Welcome to the Virtual Blog Tour post for Karly Lane’s latest novel Third Time Lucky! As part of the blog tour, Karly has written a guest post “Writing Believable Characters”. Third Time Lucky by Karly Lane is published by Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99, available now.
Writing Believable Characters By Karly Lane
There’s nothing worse than reading a book, or watching a movie, for that matter, and not believing in a character. It can ruin the entire story.
The key word is believability. You have to believe in the character. It doesn’t matter if they’re the hero or the villain, it doesn’t matter if they’re a farmer or a super hero who can fly, unless that character is believable, as a person, your reader isn’t going to feel anything, except maybe, annoyed.
So how do you make a character believable? One way is to give them flaws. A book about a perfect woman with perfect hair and a perfect job, living in a perfect mansion with a perfect pool boy to clean her perfect pool… well, let’s face it, we hate her already don’t we? It’s not to say you can’t have this woman who seems to have the most perfect, everything. You can, and she could be fascinating, if you give her some flaws.
Having flaws in characters doesn’t have to be a bad thing, in fact giving a glimpse of what lies beneath the surface of a character, brings out empathy in the reader. Your character who seems to have everything, might be hiding the fact that she gets crippling anxiety whenever she leaves the house. She might have a fear of dogs, or spiders, she might feed her kids cereal for dinner when she can’t be bothered to cook dinner one night or have a bad habit of locking herself out of her house. If she has flaws that we can all connect to in some way, it makes her relatable.
You need to show your character’s layers. So, using Miss Perfect, again, maybe on the outside she comes across to her employees in the story as a cold-hearted tyrant, but then we find her later that evening sitting alone in front of her tv, crying at a soppy ad for staying in touch with your loved ones. Why does this horrible, hard-nosed business woman, who made three of her staff cry before lunch, become a blubbering mess, over a silly telephone ad? These kinds of things show a deeper context to the character, it gives her emotions, and emotions make characters feel real.
Another way of bringing out the feels for your reader is to give your character memories. Having something spark a memory from childhood; remembering a first love, hearing a song that instantly sends them back to another place or time in their mind, we’ve all experienced that. Readers need to see characters as people. If we can relate to something like a familiar memory, then we can believe in that character. And really, isn’t that the whole point to reading a good story? To believe in it so completely that we feel as though we were part of it?
About Third Time Lucky by Karly Lane
When her marriage ends, December Doyle returns home to Christmas Creek. Will she conquer her fear of heartbreak? A heart-warming novel about betrayal, ambition and the power of love.
After a disastrous marriage, December Doyle has returned to her home town to try to pick up the pieces of her life and start again. She’s also intent on helping breathe new life into the Christmas Creek township, so the last thing she needs is trouble.
Bad boy Seth Hunter has also returned to Christmas Creek, and trouble is his middle name. Wrongly convicted of a serious crime in his youth, Seth is now a successful businessman, but he’s intent on settling some old scores.
As teenagers, December and Seth were madly in love, and seeing each other again reawakens past feelings. But will Seth be able to overcome his destructive anger about the past, and can December conquer her fear of heartbreak to make their relationship third time lucky?
By the bestselling author of Second Chance Town, this compelling novel is about betrayal, ambition and the power of forgiveness – and love.
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About The Author
Karly Lane is the best-selling author of nine novels including Second Chance Town, Gemma’s Bluff, and Bridie’s Choice. A certified small town girl, Karly is most happy in a little town where everyone knows who your grandparents were. Her novels range from romantic suspense to family saga, and she is passionate about writing stories that embrace rural Australia and the vast communities within it. She lives on the beautiful Mid North Coast of NSW with her husband and four children.
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