Monday, January 16, 2012

What do your characters do for a living?

Is it a part of who they are? Or just something they do to pay the bills? That's the question I'm asking myself right now. As I make notes on a new story, I'm trying to figure out what my heroine will do for a living.

Sometimes the main character's job is important to the story. For example if they're a werewolf hunter and they start dating a werewolf, it adds to the conflict. Other times, it's not important to the story, but it is important to who they are as people.

The characters in my stories have done a little bit of everything, so coming up with something new is a bit of a challenge. I don't want them to sound boring. Ha. Ha. But there's nothing wrong with having one "ordinary" aspect to their lives. Especially, considering I write paranormal. A little bit of the ordinary is a good thing.

I try to balance how many characters have fantastical jobs vs how many do something "normal." My characters have been bounty hunters, werewolf hunters, club owners, bar owners, florists, decorators, one was a fiction writer (before that she had other jobs) and one wrote the little blurbs that appear beside pictures in adult magaizines. My latest heroine (Katherine in Frank and The Werewolf Tamer) is a vampire who ends up being hired as a Werewolf Tamer in a theme park.

Oh, plus I've got an upcoming release with Ellora's Cave, Constant Cravings, in which the leading lady is a fortune teller.

After all that, I'm thinking it might be nice for this heroine to do something "normal." Right now I'm toying with a few ideas, but can't settle on anything that suits her personality.

She is outgoing, friendly, tough but not a bitch (LOL). I am TOTALLY open to suggestions.

Is there anything you haven't seen that you think would be interesting for a leading lady to do for a living? It may not play a big part in the story, but it's still important.

Ideas anyone?


Melisse Aires said...

What a interesting post! I think I'll make a similar one for my characters. Fun!

Kayelle Allen said...

I've seen a lot of jobs for heroes and heroines among the books I read. Everything from Navy SEAL to waitress. Sometimes, it takes a new spin on an old thing to make it interesting. What if she introduces herself as being a clerk in a store, but you find out it's not just a store. They sell _________. Fill in the blank with whatever thing you can imagine. Maybe it's a sex toy shop, a book store, a gun store, or hospital gift shop. What might the personalities be of people who worked in these places? Would one be comfortable in the other's place of business? My random thought for the day, Tracey!

DeAnna Felthauser said...

I enjoyed this post! Personally I think the job a character has means a lot because it really tells something about them and their personality. As for your heroine when you said she's tough but not a bitch it made me think that maybe she could swing a job "with the guys" and be able to hang. Maybe she works in a garage doing mechanic work or working the front counter. She could work on construction sites as a manager, general contractor or with a real estate developer. Something where she's not afraid to get her hands dirty and she doesn't take any crap from the guys she works around.

My two cents for the day! Good luck Tracey :)

Tracey H. Kitts said...

Thank you all for the suggestions! Kayelle, it's so funny, because I was already thinking about the gun shop. LOL

DeAnna, I'd also considered making her a mechanic.

Decisions, decisions. LOL