Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Getting your Characters OUT of Character

If you watch Ray Donovan (and if you don't, you really should...) you know that the Liev Schreiber plays the role of a rather stoic, stone face man who probably has the least amount of dialogue of any lead actor that wasn't in a coma; his presence is intimidating, his patience limited and when push comes to shove, he's not opposed to violence.

So you can imagine my surprise while watching an episode in season two called, Walk this Way and this happens....

Why? It's because we love seeing characters getting out of the character; We love surprises, the unexpected and are intrigued when the quiet, shy girl suddenly lashes out, when you least expect it. It keeps us on our toes and prepares us to expect, well, the unexpected.

The thing that makes a fascinating character is no different from what makes for a fascinating person; the more layers, the better. We love it when the person we've known our entire life suddenly expresses an interest or reaction that we never expected from them. If grandma never drank a drop of alcohol in her life and then gets sloshed on her 75 birthday and danced on a table, you better believe she's going to be the most fascinating person in the room.

There have been many times that the characters in my books have surprised me. When Natasha Parson did something unexpected at her uncle's fundraiser in Different Shades of the Same Color, I was shocked. When Mariah (Her Name is Mariah) revealed that as a child, she listened to Metallica when she was trying to sleep, I was intrigued. When bad boy Jimmy Groome in A Spark before the Fire broke down after his rock star idol died, I had a new appreciation for him.

Surprises are what inspires us. Small gestures, comments or acts by a character can show us a different side of their personality; rather than falling flat on the page, they slowly become alive before our eyes.

Mima is the author of Fire and the prequel, A Spark before the Fire, as well as The Rock Star of Vampires  Her Name is Mariah and Different Shades of the Same Color. Join Mima on Facebook, TwitterG+ and Goodreads also, check out her Amazon Author Page

For some reading, check out her blogs – personal or writing