Long Awaited Prophecy: Prophecy’s Child by Brenda Dyer

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Screaming Instincts

Hello. My name is Brenda. Today I will be talking about listening to your instincts when it comes to your characters. But first, I’d like to give Jenna a huge, heartfelt thank you for featuring me and my newly released paranormal romance novel, Prophecy’s Child on her blog. Thank you, Jenna.

Back when Prophecy’s Child was in the critique phase, one critter sent me a message letting me know she didn’t care for my heroine—Katherine. She worried Katherine’s behavior may tick off readers.

Before I go any further, I want to say this critter’s opinion I value very much. I may not agree with her sometimes, but her crits and suggestions always make me think deep and hard about my story, my characters, their emotions, etc, etc. In fact, her comments make me analyze everything, from plot, my character’s goals, motivations, the conflicts that drive them, how my characters react to said conflict, what makes my characters who they are, and if their reactions ring true.

This particular critter felt Katherine’s anger toward the hero—Kal—was a little too much—too harsh. She worried readers who had read Love’s Prophecy, and fell in love with Kal, may not take too kindly to Katherine, lol.

At first, I let this info sink in. I didn’t freak out, but I will admit, I was a little scared. Last thing I wanted was for readers to hate my heroine. Then I began analyzing Katherine’s character. I ripped apart her personality. I studied her past—the hurt and pain she endured—the life events that had shaped her into the woman she was in the story. Took me awhile, but I realized I was right on track. If I changed her—and I tried—she wouldn’t be the character I saw in my head and felt in my heart. The story would have been weaker for it, I believe.

Will some readers feel Katherine’s pain? Understand what drives her? Sympathize with her fears? Her doubts…her anger? I truly hope so. But I do know there will be some readers who don’t care for Katherine. But no matter what, I’m glad I listened not only to my screaming instincts, but to Katherine as well, lol.

Authors, have any of you experienced a critique partner or reader not liking one of your main characters?

Readers, have you read a book where you couldn’t stand one or both of the main characters? If so, what was it that bothered you?

Thank you all.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card.

I’ll leave you with the blurb and an excerpt from Prophecy’s Child.

Blurb for Prophecy’s Child:

His secret will shatter her world.

Katherine Colby’s life splintered ten years ago when her lover suddenly vanished, leaving her with more than a broken heart. But when Kal unexpectedly makes an appearance, her safe, dependable existence is shattered once more. Drawn into Kal’s deadly world of vampires and demons, she must now put aside her hurt and anger and learn to trust him. Can she forgive past deceptions and find the courage to love again? Or will she turn away the one man who owns her heart and soul?

Her secret will change his life.

Powerful, and lethal, Kal is a vampire warrior, sworn to protect humans from demons. Loving Katherine too much to pull her into his dangerous world, Kal deserted her, believing his decision was best for them both. But not even time could assuage his yearning for the woman who has captured his heart. As fate tosses them together once again, Kal must fight to win Katherine’s trust and forgiveness before evil separates them forever. But is he ready to become the man she needs him to be? Or will he lose the one woman he can’t live without?

Excerpt for Prophecy’s Child:

Katherine crossed her arms in a pitiful attempt at guarding her heart and her secret. “What are you doing here?” Please say visiting relatives or on vacation.

Kal pulled his left hand out of his pocket and showed her a small plastic bag. “Buying a video game.”

“I mean, what are you doing in Vancouver?”

“I moved here for work a few years ago. What about you? Do you live here?”

No! Her stomach plummeted to the floor. With Kal living here, she’d have to be on guard whenever she went out—especially when Ike was with her.

“That’s none of your damn business.” She quickly schooled her features and pointed at his bag. “Nice to see you’re just as childish as you were years ago. Some things never change, huh?”

His cheeks reddened, and he glanced at the floor. Sighing, he rocked back and forth on his heels as he shoved the bag into his pocket. With a flick of his head, he dislodged thick bangs out of his eyes. “Look, Katherine, I need to apologize.”

“For knocking me down? Don’t worry about it.”

“That too, but I’d like to apologize for the way I left things between us.”

The tenacious hold she had on her rage disintegrated. “You didn’t leave anything between us—you just left. I woke up, and you were gone. Which wasn’t unusual. You were never there in the mornings. But when I tried to call your cell phone…you had the damn thing cut off! So please, do me a favor, and keep your bullshit apologies because I don’t want to hear them.”

With the rounded tip of his boot, he toed the base of a metal clothes rack. He fingered the sleeve of a fluffy purple housecoat; his intense stare locked with hers.

He glanced away, but before he did, she noticed guilt and hurt cloud the blue depths of his eyes.

How dare he be hurt? He had no right. Katherine’s fury boiled over. She wanted to wound him even more.

“If your objective back then was to have me fall in love with you, and then make me detest you, then bravo, mission accomplished. And make no mistake. I do despise you.”

Prophecy’s Child is available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Where to find Brenda:  

4de6363b0b7fe902f026f6fd011fc2deFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrendaMDyer

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrendaMDyer

Website: http://www.brendamdyer.com

Blog: http://www.brendamdyer.blogspot.com

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36 Responses to Long Awaited Prophecy: Prophecy’s Child by Brenda Dyer

  1. Nikki Lynn Barrett says:

    I am coming in way late, but I know the feeling on this one!

