Discover, Rediscover, Reconnect – Writing Characters in a Series

My thirteen year old daughter likes her music, especially Spotify. She was listening to it the other night while she did the dishes. I was working on my laptop, listening with half an ear. She told me how much she liked the song that was playing, and I tuned in. I asked her if she knew who was singing it. She said no, but she really liked whatever group it was. I grinned. It was the Jackson Five, singing ABC. I’d heard the song many times, of course, but to her, it was brand new. When I told her it was Michael Jackson singing, she was surprised, and might I say, impressed? I’d actually told her something she didn’t know. <grin>

My daughter’s ‘discovery’ of the song, and the enjoyment that comes along with that, got me thinking. Because of her ‘discovery’, I’d rediscovered, and appreciated Michael Jackson’s songs in a whole new way. When I was growing up, my father would often play records for my brother and I – Hank Williams Sr., Elvis, Johnny Cash. I love those songs to this day, and I love that I’m connecting with my daughter through music, in much the same way, I now see, that my father did with us.

Certainly, I work to forge that kind of connection with my readers. As I write the second novel in my new paranormal romance series, I’m finding lots of opportunities for discovery, rediscovery and reconnecting with my characters. I created a timeline/chapter summary/checklist for the first book, which is proving invaluable, but I’m also rereading the story, so I can ‘bring it’ for the second book, in terms of resonance, consistency, and new opportunities for plot twists and turns that may present themselves.

For example, in a crucial scene between the hero in the 1st book (hero #1) , and the hero in the 2nd book (hero #2), I want hero #1 to behave, and sound like he did in the first book, so there is consistency for the reader. But by having him interact with new characters, it’s not only allowing me to rediscover his quirks, his mannerisms, but also to discover new ways to use his personality to my advantage for the story line. I find I’m asking myself, how can I use him to best show the hero #2 – good and bad? As well, I’m finding new in the old that’s adding a depth and richness to the story, and to my enjoyment in writing it. And all that discovery, rediscovery and reconnecting has helped me hone my writer’s voice. Overall, it’s been a win-win.

BTW, in the past few months, my daughter and I have had similar conversations about Whitesnake, Marvin Gaye and the Beatles, and in recent weeks, we shared the ultimate mother/daughter discovery/rediscovery opportunity: we went to see Terminator Genisys (we’re both Terminator junkies) – giving a whole new meaning to the phrases ‘what’s old is new again’, and ‘coming full circle’. Enough said. 

Click here to find out more about how I interview my characters. 

PLEASE SHARE: How do you get close to your characters? What methods do you use to reconnect with your story? Click here to find out more about my best fiction writing resources.

Thanks for reading! Love to hear your thoughts.

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