Creating your fictional character(s)

Character creation is of course one of the very first things for any story. Who is the hero? or main character…what are they like? Their personality, habits and how do they make a living?  Maybe these are the most important questions to build your character from.  I know for me sometimes the personality of a character is already in my mind even though I have yet to form a physical appearance and such. For my detective Jordan Kade, I already had a personality in mind. She was going to be strong willed, stubborn, but a detective with faults that rose literally by things that happen regularly in her profession. Jordan can handle a gross crime scene, horrid  human behavior and the like, but when she is face to face with victim’s families she is uneasy and feels out of place. I knew I wanted my strong female lead to dress in a specific way. She dresses professional but comfortable never losing a sense of who she is and is able to stay down to Earth by doing so.  I knew also that I wanted her to be from a wealthy background, have everything including looks, that someone else could envy. And yet even with this being a part of who she is, she still relates to the average person. She works hard and loves to be helpful. She’s kind with her money and anything else she has to give.

So with her personality and habits already formed, how did I visualize the Detective? Hair color? Eyes? Body type? Body type was easy for me to decide on. I wanted her to seem perfect, at least in others’ eyes.  Sexy and alluring, someone who could charm her way through things with her looks if need be.  But I also chose for Jordan not to see what others do about her.  Not oblivious just blind to it like we are to a lover’s faults. 

Aside from all that, another important thing in building a character is how they relate to others.  Let’s start with how I made her relate to her parents. Jordan was pampered and brought up with everything a child could want and or need. Spoiled and yet she did not let that define her and it doesn’t make her behave as if she is spoiled. Jordan’s mother tends to coddle her so Jordan tends to seek space from her mother.  Her father however (a retired detective) is her mentor and Jordan still absorbs any and all knowledge her father has to give.  She’s closest to him versus her mother, seeing as she learned his trait, his skill and became a detective in his footsteps.

Then there’s Alex. her best friend and confidant. A man who means the world to her even if he comes and goes in her life as if they were only acquaintances. She loves him deeply and always has.  In some ways with Alex, Jordan is still the younger version of herself who was able to have fun and just live a bit…he was an escape from things in her life she feels she cannot handle. Alex is her rock, her other half.

Even with characters all can’t be peachy and enlightened.  Is the real world this way? No.  Creating Josh wasn’t hard.  I wanted him to be an equal of sorts even if it doesn’t show so well that he matches her.  Yet he is also the things Jordan is not. Wealthy now, but grew up poor and worked hard to achieve similar fame and success in his career as a bounty hunter.  He’s cocky and can come off self centered.  A pretty boy of sorts, who knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to show that. All of his behaviors, just the way he holds himself is a put off for Jordan. She dislikes him and its more than obvious.  And while Josh likes the detective, it hides behind a facade of giving as good as he gets from her.  Will they ever grow to like each other?  Or will it be push and shove each time they meet?  Ironically these questions I didn’t have answered in the beginning of “A Killer’s Saga.”  The relationship between Jordan and Josh took it’s own turns and twists as I worked on the storyline.

Characters can be like that, grow, change or even become what you need them to, to complete the story.  In the end what matters is if the characters fit the whole picture. I found that Josh changed mid story into someone and something more important than I envisioned him.  That’s not to say he changed in the way of me scrapping who he started out to be, he simply evolved. Sometimes characters need to evolve in the sense of fitting what you may have changed about the story as it progressed.  And that’s ok.  It’s even ok to completely rework a character.  Maybe one you came up with for a minor scene becomes an intergral part of the story.

Never be afraid to set a story aside long enough to get a new perspective on it. Rework characters and plots that need it, and ,make your story one that makes you proud. Build your characters until they feel real and not only become a part of you, but become someone you cannot forget.

Below I’ll leave a link for the novel feel free to comment on this post and also to check out the novel. First 20% can be downloaded free!

