Go Deep, Young Writer, Go Deep
Improving Depth of Character in Your Writing
by C.D. Hersh
|Photo from Microsoft Clip Art|
Did you know that every year the month of April is celebrated as National Card and Letter Writing Month? We discovered this month, which is decreed official by USPS, while writing, Blood Brothers, the second book in our Turning Stone Chronicles. Over the years, historians have gleaned a lot of information from diaries and letters – things that might have been lost forever, except for the letters written by those who have gone before us. Since the art of letter writing is disappearing, thanks to text and emails, we decided we’d revive it by penning a letter from one of our book characters and see what interesting history turned up. We were amazed at some of the backstory tidbits our character revealed to us. We thought this made an interesting writing exercise, so we decided to share our character’s letter.
This letter is written by the antagonist in the second Turning Stone Chronicles book Blood Brothers.
My dearest Lila,
It seems like years since our last night together. My quest to become the “Promised One” has taken on a life of its own. I’ve been thinking a lot about the discussion the night of our engagement, and your request to put our rings aside and live normal lives. I wish now I had listened to you and done that. We would probably still be together.
I guess I was afraid of such a major change in my life at that point. Things were starting to come together with my quest, and I knew I would soon be apprenticed to the most important shifter in our community. There had been nothing in my life before you except my training to become “The Promised One” and, as much as I wanted you, I was not sure I could give that up for you. All my life my parents pushed me. Being the Turning Stone’s Promised One was my destiny. I was, they told me, the fulfillment of the prophesy. The one that would unite the warring shape shifters and rule the world.
My parents ensured I had the finest teachers, in magic matters and in things of the world. I was taught how to use everything to my advantage. What I couldn’t do on my own, Dad paid for, including donating heavily to Harvard on my behalf. I guess it worked for both of us since I got my degree, even though I might not have deserved it, and Dad got his name on a Harvard building. Money and power buy lots of things. But they aren’t very good at replacing you.
Remember that shifting thing we did when we were making love? I found out it means we are soul mates and only happens when making love and thinking about each other. Had I been aware of that then I would not have accused you of trying to steal my powers, and I would never have acted on that belief. I am truly sorry for what I did to you. I hope someday you can forgive me…that is if I can ever forgive myself. I love you, Lila, and I will never love anyone else the same way.
You are always in my thoughts.
We discovered upon writing this letter that our villain wasn’t as smart as his brother, something we hadn’t considered before. Dad buying Roc’s degree with a building at Harvard was nowhere in this character’s back story. It’s a small thing, but when he and his brother are pitted against each other, every bit of smart counts. When this tidbit of information came out, Donald did some research on philanthropists who donated to Harvard, and Roc’s family suddenly became a lot richer than we ever imagined. His father’s character filled out, and even though he plays a background part in the story, we can see the monied attitude of Dad and how it will rub off on Roc, thereby deepening Roc’s character more than we anticipated. Roc, who thinks he deserves to be “The Promised One” will discover that money can’t buy everything, and it can’t buy the most important thing in life … true love.
Have you ever done this exercise with your characters? If so, what new thing did you discover?
Here’s a little more about Blood Brothers.
When Delaney Ramsey is enlisted to help train two of the most powerful shape shifters the Turning Stone Society has seen in thousands of years, she suspects one of them is responsible for the disappearance of her daughter. To complicate matters, the man has a secret that could destroy them all. Bound by honor to protect the suspect, Delaney must prove his guilt without losing her life to his terrible powers or revealing to the police captain she’s falling for that she’s a shape shifter with more than one agenda.
The minute Captain Williams lays eyes on Delaney Ramsey, he knows she’s trouble. Uncooperative, secretive, and sexy, he can’t get her out of his mind. When he discovers she has a personal agenda for sifting through all the criminal records in his precinct, and secretly investigating his best detective, he can’t let her out of his sight. He must find out what she’s looking for before she does something illegal. If she steps over the line, he’s not certain he can look the other way for the sake of love.
C.D. Hersh–Two hearts creating everlasting love stories.
Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.
The books of their paranormal romance series entitled The Turning Stone Chronicles are available on Amazon. They also have a short Christmas story, Kissing Santa, in a Christmas anthology titled Sizzle in the Snow: Soul Mate Christmas Collection, with seven other authors. Also a standalone novella, Can’t Stop The Music, in a collection with thirteen other authors.
They look forward to many years of co-authoring and book sales, and a lifetime of happily-ever-after endings on the page and in real life.