Friday, April 27, 2012

What the Experts Say: Tips to Create MEMORABLE CHARACTERS by Karen Rose Smith

Karen Rose Smith, romance fiction author,
has sold 82 books since 1992 as well as Indie
published her Search for Love series.

--Choose a strong background that affects who your character is, how he or she sees life.

For instance, if your hero is a former Marine, he had motivation to serve his country. Focus on that. He also had training that colors how he sees the world, how he reacts when startled, how he sleeps, how he organizes his belongings, how he problem-solves.

If you have a heroine who lost her parents and was shuffled into the foster care system, she will most likely have trust issues, fear of abandonment and, therefore, she will protect her heart.

--Give your characters life-long passions.

Example: One of my recent heroines is a music therapist. Music has always been an escape for her, a joy, a means of expressing herself. I use music imagery in her thoughts, especially when she and the hero have intimate moments.

If your hero hikes for a hobby, that face-the-wilderness passion will charge his goals and his passion. He will be detail-oriented and maybe adventurous in his business undertakings.

--Create family bonds

If your hero has sisters, that can affect his reactions to women, his understanding of their motives and fears. If your heroine has brothers, maybe she was a tag-along, or a tomboy in order to earn her brothers' respect. If your characters' parents have a happy marriage, they will look at a relationship as a forever possibility. On the other hand, if parents divorced, that could crete a negative rather than positive view of marriage.

--Personality quirks

Everyone has idiosyncrasies. What are your characters' quirks?
Maybe your heroine likes to sing in her car. Maybe your hero always has a cup of coffee as he watches the sunrise. Why do they do these things? What created their habits? Weave their story around their present life so nothing is random.

--Former romantic relationships

The lack of romantic relationships reveals that your character might be afraid of commitment. On the other hand, former relationships have taught your character something about love. Whatever they learned or felt will fuel the conflict in their romantic relationship now. You can use this history to make tension high and to create impediments to finding true love.

--Physical perfection or imperfection.

A model will have a different view of life than a heroine with a port wine stain on her face. A hero with war injuries will look at himself differently than a man in buff shape. Give your character a distinctive physical characteristic--deep tan, long waist, brown hair with blond strands, a scar above a brow.

When you create a character, every detail in his or her past, every detail about his or her life now should have a purpose. If you meld these tips and create a "real" person with a heart, soul, and mindfulness of who they are, you will create memorable characters.

Karen Rose Smith

Karen Rose Smith was born in Pennsylvania in the Susquehanna Valley. As a teenager, music became as important to her as reading. She and her cousin took their first sojourn into writing by collaborating on a script for the MONKEES television program.  They sent that script to every concert venue where the group appeared that summer!

In college, Karen began writing poetry and also met her husband to be.  They both started married life as teachers, but when their son was born, Karen decided to try her hand at a home decorating business.  She returned to teaching for a while but changes in her life led her to writing romance fiction. She has sold 82 books since 1992 as well as indie published her Search For Love series.

A winner of New Jersey's Golden Leaf Award in Short Contemporary Romance, Colorado Romance Writers Award Of  Excellence for short contemporary, as well as the Phoenix Desert Rose Chapter's Golden Quill for Traditional Romance, she has also been honored with's award for Best Special Edition. Her romances have made both the USA TODAY list, Borders Group Bestseller list for Series Romance as well as the Amazon Contemporary Romance Bestseller list.

Married to her college sweetheart, believing in the power of love and commitment, she envisions herself writing relationship novels (including mysteries) for a long time to come!


Karen's website:
Karen's Search For Love Series website:

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