How a Book Is Born, Part 15

So I think of litttle (step)sister Natalie as beautiful, kind, and loving, but when I start putting her on the page, she also has a sarcastic streak, is extremely forgetful, and occasionally gets impatient with Brianna’s hovering. I’m loving how she’s turning out, with a little spice to counteract the sugar.

Brianna reveals herself to be honest to a fault, which gets her into a lot of trouble. She’s a lot more impatient than Natalie, and she has a harder time letting people in. They contrast nicely but I think it’s clear why they have so much affection for each other.

The secondary male character, Joe, came to me fully formed, but the lead hero, Matthias, is a much subtler character and a lot harder to get right. He has to be heroic under difficult conditions – courting one woman while falling in love with another – so I have had a hard time sorting him out.

Then I realized that he’s going to respond to the superficial clues of commonality and connectedness he feels with Natalie – she’s the cookie-baking type, and he’s never had anyone make him cookies, so the appeal is clear. She’s beautiful, he’s gorgeous. She loves the lifestyle he lives.

But Brianna appeals to who he is on a fundamental level, so it makes sense that eventually he would realize she’s the one he needs. He’s a lot more of a thinker type than my usual heroes, so he doesn’t do a lot of alpha things. I’ve had to do more than just fill in the blanks to make his character work.

A couple of chapters in, Brianna’s father, a recovering alcoholic, stumbled into the story. Richard just amuses the hell out of me and I’m glad he showed up. I wasn’t expecting him, but he has turned out to be a wonderful not-quite-fairy-godmother godfather.