Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dreaming Up A Story

I'm full fledged, knee deep in edits on my second book in a trilogy based off of my favorite vacation spot of all times. Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is a beautiful place and inspires the imagination. While I can't reveal too much about the nature of the story, I thought I'd give you a preview of what will be hitting my agent's desk in the next month to join it's sister-book on the quest to find a publisher.

My hero's Bio:  

CONAN MATHER’s sins permanently stain him. He is convinced there can be no penance great enough to erase the wrongs he has committed and the blood he has shed. Mather’s objective is to ward off anyone who tries to break through the barriers he has built, and until he corrects his past wrongs, he is a danger to those he may come to love.

Hair color: Dark Brown
Eye color: Ice blue
Smell: Cinnamon
Distinguing Personality Traits: Lost soul. Answers in monosyllable, man of few words, comes across morose and stand-offish, has no faith in himself but answers the call of duty because it is--after all--his duty, would do anything to receive redemption but doesn't believe it exists.

My heroine's bio:

EVIE WEBER’s illegitimate, unborn child is a living reminder of her sin--and as much as she longs to cherish the life within her, how does one ever reconcile a sinful consequence? The daughter of a wealthy shipping baron, she has shamed her family and herself. Evie's spirit inside longs to break free and fly, but she did that once and now she bears its life in her womb. She wills herself into waifish submission because that is what a proper woman should do, but maybe she can discover a home somewhere, in someone's heart, if only they can see past the obvious error of her ways.

Hair color: Coffee Brown
Eye color: Amber
Smell: Lemongrass
Distinguing Personality Traits: The waif. Timid. Has a mind of her own but afraid to voice her opinions. She needs a knight in shining armor, but no knight of honor would waste his time on a used woman. She is willing to fight for herself but has yet to find her strength. She believes redemption exists, if she could only find it.

Creating characters is my all time favorite part of writing! Outside of plot and location, characters are the third part to the critical triangle of story. A book will rise or fall based on layered characters, so I spend a lot of time developing their back stories, their emotions, scenes that may never get written but have to play out in my head so I know the character, and so on.  I'll even pick a song that defines either each character, or the dual character's journeys.

Mather & Evie's song is what I imagine God would be telling my two lost characters both desperately needing forgiveness but finding none. What would it be like to have made such a horrible mistake that no one would ever love you again? What would it be like to live alone as the result of your sin? What would it be like to try to earn your way out of the sin you committed? What would it be like to bear the weight of knowing people's lives depended on you and you have failed them? What would it be like to hear the words "I Love You"?:

Spiritual theme is the unwritten fourth corner and my triangle becomes a square. I want my readers to come away with a very clear, Spiritual theme. Not just overtones, or inspirational content, but a poignant message that will hopefully strike the cord in a reader's heart. That they will relate to the characters, to the struggle and pain, and ultimately, to whatever message can be found in the hope that is Christ.

Check out here for more random pics of my book #2: Pinterest Board - Current Book

What do you hone in on when reading a book? Characters, Setting, Plot, or Spiritual theme?


Jaime Wright - 

Spirited and gritty turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :) - Represented by: Books & Such Literary Agency

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  1. I usually start with the characters. They're what will pull me into a story. The plot may sound fascinating, but if the characters are weak or poorly written, then I won't be able to finish the book.
    Then I focus on the spiritual theme and how the author weaves it into the story. How does it apply to the characters? Does it make sense, or does it seem to have been added as an afterthought? Lastly, I ask "how does it apply to me?"
    The setting isn't extremely important to me, though I do love it when authors include just the right amount of detail, so that you can picture it, without it overwhelming the story.
    And lastly the plot. As I said, it may be what first draws my attention to the book, but it isn't the most important thing to me.
    You're characters sound great! I can't wait to read the book! I especially love your description of Conan. :) And I love the song you chose for them! It's great!

    1. thanks Sarah!! :) I agree, characters truly ARE the pull in any good book. I mean, in the end, it's all about them any way, so if they're flat, it's just dull.

  2. I agree with Sarah, I can't wait to read your book! I just like a story to "take me away" for a,while. I don't get to,travel much so,I love descriptions of beautiful places, just enough so that I can picture it myself. And interesting, believable characters, human with flaws and all.

    1. Oh yes!! That "take me away" feeling, I so relate to!

  3. Hi, Jaime!

    SO enjoyed learning more about your books characters, and your writing process! The most important thing in a book, to me, is the flawed characters (the more flawed, the better - for me), and how their problems are resolved. And since I only read Christian fiction - the problems, hopefully, will be resolved by the characters putting their faith, and trust, in God.

    I have seen very little of the UP - but have always wanted to - but know the locale must add to your books, as everything I have ever seen and heard about the UP is beautiful!

    SO looking forward to the publication of your books, Jaime - and planning to be one of the first in line to purchase! Thanks for the insight into your books!

    1. Bonnie ... if it comes to the point of actually getting a publishing contract, I'd want you on my list for an Advanced Reader Copy so you can help me spread the crazy news of its release! :) :)

  4. I am intrigued by the depth that you preplan your characters! Even their scent. Amazing!


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