We all have baggage. Monday, I talked about packing only what you need, even if you have tons more stuff. The same goes for characters.
As authors, we are lucky to be able to create characters whole cloth. Our characters will have baggage (at least, they’d better, if we want them to be interesting enough to read about), but since we create them, their baggage will invariably have to make some sort of sense.
Fiction needs to make sense, just as your packing needs to be appropriate for the trip. Your fiction will make more sense if your characters’ baggage is only that which you need for the story.
Real people carry an incredible amount of baggage, and most of it doesn’t make sense-we have mom or dad issues, combined with wacky, irrational fears that often contradict each other (like fearing spiders and fearing you’ll get bad luck if you kill one). Characters only need carry the baggage they will need to journey through the story. and characters should have stories that are relevant to their baggage.
I write about quirky people finding their own crazy paths to happily ever after. My short contemporary romantic comedy, Forever Material, is about a Dating Diva who has to choose how much romantic baggage she’s going to hold onto when she meets the right kind of Mr. Wrong.
She’s absolutely sure he’s not the marrying kind…
He’s absolutely sure she’s right…
But he’s still going to prove her wrong.