Something Woo-Woo This Way Comes (Penny Rader)

In honor of Halloween and the spooky, the strange, and the weird, I searched the Internet for articles and resources to aid in the writing of paranormal or supernatural tales.

I hope you find something in the snippets I've included that appeals to you and makes you click the links to read the entire articles.

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A Dark and Stormy Night: 10 Tips for Writing a Paranormal Mystery (Wendy Webb)
  • Real world or new world?
  • Once you've created your world, make your readers want to live there. And then pull the rug out from under them.
  • Even implausible situations must be plausible.
  • The "dark and stormy night" cliché isn't a cliché for nothing. 
  • Adapt The Hero's Journey.
  • Create vulnerability or danger that the lead character doesn't see for awhile, but the reader does.
  • Give your readers breaks in the suspense. 
  • You've got to believe.
  • Was it just my imagination?

Hartwig HKD
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How Paranormal Fiction Is Like Garlic (Kait Nolan)

…the paranormal includes phenomena and manifestations that lie outside the range of normal experience and cannot be scientifically explained or proven.
  • Powers
  • Creatures
  • Angels/Demons
  • Witches
  • Ghosts
  • Fairies/Pixies/Other fae folk
  • Gods/Goddesses
  • The just plain weird

An Introduction to Writing the Paranormal Novel and Supernatural Elements (Courtney Carpenter)

Paranormal novels…need some element of magic or the supernatural that’s so deeply integral to the story that the entire novel would collapse if you removed it.

People have been telling supernatural stories from the beginning of human civilization. Such stories form the basis of every mythology that ever existed.

Supernatural stories feed the human desire for escape. We can pretend we’re riding that magic carpet, making those three wishes, or swinging that sword because we know (deep sigh) it’s never going to happen for real.

How to Write a Paranormal – 7 Tips to Remember (K.A.E Grove)
  • Originality in your writing
  • Create a solid mythology
  • A strong female heroine
  • Hero
  • Conflict and Villains
  • Violence
  • Stills needs a happily-ever-after

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Writing about Magic in Your Paranormal Romance, Part One (Lisa Whitefern)  and Part Two 

Logic and consistency are important.

Make magic relevant to your story, and a meaningful part of the conflict within the characters.

Consider what is important to your character, and associate the cost of using the power with this important thing.

Writing rules for magic systems:
  • Establish a set of rules.
  • Have someone (or something) deliver the rules of the magic system to your character.
  • Create scenarios in which to put your characters that test these very rules.
  • Create situations in which the cost of using magic is something that risks what the character holds dear. 
Types of consequences for the use of magic or limitations to magic:
  • Time sensitive 
  • Can be blocked
  • Can be painfully overwhelming
  • Unexpected
  • Exhausting
  • Can only occur under specific conditions
  • Can only be used a certain number of times
  • Restricted
  • Corrupts
  • A price
  • Requires a recipe
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Bonus Material for sticking with me – Resources to Check Out: 

Encyclopedia Mythallica (all things mythical)

Encyclopedia Mythica (mythology, folklore, religion)

godchecker (gods and goddesses)

Irish Fairies

Myth and Legend from Ancient Times to the Space Age

Paranormal Research & Resource Society

Paranormal Vocabulary

Psychic Research – PRISM Paranormal Research

Religions and Myths

Rosemary Ellen Guiley’s Library (check out the left side of the screen)

Sacred Text (religion, mythology, folklore)

Werewolves: The Myths and the Truths

Zerotime (vampires and werewolves)


Are you writing a paranormal story or have a favorite paranormal story? Do you have any tips or resources to share? I’d love to hear all about it in the Comments section.

Favorites: Heroes and Heroines

As of yesterday afternoon, I couldn't peg a single favorite hero, even though I'd said I'd blog about it today.  Oh, I have many favorites.  Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan comes to mind.  Which opens up the world of movies and takes me to Indiana Jones.  Both are reluctant heroes.