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/389973

Writing attraction and reactions in Erotica and what makes it “work”

What I feel is a number one thing that makes erotica work is definitely take from your own human emotions. What draws you to another person sexually? How do you feel when attracted to someone? Does your heart beat faster? Of course it does. And not necessarily because of a love type emotion. But because something about them attracted you and your body reacts in many ways. Subtle reactions occur as well. When I’m attracted to someone I tend to grin and feel excited as well.  All of the emotions and reactions can be written easier than it seems.  {Sally brushed the hair away from her eyes. This was a nervous habit of hers when around a hot guy.  She shyly looked him up and down and grinned.  Her mind went everywhere from wondering how he looked nude, to how the caress of his hand on her cheek would feel and her heart began to quicken with each thought.  She felt naughty but in a delicious way.  She wasn’t the bold type and therefore just lusting him openly she was sure her cheeks were flush, they sure felt fire hot.}

While that’s a very short example I could go on and on, I’ve always been a very talkative and with writing, wordy, person. But my main idea to convey is that you can express attraction in many ways. And that while you can bring it out from your imagination of how your character would react, if you’re new to writing or looking to sharpen skills, work from how you, yourself react when attracted to someone.  You can never fail with true emotion and experiences.  The example piece above comes from a bit of me. As a high school student and even before then I was shy and felt awkward around guys.

However I do feel you can realistically write emotions and reactions that are wildly different and that you have to put imagination into.  Let’s use my example again but change it up for Sally to be more bold and open.  {Sally flipped her hair off her shoulder. She was feeling flirty today and it showed even in how she dressed.  The white button down shirt she wore was unbuttoned and unabashedly showing her cleavage.  The lace of her bra peeking out.  She brushed a hand across the mini skirt that barely covered her ass cheeks and grinned at how naughty she felt and how being naughty was nothing new to this girl.  She looked Brady over head to toe as he installed new windows in her apartment.  She ached to know how he looked out of his shirt, how those muscles she could see, would feel pressed against her breasts.  She was dying to unzip his jeans and put her hands on him.  Just the thought of doing such things to Brady made her flush, and heat in her cheeks wasn’t the only thing hot and bothered about her.  She wanted him badly and wondered if he knew it even as she eyed his hot ass longingly.}

In my second example our Sally becomes a wanton, lustful girl, the type you could see not being afraid to go after Brady.  And I feel while I show some of the same signs of attraction in both examples, you can easily see a drastic change in how she portrays that attraction.  Our first Sally shyly examines him while having heated thoughts and reactions. But everything about her isn’t shy {She felt naughty but in a delicious way.} This simple sentence shows she could easily come out of that shell and still go after what she wants.  Our second Sally reacts in a manner that makes the reader assume Brady will be in her bed before the windows are finished.

I feel good erotica should make you at least assume what’s coming next just by how the character reacts.  I also feel that it doesn’t need to be spoken word to get across the point of longing and desire.  The hardest part is probably describing things we wouldn’t know normally unless we could read the person’s mind or somehow see the attraction. Another good trick is other small reactions such as licking your lips, or biting your bottom lip.  Little habits we have as humans that show lust and longing.

This may seem like I’m going off topic, but with our first Sally (if this was an actual piece I was writing…) the next scene you might find she throws Brady to the couch and starts kissing him feverishly and then cut to Brady’s voice saying something like “I need to get the bedroom windows from my truck.”  snaps her from what we come to realize is our shy Sally fantasizing being bold enough to have her way with him. And I could go on with written subtle hints of attraction I used as examples like: Sally bit her lip as she quickly stole a glance to his ass while he walked out the door but knew she needed the space from him even momentarily.

 

Another way of showing attraction is through a mix of spoken words, emotions and reactions.  I’ll use our bold Sally for this example.

