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Guest Post + Giveaway: Losing Control by Nina Croft

August 24, 2013
Losing Control 
Nina Croft
Released on August 12, 2013
by Entangled Brazen
Series: A Babysitting a Billionaire Novel
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N 
Four years after escaping her abusive ex-husband, Kim finally believes she’s in control of her life and her emotions and she's determined to never risk either again with a man. She has a great home, a job as a security specialist which she loves, and Jake for a best friend. But things are a tad lonely in the sex department, so she decides to embark on a no-strings-affair with one of her hot co-workers. And who better to help her remember how to lure a man than her best friend?

Jake has wanted Kim from the moment he first saw her, but four years ago, she was too young and too damaged. So he kept her close and he kept her safe, offering her a job in his security company and the training to feel safe again, and he bided his time. But now, after the long wait, if she imagines he’s going to stand by while she seduces some other guy...

Never going to happen. 

Guest Post: How To Make Your Characters Stand Out...


Characters are what make a book special for me, what makes me want to read on and what I take from a book when it’s finished. Reading romance is all about falling in love with the hero and heroine and hoping desperately that they find their happy ever after.

But making original, unique characters who stand out from the crowd is hard. And it can be particularly challenging with contemporary romance (I also write paranormal and sci-fi and it’s much easier to make your characters unique when you can give them wings, or make them immortal or hand them a superpower…) where there are certain expectations of the hero and heroine.

So here are my top three takes, both as a reader and a writer, on what’s needed to make a character stand out.

Back-Story

For me it often comes down to back-story and understanding what makes the characters the way they are. Romance is all about taking a hero and a heroine and giving them a really good reason why they can’t just fall in love and live happily ever after. With my latest release, Losing Control, that’s Jake and Kim and the reason is Kim’s need to be on control of her own life. But it’s not enough to just tell people that she wants to be in control, they have to understand why. What happened in the past to make her value being in control so highly? That’s the back-story.

But back-story is a dangerous thing and too much of it can kill the pacing of your book. It needs to be slipped in stealthily, hinted at rather than said outright. But done right, back-story can be a fabulous tool to make characters come across as real people, with lives outside of the story and understandable reactions. 

Make them want something desperately

Why would the reader care what happens if the characters don’t? So give them something they are desperate for. In Losing Control, Kim is desperate to keep control of her life and not to lose Jake’s friendship, which is really important to her, and she doesn’t want to risk it for something that she believes can only be temporary—sex!  

So what would it be like being in a relationship or even—God forbid—being married to Jake?
Jake was a control freak. He liked his own way. So did she. He’d try to tell her what to do, and they’d clash continually, and in the end, he’d realize what she’d been trying to show him—that they weren’t suited like that.
But by then, it would be too late. And it would hurt, and they’d fall out and not be able to get their friendship back.

Jake on the other hand, is desperate for Kim. They’re best friends but he wants way more… He wants everything. 

By the end of the book the characters may discover what they thought they wanted isn’t really what they want at all. But that’s all part of the journey.

They need to feel strongly

Romance is about emotions and not just love. For me, the best characters are the ones who feel things very strongly, whether it be fear (of losing control, or losing Kim), hate, despair, bursts of wild excitement and happiness… As a reader, I need to experience those emotions along with the characters.

So what makes a character stand out for you? Let me know and be entered in my blog tour prize draw to win a $25 gift voucher.



About the Author
Nina Croft
Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia, which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.
Nina writes all sorts of romance often mixing in elements of the paranormal and science fiction.
 

Find Nina on: Website | Facebook | Twitter
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16 comments:

  1. This is totally unrelated to the guest post but only thing that really annoys me with Entangled romance novels is that the covers all look the same. I have no idea which books goes with which series. Sorry for my rant.
    But I do agree with the author - background story is really important when you want to create great characters. Mostly it helps you get to know them better. Great guest post. :)

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    1. Hi Tanja - yes I agree - back story is a great way to get to know the characters and understand why they act as they do.

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  2. I agree, Nina. When I'm reading, I want to feel the emotion of the character, not be told how they feel. Great post. It's a perfect match to your awesome story!

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  3. A character stands out for me when they feel real. I understand their thoughts and emotions. When it is as if I am in the story and they are my friend, boyfriend, etc.

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    1. I agree Amanda, For me that's the real magic of reading - feeling like you're part of the story!

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  4. This is an awesome giveaway! The book looks very interesting, I can not wait to read it. :) And the guest post was very interesting.

    Whit@Whit's Book World

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  5. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

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  6. Thanks for sharing Losing Control and the giveaway. Sounds like a great book and I am looking forward to reading it. evamillien at gmail dot com

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  7. Sounds like a great book I'm glad I found this post ,Thanks for the giveaway.

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  8. I was just about to say that this cover reminds me of Entagled's Brazez line and then I actually saw it written at the bottom of the cover. I agree with Nina about how love is more about the emotions than actual love in general. I loved reading the guest post. Thank you for sharing, Aman. Great post!

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

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  9. Love your tips about characters! Thanks for the giveaway :)

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  10. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!!

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  11. Love your covers! Thank you for the giveaway :)

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