I thought my blog post would be something along the lines of having no particular favorite hero, and then this morning it hit me.  Rhett Bulter.  A rascal.  A gentleman, although Scarlett didn't think so.  And while Ashley Wilkes was also a gentleman, he lacked that rascal-liness that made Rhett readers and Scarlett.  Without a doubt, one of the best heroes ever written.

Once again, Rhett was a reluctant hero. He didn't want to be involved in the War of the States, but when push came to shove, he did.  He became a pirate, smuggling supplies through the blockade.  (Which brings to mind Capt. Jack Sparrow, another reluctant hero.)  He fell in love with a woman who spurned him, and he never gave up.  I have to believe that his, "Frankly, I don't give a damn," was his way of proving to Scarlett that she loved him.  He hung in there, in spite of her constant (excuse the French) bitchiness toward him.  He was there when she needed him, pushing her to be the woman she really was and to finally admit that she loved him.

And what a woman!  Scarlett was a woman beyond her time.  No sweet, demure woman, although she could pull that off when needed.  Rhett was initially attracted by her beauty, but he fell in love with her because of her spirit, reined in, as was her intelligence, by the confines of the times.

Which brings up favorite heroines.  Scarlett ranks among those.  Thinking back through all of my reading, I find my favorite heroines are strong, take charge women.  I think that began with Madeline.  Does anyone remember the Madeline books?

“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines
Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines
In two straight lines they broke their bread
And brushed their teeth and went to bed.
They left the house at half past nine
In two straight lines in rain or shine-
The smallest one was Madeline.”

Then came Eloise, who lived at the Plaza Hotel in NYC.  What a scamp!  And always in trouble.  One of the highlights of my life was staying at the Plaza when I was 13 and imagining Eloise around the corner of each hallway.  Granted, if I'd acted as Eloise did, even when much younger, I wouldn't have been allowed to breathe, much less have the run of a Plaza.  But her escapades always had me wishing I had more spirit.

 My next-door-neighbor introduced me to my next favorite heroine, Trixie Belden.  While others read Nancy Drew, I continued my worship of Trixie, a tomboy I admired for her daring and knack for getting herself into trouble, but always getting out of it with a lesson learned.  And I learned from the information in the books.  If you've been to our great County Zoo, you probably have seen the ghost fish in the jungle exhibit.  The fish are blind, and the moment I first saw them, I knew why.  It had been explained in The Mystery of the Bob-White Cave.  I learned about sheep, I learned about the Day of the Dead and cowboys and horses and riding.  I wanted a horse.  Oh, how I wanted a horse and to ride through the beauty of the Hudson Valley.  And the books were my first introduction to romance via Trixie and Jim.

For Every Heroine...For Every Hero...

I admit that I'm drawn to strong, independent heroines, but a story becomes better when that heroine meets her match in the hero.  For a strong woman, there must always be a strong man.  Give him a backstory to make me love him, and a woman who will stand beside him as his equal, and you've hooked me.  Add a bad boy, rascal, or as my friend author Kathie DeNosky says, a stinker (charming and incorrigible, but sworn to no woman...until the heroine) and he has me at Hello.  The harder they fall... ;)

Traveling Another's Path

Favorite literary characters are our theme this month. Hmm, that’s a tough one. I've had so many over the years. They've changed as I've aged, so how do I pick? I've been wrestling with this all month and still don’t have an answer.

There is one that stands out for me. I’m not sure I can say why. Not without hurting my pea-brain anyway. The character’s name is Tom Black. The book, When the Legends Die, by Hal Borland.

Tom is a young Indian betrayed by a tribal member for money and forcefully integrated into the white man’s world when his parents die. His only friend, a black bear cub, is kept chained nearby so Tom won’t run away. He is treated, for the most part, without compassion, respect or understanding. Hatred takes deep root in his heart.

We follow him as he grows up. He continues being used and betrayed by others. Disgust, disappointment and despair grow. In spite of that, he becomes an expert bronco rider. His use of this skill brings some money and fame. The acclamation helps him to feel important, but it’s for all the wrong reasons. He’s famous for riding a number of horses to death. The rest he would punish by riding in a brutal fashion.

