Sunday, April 29, 2012

Tour: Fearless by Cheryl Douglas (Guest Post)

I would like to welcome author, Cheryl Douglas, who is joining us today with her novel, Fearless, with Bewitching Book Tours. Enjoy!

Building Characters
by Cheryl Douglas

Every writer is different, some write intensive outlines, and others don’t use outlines at all. I read about an award winning author recently who sits down to write a book without knowing what the book is going to be about. I mean, he’s clueless when he sits down in front of his computer to type the first chapter. He writes two scenes a day, seven days a week, and never thinks more than two scenes ahead. Some of his books evolve into series, while others are stand-alone titles. I love the method to his madness, but unfortunately, I’m one of those writers who rely on outlines to get the job done. My outline usually evolves into something completely different, and I’m okay with that as long as I have a jumping off point.

Some writers also spend a great deal of time developing their characters in their mind before they start a new book. They want to document everything about them, from their physical characteristics to their favorite song. This strategy has never worked for me. I like getting to know my characters as I write, I think it helps to build the angst when I’m living in the moment without any pre-conceived notions about they would act or react in a given situation. Developing a character is one of the most important elements in writing because if your readers don’t care about your characters, if they aren’t emotionally invested in their journey, they’ll abandon the book.

I think characters need to be complicated and multi-faceted, like people. If they’re one dimensional, they may become boring, and readers will lose interest. I love to write about characters that have made mistakes, and are travelling the road to redemption. I love to get inside the head of a character that is moving through tragedy. What are they thinking in that moment? How are they feeling when they’re on the verge of losing everything? How can I translate that gut-wrenching emotion onto the page so the reader doesn’t just read it, they feel it on a physical level. They cry along with him or her, because the pain is so real. That is the stuff that a writer’s dreams are made of. Often there are no words to describe the depth of that emotion, it defies words, but if I’ve done my job developing the character, I have to believe my reader will be emotionally invested by that point, and the will feel everything that hero or heroine is feeling.

There are so many important elements to a great story, plot, pacing, arc, dialogue, development, and a memorable black moment. Books are intended to entertain, and if the writer has done their job, they’ll stay with you long after you turn the last page, but that can only happen if the characters are real to you. You won’t remember the setting or the dialogue when you think back on your favorite books, but you will remember the characters that made you laugh or cry. You may even remember the characters that infuriated you because they stood between your heroine and hero. That’s why, in my humble opinion, it’s the characters who make or break the book, and no matter how technically perfect or well edited a book may be, it  runs the risk of falling flat unless the characters make you fall in love with them.

Book Two Nashville Nights Series
By Cheryl Douglas
Lexi Brooks has overcome adversity to build a successful real estate business that will enable her live life on her terms. The life she envisions includes travel, fun, and excitement, not marriage, kids or commitment. But will Trey’s sexy bodyguard throw a wrench into her plans? Being a cop taught Josh Cooper to take calculated risks, but he’s tired of living with the daily threat of danger. He’s ready to settle down with someone who wants to be a step-mother to his two teenage sons. Too bad Lexi isn’t that woman. She’s smart, sexy, and head-strong, and they’re totally in sync in the bedroom, but she isn’t willing to ‘settle’ for a life of domestic bliss. Or is she?

Book Nashville Nights Series
By Cheryl Douglas
Trey Turner may be topping the country music charts but his life has been going downhill since his wife left him five years ago. He’s desperate to make amends for the mistakes he’s made and convince Sierra their love deserves a second chance. Sierra Brooks is happy for the first time since her divorce. She has a career she loves and a fiancé who loves her.
 Unfortunately, her fiancé isn’t the only man professing his love. He may be able to offer her safety and security but will she decide to risk everything for another chance with the man who broke her heart?

About the Author
It took me thirty-seven years to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. I thought I'd found my calling. In fact, I worked as a nutritionist for twelve years before I finally admitted to myself that while I enjoyed my work, I couldn't imagine doing it for the next thirty years.
My sub-conscious knew that I wanted to be a writer long before the conscious part of my mind decided to get with the program. While my sub-conscious was hard at work creating character profiles, plots and storylines, my conscious mind was telling me it was crazy to give up a successful business on the off-chance one of my manuscripts might rise to the top of someone's never-ending slush pile. After years of listening to that negative voice, I was finally ready to stop making excuses, face the fear and follow my dream of becoming a full-time writer, no matter the outcome. I'm so thankful I did.
I love bringing my characters to life and I am so grateful to have readers who love those characters as much as I do.
When I take a break from writing it's to spend time with my husband (a.k.a. my real life hero), my son, and my writing partner, Tia, a spirited Havanese who enjoys tapping her paw on my keyboard whenever I need a little comic relief.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for taking the time to feature my book, Fearless, on your site. Have a lovely day!


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