plot!
    i am a published writer for magazines & a couple of newspaper columns but still working on my first book- also a christian!
    thanks for following my blog- followin back

  2. Hi, hope your year started off well, and hope it will be filled with love and joy.

    Take care.
    Colin.

  3. Hehe, so you cheated!? Well, that is fine, 🙂 no problem there, and I agree with you, it is difficult to believe it is her. I have to add, she still looks great, but then, I am a huge fan. So far she has done nothing to put me off. And what I really loved about her, she put lady gaga in her place, in public, about abusing the Lords name. Not many people will do that in public, especially not since the celebrities are so used to doing it on a regular basis. And what really gets me is that it happens more and more, even in movies for kids. They would cut out the f word, but not the “oh my G…” go figure that one out.

    Have a lovely day.
    Colin.

  4. Michelle, just jumped on here from BlogFrog. Congrats on your book. I really like the artwork!

    Don’t throw it out. I have done this kind of thing. Chiseling characters is a lot of work, but it is so worth it. When you can get into the mind of your character, how he/she would respond to things, you will find the voice of the novel and the story will tell itself. It sounds like you’re on the road to doing this. Have you published an excerpt somewhere? I’d love to read it. Thanks for connecting on BlogFrog! Best of luck!

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