Characters: Matter of the Heart

» Posted on Apr 19, 2005 in Blog | Comments Off on Characters: Matter of the Heart

Since we write love stories, it is important to know about your characters’ past loves. But not just who they dated, married, but what happened to each of those relationships. Using the past relationships with the opposite sex to develop goals, motivations and conflicts is another good area for the writer to look at. Let’s face it. We are affected by what has happened in our past with our love life. If we are burned too many times and the amount of times will be different with each person, there will come a time when we will stop looking for love. As writers we can use this to our advantage and develop some juicy conflicts.

I will note here the past relationship doesn’t always have to be a bad one to be used by a writer. In my current romantic suspense that I’m writing for Love Inspired’s new line, my hero loved his wife, and when she died, a part of him died, too. He doesn’t want to open himself up for that kind of hurt ever again. Whereas in another book, A MOTHER FOR CINDY, my January 2005 Love Inspired, my hero’s marriage had been so bad that he swore he would never marry again.

How involved is your character’s past love life? Do you need to go back in and shore it up to make the conflicts in your story more believable?