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While we’re on the topic of editing and refining, our very own Christina Ledbetter discusses idiosyncrasies and elements of writing she notices while reading a novel. These elements are personal issues that Christina picks up on, so it’s up to you and your Truth Team of one, or you and your editor to decide whether or not these are issues you should address, but in Christina’s opinion she’s better off without them.

Four Things Characters in a Book Shouldn’t Do (If I’m Going to Finish it, Anyway)

I love characters. But sometimes they drive me crazy. Please don’t let your characters in a book do the following:

Talk into the mirror – I read a short story once in which the main character stared into the mirror and gave herself a pep talk about surviving a rape she’d experienced years before. It was the author’s way of telling us the back story, but it would’ve read a lot more naturally just to say something along the lines of “Shirley had been raped three years ago.”

Degas _ Woman in front of Mirror

Display fury on the very first page – I don’t know a characters on the first page, so I certainly don’t care what they’re mad about yet. Give me a few pages before jumping into outright rage.

Say, “What’s this?” when presented with a gift – Every movie character in the history of film responds with “What’s this?” when presented with a gift. Don’t let your characters in a book do it. Never. Just have them say something like, “So sweet of you!” or “You think you can buy my love, you scum?”

Sport an “amused” expression over once in the entire book (or a pensive, gleeful or rueful one). My point is, some looks are so unique that I’m distracted if I see it more than once. I love the Shopaholic books, but if Luke Brandon displays one more “amused” expression, I’m going to lose it. If the rest of the books weren’t so darn funny I’d throw them down just for that amused expression alone.

So get started writing your story and take good care of your cast. Then allow Kbuuk to publish you once you’ve removed those pesky mirrors from the faces of all your fabulous characters. Sign up for your account today http://kbuuk.com.