Thinking about the characters of a story is on of the joys of writing, creating their personalities and deciding how they relate to each other. Giving them something in common—a similar trait—can help to drive the plot forward and flow better, not least with characters that begin as strangers to each other.
The same seems to follow in real life—people seek out those that like and enjoy the same things as themselves. An item or activity that can be shared between individuals, something for them to bond over. But does that mean that it can’t work if they have nothing in common?
Think about movies you have watched – weren’t the most interesting ones those where the lead characters initially don’t get on? All lovey-dovey from the outset offers nothing for you to get your teeth into, which can make for a very boring movie.
I like it when the characters do seem so opposed that it’s difficult for many to even imagine them together. A strong contrast, whether in one or many ways, offers another dimension to the characters and the plot. No one ever said that life was supposed to be easy and I like realistic stories.
In life, people often seek out those with similar likes and dislikes, figuring the link will somehow offer a benefit to the relationship. But I know people like this who fall by the wayside, while those who couldn’t be more different are in thriving relationships. Differences can offer a relationship a more interesting dynamic, allowing a couple to educate each other on new things rather than plodding along the same path.
I like it when the characters in stories seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum, to the point where many find it difficult to imagine them together because they contrast so strongly in one or many ways. It helps to prevent the characters becoming too samey and adds some suspense to the story, making the reader want to see how they work out their differences.
This premise is one I used to write my latest release, Art of the Written Word, which is published by Total-E-Bound.
The notion of a woman being a ‘cougar’ has become popular so the older woman/younger man genre is unlikely to raise many eyebrows. However, dreaming up the hero and heroine, Garvey and Yvonne, and their contrasting personalities gave me the opportunity to have fun. Yvonne is a straight-laced ex-school teacher who encounters the more bohemian Garvey after hiring him for his artistic skills. It turns out that Garvey boasts other skills and is more than capable of coaxing her from her prim shell to show her more of what life has to offer.
I have heard it said that couples who have been together for a significant length of time begin to look like each other, but there is nothing to say that this is necessary to form a lasting relationship. Not only does lust and love not require couples to look alike, they don’t even have to be anything alike for sparks to ignite.
Though it may sound a little clichéd, there are occasions when opposites do attract and can create something wonderful.
Shermaine Williams writes erotic romance from her home in London. She has released a number of tales from short stories to novels with several publishers and continues to do so as she just loves to create new characters. She can be found at www.shermainewilliams.co.uk.