Being One of Henry’s Characters

Being one of Henry’s characters is, let’s say, interesting. First of all, he’s a man trying to write a woman’s perspective. He kept trying to get in touch with his feminine side and making wrong turns. I tried to help him understand but…well, you know men.


Finally, I got him to sit down one day and talk to me about where he saw my story line, or character arc, going. He didn’t have a clue. He envisioned me riding off into the sunset with Michael but had no idea how to get me there. He had the nerve to ask me what I wanted. Frustrated that after five drafts he still didn’t know, I stared him down and said, “Don’t you know? Haven’t you read the book?”


He’ll tell you that when I said that, the light clicked and he saw my desire for freedom and independence. What he won’t tell you is the light came on when I clocked him upside the head with James Scott Bell’s Plot and Structure. There’s more than one way to get knowledge of the craft into somebody’s head.


After that “interview,” as he calls it, we worked very well together. He accepted my direction in how I would talk and act, the difference between my business voice and my prostitute voice. He grasped the significance of why I squeeze my fingers.


And, working together, we explored the tension and conflict between my wanting to be free and my wanting to be loved. My attraction to Michael warred with my not wanting any man controlling me. Loving Michael meant giving up some of that control.


By the end of the book, I thought he’d finally done a decent job of capturing me on paper, given what I had to work with. I told him I’m willing to take the risk of being in his sequel, Riverbend Justice.

We’ll see how that turns out. Hopefully, he’ll behave himself.

10 Responses to Being One of Henry’s Characters

  1. TNeal June 6, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    Henry, excellent way to make a point. I remember reading somewhere that writers get into trouble when their imaginary friends stop talking to them.

    I interviewed one of my characters and realized she was an angry, feisty tiger when her children hurt (not surprising but the depth of her fierceness came through in that interview).

    Well done.

  2. Patricia PacJac Carroll June 6, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    Cute : )
    I am glad you got Henry to listen to you, Rachel. You had a wonderful story to tell.

  3. Stephenia McGee June 6, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    I loved the way you wrote Rachel. She is very real and quite deep. Still looking for book 2!

  4. Henry June 6, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    Thanks, Stephenia. Rachel is fun to work with. Book 2 is with my agent and we’re strategizing some ways to get it out.

  5. Henry June 6, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

    Thanks, Patiricia. Henry was OK once I told him no more baseball games until he worked it out.


  6. Henry June 6, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

    Thank you, Tom.
    My characters know the story so much better than I do.
    Ray Bradbury once said: “First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him!”
    Great advice from a master. Gonna miss him.

  7. Mary Boyle June 7, 2012 at 1:45 pm #

    By George, I think he’s got it! Way to go Rachel, I never knew a few hits across the side of the head would help a man see a womans side. Hmm, maybe I should try it out on my husband

  8. Rachelle June 7, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    Thanks for sharing insight into how you create your characters. I love the idea of interviewing them and letting them take over. Rachel is such a great character and I look forward to reading book 2!!

  9. Henry June 7, 2012 at 9:29 pm #

    It’s all in the wrist, Mary. All in the wrist.

  10. Henry June 7, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

    Thanks, Rachelle.
    Ray Bradbury once said, “First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him!”
    This advice has worked more than once for me, especially when I’m stuck.

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