Friday, August 20, 2010

Bland Heroes

Today I read an interview with Tess Gerritsen creator of the Rizzoli & Isles characters in The Strand Magazine, Jun-Sep 2010 issue.

Q.  "So what advice do you have for aspiring writers?
A.  "Be persistent, and get a good agent (laughs).  That's about it....I think, if you aren't published yet, you've just got to find the right voice.  You've got to find the right character.  Sometimes it is searching for the character who needs to have a story told.  I think too many beginning authors, their heroes are bland;  their heroes are uninspiring.  They haven't really been able to crawl into those heads yet and inhabit those characters well enough.  And a large part of the successful book is really in the point of view of the characters."

Uh oh!  I'm going down this path.  My everyman hero, Jed, is bland to me.  He's definintely uninspiring.  He's only a means to tell the villain's, Bob Lee, story.  Whoops, I'd better figure this out.  Like now!

While I conducted a one person focus group session with Katy this week.  She said, "You don't really know Lou Ann (my damsel in distress) do you?"  No.  Guilty.  Again, she's just someone I need for Bob Lee to threaten.

I did some backstory and character planning on Jed and Lou Ann.  But evidently not nearly enough.  If Tess Gerritsen is correct, and what she says rings true.  I won't have a successful book until I want/am compelled to tell Jed and Lou Ann's story, not just Bob Lee's.

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