Characters We Care About

My favorite question to ask people after they’ve read my book is “Who was your favorite character?”  I always get a quick, definitive response, although occasionally someone will have trouble deciding between two or three.  I worked hard to develop characters that a reader would care about, so I take this as a sign that I succeeded.

I’ve mentioned before that my fiction is very character-driven.  This is probably related to the fact that the stories, movies, and even TV shows that I like are heavily character-based.  Yes, the events are interesting and the plots are involved.  But really, the reason I keep watching or reading is because I’ve become attached to one (or more) of the characters.  A great example is one of my favorite authors, Mercedes Lackey.  I like all of her Valdemar books, but there is one series, The Mage Winds, that I’ve read more times than I can count.  The main reason?  Elspeth and Darkwind, the two main characters.

During the writing of Butterflies, I recognized a point where one character was not very likable.  I knew that she was a good character in general, but the way I was writing her as we got to know her was not showing her in a good light.  Once I realized that, I went back and rewrote the scenes with her in a way that she didn’t come across as a selfish, spoiled child.

Characters are important to me, so I’ll take the time to develop them in a way that my readers will feel the same way about them that I do.