Thursday, May 8, 2014

What's Your Talent?

I always thought it would be cool to have a special talent or gift. Unlike my kids, who both play a variety of sports, and classical piano, I have very few talents to speak of, except perhaps one. I have a photographic memory for faces ... strange I know. 

For some unknown reason if I meet someone once, no matter how briefly or how much time has passed, I will remember them. My brain just automatically kicks into gear and I will stay up all night trying to recall how or where we met. My mother has this talent for remembering birthdays. She can still recall the birthdays of my friends from kindergarten.  

Before you accuse me of being a savant, I wish I could say that I've fortified this unique talent over the years to find wanted criminals or work with the FBI, but unfortunately none of the above has panned out. At this point, the best I can hope to do is create unique characters in my books that have some type of special gift or talent that can actually be used to help people in some way. 

In my novel, Witch Hunter, the heroine, Willow McCray is a psychic who is haunted by premonitions of the future and dreams of the past. She can also read minds like most people read the newspaper simply by touching a person's hand. In her case, this gift is both a blessing and a curse. She works with a secret agency and uses her gift to hunt down and stop a killer. 
I think most of us love to read books that feature characters with some type of unique gift or talent.
I recently read Blue Dahlia by the great Nora Roberts.
The main character, Stella, a nursery store manager is fastidious in her desire to organize things and follow the rules. This becomes an annoyance to the hero, a landscape architect who is a a bit of a slob and can't be bothered with boring details such as paperwork. For all their differences, these characters have something in common, an ability to create beauty out of flowers and plants.This gift draws them together on a spiritual and emotional level. 

As a writer, I love to immerse myself in the lives of the characters I create and imagine what they think, feel, and experience in their daily lives. How do they cope with their fears, and inner demons, while opening their hearts to love?   

In the Sylvia Day series Crossfire, 
(If you haven't read this series yet, you need to. I promise you won't be disappointed) the heroine, Eva Trammel falls head over heels in love with the deeply troubled hero, Gideon Cross. Her acceptance of his questionable past and controlling behavior never falters. She loves this man for who and what he is, risking everything to be with him. Her unfailing belief in their relationship is her unique gift and keeps us turning the pages and this is what makes us root for their HEA.  Their love is so pure, so passionate and romantic, it makes our hearts sing and our souls weep. Imagine what life would be like if we could all experience that kind of euphoria on a daily basis?

So how about you? What character traits do you admire in your heroes and heroines?Any traits you dislike? Are you especially drawn to characters that have special talents or unique gifts?

I have a character in Witch Hunter who's a medium. She communicates with spirits and delivers messages to their loved ones to help the grieving move on. She's modeled after Teresa Caputo of The Long Island Medium fame, minus the lacquered, bleach, blonde hair and french manicured talons. 

How about characters in film?

I love characters that have special powers like Peter
Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man.

Not only can he leap tall buildings at a single bound, he can spin one hell of web both literally and figuratively, just ask his girlfriend Mary-Jane. His gift, in my opinion, is his bravery and his beautiful heart. He's always willing to risk his life to help a stranger. 

On the other end of the character spectrum is Woody Grant from the film Nebraska.
 He may not have supernatural powers or be able to scale the side of a building, but he has conviction and won't let anything get in the way of his goal. Despite his wife's verbal attacks, he never waivers from his desire to get to Nebraska so he can claim the winning ticket to a sweepstakes. Even when he's accused of being crazy, senile, and just plain stupid, he completes this life changing journey and eventually settles some old scores from his past along the way. I admire a character with such determination and chutzpah.

What gifts or talents do some of your favorite book or movie characters possess? I'd love to hear.

No comments:

Post a Comment