One of the things I love about writing is creating characters. They drive the story. One reader says:
“Ms. Felix has written some of the most interesting characters and they come with an abundance of challenges that read like they’ve been ripped from the pages of the latest gossip mag.” – Patricia
In the original version of the saga, the characters were older; in their early to mid-20’s and they had promising careers. I decided to take the audience on a journey of how they got to where they were.
I never published that version. The version that is on the market today is the beginning. Sure, they all had lives before the story picked up, but the point where the story picks up comes from significant changes in their lives. Hence the name of the first book, Changes.
When I create a dilemma to immerse the characters, I don’t necessarily know how that scenario would turn out. I’d sometimes write points on my whiteboard, or in my story bible, but when I sit down to write the scene and the characters get involved, they take over. They usually get themselves in more trouble than I bargained for and that makes for a good story line and more drama.
Too much info
I sometimes get in my own way by incorporating too many story lines at once. While writing Book 6, and I got stuck for about two months because I wanted to tell so much about one character and their back history that the essence of the story was getting diluted.
I had to remind myself that I am not writing for television and it is difficult for the audience to follow so many characters and story lines. It’s only when I cut those scenes that the ideas start to flow and the characters bring their “A” game.
If you’ve read any book in the series, you know that they are drama filled and different story lines all connect in the end. The books aren’t meant to be 400 pages of literary masterpieces. It’s witty and in some situations dark, but in the end, it makes fun of itself.
“Best line thus far Zax telling Adriana that her life is like a soap opera loved it.” – SassyGirl Books
Why I write short form versus long
I believe a great story can be told with few words. I believe in giving the audience enough information to paint a picture and they can fill in the rest as the characters take them through their world.
I’d rather show than tell with my writing. I read books the same way, on very, very, rare occasions you’d see me with a 400-page fiction, I’d quicker read a self-help with that many pages. With fiction, if it is too long then that’s too much information and descriptions and I tend to get bored. I’d rather immerse myself in the characters and story lines than descriptions. But that’s just me, and that’s how I write.
There is an exception to my rule of reading long books. Jackie Collins was one of my favorite writers. What I liked about her books was the interesting mix of characters and story lines. She didn’t pack her books with descriptions of every little detail, she gave enough so you got the picture. The emphasis of her stories were the plot and characters. She had many characters and that kept me interested.
With my Family Portrait Series, you’ll meet many different characters, usually there are two story lines going on at the same time but in the end, you’ll see how it plays out.
“I was excited to read The Banovic Siblings after reading Changes. The way the Gillian Felix slowly builds her characters and intertwines all of their lives intrigues me.” – Author, Karen-Anne Stewart
Keeping it real
To keep the characters authentic, they have a circle of friends, enemies and past lovers to contend with. These are the people who give the main characters their dimension. The supporting characters don’t just come in and leave, they have their own set of problems that they bring to the table. As the series progress readers get to know more about these characters.
“In the last book, I was feeling sorry for Kristin, who was being pressured by her father to continue her tennis career, and who seemed to have unresolved feelings for Frankie even though she was dating Zax.” – Teresa Kinder
The series is called Family Portrait, so of course a lot of the issues in the lives of the supporting characters are propelled by their own family drama. The trick here is weaving that drama in with the main characters’ story lines without taking away from their stories.
More about the series
Learn more about the series on the Family Portrait Media site or click on any of the banners on the right —–>.