Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bits and Pieces make a Character

For several years now, I've posted every Friday, five things about me. In looking back at the posts, I see lots and lots of pieces of me. Favorite foods, Favorite cartoons, Favorite smells.

I'm a college basketball fan (go Jayhawks!) a novice quilter, a history geek of the first water, pursuer of new words and phrases, Psych addict, Criminal Minds fan, and seafood avoider.

All these pieces and bits make up who I am. Alone, they're random lists. Arranged correctly, they're me.

Like fictional characters. The ones that are the most interesting, the ones we relate to the best, are not any ONE thing. They are a lot of things. More than just a waitress or a rancher or a photographer or a cop.

My current heroine is an Irish/Norwegian lass of immigrant parents who longs to do something big and amazing. She's a crusader. She never backs down from a fight, and she likes to sew. She's a quick study, and a loyal friend. I'm not sure where she stands on the cartoons or college basketball, but she's more than just a waitress.

When someone says interesting characters, I think of Sherlock Holmes, brilliant, addicted to cocaine, musician, lonely and driven. Jo Beth Sidden, independent, loyal, dog lover, smoker, domestic violence victim, and not afraid to break the law to help out a friend. Kit Fielding, jockey, powerful personality, resourceful, twin brother, and grandson.

Lots of pieces put together to form a whole picture, a whole character who is interesting and different from anyone else.

So, who comes to mind when you think of an interesting character?

In other fun news, I'm hanging out with Jessica R. Patch over at her blog: We'd love it if you stopped by to chat!

Oh, and today, my Baby Boy turns 16. Happy Birthday, Jamester!


  1. Rooster Cogburn is an interesting character. And Happy Birthday to James. Hard to believe he's 16. When I first met you, he had just tried to Tarzan swing on the drapes! Lol

  2. Linda8:46 AM

    Happy Birthday James!!!

  3. Happy Birthday, James!

    I think Kay Scarpetta (Patricia Cornwell) is interesting and I also love Eve Duncan(Iris Johansen)is intriguing.

    I haven't read many contemporary series in CBA with one character in every book. Am I missing something I should be reading?

  4. Happy Birthday to James! Your post made me really think about my characters and gives me great ideas to help craft them in the future.

  5. E, This post made me think of ACFW. You should totally sign up to teach a workshop in Dallas. It'd be the best class on the list! :)

  6. Erica~ Characters are interesting when they share their true colors! Finding out about their flaws, faults, challenges, or pit-falls, and watching them struggle as we all do day to day, is what makes a character relatable & interesting... at least for me :)

    And are you a quilter? I'm a professional longarm quilter, so of course your log cabin block caught my eye.

  7. Great way to put it together! Building a character bit by bit is fun. I'm partial to Thomas Lynley in the Elizabeth George mysteries.

    Happy birthday, James!

  8. Hi Erica- Recently, I've read a few novels that had one-dimensional characters and I just didn't love them. I liked the stories and couldn't figure out why, but now I get it: The characters were fragmented. They didn't relate on deep levels. They weren't flawed. I love that you were able to articulate that so clearly.

  9. MMMM, great blog post!! I love the bits and pieces idea. I want to say Anne Shirley is a good example ... love that Anne-girl! :)