The words ‘Linger Longer’ might suggest a bed and breakfast in Brighton but today they are very relevant to this blog!
Consider how it feels when you close the last page of a great book. Does a period of mourning ensue as your relationship with the characters ends?
Well-rounded characters are memorable and I am curious which characters have lingered in your head. Maybe even influenced your life choices.
Did ‘George’ in the Famous Five inspire a love of adventure when you were growing up? And if I remember correctly, George the tomboy of that group was actually Georgina.
Dare I ask if Mr Darcy (no...not Colin Firth!) Influenced your life with his brooding good looks and superior nature?
Did Atticus Finch prod your social conscience and did Madame Defarge spring to mind each time you picked up those knitting needles?
I remember a series of books which kept me spell-bound in my early teens. These books clearly influenced my career decision having pursued a career in nursing. The Cherry Ames series to which I refer, was written initially by Helen Wells and later, by Julie Tatham.
The series begins when Cherry is a student and follows her through various jobs. School nurse, flight nurse, cruise nurse and so on. Cherry survives all sorts of scrapes and I loved her! A long time later whilst haunting second hand bookshops on holiday, I found a well-thumbed copy and gave it to my eldest daughter. Each holiday thereafter our quest was to find more in the series and my husband would sit outside patiently reading the paper whilst the girls and I would go on, ‘Cherry Missions.’
Jumping ahead to the present day, on a recent trip to Perth in Western Australia, someone recommended the book, ‘Me Before You’ by JoJo Moyes. I was told it was a ‘must read.’ (I hasten to add this kind of glowing endorsement often has the opposite effect on me)
Nevertheless, I took the book and began to read. The MC is a young girl called Louisa Clark and without giving away the story, Louisa is a brilliantly described A character who is deeply flawed in many ways. She undergoes significant changes and not all for good.
Yes, I was on holiday so I finished the book in three days. This was several weeks ago and the character of Louisa still haunts me, to the point that I have just ordered the sequel! This must say something about caring for the character and has been a salient reminder of how necessary it is to fully flesh-out the characters in my own writing.
Thinking about why Louisa has stayed with me, is it because she didn’t care what the world thought of her quirky, ill-matched outfits, that she suffered from a lack of confidence some days, got drunk and even threw up on occasion on others? There were times when her hair was greasy and equally there were the times when she felt beautiful. Essentially, she was human in every sense and I think it was the gentleness and compassion of her character which made her so likeable.
So, in conclusion and just like the bed and breakfast place in Brighton that has been weathering storms on the seafront for years, which characters lingered longer for you and why?