Lately I have been studying the interesting problem of what makes for the most fascinating characters in novels. It’s not the goody-goody type we root for, but the ones that have to overcome some personal defect that makes them enduring and lovable in the end when they too see their shortcomings and make amends. If you tie this to your book’s external goal, then your book flows easily from scene to scene. Or at least that’s what I have gleamed from my research. So in preparation for writing a new fantasy novel tentatively titled, THE VALE, I have been thinking about my new character studies and what flaw to have them overcome (or not!) in the course of the book. So, in preparation I have compiled a possible list of glaring character flaws in classical books that maybe the right choice to give my novel huge stakes:
(1) Frankenstein: Victor is excessively curious which leads to his downfall.
(2) Harry Potter series: Harry has anger issues and is occasionally arrogant.
(3) Little Women: Jo March’s bluntness and hot temper causes all sorts of conflict.
(4) Macbeth: hubris and then paranoia.
(5) Cyrano De Bergerac: suffers self-doubt.
(6) Hamlet: indecisive and self-doubting.
(7) Percy Jackson and the Olympians: excessive personal loyalty.
(8) The Iliad: Agamemnon is excessively greedy.
(9) Harry Potter series: Tom Riddle has a fear of dying.
(10) The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: extreme depression and boredom.
Well, you get the idea. Now, I need to link one of these traits to the external journey of my character to give the reader a satisfying ending, especially if the character recognizes their faults and makes a valiant effort to overcome their inner faults and win the day. Because THE VALE will feature a female lead and heroine, I’m going with a need for Meadow to grow up and accept responsibility (also why she self-doubts that she can do what she’s being pushed to do) and will tie it to a journey of learning to self-sacrifice for the good of her people and herself when she goes on a hero’s quest. She’ll also need to learn to accept the help of others as she’s a bit arrogant. She’s also lovable! Don’t worry; her immaturity makes her fun-loving too. The journey feels like a good one to make for me so I think I will be easier to put out the monumental effort required to make her journey a good one!
What are your favorite character traits (good and bad) to work with?
Best, Angelina J. Windsor
Seventh Son (Windswept Women Series)
Bio: If, to quote Robert Louis Stevenson, to forget oneself is to be happy, than I am most happy when I am immersed in the lives of my characters. Writing is all about giving your heart and soul to your storytelling. Obsessed with ideas and writing since I was one of those, the dreaded teenage poet, I spend time every day bringing worlds to life. For that journey I am grateful. I write in multiple genres (multi-published) across the writing spectrum, from hard science fiction to sweet romance, though I am quite drawn to racy characters that have plenty of attitude to spare. I can only hope my books touch your life albeit briefly in our busy world, and give you moments of absolute freedom as you fly with me to other worlds. Thanks for reading! And may all your stories have a happy-ever-after.
~Hugs, Angelina J. Windsor
Sneak Peek Release Party!
Thanks so much for having me visit with y’all today, Mia! I am honoured that you have taken the time to share a sneak peek with fellow book lovers of my newest release: Seventh Son, from Ellora’s Cave. It’s the first adult historical novella planned in the series, and it looks to be a long series if the characters get their way! The book, set a thousand years ago, employs the myths of Avalon and Camelot at its heart. Having Merlin’s daughter Morganas (the sensuous antagonist) come alive in my story was such an incredible experience that I am delighted to share their journey. As I truly believe, “Having our voices heard in the wilderness is akin to sharing our souls.”
I am also pleased to announce the beginning of my book tour with Bewitching Book Tours scheduled to begin this coming Monday, September 7th and run for two weeks. There will be blogs on writing on all kinds of subjects pertinent to authors and some bling up for grabs so don’t forget to visit!
Wishing everyone a wonderful day. Hugs, Angel
Link to website: http://www.angelinajwindsor.com/seventh-son.html
Coming Soon: The Power of Tess
New Adult Contemporary Erotica
Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Millions of spiritual creatures walk the Earth,
Unseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep.
John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book IV
A sound. A shadow. The breath stilled in my lungs. I froze mid-stride, icy tentacles of fear twisted around my desperate heart. I waited with every fiber of my body alert to my surroundings. This close to my goal I could not, nay, would not, be denied. A board creaked. The certainty I was not alone slithered through my mind. Evil surely awaited in the rising mist of the gloaming. It crept silently in over the water and beclouded the bottom of the river below. I had to hurry. I willed my body to move and lurched to the dark wooden railing, grasping it with stiffened fingers. Looking down, I could see the mist rising thicker and settling on the cold rushing water. I shuddered. I fancied the swirling mist forming itself into the searching fingers of death. A macabre welcome surely awaited me with absolution for my sins, an end to the agony that my life had become. I felt no hesitation in my mission.
A creak. Someone was on the bridge with me. I panicked and looked back towards the muffled footfalls and barely discernible creaks that echoed loudly in my head. The mist felt a living entity as it pursued me over the wide wooden planks and obscured my view. Wait. The deep voice pierced my head a split second before I threw a leg up over the wooden railing and hoisted myself upwards. No time to waste. Just a couple more seconds and my pain would be over forever. The devil would not win my soul.
Strong arms pulled me off balance and I tumbled off the railing against a hard body. I screeched with anger and agony, fighting the interference tooth and nail with my clenched fists. Food and shelter cost too dearly. I wanted no part of any rescue.
“Let me go! I want to die!”
“Hush, no one wants to die,” a low throaty voice soothed.
His body radiated heat and calmed my tormented mind. I found I wanted to stay within the confines of his arms and be warmed. What had happened to my death wish? Was a warm man enough to turn me away from a choice that had seemed inevitable and well-chosen only moments ago? That I had promised myself this very night. I couldn’t go back. No one could make me. I would not, could not let that happen, but still I did not struggle. I let myself be embraced by the stranger while my mind raced.
He held me for an indeterminable amount of time ’til my thoughts finally quieted. I could hear the water as it rushed over the rocks fifty feet below. I breathed in his fresh woodsy odor of pine and wood smoke and I began to recover. I become aware that he was far taller than I for my head was tucked in well below his chin. As he held me thoughts came into my mind, thoughts of not being hungry and not having been reduced to consider begging for a single hard crust of bread in exchange for sexual favors. Thoughts instead of what it felt like to have a full belly and lie in a warm bed. Luxuries I had not had thought existed for me anymore. The man’s arms were indeed magical if they could offer such comfort, fleeting though it might be.
“Are ye feeling better, lass?”
His lilting accent further soothed me as I recognized a fellow countryman.
“Aye,” I answered simply, surprised that I was. I should have pulled away but I found I could not. I wanted to stay in his embrace. My arms crept around him of their own volition and I hugged him closer. His breathing slowed while his lower body pressed hard into mine. I felt his manhood firm against my stomach and it sent the first real excitement I had ever felt for a man coursing through my body. I was alive. Life was still possible. My body wanted to celebrate its victory.