Thursday, February 7, 2013

Character Building

Not mine – but rather, how do the characters that Jamie Tremain have created change and evolve.  Regular readers know that Pam and I have now spent countless hours and discussions on revising, correcting, polishing and general tidying up of Body Perfect.   With the last ‘adjustment’ we focused on an aspect of Dorothy’s character that up until now had not been recognized.  Dorothy was easy, for me, to ‘get’ – perhaps more than just a little alter ego at work.   And while I'm far from perfect, Dorothy seemed to be heading towards being too easy going and agreeable – just not realistic.  So we devised a small dust-up between her and Paul over his assumption she’d be willing to partner with him in business.  As well, she is keeping a secret from Paul – a secret carried forward into their next adventure.  Sometimes secrets need the right timing to be revealed, but the longer its delayed, the harder it becomes.  The potential for an easily avoided strained relationship looms. Especially after Paul reveals the skeleton in his closet.  But is it the only one?

As we move them into a second book and a new crime to test their fledgling partnership upon, we wonder whether the foundation they've built so quickly will be able to withstand day-to-day stresses of working together.  Just as any new relationship takes time to develop, so we plan likewise for our heroes. 

We've read differing perspectives on how authors create their work – from detailed outlining and planning to flying by the seat of your pants – what works well for one may not be so successful for another.   At this stage of our writing, I think Pam and I agree that our characters are going to grow and develop as we, and you the reader, get to know them better.  I think as we write, we are also in the ‘getting to know you’ stage of the protagonists in our story and are eager to learn more about them, too. 

As with any ongoing series, more and more of a central character is revealed, little by little.  Settings, plot, and other characters, new and familiar, all lend to the personality tapestry being developed.  Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta, Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache, for example show us more of what makes them tick with each story.  And isn’t that true of we ‘real’ humans?   Those who know and love us are always discovering something new about us – sometimes not always a good thing!

So we hope you will continue to bear with us as our quest to bring Body Perfect to the publishing world moves on.  And that you will enjoy getting to know Dorothy and Paul, as we get to know them better, too!



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