By now you’re probably thinking, why would anyone like this guy? Because the story is about someone so lost and alone that all he knows is pain. You follow his journey as he discovers you can’t live a life of hate. It’s a masterful portrayal of how bitterness and unforgiveness will eat away at your soul. It shows that the quality of your life depends on you, no matter what has happened.

At the end, he revisits his roots. He goes “native” and returns to the mountains where he was happy as a child to find himself once more. It’s a story of redemption, and those are my favorite kind. I learned things about myself as I traveled Tom’s path.

So, why do I like this character? Maybe it’s the mother in me, wanting to comfort and love someone surrounded by angry, unfeeling people. Maybe it’s the need to protect the defenseless. Maybe it’s my lifelong love of the Native American People. Maybe it’s the need to root for the underdog.

My feelings for Tom’s character are nebulous at best. They’re there. They’re strong, but hard to define. Perhaps I’m afraid to look too close. Perhaps in defining them, I won’t like what I see. Perhaps it’s no one else’s business. I’m not real sure about a lot of things, but Tom Black, is special to me. 

Biggles: A Literary Adventurer (Melissa Robbins)

Movie still from Biggles:Adventures in Time
One of my favorite literary characters is Major James Bigglesworth aka Biggles.  I first discovered him in a campy 80’s movie, Biggles:  Adventures in Time when I was a kid.  I loved the movie then and since it came out the same time as Top Gun, it only fueled my pilot obsession.  I have since watched it as an adult and cringed, but who can resist a pilot? The first time I saw the movie, I had no idea that Biggles was a literary character.  The English books weren’t found on my Maryland library shelves.  With the joy of the Internet, I now have five Biggles books, three are 1940’s editions. 

Biggles was created by WW1 pilot, Captain WE Johns.  Through many, many books (101), Biggles has flown in both world wars for the Royal Air Force and any time a flyer is needed to save the day (secret air service and air police).  Many of the original stories were first published in flying magazines in the 30’s, but became so popular, they were published in book form too.      

  In every book, Biggles gets himself and his friends in some crazy and sometimes hilarious situations.  With the ones I’ve read, the bad guys are German or sympathizers, with one in particular, Biggles’ nemesis, Erick Von Stalhein.  The Germans really hate Biggles since in every book he steals one of their planes (or car or motorcycle) and uses it against them.  He’s quite fluent in German.  If Biggles isn’t rescuing his mates, they’re rescuing him!  “Biggles is facing an execution.  Let’s torpedo the sub he’s on.”

Now this being a romance blog, many of you may be wondering does Biggles breaks women’s hearts.  It’s quite the opposite.  Biggles fell madly in love with a French girl, but she turned out to be a German spy and her actions almost killed his entire squadron.  Still in love with her, he never loves again.   

Even in the most harrowing situations, there’s humor. I still laugh out loud when Biggles, Ginger, and Algy are naming their spy planes in Biggles in the Baltic.  If the scene wasn’t three pages long, I would post it here.  They call themselves the Boomerang Squadron, because a boomerang whirls out, strikes, and then whirls back home again.  This causes them to give their planes Australian names and after much debate Dingo, Didgeree-du, Willie-Willie, and Duck-billed Platypus are chosen. Sadly, the four planes don’t survive to the end of the book, but Biggles and Company destroying a plane or four is par for the course for them. 

My pilot character Connor (Cheeky Pilot) started reading the books as a teenager.  He joins the RAF because of Biggles. Connor's sister, Wren receives a Biggles book as a gift from her boyfriend and they use it to send coded messages to each other.  

This blog post made me realize that sometimes when we like a literary character that we also have to consider the supporting cast.  They give us a glimpse of how our hero reacts to things.  Where would Harry Potter be without Hermoine and Ron?  

