A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!

NOTE: the blog is currently dormant but please enjoy the posts we're keeping online.

Julie Moffet . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson . Vanessa Keir . Tonya Kappes . Julie Rowe . Joni M Fisher . Leslie Langtry

Wednesday, July 5, 2017



     What do the characters we write about want, need, expect and wish for? Our characters emerge from our imaginations, and like their writers, they would like to be someone a reader thinks about, discusses with friends, and recognizes after the last page of the novel ends.
     The baddie prefers to be a multi-dimensional scoundrel—a rakish fellow—someone the reader finds attractive. Does he despair of ever being understood and ask you to blame his childhood, his parents or his genes? Did someone inflict an injury that made her vow revenge? Is she immoral? Reprehensible? Why? She/he doesn’t want to be typecast and become a common, everyday stereotype.

     Heroines grow bored with being buxom blondes or innocent big-eyed waifs—they need that special something that can be hard to name. It? Sex Appeal? Depth? A touch of wild ginger? A sense of humor?
     Our heroes want more than divine ancestry, courage, money, and a body to drool over. Intelligence is requested—more of those “Little gray cells,” Hercule Poirot talks about.
     And what of our secondary characters—they have their needs too. Casting directors are fond of saying,” There are no small parts, only small actors.”

      We are asked to insert a quirk, a tick, a line that enables our less important characters to keep the chapter and plot going. Tidbits that will make the auxiliary individual stand out without overshadowing the principals.
     Let’s give them what they ask for.


Marcelle Dubé said...

Good post, Elise, and important, too. No character wants to be two-dimensional, or made of cardboard, and readers don't want to read about such characters, either.

Elise Warner said...

I like the term cardboard, Marcelle. Good way to put it.

Cathy Perkins said...

Good points, Elise.

My favorite review for one of my books says (about the heroine) "I want to be besties with her."

I love characters I can relate to in the nine-gazillion books I read every year (and love writing ones readers love!). While I completely agree about making all the characters multi-dimensional, I hope the era of the Really Messed Up Protag is reaching its end!

Elise Warner said...

I agree, Cathy. I have to empathize to enjoy a book.

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