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Series: Starbright #2
Release date: October 28th 2014
Release date: October 28th 2014
Synopsis via Goodreads:
Balance Broken is the second in the Starbright series. In the first book, Justice Buried, Astrea fights to remain independent in a world which demands she submit to an ancient prophecy. In Balance Broken, she learns that independence means little when the world is depending on her.
The world cries for Order, but she’s igniting a revolution.
One hundred years before, the Great Sickness reduced the world to three cities. Now, Asphodel no longer lingers underground, and the Starbright Maiden of Justice has returned.
Everyone has faith in Astrea’s ability to save the world - but only she knows the dark truth about her powers.
Astrea teams with Stian, Lexan, and Zarea to enlist the help of Lord Hadeon of Tartarus. They hope Hadeon will aid in attacking Asphodel’s First Leader Keirna, but the Destroyer usually takes lives, not sides.
As Astrea discovers life outside of Asphodel, she begins to wonder whether the remaining world is too broken to save - especially since the price of freedom just might be her own life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hilary Thompson was born to parents who made a habit of taking roads less traveled. But she was also a first child, and an independent, willful child, so she has made a habit of taking a few roads on her own.
After trying on hats made for artists, architects, restaurant and retail workers, landscape designers, legal secretaries, and professional students, she retreated back to her first loves of education and writing.
Hilary now teaches high school full time, writes whenever and wherever she can, and reads as much as her eyes can handle. She also tries not to spoil her own independent, willful children or neglect her wonderful soul-mate of a husband too much. She tends to ignore laundry baskets and dirty dishes.
Making Characters Memorable
We’re continuously surrounded by larger-than-life characters - heroes in blockbuster action movies, rakes in romance novels, even loveable nerds in side-splitting comedies. Yet, what every writer wants to know is how to make their characters believable.
Although I’ve been told my characters are three-dimensional and nicely believable, I really prefer to make them memorable. I never thought Jane of Jane Eyre was a particularly believable character - but that didn’t stop me from remembering AND loving her. And Abigail Williams from The Crucible is quite a hot mess of high drama, but all of my students love to argue about her plight. Dare I even try the ever-loved TFIOS? Gus is an awesome guy, but girls - don’t even bother waiting for someone like that.
Here are three of my tricks for making characters memorable (and maybe even believable in the process):
1. Give them a habit or quirk that’s telling about their personality.
Real people have these. More importantly, this is one way we remember real people. You might have forgotten that one guy’s name, but you remember the way he pushed his hair back and grinned shyly at you. One of my favorite characters in my new book Balance Broken is Lord Hadeon - the bad guy. One of his quirks is smoothing his clothing and hair. He does this about once a scene. It shows his strange fastidiousness and obsession with control - which contrasts nicely with the calm, laid-back way he treats the main character. So people remember, because it’s a red tile in a pattern of black and white.
2. Know their backstory so you know their demons.
That backstory might never come out in full, but when real people are backed into a corner, we make gut-level decisions based on our demons. Our characters are constantly pushed to the cliff’s edge, so they should be equally irrational at times. I’m currently writing Stian’s Mistake, a novella about one of the love interests in the Starbright series. He has a lot of backstory that he hasn’t shared with any of the characters - and he has more demons than Cassandra Clare. So when he gets backed into a corner, his decisions come from that selfish, feral place. And we remember that, because we want to know WHY.
3. Utilize contrast in small ways for big impact.
People who read love to solve puzzles. Giving your reader a character who doesn’t always do what you expect presents this sort of puzzle. My main character, Astrea, rants and raves like a true teenager about her need to be independent. Yet when things get overwhelming, she turns to Lexan for support - the very person she spent years avoiding. As readers, we want to solve that puzzle as much as she does. We’re intrigued by why Lexan has this comforting quality, when her “chosen” guy Stian does not.
These may not be the newest tricks in the book - but think about what readers really want from your story. If you’re writing a sweet romance about the boy next door, you have to work a little harder at believable. But just because we believe a character could exist doesn’t mean we’ll fall in love with them. And just because a villain does standard villainous things doesn’t mean we wake in a cool sweat after dreaming of their shadowed face. Aim for memorable, and your stories will stick.
Thanks for reading! I hope you check out my Starbright series, which currently includes Justice Buried (1), Balance Broken (2), and Lexan’s Pledge (novella).