Hmm. My Favorite Character Is... (Penny Rader)
Image by the Real Estreya.
licensed under a Creative Commons
 Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic license
The topic for this month is favorite literary/fiction character(s).

Well, it's going to have to be a fiction character because I don't do literary.  I like happy endings.

Anyway, I choose Eve Dallas and Roarke from J.D. Robb's In Death series.  I cannot get enough of them. Yet, I nearly missed the opportunity to meet them all because the first covers were very futuristic-y and I'm not a fan of futuristic stories.  It's me, not them.  I just have a hard time wrapping head around futuristic stories.  Just ask my cp, Jeannie.  Then one day, while working at the bookstore, I was given the job of stripping books.  (Because of the expense involved, most publishers, at least when I worked at the bookstore, just wanted the covers of paperbacks returned.)

Anyway, there I was in the backroom of B Dalton, tearing the cover off a copy of Seduction in Death.  Because I'm pretty much incapable of having a book in my hands without checking out the opening sentences, I peeked.  That first page sucked me and wouldn't let go.  I couldn't wait to read more. I had to read more.  Then I discovered Seduction in Death was the 13th book on the series.  No problem!  I have a habit of starting books in the middle of a series and then going back to book one and playing catch up.  Did it with the Little House series (The school librarian handed me The Long Winter.  I had no idea it was part of a series.)  Happened again with Stephanie Plum.  (The publisher sent an advance copy of High Five to the store.  Hooked again.  Found book one and laughed myself silly throughout the series.)

Eve and Roarke fascinate me. I want to live with them, witness their interactions, their banter, their tenderness for one another, even their irritation with each other. Watching them grow over 30+ books has been such fun and I hope there are many, many, many more Eve and Roarke stories to come.  I find Eve's befuddlement over everything involved in marriage and friendships endearing.  She's not a huggy person, but when she loves, she LOVES, even if she has a hard time admitting it.  And Roarke?  Oh my. This Irishman stole my heart immediately.  The depth of his feelings for Eve are simply, well, I can't even find the words.  He can buy and sell pretty much anything on and off this planet, yet in his pocket he carries a button from Eve's coat. {sigh}

If you haven't read the series yet, the first book is Naked in Death.  The second is Glory in Death. J.D. Robb (aka Nora) has the complete list on her website. I hope you'll love Eve and Roarke (and Peabody and Mavis and McNab and Dr Mira and Galahad and Summerset ...) as much as I do.


Do you have any favorite fiction characters? Please share in the Comments section.

Passive Is As the Verb Does © by Sandy Van Doren

Back in the days before digital and online became the big things they are today, WARA had an official newsletter, mailed to members every two months.  Each newsletter included a column about the technical side of writing, otherwise known as grammar and punctuation.  Member Sandy Van Doren penned the column for each edition for many years, and it became a favorite among the members.

Recently, member Nina Sipes suggested that WARA add a blog each month containing Sandy's wisdom and instruction, so we've decided to do just that.  By taking as many of Sandy's Talking Technical columns and including them as a blog post for both new writers and those who are more seasoned, we hope this mid-month topic will become a favorite of WARA members, new and old, and our visitors.


As people in all professions are wont to do, we romance wordsmiths have developed and are developing a jargon of our own.  The problem is we don't respect the buzzwords we've created.  In computerese GIGO will always be garbage in, garbage out.  In romance-ese voice, for instance, is used in several different phrases.  Since I began writing romance, I've heard voice applied in the following ways:  "How do I now what my voice is?"  "Don't use passive voice."  "Whose voice is telling the story?"

The last sentence refers to the point of view character, as in which character is telling the story.  The first sentence asks about author style.  You probably figured those out like I did.  But the middle sentence is a puzzle and creates confusion.  What is passive voice?

Voice in grammar refers to the function of a verb to show whether the subject of that verb acts or is acted upon.  If the subject acts, it's called the verb's active voice.  When the action is passed back to the subject or the subject receives the results, the voice of the verb is passive.

