It’s no secret that character development is my favorite part of a story. While other readers love delving into passages full of scenery description, I’m moved by the thoughts, actions, and choices of a story’s characters. I love the journey characters take at the start of a book to where they end up, regardless of whether or not they end up at the top of the mountain. These trials make the characters tangible to the reader pop over to these guys. When are readers not experiencing some hardship or another? Knowing that characters have just as many troubles as readers makes them even more endearing. When I read a book, I want my feelings for its protagonist to reflect what humans normally feel for one another.
Even though we love someone, we may not like them at times. That’s human nature . . .
In Catherine’s War, there is no doubt that the protagonist is flawed. Therefore, because of her perfect imperfections, she’s perfect. I’ve had several readers tell me that they’ll be rooting for her in one moment and wanting to strangle her in the next. This is exactly what I want! I love that she evokes so much emotion from people. I want readers invested in my characters, holding them close like family, making them human. The protagonist in Catherine’s War makes many, many mistakes, and the manner in how she perceives the world can be frustrating at times. Yet, because of her shortcomings, it’s my hope that the reader will appreciate her successes and triumphs when they do come. When the reader finishes the story, they’ll feel they’ve gone through the muck and mire and have earned the victories as well.
There are days when it’s impossible not to be frustrated, angry, and confused with the people we love most. Why should our feelings for characters be any different? Especially when in the end, we love them all the same . . . perhaps even more so.
We just have to remember: it’s their perfect imperfections that brought us there.