Writing Romance 101––Part V

We’re still building a heroine named Susie. We don’t know too much about her yet. Here’s a good tip: use little flaws or imperfections to make your heroine someone your readers can identify with. Click to Tweet #amwriting #writingromance101 #craftingtheheroine

Review. The character we’re building is Susie. She fears rejection because several boys in high school dumped her in favor of the head cheerleader. This fear kept her from entering the dating game, and she has no frame of reference for dating “etiquette.” And, she is a woman rabbi, who comes from a family of rabbis, and she went to a Jewish high school. That’s an unusual job. Plus, Susie stutters when she gets really nervous. When the hero walks into her synagogue, he’ll unnerve her to the point that she loses focus and stutter.

Overlooking her own great looks. Most women are critical of their own appearance. They’ll see what they perceive is a flaw and blow it out of proportion. I just took a selfie late last week, and the angle made my nose look fat at the bottom. Susie thinks she’s ugly because she sees a Pinocchio nose (after lying about something) when she looks in the mirror. No one could possibly love her on account of that. In reality, Susie is a stunning woman, with flowing chestnut hair that can be styled any way she commands it. Her eyes are like small walnuts, dark, but beautifully balanced. Her lips are perfect, not too full, not too thin, not too wide. But all she sees when she looks in the mirror is her schnozz.

Introducing Imperfection. OK. No one likes a perfect heroine. In creating her so far, we’ve already given Susie some imperfections. Maybe her nose is aquiline, but our hero will love that about her. He’ll see her imperfections, and love her anyway. We’ve already given a fear of rejection because of high school. That’s part of her backstory.

The romantic heroine must be an evolving character. Readers want to see progress and growth in the major characters. Weaknesses and vulnerabilities will create a bond with the readers. Click to Tweet #amwriting #romancewriting101 #craftingtheheroine

What other character traits should we give to Susie? What weaknesses and vulnerabilities? Leave a comment and let me know.

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