Thursday, 8 November 2012

Can anyone create the perfect character? And finding that perfect book title...

Still trying to get my head round the fact it's Thursday already because the weeks seem to fly by so quickly I haven't got time to catch me breath sometimes.  I'm being faced with Christmas adverts every time I switch on the TV, and you can't set foot in a supermarket without being met with a wall of mince pies - where has this year gone?  I'll be hunting out the tinsel and the fairy lights before I know it, although, I have to admit to feeling a little bit smug because I've already done most of my present shopping.  I thought I'd get more organised this year, seeing as the festive season seems to be hurtling towards us all at a rate of knots!  Still not sure why sofa adverts seem to double in quantity at this time of year though...


Anyway, I digress.  I want to talk a little bit about characters today.  I love creating new characters for my stories - it's one of my favourite parts of writing, making up these people who are going to take over my life for the following few months.  I've got to love with them, live their lives, get inside their heads, so they've got to be people I feel something for, be they good or bad.  And I don't think I've created a character that I didn't like writing about.  However, a couple of my characters have received quite mixed reviews from readers.  Let's take the character of India in No Matter What and the follow-up Illusions of Love.  Now, I actually really liked spending time with her as I wrote those books, but, she's split opinions amongst readers who've read the books.  Some love her, some don't like her at all.  The same goes for the character of Molly Parker in my Tenerife-based comedy romance Too Much Trouble in Paradise.  Now, I really liked Molly.  She's a bit mouthy, has a good Geordie sense of humour but, again, she split opinions where readers were concerned.  Some loved her, some thought she was a little bit selfish and self-absorbed.  So, is this a good thing?  The fact that some readers like these characters whilst others can't take to them at all?  I'm taking a positive spin on this and saying, yes.  Why?  Well, at least people have felt strongly enough about the book and the characters to have an opinion.  And surely that's better than writing a character so bland that people feel nothing for them?  I mean, I'm not going to lie.  I'd love to be able to write characters that everyone is going to adore, but that's an impossible dream.  Because books are so subjective, and that means the characters within those books are subjective too.  Some readers may not get the humour or take to the kind of personality I've given certain characters, but that's something I can't really help.  I write in a particular way, I have my own style, and not everyone is going to like it.  But it can be confusing to take advice and listen to what readers have to say when you have some saying they really didn't like a character whilst others are telling you they adored them.  I do take what people say on board, though, which is why I'm trying hard with my new book to work on the characters and their personalities, although I know that I'm not going to be able to please everybody.  Some people may fall in love with my bad boy footballer, others may think him a little too much.  Some people may take to the feisty character of Sports Reporter Amber, and others may not like her at all.  I have no magic wand, I can't predict what people are going to think.  All I can do is stick to what I know, and write those characters the way I see them.  What happens after that, well, I can only sit back and wait and see what people think.


Okay.  Onto the subject of titles.  This has given me a major headache recently.  Some books I've written have had their title sorted before I've even finished the first draft, others have had me losing sleep over that elusive title.  And this new book of mine is one of them.  I had a working title of 'Final Score' (as most of you know, my new book is set in the world of professional football/soccer), but that wasn't clicking with me for some reason, and I wasn't willing to use that as the confirmed title.  So, I had to get my thinking cap on.  Because it's set in the world of football it makes sense (to me, anyway) that the title should have at least some relevance to the sport.  A footballing term should be in there somewhere, but, of course, after trawling through Amazon to see which of my preferred choices had already been used, I found practically all of them had been, at some point.  And another headache ensued.  Did I go with a title that had already been used before?  Or did I continue to bang my head off a brick wall as I tried to think of a unique title that still left readers in no doubt that this was a novel set within the professional footballing world?  I've gone for the former.  At least, that's the way things stand at the minute.  I have a title in mind that has been used before, but it's a title I like, it suits the book.  I feel comfortable with it.  And I am going to add a tag line that I'm quite certain hasn't been used as yet.  Not that I've seen anyway, but I'm using it anyway.  And, as titles aren't copywritten, as someone pointed out to me this week I could spend forever finding that unique title only for someone to pinch it in the future because there's nothing stopping anyone from doing that.


I think I might have cracked my football-related title nightmare...
Now, I know that a unique (at least, for now) title may be the more preferred option for some, but for me I need to go with a title that I think suits the book I'm writing.  And I keep coming back to this title I've chosen, so I think I have to listen to my head and stick with it.  So, what is this title I've struggled so hard to come up with?  Well, I'm planning on doing a cover reveal soon, so watch this space. All will be revealed before Christmas.

Right, that's enough rambling from me today, I'd better get back to the aforementioned book and get cracking on finishing that first draft if I want to start the editing over Christmas.  And talking of Christmas, I could just eat one of those mince pies I was going on about earlier.  Well, if you can't beat 'em...

Oh, and just a little note here to let anyone who's interested know that my Tenerife-based comedy romance Too Much Trouble in Paradise is actually FREE to download HERE from Amazon until Saturday 10th November.  Just thought I'd mention that. :)

Okay.  Back to the writing... I'm in the process of tackling a rather handsome, incredibly sexy footballer at the minute and, well, sometimes I just love being a romance writer... ;)


 

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