#WritingChallenge: Dig deeper into your characters

About eight weeks into Write Your Romance in 150 Days, you’re probably getting to know your characters very well. That’s good because romance readers (and editors) love a strong romantic conflict, and strong conflict comes from well-developed characters. (For more on characterization, read this great post by Superromance author Vicki Essex in our archive.)

Let’s say you’ve decided that the hero’s or heroine’s ex will be an obstacle to the romance. We see a lot of “evil exes” in manuscripts, and they can be very stereotyped – I often picture this:

You might have been advised by an editor to, “dig deeper” into your characters. Thinking more deeply about your characters, even the antagonists, will help you make them more believable and complex, and strengthen the romantic conflict.

Your challenge this week? Tell us about your “evil ex” (male or female) and what makes them tick. Then, dig deeper – see if you can add some layers to their motivation. You’re going to do this in 3 steps:

Who she/he is:

What she/he wants:

Dig deeper:

Here’s an example:

Who she/he is: Brittany used to be engaged to Matt, but she broke it off when he dropped out of law school to start a ranch. She thought he wasn’t ambitious enough.

What she/he wants: Brittany’s been showing up a lot “accidentally” since he started seeing Sam. He’s become way more successful than she thought he would, and now she wants him back.

Dig deeper: Brittany isn’t fixated on the trappings of success, but she’s ambitious (she’s a lawyer) and thought she and Matt wanted the same things out of life, so was disappointed when he changed careers. Brittany  knows it’s wrong to keep hanging around Matt now that he’s in a new relationship, but she’s feeling sad and lonely and just can’t stay away.

Got it? Dig deeper in the comments by Sunday, August 27, 2017, and we’ll check back with you on Monday!