Characteristics of my Work

Are there certain characteristics that pop up in most of your books?

The answer to this question is yes. To begin, my main characters are all good, ethical people. I write bad guys who are far from ethical, but my main characters could be called ‘the good guys.’ For example, in a romance novel I don’t want to read about a cheating hero or heroine. What would be the fun in that? My characters may make mistakes, but they never set out to hurt anyone on purpose.

That being said, I can’t stand perfect characters. Heroines especially are often portrayed as sweet, insipid little things who’d forgive the hero anything. He could choke her dog to death, and she’d say nothing about it. Of course, my hero is a good guy. He wouldn’t choke a dog, but you get the picture. Characters can have flaws and still be good people.

Second, all of my books so far are set in the United States. I’ve never lived in another country so I stick to what I know.

Third, my secondary characters are often family members of the main characters.  This allows the reader a deeper understanding of who my hero really is.

Fourth, I don’t usually write sequels, but I did it with the Lovinggood family. Return Engagement is book one, and Blue 52 is the sequel. The Lovinggoods are larger than life and their exploits show it.

Fifth, my books are usually between 60 and 80,000 words. Purple Heart is novella length, but most of mine are longer.

Sixth, my work is on the clean side. You could loan my books to your grandma if you wanted to.

Last, there will always be a happy ending. I’d be disappointed if I was reading a romance novel and things didn’t work out for the hero and heroine.

There may be more characteristics that I’ve missed, but these are the ones that first come to mind.  If you’ve read my work can you think of anything I ‘ve missed?

Blue 52

About Elaine Cantrell

Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina. She has a Master’s Degree in Personnel Services from Clemson University and is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary sorority for women educators. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America. Her first novel A New Leaf was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest and was published in 2004 by Oak Tree Press. When she isn't writing you can find Elaine playing with her dog or maybe collecting more vintage Christmas ornaments
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6 Responses to Characteristics of my Work

  1. Jeff Salter says:

    I definitely agree with you about characters who are written as too perfect… are not believable to me and I cannot get interested in whatever they’re going through.
    If a person is human, they have quirks and flaws. It’s not necessary for readers to know every sin that character has ever committed, but it’s important for the reader to be able to identify with that character as a fallible human.
    In your list, I notice you left out ghosts. I haven’t read that title yet, but I gather there’s a spook about …somewhere.


  2. Admirable! Good people and happy endings are GOOD. Life is short and any encouragement for other to be so, (as I said to Angie yesterday), is noble.Good for you!
    As for ‘ and weakheroines’ who let the ‘heroes’ get away with everything, what makes them ‘good’? They are enablers, which is why I have posted that when my husband’s girl students wanted to read the Bronte Sisters’ works and think they were romantic,I told him to point them toward Jane Austen; her heroines are good but flawed, and her heroes are so wonderful, I want them for myself!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Patricia Kiyono says:

    The saying “If it’s too good to be true…” could apply to heroes and heroines. And that’s why we need to show how even the best characters have flaws.


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