Saturday, September 29, 2012

If You Would Date Your Character, There Is A Problem

When you have a love interest in your novel that is the opposite gender as you, there needs to come a point when you ask yourself a question:

Would you date this character?

If this character asked you out, would you be fangirl-squealing for joy?  (Or fanboy-squealing?  Is there such a thing as a fanboy, and would he be squealing?  I don't even want to know.)  Would you faint out of sheer excitement?  Would you make plans for that date to happen, oh, five minutes from now? 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, there is an issue.  A serious issue.  As in, get professional help immediately.

Okay, maybe you don't need a therapist.  But do you need to read this post?  Yes, you do. 

Here's the thing: if you are this excited about dating your novel's love interest, you might have overlooked a major part of character development.  Character flaws. 

If you would love to date your love interest, then you might have subconsciously made this character into your ideal, perfect-world boyfriend/girlfriend.  Instead of writing about a realistic person, you might've created someone so perfect and idealistic that it simply isn't possible to be like them in real life.  You didn't create a real-life character--you created the kind of impossible, flawless human being that you'd love to date but doesn't exist.  I will not mention Edward Cullen I will not mention Edward Cullen I will not mention Edward Cullen 

So please, when writing romance into your novel, consider your feelings towards the love interest.  Make sure you haven't abandoned character development. 
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1 comment:

  1. Hmmm, I'm not too sure about your logic. The people I love most in my life (as in friends and family) all have flaws and that is part of the many reasons why I love them. Flaws are a part of being human and making a character more true to life. So naturally I make all my characters (regular characters and love interests)as flawed as can be. Their fears and regrets as well as the mistakes they've made in the past are some of the first things I learn about my characters.

    The way I read this post is that if a character is perfect or unflawed it is the reason why you would want to date your character. In my case it would be the opposite reason. Flawless people just don't click with me and I find nothing to relate to in them. Lol, like Edward Cullen. But my characters to me no matter how real they become are only imaginary characters/ creations. I have no intentions of dating my imaginary creatures haha :] Although I do come to admire many of them a great deal. If I did't admire/ feel something about my characters at all, I wouldn't be able to write about them in the first place. Awesome post Annie! :)

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