I’m delighted to have Faith Hogan, author of My Husband’s Wives on Linda’s Book Bag today as part of her summer blog hop. My Husband’s Wives was published by Aria, an imprint of Head of Zeus on 1st of May 2016 and is available for purchase here.
I have a super guest post from Faith today all about creating character.
My Husband’s Wives
Better to have loved and lost, than never loved.
Paul Starr, Irelands leading cardiologist dies in a car crash with a pregnant young women by his side.
United in their grief and the love of one man, four women are thrown together in an attempt to come to terms with life after Paul. They soon realise they never really knew him at all.
The love they shared for Paul in his life and which incensed a feeling of mistrust and dislike for each other, in his death turns into the very thing that bonds them and their children to each other forever.
As they begin to form unlikely friendships, Paul’s death proves to be the catalyst that enables them to become the people they always wanted to be.
A Guest Post by Faith Hogan
I have a confession to make…
I have murdered more characters than I’ve published. The truth is that although you hear writers talking about their characters as though they are members of their close family, characters are there to serve a purpose. They are there to move your novel forward, to entertain your reader and ultimately draw us in so tightly that we can’t not go on their journey.
Agents and editors are entirely heartless when it comes to characters. We’ve all been there. I’ve been one of those people who wrote half a draft from the perspective of a character with no purpose in the story. Bang Bang, as they say – one shot!!
It is not all bad news, however! Unlike in real life, characters cut, can be raised from the dead. Who knows? There may be room in your next story for that character you became so fond of.
I have to admit, that as I’m creating characters I’m often surprised. If they are good enough, they will lead the way of the story. In My Husband’s Wives, Annalise was probably my favourite character to write – not because she is any nicer than the other women, but rather because she spoke the most clearly. Her voice, doubtless picked up over the years from overheard conversations and people I only half-knew, had a distinct tone and accent. She saw exactly where she was going from the start of the novel to the finish and that makes writing her so much easier.
I know there are writers who work up entire c.v.’s for their characters, and before I begin a story, I’ll have a good idea of where people are coming from. Stories are a lot like life, though. We are shaped as much by the people surrounding us, as we are by the hand of cards we receive at birth. So too, it is with characters. Most stories and characters develop as you write them. Who they are, how they react and what they want is very often formed by how they hit off other characters. This flexibility is crucial to having robust and original people in your story.
Most of my planning is done sitting on a comfortable armchair. Generally, I try to remain distraction free so, it’s au revoir WiFi! Unfortunately, I have somewhat of a bent towards charts and graphs and list making. I know only too well now that if I engage in any of these in the initial thinking stage it’s just another form of procrastination. The truth is, I could spend the whole day happily making up graphs and charts – unfortunately, that does not get the actual word count moving upwards.
The best advice for creating characters – listen to your gut!
Is there anything else?
Oh, yes get a very comfortable chair, turn off your broadband and start writing – the beauty of it is you never know where you might end up!
About Faith Hogan
Faith Hogan was born in Ireland where she lives in the west with her husband, children, a very fat cat called Norris and a selection of (until recently!) idle writerly mugs and cups. She gained an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree from University College, Galway. She has worked as a fashion model, an event’s organiser and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector.
She was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair – an international competition for emerging writers.
Her debut novel, My Husband’s Wives, is a contemporary women’s fiction novel set in Dublin. She is currently working on her next novel.
There’s more about Faith and her lovely novel My Husband’s Wives with these other bloggers: