Thursday, April 12, 2012
1. One of the first things I heard about character rules was not to name your main characters with the same beginning initial.
Reggie and Regina will confuse your reader especially if you name their kids Rudy and Rebecca. The theory behind this thought is that all the "R's" will get mixed up in the reader's brain. Not sure I believe this, but it might be true. What do you think?
2. I have a problem with books introduce too many characters in the first chapter. Yes, I know the characters build the story and we need to see our main character's interaction with them to get a feeling for who he/she is, but too many all at once is just a blur of names and later when the character comes back into the limelight I'm confused as to who it is and sometimes have to go back and find out his relationship to everyone. In doing so I fall out of the story while I search.
3. Bad behavior from the main character that is out of character. I used to read the Kinsey Millhone series by Sue Grafton until she started sleeping with the detective (Kinsey, not Sue) while the detective's wife was very ill with some incurable illness. Gee, how sleezy. Excuse me, he's still married and she's sick. I thought; how low can you go? This made me stop reading because I suddenly disliked the morals of the main character. Call me a prude, but this behavior hit close to home. My best friend was very sick with MS and we discovered her husband was cheating on her. I know no one knows the journey of another until you've walked a mile in their moccasins but still...ewww, he's a cheater and she's the cheater-enabler. What happened to "until death we do part"? I missed the codicil that says, "except if you're really sick then I get to have sex with my coworkers".
I understand I'm a woman and men may not feel the same about this issue but it really did ruin the series for me.
4. Rambling. This is subjective. Unless it's painting the picture...move on. I want story not six pages about the color of the drapes or how grandma spun the wool to make the thread to sew the drapes. Unless of course someone steals the drapes and wraps the body in them and the DNA brings grandma's lineage to justice.
What character rules do you follow?