Guest Post by Jennifer Gooch Hummer
Character Development - How to make characters who have otherworldly attributes believable.
Thanks for having me on your blog today.
I think that motive is the most essential thing for a character to have. Whether it be a robot who is programmed to take over the Earth (The Terminator) or a ghost who is refusing go on to the next dimension (The Sixth Sense), a convincing motive will make any character relatable to an audience. Remember Wall-E? He was programmed to clean up the Earth for the return of The Humans, but he yearned to fall in love and when he met Eve, a female robot, it was lights out, love! We can all relate to this very human motive. Even an evil character must have a convincing motive. Take the Joker in Batman. His previous life (before falling into the vat of acid) went so awry that chaos became his new normal, which means now he strives to create chaos wherever he goes. Even though creating chaos might not be (thankfully) a common human motive, finding inner peace is. Sometimes these otherworldly characters can show us more about ourselves than human characters. We’re able to better spot the human motive when the rest of their characteristics are decidedly un-human. In Operation Tenley, I gave Pennie (The Fair One) a “helicopter mom” motive. She allows Tenley Tylwyth to continue using her weather powers because, at her core, she’s a control freak. She doesn’t want anything bad to happen to Tenley. Any parent can understand this. But falling down is a part of growing up and getting that skinned knee might hurt, but it could also make you less impulsive. Eventually, Pennie comes around – but I don’t want to give any spoilers!
About the Author
Jennifer Gooch Hummer is the award-winning author and screenwriter of her debut novel, Girl Unmoored (SparkPress). Girl Unmoored has also been published in German (Carlsen). Jennifer has worked as a script analyst for various talent agencies and film studios. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three daughters.
About the Book
Operation Tenley (The Fair City Files #1)
by Jennifer Gooch Hummer
Publication Date: September 13, 2016
Meet Tenley Tylwyth, an Elemental Teen born with the power to produce weather. Cool? Not really. Elementals who can create weather make Mother Nature angry. It’s time she got rid of them. Only one thing is standing in her way—Fair Ones. These ancestors of fairies keep kids like Tenley safe, but when rookie Fair One, Pennie, fails to do so, she’s forced to travel to Earth—a place where no Fair One wants to go. Now, Pennie has forty-eight hours to convince Tenley to give up her power. It won’t be so easy. Tenley’s got a way with wind. And after falling deep into Mother Nature’s gardens, where trees grow upside down and insects attack on command, a little wind might be just what Tenley needs to survive. Even if it kills her.
Link to Goodreads:
Mrs. Tylwyth stepped into Tenley’s room. “Actually, it’s a good thing you called. I forgot my catalogues anyway. Have you seen them anywhere?”
“You mean these?” Tenley looked up from the other side of the bed. Two pom-poms made of shredded paper were clutched in her hands. She clapped them together.
“Tenley. You said you had to come home because you ate a bad waffle.” Mrs. Tylwyth crossed her arms and frowned. “I left the store halfway open.”
“I’m sorry, Mom. But I didn’t think you’d let me come home if I told you the truth.”
“Which is?” Mrs. Tylwyth smoothed down the end of Tenley’s bedding before she sat.
“Cheerleading auditions. They’re today and I needed pom-poms. I didn’t want you to have to go buy me some real ones, so I made these. I might even use them in my nail tutorials.”
“Cheerleading? Why would they be holding auditions at the end of the school year?”
It was a little weird, considering it was June. “All I know is that this really cute guy was setting up auditions with Mr. Frimpy and told me I could audition too. Anyway, it’s the perfect place to get more votes.”
“Honey,” Mrs. Tylwyth started.
“Don’t worry, Mom,” Tenley brushed out a pom-pom. “I’m going to get it.”
“This is a small town, Tenley. These teens that you’re watching, the ones that actually get onto the show and win the nominations, they’re from big cities. ANMIT only takes one teen from each state. And these kids have moms and dads who work in big companies where they can get lots of votes, not at their own antique shop. I might only get one or two walk-ins a day, honey, and even though I put your signs up, well, I just don’t want you to be heartbroken.”
“I’m not going to be heartbroken; I’m going to be nominated.” Tenley clapped her pom-poms and stood. “I made these out of your Secret Antique Finds catalogues. I mean, am I inspirational or what?”
“A paper tutu, too?” Mrs. Tylwyth chuckled.
Tenley swiveled her hips. “Cool, huh?”
“How did you know how to make all that?”
“YouTube, Mom. DIY.”
Mrs. Tylwyth couldn’t help but look impressed.
“So you’re not mad at me?”
“No, I’m still mad, Tenley. And you’ll have to pay me back for those catalogues. But you are pretty clever.”
“Can you take me back to school now please?”
“Let’s go.” Mrs. Tylwyth walked to the door. “I hope this rain stops soon or I’m afraid you’ll be wearing a soggy ball of paper for a tutu.”
“It won’t rain on us,” Tenley said glancing out the window confidently. “I promise.”