I’m in the middle of writing the first draft of the third installment of the Cemetery Tours series. I’ve come to really love these characters. I’ve been with them for a while now, and they feel like friends to me. In the past few years, I’ve probably spent more time with them than with my living, breathing friends.
Characters have always been the absolute most important element of any story for me. If I don’t like the characters, I’m not going to like the book. It’s that simple. I read one book last year (I will not mention it because I don’t want to trash another author’s work on my blog) with such horrible, selfish, whiny characters, I could hardly stand it. None of the characters had any redeeming qualities whatsoever. If I succeed at nothing else, I want my characters to be likable. Well, except for the ones that you’re not supposed to like. They’re actually a LOT of fun to write, but I digress.
As the first book in the series, Cemetery Tours served as sort of an introductory book. We met the characters, learned their names, the basics. Between Worlds delved more into developing relationships and adjustments after the events of the first book.
This third book, however, takes place five months after Between Worlds, and the characters have developed a lot since then. They’ve had more time to get to know each other and I’ve had more time to get to know them as well. Now, instead of watching them react to certain situations, I’m exploring what exactly makes them that way.
Of my three main characters, Michael, Kate, and Luke, Michael remains the most stubborn. Kate and Luke are a lot alike in that they’re both happy characters. They’re both easily amused and easily fascinated. Michael is more reserved, which stems from a lifetime of trying to remain unnoticed by ghosts and spirits. Since he met Kate and Luke, he’s become more outgoing, but those twenty-eight years of hiding within himself I think really took a toll, and I think he’s always going to be a little reserved, and that’s okay. That’s why Kate likes him, and that’s why I like him.
Last night, I tried to imagine what Michael what be like, what he might have done, if he didn’t have the ghosts. I realized I feel a little sorry for him, because being surrounded by the spirits and trying at all costs to avoid them and not draw attention to himself really inhibited him from developing a real sense of self. Unlike Kate and Luke, who have real interests that they discovered by themselves, Michael’s entire character evolved from a desire to be something he’s not. He didn’t have time for self discovery because he was too obsessed with self denial, if that makes any sense at all. That’s why I’m glad he has Kate, Brink, and even Luke. I think they really bring out the best in him.
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