    You HAVE to trust your instincts! Yes, listen to what the crit partners have to say, but this is your story, you know your characters!

    I had a beta who doesn’t like my hero from Baby Stetson at first. I also have a beta who said Melody (The Melody In My Head) rubbed her the wrong way.

    BUT- they both enjoyed the story and the emotions were brought out of them, and they still wanted to see that HEA- that’s what I was aiming for. I feel that even if a reader doesn’t like a character/agree with their actions, if they are still emotionally invested in the story and want to see it until the very end, then I’ve done my job.

    Still, I know it makes an author worry a bit, but in the end run, we know our characters best.

    Like

  2. lizaoconnor says:

    I can’t tell you how many critters and editors hate my ?hero? in Worst Week Ever. Some advised me strongly to make him into a nicer human being. While I did mute some of his most outrageous ‘little people’ comments, I had no choice but to leave him as is. He’s why the book is so funny.

    Now to your book, I can’t wait to jump into it. It’s either on my ipad or kindle, not sure which, I bought it and I just need to finish my current fabulous read to read it next.

    Like

  3. Brenda D says:

    Agreed 100%. One excellent piece of advice I have received over the years is to not write with agents, readers, etc, etc, in mind. Listen to your characters, your story, and yourself. Now when you have the rough draft complete and you send it off to your wonderful CP’s, your CP’s will help you SEE the story through fresh eyes. They will let ya know what is working and what isn’t. But never forget, you are the creator of the story and characters. Your instincts will let you know if something suggested works or not.

    Like

  4. CPs are a wonderful thing, but writers have to stick true to their characters as well. Books written by committee never work out well for everyone. Writers aren’t able to satisfy all readers. A writer has to be able to put out a book that they love (not regret things they changed to please one/two people).

    Congrats on your new release!

    Like

    • Brenda D says:

      I love LOVE my CPS. I would be lost with out them.
      And yes, we have to be true to our characters. I did attempt to change Katherine due to this CP’s suggestions, but it felt forced and wrong. But with help from another CP, she helped me show more of Katherine’s internal war, which really brought Katherine’s character to the next level.

      Like

  5. Shann says:

    I’ve read a few books where I didn’t like the characters. Usually it would lead me to stop reading or just skip the rest. I don’t like shallow heros or people that are generally unrelatable. The excerpt sounds like I will really enjoy your characters though

    Like

  6. Sandra Owens says:

    Great post, Brenda.

    In my first book, my CPs hated my hero in the first chapter primarily because of his reaction to a letter. I ended up listening to them and rewriting the chapter which led to a rewriting of the whole book. I seriously doubt I would have sold the book if I hadn’t done that. I was unsure about the scene anyway, so they just confirmed what I already knew in my heart. If I’d felt really strongly about it, however, I probably would have kept the chapter as it was.

    Prophecy’s Child sounds like a great read!

    Like

  7. Rosanna Leo says:

    It’s not always easy listening to critters, Brenda. I’ve had the same struggles. You often have to take a step back, I find. I’m sure the result in your book will be just wonderful!

    Like

  8. Brenda D says:

    Jenna, thanks again for featuring my novel, Prophecy’s Child on your site.

    Like

  9. Need more coffee! Your post is causing brain cells to backfire! Awesome post. As a writer, I create some characters to be disliked. The more someone says how much they hated them, the more I smile. My job is done! As a writer, there have been times I found myself rolling my eyes at how the character was displayed. If the story is engaging, I’ll forgive and read on.

    Like

  10. Lisa Kumar says:

    Great post, Brenda! As you know, not everyone has liked my characters. They’re too quiet, too arrogant, too alpha, too boring, basically too something! And according to the person asked, a different response is given. Lol, there is truly no pleasing everyone.

    That said, writers do need to try to please the majority of their target audience. And I really think you did that in PC. You poured your heart and soul into the story, and it shows. Was Katherine hard on Kal? Yes? And did she have the proper motivation to be so with him? Again, yes! Given her history, her behavior was understandable and even expected.

    Congrats on your wonderful release and hoping it’ll go far!

    Like

    • Brenda D says:

      Thank you, Lisa.
      Yes, we do have to try and please the majority. And that can be a tough thing to accomplish. I feel the best thing we as writers can do is write the best story we can. Also, surround yourself with wonderful crit partners who will tell you the truth!

      Like

  11. I’ve never had a CP dislike a character, but as a reader I’ve had characters I couldn’t stand as I was reading a book. Great post! And CONGRATULATIONS on your release! Wishing you tons of sales…

    Like

  12. Wonderful questions in your post. It made me think about a lot of what I’ve gone through writing erotic spanking romances — very much a niche market. Long ago, with my first spanking romance, I belonged to a crit group. Naturally, I asked for a crit of that first spanking romance. I wrote an extensive explanatory statement, describing what a spanking romance is and how it differs from other romance novels (primarily because there’s so much spanking). One critter either did not read that explanatory statement, or did not care about what it said, because she said she couldn’t finish reading the book because it had too much “abuse” by the hero in it. She hated him. Ticked off, I was (to use a Yoda-ism). But other critiquers got it, had valuable insights and suggestions, and it went on to be a best-seller. People are people. You have to write carefully, go with what’s in your heart, but be open to constructive criticism.

