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Daily Archives: 22/02/2013

On Writing Characters – Simon Grant


silhuette

 

 

 

 

 

OFF PAGE

I write Simon Grant Mysteries series

Originally, I was planning to write only three books

–      Hiding the Elephant

–      Lock Up Your Daughters

and the forthcoming For the Love of Honey.

But just as book three, For the Love of Honey, started approaching its publication date, I had this brilliant new idea for yet another sequel. I don’t know all the details yet, I haven’t even got the title, but I do know why it needs to be written and why everything that will be happening in the story needs to happen.

How I know that?

Why I know that?

These questions brought me to another question: What happens to fictional characters when they’re off page? How well do I need to know my characters to keep them going from one story to another?

Rather well, seems to be the obvious answer. Well enough to make the readers care whether the Main Character lives or dies. Well enough to make the readers care for those that the MC cares about and dislike MC’s pet hates enough to immerse themselves into the next storyline. And therein hides the trap. Once the word ‘care’ comes into play, that’s it. When it happened to me, I was hooked. From that moment on my MC blossomed into Simon Grant, a person in his own right, someone I just had to know everything about if for no other reason than to keep him on side. I really can’t have my characters rebelling against me all over the page, can I? Knowing Simon rather well wasn’t good enough any longer. I had to know him intimately to move on.

By now, readers know that he’s calm on the surface and passionate underneath, occasionally quick tempered, a keen observer who doesn’t get involved unless he needs to, an amateur carver of wooden miniatures, alongside many of his other poignant traits.

On the other hand, I’ve stealthily learned that he doesn’t watch much TV. He enjoys riding, swimming, sailing and skiing but only when he gets a chance to do any of it himself. He’s not a good spectator. He knows that he should go to the gym more often, and he’ll get to address that in the Book 4. (Actually, I think that I’ve just found my working title for it: Book 4. As simple as that. It roils off the tongue rather well, doesn’t it?) On surface, he’s good with people, he can charm birds out of trees, but he’s got very few close personal friends, all of them carefully chosen. He likes to read but not murder mysteries or any other form of crime fiction, something that I find rather rude. Another thing that upsets me about him is that he’s not a foodie. Given chance, he’d live on sandwiches. Also, he’s quite clean, neat and tidy. I like clean. But neat and tidy?! Please?! Where has that come from? Mostly because of his parents’ high political profile, Simon is not political. He’s pragmatic, dealing with the world as it is, not as it should be. But, he’s a romantic. And how!

All those qualities will continue to seep through, meld with the already known ones, and make each new book that much more personal and revealing.

Anyway, why does all that matter?

To me, it’s like a well stocked cupboard at my disposal, full of exquisite ingredients required for production of a sophisticated, unique and intricate product, a.k.a. a genuine human being.

That’s the only way that I can think of to make sure that I won’t let him down and consequently, let myself down.

 

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Posted by on 22/02/2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Quick Quotes


HIDING THE ELEPHANT

HTEcover

Amazin UK: http://tinyurl.com/a8zmyn9

Amazon US: http://tinyurl.com/asxqn3y

‘Keep away from it, Emma. It’s not safe.’ Simon was looking at her with his eyes rapt, serious, greyer than usual. That was last Tuesday afternoon. Only five days ago. Five days and a lifetime ago.

‘Don’t patronise me, Simon. I’m a big girl now. Besides, I hear things you don’t. Do you want me to tell you or not?’

He took her to the chippy down the road from the incident room. It had a dining room at the back, deserted at nearly three o’clock on a Tuesday afternoon. Emma didn’t even know the place existed, but the young man greeted Simon with restrained friendship.

‘I was about to close, but as it’s you…..’

He brought the coffee in fine, gold rimmed white china on a crafted wooden tray. It smelled like real coffee, submerging the oily vapours wafting from the kitchen.

‘My wife’s. She’s French,’ he explained solemnly.

‘The winds of change….’ Simon laughed quietly into her ear as soon as the door closed, and she joined him, thinking of what Father would have to say to French coffee and French women in an English chip shop, and that these days Simon was the only person that she could have a laugh with. Their fingers touched as they passed the milk to each other and again as they wondered over the exquisite silver spoon in the bowl of sparkling crystals of brown sugar.

 

 
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Posted by on 22/02/2013 in Uncategorized

 
 
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