Paula thinks about the ‘options’ we give to our characters.
‘Real life’ consists of a series of options, some very minor (e.g. what shall I wear today?) but others requiring us to make major decisions. Similarly, in my novels (and probably in yours, too), the characters have different options presented to them and have to make choices. Should Jess in ‘His Leading Lady’ leave her safe and predictable life to go down to London and impersonate her twin sister? Should Abbey in ‘Fragrance of Violets’ go to Paris to meet with Jack, knowing it will change their relationship but not sure if she wants that to happen?
The characters can agonise about which option to choose. Sometimes they make the wrong decision, albeit for what they may think are the right reasons. In ‘real life’ this could have disastrous consequences, but at least in fiction we can provide the means whereby they can sort out the problems they then face.
Sometimes a character thinks they only have one option. This was the situation facing my heroine in ‘Her Only Option’ and one of my reviewers summed it up perfectly: “After taking positive steps to follow her heart and a future with a man with whom she’s hopelessly in love, things take a life-threatening direction. It’s time to forget what her heart is telling her and listen to what her head is advising to save a life; it’s Her Only Option.”
Neve Dalton loves her job as a tour guide on a River Nile cruise ship as much as she values her independence. She isn’t ready to settle down with her Egyptian boyfriend, despite his repeated proposals and his father’s desire to see him married.
Nor is she ready to meet Ross McAllister, a compelling and fascinating archaeologist. She struggles against her growing attraction to him until she can no longer ignore what her heart is telling her.
When she starts receiving cryptic messages, and Ross’s work in the famous Valley of the Kings is threatened, Neve has to make a heart-breaking and life-changing decision which she feels is her only option.
Can they discover whose enmity is forcing them apart before it’s too late?
What ‘options’ have your characters had to face?