Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Quirky Characters Have Put Me On the #BESTSELLER List - #AtoZChallenge

Today is the “Q” Day in the A to Z Challenge – 2016.

There is no doubt about it. Creating quirky characters is my favorite part of writing. Obviously we authors have to have a plot to drive the story. However character creation and placing those personalities in a sequence of events is equally important in my opinion. It has put several of my titles on Amazon BESTSELLER lists.

A lot goes into character creation for me. Once I get the idea for a story I have to dream up a way to tell it. Once that comes to me I have to create fictitious characters that have memorable features. Giving them unique traits is where my mind goes on overdrive.

In my first book I needed to create the core characters. Since my setting is a golf clubhouse they had to add color and humor to the environment. It was fun to have them represent all walks of life and parts of the world for that matter. Fred is an opinionated blue-collar worker; Paul is an ex-military perfectionist. Paco, who came from Mexico, runs a landscaping business. Elia is the barber from Beirut. And so it goes. Captain Jer is a retired airline pilot and the witty drunk. Pork Chop never walked away from a meal. Trot is a vaudeville comedian. Doc is an elderly vet. YouWho is a transplanted businessman from Japan. They’re my regular characters and complement head pro, J Dub and the number one assistant, Julie.

In Lifetime Loser we met a manipulative, neurotic, paranoid scam artist. His associates include a sleazy lawyer, a fidgety accountant, and a slick title company executive. Top investigators include a black IRS agent and nerdy numbers technician. And the list continues. Over 130 characters in all were created for that book.

Tuey was an impoverished black man who wore a lime green skull cap in Tuey's Course. He stole the spotlight in my third book. The overgrown child was frustrated by the manipulative tactics of City Hall yet his low IQ prevented him from rectifying the situation. The Board of Aldermen consisted of a unique cast of characters, each bordering on fantasy.

Opur had a stuttering impediment in Opur’s Blade. Pabby and Shae were special needs kids in Pabby’s Score. Pamela Porter, their caretaker, had an obnoxious voice in that story. Shari was a greedy, spoiled, self-centered bitch in Shari’s Shot. However the secondary characters that only have brief moments shine as well. If they don’t have a physical limitation then their name may say a lot about what they stand for.

In order to make the characters memorable I try to give them characteristics that are either annoying or attention getting. Accents, bad habits, and physical restrictions are devices that I use.
At any rate I can go on and on about the characters that I see in my mind. A lot of that comes because I am a very astute observer of life. Many of them have nicknames or names that describe their standing in the world. We see my characters daily. Luckily I get an opportunity to describe them in my stories.

All of my books are available on Amazon in hard cover and paperback editions. Kindle eBook downloads are also available. Members of Amazon Prime and Kindle Unlimited can read the eBooks for free. Perhaps the eBook bundles would be a good place to start. James Ross - A Young Adult Trilogy and James Ross - A Character-Based Collection are in eFormat only and are packaged as 3-book bundles.

James Ross has penned several novels from the Prairie Winds Golf Course setting. The stories are character-based, cross many genres, and have become Kindle favorites. Visit his website for detailed information, reader comments, and contact links.

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