November 5th, 2007
Character Chemistry

Cross-posted to The Bradford Bunch blog

Opposite attract is an old saying and one that definitely bears out in my opinion. My husband and I are just about as opposite as you can get. He’s outgoing, extroverted, lives for the social scene. He’s methodically organized with everything. I’m, well, the opposite of all that. *g* I’m introverted, not scared of a social scene, just not energized by it. And I’m definitely not organized with anything but my novel files. (I can never, ever find my keys! Or my cell phone!) I’m the creative, kinda dreamy one, the right-brainer philosopher type. He’s the feet-on-the-ground, take charge of reality type.

Oddly, though, despite our huge differences in personality, we work really well together and have for many years now. We have qualities the other lack and so, together, we make a whole. Kinda like ying and yang. Probably this situation doesn’t always work, but sometimes it does.

Since it works for my husband and I, I tend to pair my heroes and heroines the same way. It’s what I know. (Write what you know.) To me, the right kind of opposite equates character chemistry. Chemistry makes the romance. ***

In Witch Fire, Jack McAllister is unpredictable and impetuous (a little like the element he commands). He needed a woman to balance him out, so I gave him Mira, a woman who is coming out a bad relationship and is (trying) to proceed cautiously and make solid decisions.

In Witch Blood, Thomas Monahan is a little bit uptight. He’s a micro-manager and a control-freak. He’s got a lot riding on his shoulders and never really allows himself to cut loose at all. He’s sort of Jack’s opposite (and they clash once in a while because of it). Thomas clearly needed a free spirit and that’s what I gave him. That’s all I want to say about that, since the book hasn’t come out yet. 😉

And now I’m writing Witch Heart (that title might change). The hero is introduced in Witch Blood. He’s a real commitment-phobe and has lots of relationships with women, but always makes sure they don’t go farther than the bedroom. He jokes around a lot and everyone thinks he’s a carefree and restless. That’s his rep. There’s more when you scratch this guy’s surface, though. Stuff that’s hinted at in Witch Blood, but will only come fully into the light in Witch Heart.

His heroine is waaay different from any heroine I’ve really ever written before. Her experiences have been such that she’s far, far different from any woman this guy has ever met (she’s a challenge to write too). I think she’s exactly what he needs. Talk about opposites attracting. And, again, that’s all I want to say about this book.

Oh, here’s a tangent. One of my pet peeves about romance novels is the scene in which everyone is fearing for their lives, yet the hero and heroine are busy lusting after each other. You, know, like, the serial killer is rounding the corner, advancing on the hero and heroine, knife in hand, yet the heroine can’t stop thinking about the hero’s massive biceps?

What are some of your romance pet peeves? I want to blog about them next week, so weigh in! Or tell me about your experiences with “opposites attracting”. I want to hear it all.

***Disclaimer here: It’s my intention to create character chemistry. The end result, like everything else, is in the eye of the reader.

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