Author, Rob Pateman is with us today (day 24 of NaNoWriMo,) to talk about creating believeable characters.
The grit in the oyster cell makes the pearl – and it’s the friction between the antagonist and the protagonist that lies at the heart of a good book.
The conflict between them drives the narrative, so establish early on what’s at stake for both characters. It could be life or death, financial ruin, the moral high ground, the end of civilisation as we know it, property, family happiness or something more tenuous, like love or truth.
With the basic tension set up, your characters’ personalities, attitudes, beliefs, and life circumstances will begin to follow. One might be demure, conventional, social and funny. The other more calculating, secretive and moody. And the social and funny one might not necessarily be your protagonist!
People aren’t all black and white – so your characters can’t be either. There has to be some light and shade to make them believable and make your readers more likely to engage with them.
Rob writes under the name, R.S Pateman and is the author of The Second Life of Amy Archer. His new book, The Prophecy of Bees was released earlier this month (both published by Orion.) For more information on Rob and his novels, visit his website: http://rspateman.com/
R.S Pateman is the author of The Second Life of Amy Archer. His new novel, The Prophecy of Bees is due for release on 20th November. Rob talks to us about writing the second novel.
Sometimes it seems as if the writing life is one big obstacle course. Don’t get me wrong – I love what I do and feel blessed for being able to do it. But it isn’t all plain sailing.
There’s the anxiety of getting the first novel written; you’re isolated, not certain if what you’re writing is any good and the dream of publication seems distant and unlikely.
Then there’s the stress and disappointment associated with finding an agent, the lack of any concrete feedback, the finality of ‘sorry, no, not for us.’ Until of course, that magic day when someone finally says yes.
But you’re not done yet. Next up is submitting your novel to publishers, which is even more nerve-wracking than the search for an agent as the dream is that bit closer. Until, if you’re lucky, a publisher makes an offer on your novel.
The package my agent, Oli Munson at A M Heath, sent out to publishers included the manuscript of The Second Life of Amy Archer – and a synopsis for a second novel, The Prophecy of Bees.by