Sentences written in passive voice usually have certain characteristics besides the subject being the receiver of the action.  A prepositional phrase with the word "by" and containing the perpetrator of the action can follow the verb.  The complete verb is usually some form of to be along with the past participle of the main verb. 

Classic passive voice ~ The rock song was written by a ninety-year-old woman.
Breakdown of sentence ~
The Rock [song]        [was]      [written]      [by a nintely-year-old woman].
              [Subject]     [to be]   [main verb]          [prepositional phrase]

Okay, how do you know that written is the past particple?  Do you remember the wonderful exercise from elementary school, verb congugation?  It went like this for the verb to love:  I love, I loved, I have loved.  That breaks down to the present tense, the past tense, and, you guessed it, the past participle.  (By the way, to love is the present infinitive of the verb.)  In the example the verb is to write and conjugates:  write, wrote, written.

     More examples of passive voice:
Without prepositional phrase ~
Our car was stolen yesterday.
Trash had been thrown about.
I am being shoved forward.
The table is cleaned every day.

With a prepositional phrase ~
The song would have been performed for the first time by her grandson's band.
The book will be used by adult reading classes.

Exercise your knowledge and "diagram" these two sentences as I did the first example.  Now, conjugate each main verb.  Want more practice recognizing passive voice?  Look in the newspaper, a magazine, a novel.  Or go to your current work-in-progress.

With the basics having been covered, I'm going to commit blasphemy:  Passive voice is not wrong or bad.  Strunk and White refer to passive voice as "frequently convenient and sometimes necessary."

Convenient?  Necessary?  For what?

Take two of my examples.  (1) The rock song was written by a ninety-year-old woman.  Let's switch this sentence into active voice:  A ninety-year-old woman wrote the rock song.  That works, doesn't it?

Now rework this sentence (2) Our car was stolen yesterday.  Oops, did I hear you say you can't find who stole the car?  Not knowing who acted is one reason to use passive voice.

Another time would be when the agent of the action is not important:  Jim Bob Doe was paroled.

Other instances occur when you want to emphasize or direct attention to the receiver of the action.  Trash has been thrown about.

With the foregoing pro-passive voice language I've written, you're probably wondering why some writers/editors/agents/grammar books treat passive voice as Public Enemy #1.  Their view is valid if modified by the above arguments.  Consider these sentences:

Tomatoes and strawberries were harvested by migrant workers.
Migrant workers harvested tomatoes and strawberries.
The hiring is done by the secretary.
The secretary does the hiring.

Which ones are easier to picture?  Have more vigor?  Show rather than tell?  There you have it:  Active voice is vivid and places the reader in the story better than passive voice.  Or put another way, passive voice is "action once removed" from the reader.

That might work for academia but the buyers of fiction want to be right in the middle, not one step back.

Now, I have some words of caution:  Not all to be verbs are equal.  Verbs come in two types, transitive and intransitive.  Transitive verbs transfer the action; intransitive link or indicate of passive voice.  Obviously, in all my examples the verbs are transitive.  Can you come up with a few examples of intransitive?

I'm asleep.  She is beautiful.  Here's the book.  The dog was a dirty mess.

This means not every use of a to be verb is indicative of passive voice.  In the above examples none of the subjects are acted upon, nor do they act.  They simply are.  We see them in a state of being.  We see them described.

If your word processing program has a grammar check, use it to ferret out passive voice.  Don't automatically eliminate it.  Instead, make conscious decisions to leave it when the passive voice is more appropriate to what you want to say.

Act to be passive.  It's your right, your duty, as the sentence's creator.

(Thank you, Sandy, from all your WARA friends.)

Writer’s Life: From Keyboard to Kitchen

Yes, I’d like to be writing all the time. Maybe break a little for more coffee and a bathroom break. I’d like to be in my jammies thinking of high adventure and romance. I’d like to be nibbling different chocolate fantasies. I’d like to have elegant garden parties. I’d like to have a garden for elegant garden parties. I’d like to know enough people to attend an elegant garden party.  Skip all that. I’d like a quiet garden to write in.  And so goes a writer’s mind. Always running off to….

