I was out for my morning walk one day last week and listening to the soundtrack from Les Miserables when I got to thinking about how each of the major characters have a clearly identifiable musical signature, a theme that, when you hear it, you know the front-and-center character is Javert, or Jean Valjean, or Eponyme, or whoever. Which in turn made me wonder how that translates in written works.
Each of my main characters has one or more identifiers, a brand, if you will. For Lilith, it’s her stilettos. For Satan, it’s his skin, which cycles through various wine colors (from a blush rose to a pinot grigio) as his mood darkens.
Dara, the protagonist in The Demon Always Wins, was notable for the burn scars that disfigured her collarbones and the backs of her hands (unless you were a demon who found them strangely alluring). Belial, the hero from that same book, was identifiable by his signature scent, a mix of vanilla and petrichor–the smell of fresh rain after a long, dry period.
Keeffe, the artist in The Demon’s in the Details, always smelled of paint and turpentine. Bad, her computer-like boyfriend, was always pushing his glasses up on his nose.
In my yet-to-be released Contemporary romance, Girl’s Best Friend, Taylor is a former dancer, and even though a severe injury means she’ll never dance again, she still moves with the grace of a dancer.
What signature traits have you read or written that have really stuck with you?
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