Book Title: Kilingiri
Author: Janna Gray
Release Date: May 21st 2013
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction, Romantic Saga, Saga
Publisher: GMTA Publishing, LLC
Presented by: As You Wish Tours
How to Make Characters Believable
Character creation isn’t just about giving the hero or heroine a name and describing his or her looks – height, weight, skin type, hair colour, striking (or not) features or where they come from, it is about what makes them tick – how they think and feel, what they eat and drink, the clothes they wear, their beliefs, their needs and desires. Characters have to be real, multi-faceted, flesh and blood individuals like the ones we meet in our daily lives, and as with ‘real’ people, the reader will choose to like or dislike them, trust or distrust them.
When writing Kilingiri I wanted the characters to come across as rounded, three dimensional beings with a combination of the faults and foibles of ‘real’ men and women. This wasn’t particularly easy when describing Father Declan and Pip Carlisle. I disliked them intensely and had a hard time coming up with at least one redeeming trait for each of them, particularly Pip who was a bitchy, selfish, vulgar slut! But …she dressed well … as well as women who favoured bling and shoulder pads in the 80s could be considered well-dressed. Father Declan – another horror who stooped to black mail and other skulduggeries – had beautiful white hair which shone like a halo and he was devoted to his Mission. Funnily enough one reader sympathised with him and totally understood why in his zeal to protect the funds for the mission, he resorted to trickery that ruined lives!
Describing the characters’ backgrounds is another way of making them life-like. Relationships with parents and siblings are often a major contributor to the way a person views himself, and the same goes for the interaction with friends. The level of education attained affects the choice of career which in turn impacts on the type of job and the amount of disposable income available for housing, holidays, meals out etc. These aspects influence the way people behave and can often be used to make allowances for a particular idiosyncrasy or attitude.
The type of upbringing matters too … Although he has been taught not to lash out in anger, Josh (in Kilingiri) retaliates when a boy at school calls him a bastard and makes fun of him for not having a father. He understands brawling is unacceptable but it is the only way that his childish persona feels he can protect his mother’s name and keep the bullies off his back. When eventually his father is reunited with his mother, he reacts with anger. He has been the man of the house for all his life and resents the appearance of an adult male who usurps his role. At the age of eighteen, had he accepted his birth father’s unexpected return with enthusiasm, one would wonder as to his credibility as a rounded, multi-dimensional character.