Sunday, May 16, 2010

Keeping the Heroine Real

As a writer of paranormal, fantasy, and science fiction you may find the title of this blogpost strange. It’s not really. Most of my audience are women, and the heroine must be real—even if her environment may be purely fiction.

Don’t worry. None of my heroines come from anyone real, but her behaviors must be. If you read Reana’s blog post about what books make it to her keeper shelf, you noticed the first entry into that list is not a weak heroine.

So, how do I keep each heroine realistic?

I attempt to think in terms of her being a real person. Take for example, Sienna of
Cook’s Choice. I thought long and hard about her background, her family, the fact that she’s bi-racial, that her father died and that she lost her mother earlier in her life. All of these factors become her profile and I began to visualize her as a real, breathing person—something Sienna’s very proud of. From there she guides my hand as to what she will and won’t do.

The same holds true for each of my characters—both hero and heroines, and I attempt to allow them room to talk to me. That is easier said then done sometimes.

But here’s how I keep them realistic:

1. She must have a history and a background including family, friends, and employment.
2. She must have a voice and something to say that women will identify with.
3. She must be ripe—Ready, Intelligent, Poised, and Excited to tell her story.
4. She must be entertaining—at least to me.

This is a rough list of what I mentally go through in order to create a realistic character.

Do you agree? Did I miss something important? Which of my characters do you think are the most realistic?

RaeLynn Blue