Lilly is a different kind of character. She isn’t your usual strong female in love with the white knight who sweeps her off her feet and rescues her from her bad choices and situations. Lilly is innocent to a fault. All because of one bad choice, her life gets thrown out of control. She gets involved with a low-ranked gangster who gets her pregnant and leaves her all alone in a strange city. She marries the handsome Diego Montiago and later finds out he’s the king pin of one of the largest crime families in the world. So, her first bad decision spins her into another bad decision and so on… The poor girl eventually falls in love with Diego’s younger brother Max, which turns Diego inside out. So, is she the typical protagonist in a romance novel? Certainly not.
Why do so many people find her so identifiable? Why do so many others want to pull her hair out? Why is she breaking hearts and turning pages? The emotion evoked by this series is triggered by the controversial personality I have assigned my character. I worried about it at first. But after I got stopped in supermarkets and chased down in doctor’s offices, I started to realize…I love Lilly. Lilly is part of me.
I don’t know about you, but in my life, I have made a few bad decisions. I have made some less than wise dating choices and found myself in situations over which I’ve had little or no control. As we get older, I think it’s safe to say, that the amount of control we actually have over our lives is painfully revealing. Although we have control over our choices, God is certainly in control of the outcome. I will be the first to admit that I dream my story lines, so if I were to try to convey to you that I had a plan in creating the beautiful Lilly, I’d be lying. I didn’t plan to make her the woman we often wish we could be or are afraid to admit we are sometimes. She just kind of ended up that way. The fact that communication is simply not her strong suite, unless she’s hanging out with Hector of course, relationship skills don’t even enter into the picture.
It has been suggested to me by other fellow authors that I keep my voice. They tell me to write the way my heart leads me and to heck with the consequences. So I continue to dream and feel grateful for the real romance in my life. The communication between my husband and me is the backbone to our continuous happy marriage. Will Lilly find that kind of love someday? We can only hope.
So, I have to ask. What makes you choose your characters and their love interests? Do you take them from your real life or do you go to sleep at night and wake up with a really good idea? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.
“Characterization is an accident that flows out of action and dialogue.”
– Jack Woodford
I feel like my characters introduce themselves to me. They are all so different. In my middle grade manuscript, J.B. is sort of the underdog yet he's really got a good head on his shoulders and he can think on his feet. In my young adult manuscript, Ella is really feisty and sarcastic yet she has an amazing heart. I do see bits of my own personality in each of my characters but I feel like I'm meeting a new friend every time I sit down to write a new manuscript.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much for your comment, Kelly. I find that I get so attached to my characters after I write them and I too feel like they find me. My series has about seven books in it so far and when people ask me when I'm going to end it, I just tell them, "I don't know. I just can't seem to let go of my characters." I guess only time will tell.ReplyDelete
My characters seem to spring up organically of their own accord, LOL! Sometimes a name will happen first, other times I'll find a picture that will trigger a character, sometimes a place or setting in the novel--anything and everything can act as that trigger--sometimes my characters are strong, sometimes they're the underdog--they develop their characters organically too! Does that make any sense?ReplyDelete
That is so funny, P.I. I never thought of Lilly as the underdog but perhaps she is. Yes, it makes perfect sense. I usually have some kind of dream that inspires my new ideas and characters. They kind of develop themselves.ReplyDelete
Every so often very personal things seep into my characters, their decisions, relationships, etc, but for the most part I like to separate the two. Sure, ultimately all of our characters come from something within us, but I usually like to explore the non-me voices within.ReplyDelete
Thank you Conor for your input. I'll be the first to agree with you. I write Lilly with a very personal view which makes some people think she is actually me, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. "FIction," I tell them. "She is a fictitious character."ReplyDelete