Hi there, guys and dolls! Today, let’s talk about characters in series, specifically in cozies. It’s always interesting to see how we call play and present our casts of characters, the townsfolk, whether they be newbies or long term residents. Not only that, but are they innocent, red herrings, supporting cast, victims, or perpetrators?
When you write a series, there’s many factors to consider about your people, in both the sense of them as part of the overall fabric and their individual personalities. What do they bring to your story? How do the other characters relate to them? What are their strengths, weaknesses? Have they been there all along in the fringes, just waiting for your attention, do they pop in and out like a yo-yo, or do they come up just to be killed off? What do they look like, what are their ages, status and occupations? What are their natures — are they kind, polite, rude, annoying, love to hate, or hate to love? And how far do you develop your person in a book? Do you tell their whole life story in one chapter, or evolve them, one layer at a time throughout the entire collection? And as a writer, how well do you know them? Have they been with you through your whole life or are they new, bright, and shiny in your mind?
Not only do I write my cozy Poppy Cove Mystery Series (along with developing a couple of other spanners in the works…), but I read them voraciously. I’m always fascinated to see how others create their worlds, their people and move within their mental ‘in’ crowd. In my series, I’m so excited to share how my Santa Lucians’ lives unfold. By now, you should all know I’m not the kiss and tell type, but I will share with you that I have great plans for some of our social set’s futures, as well as some shadowy skeletons that will appear about others’ pasts. What I also love is when you go along, and all of a sudden, a new voice pops up, a new kid in town, just begging to be part of the swinging scene and a new storyline or vein is developed, or an old fictional friend shows you a new side of themselves. It’s always an endless source of amusement and thank you dear readers, for enjoying the ride. Time for me to get back and see what Daphne, Margot and the gang have gotten up to while my back is turned!
Barbara Jean Coast