I like main characters who are good people and have secrets, weaknesses and fears.
One of my favorite characters that I’ve written is the father of the main male character in the story. His secret and his shame is something that happened before the story starts. While is wife was dying of cancer, in his grief and depression, he had an affair with a waitress he met in a coffee shop where he went to have lunch during the ordeal. Unbeknownst to him, the waitress had a child by him. Five years later, she tracks him down. Not to force him to marry her, but she’s had to swallow her pride and ask financial help. He offers to marry her and she refuses because if she marries she wants a husband who truly loves her, not someone who used her in his time of turmoil and is now marrying her because it’s the right thing to do.
The man not only has to deal with his emotions but with the flack he gets from his son.
I like female characters who are spunky and independent, but also crave being loved (often they have had childhood that in some way made them think that being independent and living their own lives meant that being married and loved by a man was out of the picture, that being married meant taking a back seat to a men).
I really like big, strong beta males who are not only big and strong, but have a vulnerable side.
One of my other favorite characters, again, is a man. It’s the main male character in a historical romance. He had loving parents (who are at the time of the story, deceased). He’s a “straight arrow” and even though opportunities were there (brothels and prostitutes were part of the fabric of life in the old west where men outnumbered women), he’s “kept to himself” and has no sexual experience with women. It becomes a source of embarrassment to him when he falls in love with the main female characters.
One of the other major characters in this story is a brothel madam who went the route of survival sex in reaction to growing up in poverty. In the story, she’s in the advanced stage of syphilis, which is quite painful and horrific. There’s a scene in the story that I cried all the way through when I wrote it; the main female character and the main male character to to see her. By this time, the madam is in severe pain (her joints), taking laudanum for pain and is in bed in a darkened room with the drapes drawn as her eyes have become very sensitive to light. She tells the main female character to hang on to that man, to marry him, that he is a good man. She relates that he was never a client at the bordello and that everyone in town knows he “keeps to himself,” he doesn’t chase women and that he’s “clean.” He is mortified at the exposure of his personal life. The madam tells the main female character that he is a rare, honorable man and that she is very, very lucky.
- This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by jeanne_moore.