{Sally bit her bottom lip when Brady turned to her now and said something about going out to his truck.  She had to admit she hadn’t realized what he was saying more than the part about his truck.  Her tone was softer than normal with a hint of phone sex operator as she replied.  “Mmm will you be working on the bedroom today?”  she felt she sounded silly asking that but it was too late now.  He laughed and with a for the second time type of tone, he said, “Yes, I’m going to get the bedroom windows now.”  Sally wasn’t sure why she moaned her words when around him but she was well aware she did this.  Even saying the simplest things and for any man who had known her intimately knew when she was aroused, or horny even.  She watched as Brady returned and made his way to her bedroom.  She couldn’t help but to look at his muscular arms as he carried the windows in, and admired his tattoos.  From the kitchen she called out to him “Would you like some tea?”  Even while asking him something so innocent her mind was elsewhere.  She thought of running ice down his broad chest and licking drops of water from him.  And although she hadn’t meant to, a moan escaped her now.}

I could also easily write this same scene with our shy Sally. And for the changes I would most likely make her nervous asking him things. Her tone would convey a woman who feels more insecure asking him anything.  She might even stammer some words, or say “um or uh” before saying would you like some tea? I might make her aware of how she is behaving but feel bashful that she’s behaving this way.  And if I had shy Sally moan I may even go a little dramatic and make her try to cover why she “moaned.”  But with either Sally it would be more than obvious she wants Brady.

What I feel makes it work, with either version of Sally is another point I’ll make. Rather Sally is boldly attracted to him and unafraid to show it, or shy reserved and worried he’ll know, I would write her unafraid of feeling and reacting to her attraction to Brady.  I feel it’s very normal to make your female character feel just as lustfully attracted to a man as a man would be to her.  Just because we typically view guys as the ones who would be staring at the woman’s ass or imagining getting her in his bed, doesn’t mean our female characters cannot feel just as sexual even if in a shy more tamed approach I still show Sally having very bold thoughts and feelings. Our shy Sally still longs to know what Brady looks like nude, imagines she could throw him to the couch and make out with him.

Making it work is a matter of making the reader feel as hot and bothered as Sally does.  Making them feel awkward as shy Sally but still knowing she would like to make love with him.  And while it’s very acceptable to write attraction as the female or male having arousal type reactions I wanted to show  a range of ways you can also express other ways people react. It can be done in stages this way as well. From a small escaped moan, to Sally being so bold as to go after what she wants and actually push him down onto her bed and run her hands all over him while kissing him passionately.  Or she could go to hand him his tea spill it on his shirt and while helping him take it off they share a kiss that turns to a day of slow sweet lovemaking.

In whatever way you convey attraction it needs to feel real and perhaps even intense. It needs to be something the reader comes away from and goes “wow.” Something they remember well because you express it in  a way that makes your reader connect, bond or long to be that character. I hope that I was able to show more than  one convincing way to write attraction that gives other writers a method to work from and hopefully some helpful tips.

Getting back to writing and multi tasking life

So, i been working on many little projects, writing wise.  A few of them short stories, a couple may turn novel length i’m not sure yet. for me, i’m overly creative and can come up with a ton of ideas in a short time.  but i have a very bad habit of leaving a work alone for a long while.  now on one hand this can be good, leaves me time to get away from it and re read the work later to make revisions as i see fit. on the other hand i no longer write my stories out on paper, so if i leave something too long i kinda lose touch with where i may have been going with the specific story.  this drives me nuts, i can’t stand not knowing where i was originally gonna go with a story.  i think this stems from the fact that i lost a work in progress (when i moved home from oregon) that was at least fully thought out and well on its way in the process of it’s first draft.  worse over it was about to be the 6th in my series.  it took me a really long time to drop my anger over losing it and sometimes i still get pissed because i lost all that precious prep for the story.  my original thoughts for it are somewhat gone.  even if i do re create the 6th book it will probably never be exact.

aside from that, i finally got back to my detective kade series, and am currently working on what will become a final draft of the second book in the series.  mind you i have 5 of them written up and proofed…on paper. the first is finished and i’m now looking into possibly having it published very soon as an ebook.  i’m excited, anxious and nervous all at one time.  i would love to know how well its received and am anxious to see if people fall in love with my stories or hate them lol.  the awesome part will be having my work out there for everyone to read.  i can’t wait to finally say i’m published as an author even if the novel doesn’t do as well as my hopes for it.  i do hope anyone who follows my blog is enjoying the excerpts i added and i may try to add some new ones soon.

