Saturday, April 24, 2010

Passionate Characters



Today I played flute at a memorial service for a woman who'd passed away rather young because of cancer. One of the speakers during the service said people were drawn to her, not because she was beautiful, or because she was intelligent, it was because she was passionate about life. She loved animals, the environment, music, the arts.

Something clicked in my thoughts as I listened. To make our characters come to life and draw our readers in, they have to be passionate about something. So I leave you with this question:

What are your main characters passionate about?

My MC in Desert Nomad is passionate about freedom and choice. Her nemesis is passionate about his duties and the mission, and her love interest is passionate about finding a place to relocate the people suffering on the space station.

27 comments:

Tilly said...

Excellent reflection. I have one WIP where my MC is passionate about winning a dog show with her pet (and solve a mystery) and another WIP with a 13yr. old boy passionate about finding out what happened to his mother.

Mia said...

MC 1 is passionate for order and logic. She gets a bit antsy when things don't make sense.

And then MC 2 is passionate for the truth. Her own mind lies to her so she's always asking for the straight facts.

Great post :~)

Sonya said...

I've noticed my urban fantasy MCs all seem to share a passion for doing the right thing, for helping and protecting people. I think it makes them compelling because they could be using their abilities just to help themselves.

Sandy Shin said...

I have begun to notice this, too. There are people around me who are so captivating because they're passionate. I'm definitely keeping this in mind as I craft all my characters. Thanks! :)

Theresa Milstein said...

The eulogy is touching. I'm thinking more about my life and being know for someone who is passionate.

I like your question. In my current WIP, my MC is afraid to pursue her passion. Only when she's thrown into a situation that she thinks she can't do does she finally become passionate. Her best friend has a passion for problem-solving and he coaxes the MC to face her fears.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

My main character,Samuel McCord, is passionate about the helpless. At the age of 15, he watched from a bluff as his sister was killed by his mother. His mother in turn was shot by his father. Both done to spare them the torture and rape by the Comanches closing in.

To spare his father from that same torture, Samuel took the one bullet left him in his rifle -- and killed his father. That trauma turned his hair moon-white.

Now, when Samuel sees a helpless child or woman, he sees all over again the deaths of his sister and mother. He is compelled to save every innocent he sees imperiled -- unconsciously trying to save his sister and mother. A task he can never do. Roland

Lindsey Duncan said...

With Journal of the Dead, that's easy: Rhiane is passionate about being a mother to her son, and pretty much the whole plot cascades from that.

With Scylla and Charybdis, I'm not so sure. The novel is very much about finding your passion when you don't know what it is ... so maybe my MC is passionate about finding passion? ;-)

Cher Green said...

Great reflection and indeed our characters should be passionate. My MC is passionate about uncovering the truth about what her father is up to no matter the cost.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

How difficult it must be to play at a funeral. Such a sad loss too. But it's amazing how something like this can really make you think about things.

Jackee said...

How I hate cancer. But how I love people that have very apparent (and wholesome) passions.

My MC character's passions are one of them adventure, another freedom, another flying, and another proving themselves.

Kaylie said...

I've played at some funerals before, and it's never easy. But, at the same time, it's inspiring to hear about lives well lived.

India Drummond said...

Hmmm, good topic! I hadn't really thought about this one!

My MC in my finished project at first seems like she's mostly trying to avoid human contact. She's somewhat isolated. But as the book goes on, it becomes clear that she has a very strong sense of justice and loyalty, to the point that she puts herself in danger for the sake of people who can't protect themselves.

Hmm, now that I think about it, I like that about her. :)

Talli Roland said...

Great point! My main character is all about achieving status and success in her professional life. I think to make a novel readable, the characters have to want something. This is what creates conflict - when they can't get it!

Alexandra Crocodile said...

Great post! Passion is important in your characters because it makes them more real - my MC is a private detective so I suppose he's very passionate about crime and justice - and he loves cats and biscuites as well:)

notesfromnadir said...

Thank you for for bringing up a topic that all writers can relate to.

My current character in my blog series is passionate about writing and later that becomes a passion for a male character.

In my unpublished novel [Narcissists Need Not Apply], my main character is very passionate about getting friendly [to put it politely] with as many women as he can. :)

KLo said...

My MC is passionate about sports and family ... and himself. Wow, he sounds like a gem, doesn't he lol?

Also, I gave you a blog award because you are my sunshine ... http://philosophyofklo.blogspot.com/2010/04/stuff-and-why-ill-be-posting-regularly.html

covnitkepr1 said...

So many do not actually listen to the flute...it's really very beautiful.
I’ve enjoyed looking over your blog. I came across it through another blog I follow. I am now a follower of yours as well. Feel free to look over my blog and perhaps become one as well

Angie said...

Great thoughts! I think we all have something we are passionate about. At least, I hope so. My MC is passionate about music and her religion and helping others.

Conda V. Douglas said...

it's all about the love, isn't it?

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

I'd much rather follow a character who is passionate for a cause. Great post!

Susan Fields said...

My mc is passionate about saving the world from the virus which is about to kill everyone, about the man she loves, and about finding her mother.

Great post - fun to think about!

Saumya said...

This is a wonderful point. I'm trying to make my main character passionte about "making the world better." I'm having him volunteer in Africa and then later, in India.

Jen said...

Beautiful post! I think it's so cool that you can play the flute!

My MC is passionate about life and about getting home... wherever home might be.

Paul C said...

Excellent focused perspective here. I've read of main characters who are also passionate about some of the negative aspects of human nature: jealousy, revenge, getting even, gaining power and status.

Carol Kilgore said...

I've come late to the party here, but this is so true about our characters. If they aren't passionate, do we want to spend our time with them? Great post.

CMZ Art/ Rustic Goth said...

I do enjoy reading your posts and your stories...good point about 'passion'...I try to consider that when creating visual characters.

Lisa Rusczyk said...

My Main char in the book I'm working on is passionate about music and the girl he makes music with. :)