    Prophecy’s Child looks fabulous. I remember the first book well. This one goes on my TBR pile for sure.

    Like

  13. Rich Johns says:

    As a Reader, aren’t you writing for the characters, First, yourself second and your readers next.
    Isn’t writing (And Reading) a chance to further your horizons AND your readership?
    Was it Sam Clemons ‘Mark Twain’ who wrote: “A Human Brain, once stretched, Never returns to its’ original shape.”
    Consider characters that you ‘hated’ did you immediately ‘dump’ that author?
    Or did you wait around and sample the Next thing they wrote?
    My favorite pet peeve is GLOCKs with ‘safeties’, and other weapons faux pas.
    Does it ‘Kill’ the REST of the book for me? Not necessarily, but IF I have another handy I’ll drop that one and read another….
    sometimes I am reading three or four books at one time……

    Like

  14. Great post!! As an author, I have one story where my critique partners didn’t like my heroine. They fixed what was wrong with my story! I rewrote the pieces of her GMC that were wrong and now the story is published! As a reader, it has been the heroines that I haven’t liked in most of the books I’ve stopped reading. If the author can’t give me a strong GMC in the first hundred pages I can’t finish the book. Congrats on the release, Brenda!! Excited to read this one!!

    Like

    • Brenda D says:

      A strong GMC is a must. Katherine’s GMC is strong. This critter was worried more because of the people who read LP and fell in love with Kal.
      Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving me a comment.

      Like

  15. I’ll echo that. Most everyone hated one of mine. Great excerpt. Tweeted.

    Like

  16. D'Ann says:

    Of course I’ve had CPs not like my characters. As I’ve shared before, an in-town group caused me to quit writing before. You have to trust yourself.

    Like

    • Brenda D says:

      Damn, that sucks eggs, D’Ann. I’m so glad you didn’t quit for good.
      And I agree–we have to trust our instincts. In no way am I saying not to listen to cp’s–I listen to mine all the time, but sometimes when your instincts are screaming at you, you should listen.

      Like

  17. karyrader says:

    Great post, Brenda. Yep. I’ve had a few people not like my characters in one way or another. More often than not it’s just who the character is but there have been a few times when it’s been because I, as an author, didn’t convey something right, so I fix. When I read, I am generally more hard on the heroine than I am on the hero (sorry, but true) so if a heroine ticks me off I can usually get over it because I know I’m intolerant, but if a hero ticks me off then…well…you’ve probably lost me as a reader because I let a lot slide. So if they’ve done something so heinous I’m pissed at them then it’s probably really bad.

    Like

  18. Daryl Devore says:

    Awesome post. Yes, I’ve had critiques where the person didn’t like my hero – he was a bad boy at the beginning and she didn’t like that he wasn’t perfect from the start – but I stuck to my guns on that one.
    I super glad you did the same with Kat. And I LOVED the book.

    Like

  19. Terrific post Brenda. It’s barely eight in the morning and I’m already doing some deep thinking. lol

    I do believe you did the right thing. Just like in real life, you don’t love everyone you meet the first time. You have to get to know and understand them…which is more than likely the case with Katherine. Some readers might get her and other might not, but from the sounds of it you dug deep and created a character with depth. Just reading this post makes me want to read your book right away to find out. I’ve had critters who haven’t liked a character and along the way I might have changed something or toned it down or explained more…those wonderful critique partners always help to make our writing stronger.

    As a reader there have been times I haven’t liked a character at the beginning of the story, but as I learn more about them I will at least understand them.

    Congrats on your latest release….it’s a definite in my TBR pile!

    Like

    • Brenda D says:

      Thank you, Christine. Yes, in real life we don’t like everybody, and same goes for our characters. What one person may like about our characters, another may not.

      And yes. I’ve followed the wonderful advice from my CP’s–they have helped me tremendously. With the advice and help from my cp’s, my story is so much stronger!

      Like

  20. Toni Kelly says:

    Wow Brenda, great post. First off, I have definitely had critters not like my hero or heroine or my story in general. That actually happened with my novel that is to be released in December of this year and you’re right, it really did make me re-evaluate where I was coming from and what my characters were meant to do. I tweaked a bit but in general, my characters remained the same as that is who they are in my mind. Of course, I do wonder what the public reaction might be at release time but part of the joy of being a writer is writing the story in you to write, not writing the stories people want you to write. Otherwise it can come out forced or fake.

    As for this excerpt, this book sounds awesome. I’m very intrigued and based on the excerpt I can guess at Katherine’s so quite frankly, if it is what I think it is, I don’t blame her for being upset with Kal. I guess I’ll just have to do a bit more reading to find out.

    Thanks for sharing with us today.

    Like

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