growth and change


Written on Tuesday, October 07, 2008 by haleigh

As I'm revising Nowhere to Run, I'm putting together all these images of characters and thoughts in my mind for my next story. There's been talk on the blogs this week of characters - what type are they? What archetype? What personality type?

So I've been filtering all this through my mind as I think about Naomi and my next, nameless hero (I'm thinking Jameson, but I'm not set yet :) And what I'm realizing is that I've set myself up with an odd situation.

Naomi and "Jameson" were married once upon a time. High school sweethearts, passionate young love, and all that jazz. They were viciously ripped apart by "bad guy" (still need a name for him too :) In the ten years since, they've both changed. Fueled by anger and the bitter belief that his wife betrayed him, "Jameson" has turned inward, focused his entire existence on his job (under cover military intelligence) and perfected the perfect bad-boy lifestyle where he can set aside any emotion to get the job done. Naomi, in a desperate attempt to get revenge for her husband, whom she has thought dead all these years, has gone from the perky, girl next door cheerleader to a cold, calculating woman hell-bent on revenge.

So this is my conundrum: I need to know their characteristics as they stand now, when they meet again after all these years. How do they react? What do they do in the face of danger (there will be a lot). But I also need to know how they used to be, before "bad guy" came along, because there will have to be chapters set in the past to deal with how they were ripped apart. And even more importantly, I need to know how they will change as the story goes on. Once "Jameson" realizes Naomi did not betray him, does he revert back to his witty, charming, open high-school self? Does Naomi turn back into the perky cheerleader after 10 years of living with revenge? I can't imagine either of them would.

So how will they change? I'm guessing they re-gain some of their former characteristics (i.e. Naomi allows herself to feel emotion again, and "Jameson" will be a bit more open with Naomi, at least). So I need to be careful, over the course of the novel, to watch not only if things are "in-character" at the moment, but how that character grows and changes based on the emotional developments.

Hmmm, I'm starting to think I've gotten in over my head :) Anybody else have major personality changes for their character? Have any advice for me? Think I'm insane?

If you enjoyed this post Subscribe to our feed


  1. Kelly Krysten |

    This is a great blog! And very timely!
    Is it bad that I'm already dieing to read your second book? I mean, this is bad for you because I will hound you about it. I'm not, I was kidding. But I'd LOVE to read this.:) I love that plot!
    I like the name Jameson, it sounds very covert. I can't wait to see how you draw their characters and then change them. Beautiful!

    Okay, my thing, for the brand new book I'm starting for NaNo, is that I don't know my hero. My heroine talks all the time and her sisters pop by to say hello. But I only have the initial scene between the hero and heroine(interestingly enough our stories have a slight parallel theme because my hero and heroine part after this scene for eight years...). I know who he is during that first scene, but I don't know who he becomes or what he does when he gets back. He kind of has a reason to seek out the heroine...but I'm not sure...IDK!

    We'll figure this stuff out!:)

  2. haleigh |

    Kelly! Sounds like we have similar growths to deal with (ew, that sounded like a gross medical thing, didn't it? lol). I love your plan of focusing on the characters now and saving the writing for NaNo - I think NaNo only works if you're ready to roll. Otherwise you did what I did last year, which is get completely stuck 10k words in, and switch stories mid-stream! But it sounds like you have a great starting place for your hero, and now comes the fun brainstorming part. I love just getting out a legal pad and writing down everything under the sun that could possibly have happened.

    Thanks for the encouragement - I'm so excited about this story, but I must finish my revisions first, and I have 10k of another novel I really want to write....we'll see what order it all spits out of my head in :) And I'm glad you like Jameson - I'm not 100% set yet, but I haven't found anything I like better.

  3. Jessica |

    NO, lol, you're not insane. I really like the setup of your story. I definitely don't think they'll go back to being who they are. Maybe there should be something that draws them now, too, besides their past.
    Wow, what a situation. It'll be interesting to see what you come up with.
    I kind of had to do this to with one of my manuscripts (the one you helped me with). They were high school sweethearts but in their years apart they changed. Somehow they have to fall in love with the new person, as well as the old.
    Interesting post!
    And yeah, the sagging middle seems to happen to me alot. lol

  4. haleigh |

    well gee thanks, Jessie, I hadn't thought of that! There has to be something that *still* draws them together? Crap! LOL All this thought about who they were and who they are, that never even crossed my mind!

    *haleigh heaving a big sigh as she starts making more lists*

    But I love the way you put it - that they have to fall in love with the new person, as well as the old. Hmmm...the physical attraction is definitely still there, but that's not enough, is it?

    Thanks for the advice, Jessie. Off to figure out why they still love each other!

  5. Jessica |

    Don't change everything! Those were just my thoughts. And actually, I think the past can draw them together, you just have to make their staying together believable.
    Or some things can be the same. Maybe she's cold and vindictive, but still has a soft spot for kittens. Like she used to. Or they both like the same of something?
    Eek, I don't know. Don't take my word though, I'm pretty much in the same writing place you are! :-)
    I can't wait to hear what you come up with!

  6. haleigh |

    lol Jessie - but I think you had an excellent point, that even though they have this past that ties them together, there needs to be something current that keeps them together now.

    Anyway, I'm taking what you said as fact, and incorporating it ;) lol.

    I've been thinking about it, and one thing that keeps coming back to me is that while they loved each other way back when, it wasn't really an equal partnership - she was the sweet girl next door, he was the over protective, alpha male guy. But now, when she's so much stronger and able to take care of herself, it can be an equal partnership, which I think will really change how their relationship functions, if that makes any sense at all!

  7. Jessica |

    Alright woman! I'm waiting for another post

    My story is similar to your with the alpha hero and kind of timid heroine. But girls grow up. I think you totally make sense and love the "equal partnership". Very true and something I hadn't thought of before.


Post a Comment