I suppose this is going to be a bit self-deprecating, but it seemed like an interesting idea at the time. These are in no particular order.
10 Things My Characters Do Better Than Me
1. Bake–One character made cherry almond torte for her date. When I make cookies, they have to be eaten with a spoon. (The incident that inspired this list.)
2. Math–Another character uses algorithms to track current patterns and find sunken ships. I almost killed myself by miscalculating how much insulin to give myself for a meal.
3. Science–Heck, four characters in my latest book are oceanographers. If it isn’t obvious yet, I’m an English-minded person.
4. Date–All of my protagonists (with the exception of one) get their guy in the end. I am single (though now it’s by choice).
5. Garden–The character in book 3 of my new series is an earth elemental, which means she makes all things grow beautiful and healthy. My mom had to buy me a “forever blossom” so I could maintain a flower in my room. (I’ll give you a hint: it’s a fake flower attached to a lucky bamboo, the one plant I’ve managed not to kill.)
6. Exercise–When danger comes, you can bet my female heroines are capable of kicking butt, or at least running away. I have a bad arch that gives in if I try to run; I’d be dead meat.
7. Blood–No adventure would be complete without action: sword/gun fights, explosions, car chases, and of course the various scrapes and contusions that come with it. I get queasy at the sight of other people’s real blood. (I know, for a diabetic who pricks her finger five times a day, that seems ironic, huh?)
8. Magic–Okay, so that one’s kind of obvious: many of my characters are supernatural and I’m not, but I’m running out of things to list.
9. Conflict–Someone pissing them off? The arrogant, sleazy SOB getting in their face? My strong female characters don’t take crap from no one. Me…well, I do the deer caught in the headlights thing really well and the meanies usually go away after that.
10. The Outdoors–Whether it’s hiking, camping, or even living in the mountains, so far none of my characters have an aversion to nature. I, on the other hand, can’t handle the creepy crawlies. At all.
In my defense, there are a few things I do better than some of my characters, and it’s not like my characters are perfect, flawless people. They’ve got issues; some they share with me, as a little bit of me gets put into every protagonist, but I get to live a little vicariously through my characters, so sometimes they get to do things I could never (or refuse to) do.
What do your characters do that you wish you could?