Shannon here: Carole Brown shares how she creates characters for her latest Mystery, Daffy’s Duck. Comment or answer the question at the end of this post to enter the drawing for reader’s choice of book 1: Hog Insane or book 2: Bat Crazy from this series. Deadline: June 1st, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Carole:
Hobbies That Help Make Crazy, Unique Characters We All Love
I’m working on the third book in my Denton and Alex Davies series (Daffy’s Duck) which is a mystery series with romantic relationships as a secondary theme.
Denton is a somewhat contrary, stuck-in-the-mud type of middle-aged person, smart and has a big heart for the love of his life: Alex, his wife. He has two hobbies:
- fishing and
- Big or Unusual words. His fondness for seeing how many times in a week he can use his chosen word might be a bit silly, irritate his wife some, but he gets enjoyment out of using them.
Why does it work?
Denton is an amateur detective, not of his own choosing, but because mysteries seem to follow him and his wife around. He has the ability to put the pieces of the mystery-puzzle in the right places. He’s tenacious when it comes to pursuing clues. And his feelings don’t get easily hurt when others refuse to cooperate as he wants.
That and his love of reading mystery books, spurs his love of words, his determination to solve whatever mystery pops up next. His mind works that way.
And all this makes him a unique, interesting character that readers love.
And that’s why…
Creating characters that work is vital for an author. If a reader doesn’t love a character, or find them interesting, annoying—or even downright hates him—then your reader just might not make it to the final chapter.
In Denton’s case, he fits the profile of a detective, even an amateur one. Yes, he has some unpleasant traits, but his love for his wife shines through and gives readers that assurance that he truly is worthy to be loved.
Look at some well-known characters from the past:
Poirot: proud, self-assured, almost obnoxiously fastidious, but his wonderful detective traits overshadows all the undesireableness that was created as part of his self.
Miss Marple: Forever knitting, considered either unimportant or nosy, but quick witted and succinct in detective work.
Sherlock Holmes: an odd ball, for sure, a bit crazy with his talents—from creating chemistry experiments to playing the violin, he nevertheless, has an extreme ability to nail the criminal with uncanny accuracy and sometimes unfeeling emotion.
Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: fun loving teens who find themselves in adventures and mysteries. They appeal to young people because of their ordinary life that includes involvement in situations that call out their ability to react thoughtfully and bravely, by deducing the evidence.
In the first book of my series, the romantic relationship is between Denton and wife Alex who are going through a rough patch. Denton’s attention, in between trying to solve the mystery, is dealing with and coming to terms with his own negligence of love and respect toward his wife.
The second book in the series, has relationship problems with secondary characters that has a pleasant and unexpected resolution, thanks to Denton’s help. The third upcoming book will deal with the relationship between a suspect and a friend of Denton’s.
But in all of the books in this series, creative characters add depth and interest to the story line.
How do I create characters that vibrate readers’ interest?
- My favorite way is to listen and watch real-life people. Taking notes on little things like habits or speech mannerisms, or styles. The way people deal with others whether enemies, friends, family or children might crop up in my books through my characters.
- Other times I incorporate my own interests into books. Music, food, flowers and plants, water, photography, activities and sports—all of these I’ve used in ways to help create a character.
- Sometimes I take suggestions. Critique partners, editors, and even my husband make suggestions that help make my character more “real life.”
* Traveling and research give me ideas. Because we’ve traveled in so many different states, I find myself setting my stories in those states, and with that comes reactions from Denton (and other characters in the book or even my other books) that pertain to his personality, his mood and how he reacts to the plot.
So, giving Denton hobbies help bring out his personality quite well, I think. And as for that fishing hobby…well, Alex might not care as much for it as he does, but it does make for quite a romantic time…reading mystery books and snuggling a little with the wife.
About Carole: Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons? Learn more and connect:
About the book – Daffy’s Duck:
It’s winter at the Ski Resort in Colorado, and threats, schemes of theft, fraud and perhaps even murder from someone trying to destroy Jeremy Meadows is no fun at all.
When Denton and Alex Davies are called by his longtime friend, Jeremy to come help he and his niece, Daffodil (Daffy) Meadows, they interrupt their traveling to head to Colorado. Suspects are plenty including Jeremy’s romantic interest, Chef Janeth.
The plot to destroy Jeremy is especially vicious considering the criminal behind it all is dragging Daffy into it. The trouble is, Daffy has Down’s Syndrome, and though everyone seems to love her and her artistic talent, there’s obviously one person who doesn’t care to hurt her to get what they want.
Will Jeremy’s once-in-a-lifetime chance of happiness with Chef Janeth happen, or will one or both of them suffer from the outrageous attacks at the resort?
Will sweet Daffy have to suffer the consequences of a too-trusting heart?
And will Denton and Alex be able to find the culprit who’s trying to wreck havoc before it’s too late?
Question for Readers: What hobby do you have that you can’t imagine giving up? How does it relate to your personality?
Come back May 24th for Sherry Kyle!