Guest Post:- Stephanie Lake

Have you ever wondered what makes a character believable?


Hey, MM Fiction Café guys! So great to blog with you today. And thanks for all your wonderful book reviews and blog tour stops.

Have you ever wondered what makes a character believable? There are many tricks an author can use, and one of these is to show the world around the character the way they see it in their current emotional state. For example, in this excerpt, Wentworth from His Brother’s Viscount is hurt, angry, and apprehensive:

He surveyed the verdant hills. A church spire stabbed the sun-bleached sky, a distant village smudged purple like a bruise against the landscape, and the dreariness of a skeletal gray manor house disturbed the countryside’s beauty. Wentworth was close enough to the manor to distinguish a bustling crowd of garishly dressed partygoers on its vast lawn. They looked like multihued blemishes on the earth

In another example, Hector is looking forward to a fortnight of vigorous bed play with Wentworth, the man he has loved for years, but couldn’t have until recently. He is over the moon with giddy happiness:

Hector raised his face to the warm spring sun. The gods had worked together to make this a perfect day. Well, he had a small part in making all the components align correctly, of course. He smiled, looking forward to what lay ahead.

Flourishing spring-green grass spread all the way to the surrounding forest, the manor house stood bright against a vibrant sky, and a light breeze cooled the air and carried the scent of woodbine.

He admired the spread of food arrayed on large linen covered tables. One dish containing meat in a dark gravy filled the air with a savory fragrance that started his stomach to rumbling. The crystal, which sparkled in the sunshine, was filled with the best wines from France, and delicate porcelain tableware was arrayed for the guests’ use.

Youngsters chased one another about. The light giggles of two young women and the hearty laughter of young men added to the festive air. Yes, it was a glorious day, brimming with joy, but the party alone could not explain the gale-force euphoria surging through his body.

Here is an example that also contains a bit of angry action. This is Will’s point of view. He’s Hector’s older brother and Wentworth’s past lover. You can see he’s… Jealous perhaps. Angry for certain. He is so infuriated he doesn’t register any details.

[Abridged excerpt]

Through a blood red haze, Will watched the carriage leave, glaring at the retreating dust cloud until it dissipated. What the hell was Wentworth doing here? He was not welcome.

He had lost the desire for making conversation and enjoying the festivities. Slamming his half-empty glass of champagne onto the tray of a passing footman, and almost toppling the man’s load, he searched among the partygoers for Mary. Where the devil had she disappeared to? He stood at the edge of the crowd and stared once more at the road, fists clenched, face hurting from tightened jaws.

There’s a big difference between these three descriptions, and it is all based on the character’s mood.

Throughout His Brother’s Viscount, Hector usually maintains an upbeat attitude, even when things don’t go quite as he’d like them. Wentworth, on the other hand, has to struggle through a number of demons before he gains his optimism. Will? Well, that is another book entirely. ????

In His Brother’s Viscount we used this technique and others to make our characters well rounded and lifelike. Hope you love Wentworth’s story!


Stephanie & Lake