But the reality is, well reality. Danged stuff. Always in the way of a good story.

I’m in a writer’s funk.  I just spent two hours with an eloquent brother-in-law writing wonderful, elegant, thank you notes for the occasion of his mother’s last days. I have bill-paying all around my elbows to where there is no blank space on my desk. The kitchen requires some serious work as my personal chef (husband) has been having a very creative day. All I want to do is pull out my one of my works in progress and immerse myself in a happy place. But, the blog is behind by a day and I can’t think of new words to write that would forward the story one bit.

So let us review what I have been able to accomplish lately. I’ve been reading some published romance work on my Kindle lately while waiting in waiting rooms for my current transportation to be fixed. The stories disturbed me. On a writerly visceral level. They were awesomely intriguing in their storyline, the characters were true to themselves, the places were all well drawn, but I had to work so very hard to keep reading. Why? Only the intriguing story idea kept me going and it was uphill the whole way to a moderately satisfying ending. Gosh. Is my work that good/bad? Dunno. Will never know as I am blind to my own genius/ineptitude. But reading the first book had me really worried.  After reading the entire series, uphill both ways, in a blinding blizzard, (what they used to say about walking to school). I finally figured out what the problems was. And what a colossal waste of characters and plot.

It is true. Character is key. The ability to draw/write characters compelling to the imagination and ability to draw a reader into the life of that character is the difference between an indifferent read and a remarkable one. This story series had everything else in great quantity. The characters were well sketched. That was the problem. Sketched. No depth. Yes, they yearned, but in the gray area. Not the dark places that souls molder helplessly. Yes they rejoiced, but not in the sparkly reflection of lights in the eye.  Yes, they worried, but not in the frightening muck that smears and takes forever to clear.

I have read many books that were like oatmeal. Bland in every way, but not bad. So I discovered as I cleaned my kitchen where I labored as my mind contemplated, that character development must have layers too. Just like the dried-on yuk on my counter tops, some things are easily removed, some things take more soap, and some things must be scrubbed to shine and gleam. So too must our characters. They must be sometimes transparent, sometimes stubborn, and sometimes very sticky to really be memorable or stories are a waste of ink and paper.

And so I finish this blog, thinking, wishing there were any chocolates in the house but back from the kitchen and in my seat where I want to be—at the keyboard.

My Favorite Fictional Character?

Favorite?  Really?  Impossible!

I loved Trixie Belden, when I was a young reader.  And Madeline, in the Madeline books.  That's probably because they were high-spirited and didn't take no for an answer.  They were strong-willed and different than the other characters in the story.  I tended to be shy as a little girl.  However, once I knew you well, I could be very pushy.  Just ask the kids I grew up with.  And ask the WARA ladies, who'll tell you I haven't grown out of that pushy part. ;)

My reading has always been eclectic, from True Crime to Horror/Suspense to Romance, and everything in-between.  If it's a good story, if it has characters that touch me in some way, it's going to be a favorite.

When I think of favorite characters, I think of three heroines, all in books by Susan Elizabeth Phillips aka SEP.

