One of the things I enjoy most about writing Superromances is the chance to explore human nature more deeply. Spending more time--more pages-- with my characters allows me to see more facets to them and share them with readers. This is fun for me because I enjoy discovering multiple facets of people in my day to day life, too. Isn't it interesting when someone you are close to reveals a whole other side of themselves that you never suspected? Sometimes, of course, that can be hurtful if the hidden side is negative. But often the revelation is simply fascinating--the bookish recluse is a proficient belly dancer, for example. Or the rough-around-the edges neighbor turns out to be a regular volunteer at the local soup kitchen.
As writers, we need to be careful about revealing anything too surprising about our characters. Our editors are quick to warn us if a plot point--or character dimension-- feels like it comes out of nowhere. But isn't that sort of true to life? The real world is famous for throwing us the curve balls we never saw coming. In my books though, I try to be sure the backstory supports any contradictions in my characters.
In real life, I often choose my story lines for myself too. They can vary widely from day to day, too.
|Multiple character points of view |
in my latest Superromance!
(Author side note: I hate to say I ever mount a "case" against my husband, which makes us sound like we are on opposing sides. Ideally, I never do this. Realistically, some days I do!)
My point is... how interesting is that? I can pick and choose bits of my life and make it sound magical. But if I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, I can pick and choose the bits of my life that make me sound like a real trooper having a tough go of things. We are all storytellers in our own lives.
|My cute husband, who puts up with me|
This trick doesn't always work, but it's fun to try. Reading stories gives us the same psychological insights to people too. It's why I try to encourage my kids to read. Not just to improve their vocabulary or reading comprehension, but to understand human nature and to gain empathy. Where else do they have access to the villain's thoughts to understand what makes a person act on their dark instincts? That's a valuable education. It's great for boys to read female point of view and vice versa, too. How helpful to see how the other gender thinks and feels!
I guess that's my public service announcement for the day. Embrace your villains when you can. Remember there are multiple sides to every story. And when your own life is pulling you down, spin your personal tale in a happier direction. You really can choose your own ending.