I want to create characters that haunt your imagination, seduce your mind, and capture your heart piece by piece until you, the reader, scream, “Uncle,” and let them into your world. Is that too much to ask? I’ve always been drawn to character driven plots, from Chaucer’s Cantebury Tales to Dicken’s Bleak House…to J.R. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Character’s rule in my imagination, and I work hard to create them in my work.
Easier said than done. There is an elusive art to creating a character that is both powerful and authentic. Some defining quirks are good, too many are bad, and it’s the balance that I am struggling with. I want my characters to be interesting, but real – not caricatures. I find myself editing my “guys” a lot.
Here is the introduction to my villain in the one of WIPs (work in progress). See what you think.
Enter the Villain:
“A warning alarm went off somewhere deep inside her. He was over six feet, in his late thirties and dangerously handsome. What was a man looking like him doing in her parking lot?…
Curly, jet black hair brushed his wide shoulders. A five o’clock shadow darkened his face giving him a sexy morning-after look. He had a square movie star chin. His faded blue jeans hung low on his hips. His black leather jacket looked soft…
And he was checking her out. Second alarm. She could feel his eyes, hidden behind dark, aviator sunglasses, sliding over every inch of her body. There was no doubt about it: she was being stripped. Watching his sexy smile slowly widen as he took her in made her feel warm in all the right places. She blushed. He was a potent, virile man who knew how to mess with her hormones.
…“Could I have a word with you?” His voice was low and held a richness that reminded her of aged Scotch.
… He was all-alpha male, oozing masculinity and dripping testosterone. Under different circumstances, she’d have liked meeting him. But not now. Not now.”
What do you think? Character or caricature? Any feedback would be most welcome.