Characters that surprise

I’m not a regular viewer of the British TV series TORCHWOOD but this week I was glued. Why? Well, aside from spotting James Marsden (Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) taking a turn as Captain John Hart, I happened to turn on at an interesting spot where I found characters that surprised me.

I could see a fight was coming – Captain Hart was drinking alone at a bar and then Captain Jack (the shows hero) comes through the bar doors. It had all the hallmarks of the westerns I endured as a kid. Except – the hero and villain kissed, and then they had the fight.

torchwood 1     torchwood 2     Characters that surprise

That was definitely not what I expected to happen and the novelty of being surprised kept me glued for the remaining episode (apologies to the RWA Friday Night chatters). Even now, that scene has me grinning and I realise that the stories I love the most have complex characters acting outside the norm.

We all want to surprise our readers but can you think of the last book you read, or wrote, where a character did something that really threw you?

The last story I read that totally surprised me was an upcoming release from Jerrica Knight Catania, For the love of a Viscount, where the hero asked the wrong question. I think I yelled at him. *grin*

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8 thoughts on “Characters that surprise”

  1. Wow. I can see the intrigue. I’ve never heard of the show, but now I really want to know why they kissed. All of Jerrica’s work has that element of surprise. Maybe that explains the appeal of her stories. I’ve always liked them and others are going to have a great time reading her work. Love the new look for your site.

  2. Oh, wow! Thanks for the mention, Heather!! I’m so glad I was able to surprise you 🙂

    I can’t really think of a book that surprised me – I’m sure there have been plenty, but pregnant brain is preventing me from thinking of any right now. LOL! However, I did just see The Informant yesterday, and THAT was a definite mind meld! Matt Damon was brilliant and kept us guessing through the whole movie…of course, I’m not going to give away the end…that’s the surprise! 🙂

    Great post, Heather!

    • Actually, The Informant is on my to-see list and Im hoping to watch it with hubby soon. Dont worry about the pregnant brain, after that comes new mum brain, then exhausted cause I have a toddler brain. Things seem to settle down once the kids lands in kindergarten. Ah … you have all this great stuff to come!

  3. Excellent subject Heather! I can’t think of any books I’ve read that surprised me lately. Now I’m gonna have a book headache all day trying to think of at least one book that did lol. Thanks Heather! Great blog, I really enjoyed it!

  4. Oh, great blog! I love complex characters. I love a story with a lot of plot, too. And because that’s how I like my stories…I write like that. Hero / heroine just can’t meet, fall in love, get torn apart, then come back together. Oh no! I must put them through hell and back first. lol


    • Hey Phyllis,

      I was talking to a friend the other day about how you get a story idea and twist the characters lives so they’re not so perfect. She looked at me like I’d morphed into a mad scientist or something. LOL.

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