#WriteTip - What is Your Character’s Weakness? by @HaleyWhitehall, Author of a New #CivilWar #PNR

Haley Whitehall has a brand new paranormal romance out, just in time for Valentine's Day. In addition to snagging an excerpt from Civil War Valentine, I also convinced her to give me a writing tip. I had quite a bit of fun making a graphic for this one.

What is Your Character’s Weakness?

by Haley Whitehall

What is your character’s weakness?

Civil War Valentine was my first venture into writing paranormal romance. I have found that with paranormal characters it is easy to fall into the Superman trap. Superman was all powerful and his only weakness was Kryptonite which nullified his special abilities. So really Superman was still too powerful for his own good.

When characters are too powerful it can make it harder for readers to relate to them. We’re human, right? It can also make writing conflict into your story difficult. If your character knows ahead of time the bad guys are coming because of his telepathy and with his super strength, super speed, and quick healing abilities can easily defend himself and his love interest then there isn’t much of a story.

For my first attempt at a paranormal character I chose a ghost: Civil War soldier Elliot Lowery. Ghosts have many natural limitations. Not to mention they used to be mortal so I didn’t have to get inside the head of another creature! Not sure if I’m ready for that yet. For my ghost I just had to choose which limitations to give him and how he was going to overcome them.

You can see how I managed this by reading Civil War Valentine.

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Civil War Valentine

by Haley Whitehall

Charlie Bristol comes to Seattle to set up a traveling Valentine’s Day exhibit. The director of the museum surprises her with a package of Civil War valentines from an anonymous donor. She is touched by the heartfelt messages. Does such powerful love still exist?

During a nap she dreams she's alive during the Civil War and meets Elliot Lowery, the author of the valentines who mistakes her for his fiancée Charlotte. She and Elliot negotiate the murky waters of wartime romance. When she wakes she’s still under the dream's spell and Valentine’s Day love is in the air. Can love work some miracle time and death cannot overcome?

Civil War Valentine is a sweet holiday romance 9000+ word short story.


He stepped through the door, the heat from his muscular frame making her heart race. His eyes swept her body, pausing at her breasts before perusing lower. “That is sure a salacious dress you’re wearing,” he said, a glint in his eye. “It is the right color, though.”

It wasn’t that short. “This is one of my favorite dresses. It has long sleeves…” She glanced down and stopped abruptly. Of course this dress would seem risqué to a man from the 1860s. A blush crept up her cheeks. Why hadn’t her dream fixed that glaring detail?

“It looks more like a nightgown,” he said, his eyes heating.

Well that wouldn’t do. “Give me a minute. I’ll go change.” After she was properly attired, she could enjoy the company of her tall, dark mystery soldier. Charlie headed into the hallway. “Stir the stew,” she called over her shoulder. She didn’t want their Valentine Day’s meal to accidentally burn.

Where was the bedroom? She opened the first door she came to and saw a small bed and a chest of drawers. Lying on the bed was a burgundy and white checkered skirt and matching bodice. It was very feminine. She held up the bodice and looked in the mirror above the chest of drawers. She’d always liked to play dress up when she was a kid. She’d acted in a few plays when she was in school. This evening she was playing the part of a Civil War lady. She might as well enjoy it.

About Haley Whitehall

Haley Whitehall lives in Washington State where she enjoys all four seasons and the surrounding wildlife. She writes historical fiction and historical romance set in the 19th century U.S. When she is not researching or writing, she plays with her cats, watches the Western and History Channels, and goes antiquing. She is hoping to build a time machine so she can go in search of her prince charming. A good book, a cup of coffee, and a view of the mountains make her happy. Visit Haley’s website at http://haleywhitehall.com.

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