Guest Author Michelle Griep – Everybody Wants Something – Your Characters Better Too


by Michelle Griep

what is your story question in vintage wooden letterpress printing blocks, stained by color inks, isolated on white

See that chick over there? She wants a bacon double cheeseburger but she’s worried if she honks one down that she won’t be able to hike up her skinny jeans over her bloated thighs.

Or how about that dude on the corner? He wants to be a lion tamer but he’s allergic to cat dander.

What about you? What do you want? Currently I’d like a pumpkin spice latte because there’s a chill in the air and red and orange are everywhere. Even my dog wants something, preferably the leftover tuna hotdish sitting on the back bottom shelf of the frig with a slight green haze growing over the top.

Are you noticing a trend here?

Humans are needy little creatures, all wanty and feed-me feed-me. If you want your readers to feel a strong connection to your characters, here’s a sweet little tip: give your characters a desire for something, anything, and make that clear from the get-go. Sure, those wants can and should change by the end of the story, but don’t ever take their needy nature away or you’ll lose your reader.

In my latest release, The Captive Heart, my heroine wants nothing more than her freedom. Too bad she’s forced into a lifelong marriage commitment. The hero simply wants a wife to care for his young daughter—and he gets way more than he bargained for in the process.

It’s the wants and desires of your characters that creates conflict when they don’t get what they want. And if you want to make your story really memorable, have those desires change by the end of the story.

Now then, I think I want a slab of chocolate chip banana bread to go with my latte . . . which is a great snack for you as you’re reading The Captive Heart.

captive-heart-cover-jpeg-copyTHE CAPTIVE HEART

The wild American wilderness is no place for an elegant English governess.

On the run from a cruel British aristocratic employer, Eleanor Morgan escapes to America, the land of the free, for the opportunity to serve an upstanding Charles Town family. But freedom is hard to come by as an indentured servant, and downright impossible when she’s forced to agree to an even harsher contract—marriage to a man she’s never met.

Backwoodsman Samuel Heath doesn’t care what others think of him—but his young daughter’s upbringing matters very much. The life of a trapper in the Carolina backcountry is no life for a small girl, but neither is abandoning his child to another family. He decides it’s time to marry again, but that proves to be an impossible task. Who wants to wed a murderer?

Both Samuel and Eleanor are survivors, facing down the threat of war, betrayal, and divided loyalties that could cost them everything, but this time they must face their biggest challenge ever . . . Love.

View More: GRIEP’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She is the author of historical romances: THE CAPTIVE HEART, BRENTWOOD’S WARD, A HEART DECEIVED, UNDERCURRENT and GALLIMORE, but also leaped the historical fence into the realm of contemporary with the zany romantic mystery OUT OF THE FRYING PAN. If you’d like to keep up with her escapades, find her at or or stalk her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

This entry was posted in Guest Authors, Sharpening Our Writing, Writing Tips by Tamera Lynn Kraft. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tamera Lynn Kraft

Tamera Lynn Kraft has always loved adventures and writes Christian historical fiction set in America because there are so many adventures in American history. She is married to the love of her life, has two grown children, and lives in Akron, Ohio. Soldier’s Heart and A Christmas Promise are two of her historical novellas that have been published. She has received 2nd place in the NOCW contest, 3rd place TARA writer’s contest, and is a finalist in the Frasier Writing Contest.

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