So you write a synopsis (or not). Do some research. Scribble snatches of dialogue and plot points. You're ready to meet your characters. You know just when they come on the page and why. Writing is so easy, right?
NEVER! Or so our beloved John Thornton shouted during that riveting balcony scene in North & South:) And I'm inclined to say the same. Writing is full of surprises, twists, and turns, or should be. And you have to fall in love with your characters or your readers most assuredly won't either.
I've been working on The Colonel's Lady in the mornings and The Ballantyne Legacy in the afternoons. Still don't have a title for that first book and wish you could help me:) It's kind of like having a baby and then not knowing what to call it ~ a colonial custom. Often parents back then waited several months or more to name an infant for fear it wouldn't live. I don't like having a nameless book any more than having a nameless baby. But the right title hasn't come to me yet. However, new characters are clamoring to be noticed and I'm a bit intrigued and amazed by who's appearing. They simply aren't in the script/synopsis:)
So far we have...
*a John Thornton type hero
*two feuding sisters
*a horse named Half-Penny
*a plantation, a few sheep, a meddling housekeeper, a devoted dog...
This post by one of my favorite authors, Susan Meissner, is so helpful and thought-provoking. It helped me change my new heroine's liabilities into possibilities, even assets.
Currently I'm in the middle of Elizabeth Gaskell's North & South which is filled with memorable characters that leap off the page and make a lasting impression.
What memorable characters are center stage in your own writing or the book you have in hand?