Monday, June 28, 2004

Christy and Chaikin

The Christy Award winners just came out - some books I liked, some I didn't. As a Cavanaugh fan, I wish he would have won, though Fire by Night was great, too. I hope he wins next year - having an entire trilogy with Christy Awards would be nice. I did think Flabbergasted was a better first novel than Welcome to Fred, but I enjoyed both. Three deserved to win.

Linda Chaikin is this week's author, and character roles is the writing topic (I'll do Dekker after I read his trilogy). Linda is prolific author with the knack of stretching one couple's love story into three novels. How does she do that? By making them hate each other at the beginning. You get a lot more writing material if your couple hates each other, form a tentative truce, become friends, then fall in love, rather than making them fall in love at the beginning and having to contrive ways to make their relationship last a book or two.

Having them hate each other isn't a cure-all, though. If your readers become used to your hero and heroine hating each other at first, any guy your heroine hates immediately becomes a romantic possibility. As with any trick of writing, use what works for you and your story.

Why do Chaikin's heroes and heroines hate each other? More tomorrow . . .

3 comments:

Katy said...

Hi, Katie. I found your site in a roundabout way, through the writers discussion at Crosswalk.com. Just wanted to chime in how much I enjoyed Flabbergasted, and now his second novel, A Delirious Summer. I emailed Ray Blackston to let him know what a kick I got out of his books, and he send me a really nice note in return.

I, like you, have finished my first novel and am working on my second. I entered the first in the Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest. I placed in the top 20 out of 290 entries, so that wasn't too bad. The winner is being announced tonight (June 28) at CBA in Atlanta.

Thought it would be good to add another spelling to the mix here, as I am also Katy.

I'll check in again!

Becca said...

I think that Chaikin's tactic has been used so much in secular romance (particularly Harlequin) that I would be bored by her novels. I think I skimmed through one once, and yes I do believe she hated the man at first. Oy. Why can't we have a love story like my own? I had a crush on my man in high school, came to know him as a friend, then the relationship deepened when I went away to university for a year. (It sped up quickly when I got back, probably since I finally realised he was the man for me. Took some time for me to see, but it happened.) I s'pose an author would think that's not interesting enough, but why not use a mystery or other subplot to string it together?

Love can spring out of good first impressions and in real life is more realistic than going from passionate hatred to enduring love.

Katie Hart said...

Hi, Katy! I like A Delirious Summer, too. I reviewed it for a website, so I got to read a galley copy before it was out (I love reviewing!). Here's a link to copy and paste for the review (which was quoted in a press release), and you can check out the author interviews for Ray's answers to my questions and a hint about book three:

http://www.christianbookpreviews.com/christian-book-detail.php?isbn=0800759583

In the top twenty? That's great! I've wanted to join the Guild for a while - but freelance writers are notoriously underpaid. I'll have to check out Crosswalk.com.


Hi, Becca! Yes, the hatred-to-love ploy has been overused (is everyone trying to copy Anne of Green Gables?), though some authors pull it off beautifully. And sometimes it's necessary to the plot. My first novel had romance between old friends, and in my second the heroine doesn't hate the guy, but he definitely annoys her.

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