It’s my pleasure to welcome our guest, Angi Morgan, today. Angi and I first met in 2004—back when having our books published was still a dream. Since then, she’s become a fierce friend and a valued critique partner. Angi writes “Intrigues where honor and danger collide with love.” She combines actual Texas settings with characters who are in realistic and dangerous situations. Angi is a finalist in the Bookseller’s Best Award, Romantic Times Best First Series, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and the Daphne du Maurier.
Why do we want more bad things to happen to our characters?
Thanks for having me at magical Musings today, Amy. I love this blog and stop by often. I don’t know what I was thinking when I came up with this blog title… Well, okay I do. But to explain, I’ll tell you up front that I’m using an example from my May release PROTECTING THEIR CHILD and sorry…this is from the middle of the book. << SO, SPOILER ALERT >>
But before we get to the spoiler… Why would you want to throw rocks at your characters? My first book, HILL COUNTRY HOLDUP, was set in the Texas Hill Country during a flood. As soon as the hero and heroine thought they could catch their breath, something else went wrong. I attended a workshop about being too kind to our characters. Wow, that was definitely me. So I changed it up and wanted a book that was non-stop action. The only way to keep things moving was to throw rocks, and more rocks, and more rocks. (Obstacles of course, things to trip the characters up along their journey.) With each rock, the problems got worse and even I started to wonder if these two would get out of their happily ever after.
When I wrote the following scene with Kate and Cord, one of my writing buddies said, “Just how many rocks are you going to throw at these two?” That’s our running joke. It comes from my first review from Romantic Times Magazine: “Morgan gets her characters up in a tree and throws even larger rocks at them until the branch breaks.”
Picture a very cold dark night. One road blocked by drug runners wanting to kill you for revenge. This rock face on your left and more of the same on your right. You’re wearing tennis shoes, jeans, an old work coat and gloves.
Imagine climbing this rock face to escape. Easy enough, right? Now imagine climbing it in the rain with a blizzard heading in your direction. That’s right, it’s only about 33 degrees with a plunging temperature. Okay, you can handle that, after all, you’re running for your life. Oh! Did I forget to mention you’re five months pregnant?
Throw a rock at your characters and they might surprise you. Especially in the middle of the book. What better way to get that sagging middle moving at a faster pace than to trip up your character with something unexpected? Will your character throw the rock back? Hit it with a bat and knock out the bad guy? Skip it across a lake? Try the unexpected…pick up a rock, take aim…
So, readers, do you think authors are too hard on their characters? Or do you love watching heroes and heroines overcome adversity when it’s heaped on them?
Learn more about Angi and her adrenaline-charged stories at AngiMorgan.com. Plus, you can enter Angi’s April contest (through April 30) via Rafflecopter and win a copy of PROTECTING THEIR CHILD plus two frames. Click here for entry information.