What Draws Us – Donna Cummings

Welcome Page PhotoWe’re very excited to have Donna on the blog again! Today she shares with us what draws her to a particular book.

Take it away, Donna!

When I’m drawn to a particular story, it can be for a number of reasons. Maybe it’s the setting. “Oh, this is in New Orleans. I adore New Orleans. I’ll give this a try.” Or a plot twist can make my curiosity sit up and take notice. “What?! A rodeo clown who communicates with the animals via his bright red nose? I gotta read this!”

But even if my attention has been snagged, I’ll only stick with the story if the characters grab my interest and clutch onto it until my heart gets permanently involved.

Yes, it’s all about the characters.

It’s why we can have the same basic plot, or trope, such as a marriage of convenience, or secret baby, or any of the things we see in books over and over. There’s a certain comfort in knowing what to expect from these plot devices, and sometimes when we pick up a book, that’s exactly what we need: the comfort of the expected.

However, we also love to be surprised and delighted, and that’s where different characters come in. They shake up the familiar. They give the tried-and-true a new life, making it seem exciting and unusual, so that we forget it’s a story line we’ve seen many times before. They walk onto stage and treat that setting or plot device as if they invented it.

And that’s how characters should be. They have their own history, and personality, and likes and dislikes, and hurts and pains, and all the little quirks and annoying traits and lovable ones that make them unlike anyone else. Because of their own particular DNA, they can turn a story on its head, just by their presence.

Think of your favorite trope. Maybe it’s friends to lovers. Now think of your favorite characters, whether they’re from a TV show, or movie, or a book. How would they react in a situation where they’re falling in love with their best friend? Would they roll up their sleeves and get to work persuading that friend what a great idea it is? Or would they be a fish out of water, flailing around, trying to figure out what to do?

This is what draws me to a story. I want to see a character jump into a situation and, based on what I know of their personality, see how they’ll act and react. I want to see them head into those moments that test their fears, and their resolve. I want to cheer for them when they actually do what they believed so fervently they couldn’t do. I want to hug them and jump up and down when they achieve their victory, and I want to hug them and sob when they don’t.

When characters grab onto my emotions, I’ll follow their story just about anywhere, even if it’s someplace I’d never go to otherwise. I’ve become their life coach and support staff and their most fervent admirers, because they are more than just pixels on an e-reader screen.

Yes, it’s all about the characters.

Bio: I have worked as an attorney, winery tasting room manager, and retail business owner, but nothing beats the thrill of writing humorously-ever-after romances. I reside in New England, although I fantasize about spending the rest of my days in a tropical locale, wearing flip flops year-round, or in Regency London, scandalizing the ton. In addition to my current release, I Do. . .or Die, a romantic comedy/mystery, my available books are Summer Lovin’, a free romantic comedy novella, and Lord Midnight, a Regency romance. My contemporary novella, Back on Track, part of the Strangers on a Train collection, will release from Samhain on April 2, 2013.


Website/blog: http://www.AllAboutTheWriting.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@BookEmDonna

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Donna.Cummings.Author

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5349107.Donna_Cummings

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/bookemdonna


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lexcade
    Feb 23, 2013 @ 23:03:25

    Thank you *again* for hanging out with us, Donna! I really love your guest posts.


  2. Donna Cummings
    Feb 25, 2013 @ 15:47:11

    Thanks for having me here! I’ll definitely be back. 🙂


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