I've just taken part in world book night again. I've added a link so that you can see what this fabulous initiative is all about. I've been involved each year in the business of giving out books to people in order to encourage a love of reading. This year I chose to distribute M.C. Beaton's Quiche of Death, the first in a series of books about an unlikely detective in the shape of Agatha Raisin, a retired PR Guru.
The book could be categorised as cosy detective in terms of genre. It is a light and humorous read with an interesting central character. Agatha Raisin is in her fifties, a bit grumpy and solitary in her ways and often ungenerous in her thoughts. She has good points and bad points and the author allows some delicious insights into her ungenerous points of view. The most important feature she has is that of the tenacity to make her a good amateur sleuth.
I was impressed with this character and the twenty or so kitch and funny novels that have been woven around her. The detective genre lends itself to characters who can appear time and time again in a number of mysteries. Readers love to catch up with someone who feels like an old friend.
In the television series the part of Agatha Raisin is played by a glamorous woman. In the book she's well dressed but somehow plain and matter of fact and I wondered how much she resembles the writer.
Can you think of a fantastic character to hang twenty novels onto and have fans begging for more. Wouldn't it be wonderful? A writer's dream.
To make a start at finding your character think of someone you know, maybe even yourself, who has the power to drive a story along. Consider the following to help you shape the character further.
Is s/he modern or traditional in habit and dress?
Does s/he have strong views or liberal views on life issues and politics?
Is s/he religious, or lapsed in religion or a pagan?
Can your character cook?
Who are they friends with?
Have they or are they married? Just once or are there a few ex spouses?
Who are the members of their family?
What environment are they in and does this provide the potential for many stories?
Please do have a go and come up with a prize winning character with whom you can share your writing room and grow rich.