On The Bench

On authors, traits, what our characters hate

character traits

What trait did your author give you that you feel really fits you…or what trait would you change if you could?
  • Terry Ambrose:

    Jade Cavendish here, from the Beachtown Detective Agency Mystery series. When my author was writing THE CASE OF THE AMOROUS ASSAILANT, he told me I was going to be very insecure. It’s the one thing I’d love to change because it sometimes makes me doubt my own instincts. I’m having a long talk with him because if I’m going to be a successful private investigator, I can’t be that way. If he disagrees with me, I might have to invite him to join me at the heavy bag for a little kickboxing training session!

  • Nancy J. Cohen:

    Marla Shore from the Bad Hair Day Mysteries has trouble saying no to people requesting her help. Sometimes that can lead to a frenzied schedule, and she gets no down time. Now that she has a child, she must consider his needs first. It’s difficult to be a wife and mother while working full-time and still trying to maintain friendships. Marla needs a clone!

  • Debra H. Goldstein:

     Sarah Blair from the Sarah Blair Mystery series says, my author made me more frightened of the kitchen than murder. My twin sister is a professional chef, but she couldn’t have assigned me a more appropriate trait if she tried. Let’s put it this way, I tried to cook and blew up the stove. I’m a lot safer with take-out or delivery.

  • Cheryl Hollon:

    Miranda Trent here from the Paint & Shine cultural touring business set in eastern Kentucky. I’m grateful for the character trait of curiosity. It influences almost every aspect of my life. The drive to find answers to complex questions often gets me in deep trouble, but there’s usually a good reason to poke my head into other people’s business.

  • Diane A.S. Stuckart:

    Nina Fleet here, from the Georgia B&B Mystery series. My author gave me the tendency NOT to look before I leap (or think before I speak). That impulsiveness can sometimes get me into trouble or, at a minimum, leave me having to backtrack or make apologies. Though, on the other hand, I think it’s better than being the type of person to constantly dither about making a decision. We have a saying down here: fish or cut bait. I prefer to fish (well, not literally…fishing is the most boring outdoor activity I can think of!).

  • Maggie Toussaint:

    Hi All, Tabby Winslow here, chief candlemaker and amateur sleuth in the A Magic Candle Shop Mystery Series. Though I am less extreme than my twin sister, when I am agitated, I can’t sit still. Thank goodness Valona Jones allows me to vent my energy cleaning the shop. The light work keeps my hands busy so that my brain can sort through the mystery of the day. Some of my best thinking occurs with a duster in my hand! I have a pro tip for you: always dust away from your face or you’ll have a sneezing fit.

  • Lois Winston

    Anastasia Pollack of the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries says, my author gave me a keen sense of humor, which has helped me deal with all the caca she’s dumped on me since she first brought me to life. What I’d change is all that caca. She not only created a scenario where I’m one step away from living out of a cardboard box, she also gave me a communist mother-in-law as a permanent houseguest and constantly has me tripping over more dead bodies than the average homicide cop sees in an entire career. Why couldn’t she have stuck with writing romance and made me a heroine with a happily-ever-after?

Quiz time! Of your favorite fictional characters, what traits do you find to be endearing? Which ones annoy you?


11 thoughts on “On authors, traits, what our characters hate

  1. I love that the characters are, for the most part, loyal ones trying to help their friends and loved ones remain free. I don’t like characters that throw caution to the wind and dare to tread where no man treads and that go off halfcocked. They put themselves and sometimes others in harm’s way.

    1. My editor calls that characteristic TSTL (Too Stupid to Live). That’s the type of person who follows a bad guy into an isolated garage with no backup.

  2. I love a sleuth that wants to help others but putting themselves into danger by confronting the killer by themselves is a little to close to death.

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