Today, please help me welcome author Brina Cary to Preternatura. Brina has stopped by today to talk about the balance between having a strong hero and a strong ending to our favorite books.
Brina Cary is a world-weary traveler who has been to such faraway places as Guam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Jebel Ali and Bahrain through a tour in the US Navy. While growing up surrounded by poverty, Brina began to dream of the different avenues her life could take. She joined the Navy out of high school to find out what she wanted in life and have a bit of an adventure. Since then, that adventure has taken her down the road to martial arts, private investigations, forensic anthropology, financial analysis, arson investigation, Egyptian curses, myths and legends. After completing two bachelor’s degrees, Brina took time off from school to join the real world and, eventually, the pursuit of her writing dream. You can learn more about Brina by visiting her on Facebook or following her on Twitter @brina99cary.
A Hero’s Ending
When I pick up a book I look for those same characteristics.
As readers we shouldn’t be cheated. We should be able to read the stories we love and know that they’re going to work out in the end. The heroes should be heroes that makes us swoon. The stories should make us feel like we got away from the bad part of our lives just for a little while. I know I’d definitely like to get away from paying bills, doing the 9-to-5 grind, and planning multiple meals. If I’m getting away from all that for a bit then I definitely deserve a sexy, strong, and kindhearted hero in an equally sexy and strong story. For me, if one is weak then the other will fall.
Thanks, Brina! This all comes back to the old character-driven story versus plot-driven story, and how it takes a balance of both plot and character to make a successful book. But characters are more important–and I say that as an author who considers herself plot-drive. I come up with the plot first, and then I populate it with characters. But if those characters aren’t three-dimensional, it’s a failure.
BUT, having said that, beginnings and endings are right up there with flawed heroes and characters we want to pull for, and endings need a resolution. It’s tricky with series. I always try to wrap up the main external plotline in the book’s ending, while also leaving open the questions that will need to be addressed in the next series book. Big cliffhanger endings? They drive me nuts.
What about you? What makes you put down a book first–characters who don’t engage you, or a plot that doesn’t engage you? And have you read a book ending that made you want to punch your fist through a wall? (For me, it will be forever the “Who’s at the door” ending in one of the Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum books. I never quite forgave her for that.)
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