It's the golden question really. What makes a story that people want to read? For me, there's a few elements, but the main one is, 'could it be real...' But I write fiction yes? Indeed I do, but if you ever want people to relate and sympathise with your characters, then they have to be real. They have to be people that you've met at one point in your life. There's nothing better than sitting on a train, or walking down the road and seeing someone and thinking "Is that Master Charles?" or "That's what I imagined Tess would look like".
So am I saying that my characters are actually real? In a way, yes. Each character I create is based on elements of people I have met, talked to, researched in my life, and even how they look is often truthful too. Perhaps I should carry a warning with me when I chat to people 'beware, because at some point, elements of you may end up in a book...' that sounds awful doesn't it? Would it be better if I explain I'm a little in love with all of my characters?! Well, judging by comments from my readers, then perhaps some of them are too. There's nothing more satisfying than the prospect that your readers love your characters as much as you do.
The other thing is that my characters are deeply flawed, they're so far from perfect that it makes you wonder if you should even like them at all. If you're after the perfect hero or heroine, then I am afraid I'm going to disappoint you. In real life, such personalities don't exist, so, if it's not real, there's no place for it in my books! That's not to say I don't take a little artistic license, add a little flair here and there, but the essence of who that person is, exists. In the many people I have had the pleasure to meet in my as yet, short time on this planet.
What actually is the story then? The stories that evolve are based on the interactions between the main characters, their highs, their lows, their loves, their losses. What better story is there in life than the relationships between people, and the resulting consequences?
As the Tess series draws to a close, I have found that the characters who have been created have demanded a life of their own, and who am I to argue with them? In the same way that Master Charles demanded His own introduction Becoming the Master, Lady Isabella, a new character for Menage a Tess, has started to whisper to me that she wants the same as Him. So, she is currently telling me the story of a delicious encounter which she had in an elevator when she was fresh out of University. She really is quite a woman. Should I mention she also has a series of her own planned? Perhaps that's a discussion for another time...
The characters I create have a world of their own, a life, a history, a future. I would love for you to join me as I write their stories, and find new personalities... The future is an exciting place, do you dare to follow me there?
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