Would Your Characters be Friends? ~ MK Schiller @MKSchiller
Would Your Characters be Friends?
By MK Schiller
Having gone to an all-female Catholic college, I think of those years as a time of introspection, reflection, and growth. I recall the hours spent with my girlfriends sitting in the dorms amidst stale cups of coffee (Starbucks was an idea before it’s time), bottles of Zima (yes, I was a child of the nineties), and the latest Enya CD (this one does not need additional commentary). Our deep analysis and philosophical meanderings gave insight to the girls we were and the women we would become.
Okay…so we talked about boys. Who we were interested in, who was interested in us, and why we liked them. One particular night, I posed a question, which resulted in many hours of debate that is still discussed in the hallow hallways of The North Dormitories.
“If all your boyfriends met, independent of you, would they be friends?”
The answer was a resounding “no”, which is strange. You are the common thread, and obviously, you liked all of them, so why wouldn’t they like each other? Everyone has a type, don’t they? For me, I like someone who can make me laugh, has strong opinions, and is intelligent. Interestingly, the results of such a search yielded a philosophy professor, a bartender, a pilot, and an artist. All incredibly different men.
I have not been writing for long, but I decided to try this exercise with my characters. So I asked myself – “If all your characters from different books met, would they feel like the same person?”
For example, I like my female characters to be strong, not just in spite of the suffering they’ve been through, but because of it. The need to write these women yielded a successful yet self‐conscious lawyer; a sassy, sexy, tomboy office assistant; and a talented shy artist. In Variables of Love, Meena is an introverted college student with a fierce loyalty to family and a tragic past. Even though they were different, they are all witty, successful, capable women. But they also all have a vulnerable side. Would they be friends? They would certainly be friendly, but I doubt they would be friends. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. In fact, if all your characters from different novels seem like a perfect fit, then you might be writing carbon copies of the same people. I discovered when I applied the theory to some of my favorite authors, the same held true. The actions and dialogue of one character did not necessarily fit another.
This becomes even more important in the heroes. My goal is to always write a strong, charismatic male, who is sensitive to the heroines needs, but what does that mean? One may handle a tough situation by walking away and thinking about it, whereas another will confront the heroine head on. I’ve started making character trait charts to keep track of their physical appearances, life choices, as well as how they handle particular scenarios. It’s important to make sure they have both positive and negative traits. No boyfriend is perfect…not even book boyfriends.
What’s interesting is that one heroine would not fall for any other hero but the one in her story. I notice reviewers that have read several of my books and commented on this…sometimes unfavorably. They say how much they loved one character but did not care for another. That’s not a bad thing. It lets me know I’m writing characters not caricatures. There are no simple one-step recipes in creating likeable people.
My newest novel, Variables of Love, is a new adult, multicultural romance that spans almost two years. This is a very personal story for me. It’s what happens when cultural expectations and personal convictions collide. I’ve borrowed from my own life experiences to create this novel. It’s a story I’ve wanted to tell for some time, and I’m humbled by the opportunity to share it.
Of course, I always try to write the happily ever after in each story… sans the Zima. In the meantime, I’d love comments to the original questions I posed:
Would all your boyfriends past like each other?
Would your characters be friends?
The author will be awarding three separate prizes: a $20 Amazon or B/N GC, a $10 Amazon or B/N GC and an ecopy of Variables of Love, to the randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the banner above to follow the tour and comment at all stops to increase your chance in winning. To enter scroll down and leave a comment for the winner then enter the Rafflecopter. Thanks for visiting.
Variables of Love
by MK Schiller
Meena Kapoor knows what life has in store for her. She’s in her senior year at Stanford where she’ll graduate summa cum laude, and then she’ll begin her interviews…her marriage interviews. Meena is Indian, and she’s never questioned that she’ll have an arranged marriage like all the generations before her. Not until she meets gorgeous math major Ethan Callahan. Ethan’s sense of humor and free spirit stir feelings in Meena she didn’t know were possible outside of Bollywood movies. It doesn’t hurt that he’s charming and has the uncanny ability to make math sound like poetry, but Meena knows their equation makes no sense in the real world.
Ethan finds himself intrigued by the mysterious, beautiful girl, whose big, brown eyes reflect great pain. His goals are small at first – to make her smile and then to laugh. But he soon wants more, and though Meena is adamant they have no future, he convinces her to share the present. Ethan believes every problem has a solution, but with cultural expectations and family duty among the variables, they will struggle to solve the ultimate equation to find happiness.
“You’re a math major, so you understand the importance of balance. Every equation has to equal out, and we don’t. Not on any level. We don’t fit. Not as anything. Not even friends. Do you understand?”
Ethan’s eyes lit up, and his sexy lips curled in a playful smile. “I can’t lie. You’re turning me on something fierce with that math analogy, especially one so Euclidean in nature. Honestly though, I can’t say I understand since correlation does not equal causation. If anything, mathematics provides logic for my argument.”
“A and B are different variables, but together they always equal C, right? A and B are rarely equal. You’re implying that you and I are on opposite sides of the equation, but we’re not. We are both on the same side, working toward C. C represents the culmination of our friendship. But Meena, if we’re not friends, then we’ll never find C, will we? Don’t you want to solve for C?” He held out his hands in some sort of invitation to me. It was so adorably sexy I almost forgot my point. He is actually turning me on…with math.
I shouldn’t have brought up math to a math major. “Sometimes C has no solution.”
“Every problem has a solution.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
I am a hopeless romantic in a hopelessly pragmatic world. I have a full time life and two busy teenagers, but in the dark of night, I sit by the warm glow of my computer monitor, reading or writing, usually with some tasty Italian…the food that is!
I started imagining stories in my head at a very young age. In fact, I got so good at it that friends asked me to create plots featuring them as the heroine and the object of their affection as the hero. You’ve heard of fan fiction… this was friend fiction.
I hope you enjoy my stories and always find The Happily Ever After in every endeavor.
love hearing from readers so please write to me!
Website – http://www.mkschillerauthor.com/
FB author page – https://www.facebook.com/MKSchillerauthor
FB personal Page – https://www.facebook.com/mk.schiller
Amazon Author page – http://www.amazon.com/MK-Schiller/e/B00FE0FGDM/
Twitter – @MKSchiller
Goodreads author page – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7223625
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