I had someone recently ask me about a character in one of my books.
A hockey player. Tough, mean, leaves other players’ body parts on the ice. Well, okay, maybe not that dramatic, but he does leave plenty of blood on the ice. His nickname is the Pain Machine. So how can that character later in the story almost pass out when he sees blood on someone else? How could I possibly sell that idea? Simple.
A few years ago, my husband was drawing blood on a hockey player who shall remain nameless for, oh, so many reasons. This guy was an explosive gotta-get-them-first player on his team. He was known for leaving it ALL on the ice. Quart by crimson quart. He spent so much time in the penalty box that I think he had to pay rent. But when my husband drew his blood…PLOP. One look at the blood in the syringe and he passed out against a sink.
These are the types of things that make our characters real! That show the different sides of their personalities. That make them three-dimensional instead of cardboard characters. We ask ourselves what kind of quirky action or thought will show us a distinct side of the person that no one would expect. What makes them tick stronger than Big Ben?
I, for one, love the opposing sides of a person’s personality.
How about you?