Excerpt from: A Killer’s Saga:The Calling Card Murders

Chapter Seventeen:

“The Favor…Old Alliances”

Montana

May sat close to the window, waiting for Alex.  Unbeknownst to her, Alex wouldn’t show.  She jumped when someone tapped her shoulder.  Turning quickly, she said “Alex?”  “Nooooo!”  He said in disappointment and angered all at once.  Suddenly he calmed and began to look at his surroundings.  “Oh…it’s you.”  May said.  He sat now.  “Yes May.  I know it’s been years now…since I asked anything of you.”  He paused to light a cigarette.  With a puff of smoke he continued.  “…but I need you.”  He sighed aloud and awaited a response from her and there was none as of yet.

Tapping his fingers upon a table and taking a hit of his cigarette he spoke again, “Since you’re not dead…I’ll be needing your help.  To get close…closer than before…to her.”  May groaned aggravatedly and then replied, “Jordan…I presume?”  “That’s my girl…you always know, honey…that’s a real good girl.”  He said with a wicked devious grin.  As they sat there together, silently, she wondered how she’d gotten herself mixed up with him once again.

Walking over to May, he pulled her to her feet and embraced her tightly.  She hugged him back half-heartedly and tried to pull away.  Before letting go of her, he kissed her passionately and then laughed when she slapped him.  “Ooo…abuse me baby.”  He said mockingly then said, “I see…still stuck on precious Alex?  Tsk tsk May…you know better.  He’s Jordan pet; she’s got him by the balls and then some.”  With that said he walked away.

Searching Eyes

From her agency’s briefing room she received the call from the scene.  And the officers on that scene were quite sure that this was indeed the killer Jordan sought.  Although this new murder was not as similar to the others.  Jordan was to board a flight tomorrow morning for Arkansas and would have Alex by her side for it.  He vowed that he would stay by her side for the duration of this, until she had her killer locked up.

The Next Morning

As they boarded the flight, Jordan had too many thoughts reeling through her mind.  She could still remember the first murder as if it were truthfully burned into memory.  She could clearly see the scene and the people milling around it as if it were yesterday.  She’d gone over the first murder many times in her case file.  Each and every detail taken to light and picked and prodded from every angle.  She knew her case well without the files now, but still she continued to dip into them, looking for something that was overbearingly just not there.  Clues to solve it that again were not there.  She went painstakingly over one photo and then more photos, until she was certain nothing new popped out at her.  She supposed she was picking at straws and putting too much effort to find things that didn’t exist in this case or at least were not so obvious.

This was no typical serial killer case.  Where were her suspects?  She didn’t have not one damned suspect to give to the media hounds and relax the public as to their safety.  She had not interrogated even one person of interest in this case.  It was f***ed.  Maybe this case was f***ed and doomed to become her first unsolved.  For, if the killer went into a dormant stage, she just may lose him without bringing him to justice.  And it seemed likely he just may elude capture and go into dormancy.  A serial killer like him seemed far too impatient to lie in waiting for too long though.  Even if he went dormant…it wouldn’t be a long dry spell…no.  Jordan guessed this killer couldn’t stand to not be in the limelight of things.  He wanted to be caught, not just lay back and stop killing until it was safe.  But if for some reason he resorted to dormancy because of her lack to do her damned job, it could ruin Jordan’s whole career.  Not because she couldn’t solve it.  Not because it would be the first unsolved case for her.  No.  But because it was high profile.  Because he had killed so many already and hadn’t stopped.  Because he now killed with an urgency.  And lastly because after that he would always be out there, still lurking and waiting to pounce…to kill again.

If this killer were to escape her and justice, like most dormant serial killers, he would reemerge and he would kill again.  He’d simply change areas for his comfort zone and completely change his M.O.  Some would say this killer had no M.O. so what was there to change?  But he did and it would change even if the change was one slight enough to make her lose track.  And in that even if she took him down, he would never be fully punished for all of his kills.  No he wouldn’t.  And that was something Jordan was very unwilling to accept.  For the victims and for the families of those victims…he needed to go down for each and every kill.  Each victim, not just the double murder of each one, if she could help it.  Those families needed closure, the victims needed peaceful rest.