  • Phoebe Somerville in It Had to Be You will always be an all-time favorite.  Phoebe appears to be the Queen of Voluptuous Dumb Blondes.  In fact, she might even agree with that, to some degree.  But Phoebe isn't dumb.  She knows how to use what she's been given to her advantage, but deep down inside, she's insecure and hates those curves.  At my very first RWA Conference in Dallas in 1996, I attended a workshop given by SEP.  She explained how she came up with the character of Phoebe, and when she finished, I was in complete awe.  You see, beneath the clingy, low-cut dresses and outlandish outfits, Phoebe wears "white, old lady underwear."  What she appears to be on the outside is the complete opposite of who she is on the inside.  She's not the outrageous airhead everyone thinks she is.  She had a childhood that would cause most women to have vapors, and because of it, she has no faith in herself.  But as she grew up, she learned that, with the right clothes and "attitude," she could have men falling at her feet.  In doing so, she has the upper hand, enabling her to never let anyone know the real Phoebe.  I LOVE PHOEBE!
  • Sugar Beth Carey in Ain't She Sweet is about as close as second place can be without edging out Phoebe.  Sugar Beth was raised by her mother to be Parish, Mississippi's "princess."  Believing what her mama has taught her, she left Parish, thinking the world would always be hers.  But she returns, some years later, humbled by the "real world" and the horrible choices she's made.  The trouble is, she's unable to do much of anything except be the person everyone still believes her to be.  And then she meets up with the teacher who met his teaching demise, thanks to her.  Talk about sparks!  Talk about intricate but human characters!  I laughed and I cried, throughout the book.
  • Blue Bailey in Natural Born Charmer, tied for second place with Sugar Beth, is as tough as nails, but has a heart of gold.  And that's a big problem for her.  Stubborn as the day is long, she first appears in a headless beaver costume, walking down the road.  She's broke, has nowhere to go, and would be the last person to take anything from anyone.  Of course, she has no choice and must accept.  Blue can fix anyone...but herself.  But there's one person she refuses to help--the driver of the car, who offers her a ride.  To reach her HEA (which she stubbornly refuses to acknowledge is possible), she has to grow, and she insists that's the one thing she doesn't need to do.
Of course there are dozens, if not hundreds, of heroines that could go on my favorites list, but these three have yet to be unseated, in almost twenty years of reading.  I often wonder why these three characters remain at the top.  Of all the books I read and movies I see, the ones I like the most are the ones where a character grows from the opening to the ending, all the while battling that growth.  (Miss Congeniality is a good example.) They start with a goal, but by the end of the book or movie, that goal has changed into something bigger and better.

Tough as nails, with a strong backstory and an overwhelming need to help others.  I like strong heroines, possibly because that's the type of person I want to be when I grow up.  I have a long way to go.  Who doesn't?

I'll tackle heroes later in the month.  (Now doesn't that sound like fun? *wink*)  Those heroes will take some thinking, but I have no doubt I'll find at least one...or two...or three.

Favorite Literary aka Fictional Character(s) by J Vincent

Having read thousands of books I believed this would be an easy topic.  Then I went blank.  I thought of a lot of the books I had read, of the characters in them and couldn’t pull any one of them out as a “favorite.”  Over the next few days I mulled over the topic and two characters finally came to mind.  Many will recognize the first from this quote:
“They seek him here, they seek him there
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere
Is he in heaven or is he in hell?
That demned elusive Pimpernel”
Yes, Sir Percy Blakeney in The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy.  He is a hero disguised in a foppish dandy exterior and manner known for witticisms on trivial matters such as: Odd's fish, m'dear! The man can't even tie his own cravat!” or “Sink me! Your taylors have betrayed you! T'wood serve you better to send THEM to Madam Guillotine”   Sir Percy endures the disdain of the wife he loves while he and his band of aristocrats rescue French aristocracy from the guillotine.  I love his daring, his cool headed reactions to imminent danger, his fly-in-the-face manner to the authorities.  It was people like him I strove to be in my childhood playtime adventures.

The other favorite character is a man of a far different sort:  Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee.  Atticus is not as witty, but is a far deeper thinker than Sir Percy.  He tells Scout, "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it." and in another instance says, Courage is not a man with a gun in his hand. It's knowing you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do."
His enduring belief in people and the law, his humility, his daring to be different in a time that held little patience for such, to hold different--even dangerous--views for the time in which he lived will always keep him at the top of my list.

I am troubled that I haven’t come up with a favorite female character.  There are female characters I like an d enjoy.  Some I admire like Charlaine Harriss Lily Bard in her Shakespeare series.  But I haven't come up with any that I think fondly of like Sir Percy and Atticus. It must be a senior moment.  Which female characters would you propose as favorites?