Hello everyone and welcome back to NaNoWriMo – or what we made of it!
Today, my friend and author Cora Blu is visiting me. She writes Interracial Romance and an Underwater Fantasy Series. I’ve read Dagger, the opining novel, and loved that shark-guy! 😉 Her newest release is The Man He’ll Never Be – book two in the Midnight Moanings Collection.
The topic she chose is supporting characters.
Welcome, Cora! I’m glad you’re here today.
Thank you very much, Piper! 🙂
Choosing a supporting cast for an interracial love story
This will depend greatly on the tone of the story and the visual you want the reader to take with them. Much like any other story, however there are things to watch out for.
First, let me say these are my opinions, not rules.
Interracial love stories aren’t necessarily about race. Yet if you are going to highlight the ethnicity of the character, it’s best if it serves a purpose to the overall story. Most people don’t walk around addressing each other by their ethnicity. However, they may joke about differences or habits prone to one ethnic group over another in conversation if that’s the level of their relationship. (Did I say ethnic enough?)
Be mindful of your supporting characters dialog and actions. Do not over stereotype your characters. If, let’s say, the hero is Caucasian. When he introduces his Black heroine to his mother, don’t pull her reaction from the 1930’s unless you’ve set the stage for that issue to surface. Which could also be a point that leads you to an underlying issue of a subplot? This could lead to dialog long overdue between him and his mother.
Keep the characters true to their scripts and allow the h/h to grow, evolve, solve the problems find the Hope Diamond— whatever. Give the reader subtle clues as to why your h/h’s personalities are the way they are, by showing the supporting personalities that helped to mold their lives.
You know when someone comes from a loving home by the way they treat others. Or you meet someone’s mother and the first thing you say is “I see where you get xxx from.”
Don’t create over the top, nagging characters to add spice and now they don’t support the type of h/h you’ve created or the reverse. You don’t allow them to interact.
You’ve chosen to make the heroines parent’s home, the go to place. Information central. You can hear people talking as you walk up the sidewalk. Yet when the hero comes over, there’s no one in the room because you’re uncertain as to how they should act.
They shouldn’t “act”, they should “react.”
Allow them to have dialog. React, however, their personalities direct them. They can throw in an odd look or a questioning stare. A minute of dead air. Pull the heroine into the next room to whisper and everyone can hear it. Because that’s how people who are expecting one thing and get another, react.
A few seconds… Not the entire scene.
Again, if the story is a racially motivated one, than the reactions will be more and longer, different.
Most families and friends have enough issues going on. Who you chose to date isn’t the issue… Not for too long, anyway.
Keep the issues relevant to what’s going on with the h/h to move the story along and make it interesting. The people in their lives should fit their circumstances.
People meet at work, at parties, on-line (the self-check-out at the grocery store seems to be the spot to hold a conversation)… Friendships develop, romances grow. Families are started.
Allow your supporting characters to have personalities that support the h/h you’ve created, and not a stereotype to catch a few laughs.