The First Murder

From the moment Jordan had walked into Adco’s warehouse, she could smell the stale stench of blood.  At the very back of the big plant was where it had occurred.  Employees were scattered about and telling their stories to officers on the scene.  The victims were not only a couple but husband and wife.  The man, John Steinchencroe and his wife Alma were known to the employees as Mr. and Mrs. Slave driver.  Not well-liked indeed.  Mrs. Steinchencroe cared for no one and nothing.  And John cared for even less than that.  It was said that their employees and even most of their supposed friends, openly admitted to hating them.  This couple was definitely hated more than liked.

Each witness had the very same recollection of what went down.  John as always had his eye on the new hire employee.  Giving him a hard time about everything he did.  John even went so far as to suggest this employee quit.  Well even though he was indeed watching the new employee, all of a sudden a full skid of bundles seemed to have fallen over onto John.  However the witnesses also vehemently proclaimed this was no accident.  That the skid was pushed onto that old slave driver.

The skid had fallen onto him from the chest down and completely cut off blood flow to all of his appendages.  It was said by the coroner that even if Steinchencroe had lived that he would’ve been paralyzed from the neck down.

The scene was one gorier than Jordan truly wished to see in this lifetime.  John had begun to cough up blood even as he gasped for air.  He wound up choking to death on his own blood.  It was not a pretty sight.  Though the thought was a cruel one indeed, it was the killer’s perfect revenge upon a slave driving boss.  Jordan knew the killer must be laughing about this…his first kill.  But another thought that had crossed her mind was that this murder very well might not be the first murder that this killer had committed.

In investigating, Jordan found that the killer had indeed worked here at Adco.  However no one could seem to neither put a name to a face nor face to a name.  She supposed it slipped his coworkers’ minds because they wanted it to.  Just as odd were the destroyed personnel records, just two months before the Steinchencroe murders.  The only facts they knew about the killer was that he hated flowers, love and especially Valentine’s Day.  Every Valentine’s Day for seven years he’d called in sick to jobs, and came back with an overwhelming sickening attitude.

Anyone who dared to talk of love in his presence got their just deserts from him in the form of a long-winded drawn out speech.  A speech on just what all there was to hate about love, life and all its eccentricities.  No one wanted to hear that speech twice.

One thing everyone remembered especially well was that the boss, referring to John not Alma, was always on his ass.  Even going so far as to tell him he was too stupid to run the machines.  For goodness sakes Jordan thought.  They only ran and sent out junk mail.  It wasn’t rocket science.  Who wasn’t smart enough for the job when it took minimum skill?  The only hard part was production and no one claimed as an employee that the killer lacked getting production up to minimum requirement or better.

As for Mrs. Steinchencroe sadly and very bloody-like, a forklift was found lodged in her backside.  It was obvious that the killer disliked this couple equally.  Within Alma’s hand was the soon to be famous trademark of this killer…the calling card.  Not yet trademark, this the first card of ‘em all.  “Vengeance is indeed a sweet thing…if beheld in my presence.  Sorry you weren’t here Detective Kade.  But I’ve been reading up on you.”  Jordan could not fathom what this evil killer held packaged within himself.  But he was indeed evil or it’s very incarnate.

The Present

Jordan had to look deeply into Alex’s eyes before she could even hope to put that first murder into the far back reaches of her mind.  At looking into his eyes, she just knew his mind was far off from that of murder.  No, not murder, for he was at this very moment checking her out from head to toe.  And God bless him, that was what she needed at this very moment.  She needed him.  Needed his loving arms around her.

At this point Alex leaned over and began kissing her passionately.  His hands roamed and touched teasingly, seductively.  She responded quite well to his kiss and his teasing touches, and pulled him back for another kiss.  “Alex you always know what I need.  I love you so much.”  She sighed and laid her head upon his shoulder.