MJ Monday: Manuscript — Keeping Characters in Character

I recently finished the revisions on my next book (stay tuned for more details closer to publication date).  My editor and I went back and forth on the ending. She wanted me to do something I felt wasn’t in character for my hero/heroine. I thought that what I had written would suffice. She wanted more. It was a delicate balance. In the end, what the reader wants (according to my editor) won out.

I guess I’m not a typical reader. When the same thing happens in books I otherwise love, I want to toss the book against the wall. There is a Very Famous Author who does this all the time. Her rough-and-tumble heroes suddenly start sounding as if Shakespeare wrote their dialogue at the end of the book. That guy is not the guy I (and the heroine) fell in love with! It’s fraud. Bait and switch.

I lived with my characters for a couple of years. The hero has been knocking around in my head closer to twenty years. I know this werewolf. He’s not a gushy male.

I once saw an older couple being interviewed on TV. The question to the wife was, “When was the last time he told you he loved you?” She gave an exact date, which was kind of weird. When the husband came out, he was asked, “When was the last time you told her you loved her?” He gave the exact date. The wife explained: “It was our wedding day. He said I love you, and if I ever change my mind I’ll let you know.”

I think that’s who I had in mind when I wrote the final scene in my next book.