Sunday, June 2, 2013

Do You Have To Be So Mean To Your Characters? Well, Yes!

One of the hardest things about writing is causing problems and hurting my characters – physically, mentally, and emotionally. These are my people and I love them! But as a romance writer, I understand that I can’t write all about happiness and hearts and rainbows … because that’s not really interesting to you, dear readers. I need to take you on a magnificent journey, with a full showcase of emotions and difficulties along the way. The more awful I am to my characters – the worse the mess I can place them in – the more readers will enjoy seeing them figure out how to solve their problems and remove all the obstacles.

In my medieval historical romance Music for my Soul, Madeleine Bouchard and Lord Garrett Montayne have problems. Make that PROBLEMS! And SECRETS. Despite everything, these two fall in love, but they face many obstacles before they get their happily ever after ending. In this excerpt, Garrett declares his love for Madeleine:

            Garrett loomed over her, his eyes intense, willing her to keep looking at him, only at him, and nothing else.

            “I love you,” he repeated softly and brought his mouth down on hers. His grip tightened on her shoulders as he brought her closer to him.

            Madeleine had thought their kiss on the rock in the meadow was earth shattering, but this one went even farther. The other had started gently and built, while this one began possessively and became more so. She could feel the passion pouring from Garrett into her, and she responded to his call. His assault on her mouth was rough and tender at the same time, savage yet sweet. It came in wave after wave, as an invading army would, never letting up. She couldn’t think, couldn’t breathe, couldn’t imagine being anywhere else except in his arms. How could something so wrong feel so right?

            He finally pulled away from her slightly, and she moved instinctively toward him. He chuckled, a low, soft laugh, one that held satisfaction even as his eyes held triumph.

            “You will not enter a convent, Madeleine.” He cupped her face in his strong hands.

. You were made to be me alone.” He kissed her again, this time a sweet, tender kiss, sealing his pledge to her.

            ”I’ve never loved another, Madeleine,” he said, his voice raw with emotion. “Never.”

            Her tears fell at his words and before she thought, she replied, “I love you, Garrett, with all my heart.”

            “And never another man?” he asked, his tone serious.

            She shook her head. “Nay, no other.”

            “You are happy with me?” he asked, hesitation in his voice. “I do have a certain reputation for coldness.”

            Madeleine smiled at him. “You are never cold with me, my lord.” She cocked her head to one side. “Arrogant.  Argumentative. Hard-headed perhaps, but never cold.”

            Garrett laughed at her words. “You do bring out the best in me.”   

            She found voice for her brave words, though they rang hollow in her ears.

            “I am damaged goods, Garrett, a poor troubadour with a limp. I have a regretful past and no future, nothing to offer you. I cannot accept your love.”

            The gleam in his eye scared her. Madeleine saw her words only challenged him. He would be resolute in his quest for her. He moved towards her, but she placed her

hand upon his chest.

            “No more kisses,” she told him.

            “Not after this one,” he said and reached for her one more time.                           

Music for my Soul is a Kindle Select novel available through Amazon at:


Jennifer Wilck said...

You're right, it is hard! Great excerpt.

Lauren Linwood said...

Thanks, Jennifer! I hate being cruel, but it pays off in the long run.

Debby said...

Great post. If everything was smooth sailing, there would be no interesting story.
debby236 at gmail dot com

Kathy Fischer-Brown said...

Loved your post! It's always tough putting characters through the mill, but killing them off is even more wrenching. Best of luck with your books!