Saturday, May 15, 2010

Real Fiction Characters by Charmaine Gordon

Her name is Diane. She’s beautiful and she’s fat. She’s also the nurse and receptionist at my family doctor’s office. When I signed in this morning for a follow-up visit, after the usual happy exchange, Diane beckoned me to lean in close. “Please write a book about fat women. All the books have thin pretty women who attract stud-handsome men. And we,” her blue eyes filled with tears, “sorry, but why can’t we be loved for who we are?” She closed the little glass door. Intimacy shut down.

As I waited and began writing a story noodling around in my head, I wrote, “the woman laid her built-for-action body on the beach towel.” I reread my words, pictured Diane’s lovely face—her words, “Why can’t we be loved for who we are. . .” I drew a line through built-for-action and wrote built-for-comfort.

The question is why not? How come every character has to be the stereotype. Heroine-at least pretty with a great shape, Hero-at least attractive, tall, built well and so on. What about the greater population who make up our world; people in wheelchairs, ones who need walkers or braces on legs or arms. Most of us have redeeming features, if not on our facades, then inside.

I will write a story about an overweight woman. She’ll be feisty, funny, smart, and sometimes sad. Maybe a guy will trip over her as she dozes on the beach, half buried by heavy wet sand by a band of little kids who wanted to cover the sleeping lady.

The dance of life continues with all steps forward-no slip sliding as in the past. I am excited,over-joyed,ecstatic. Get the picture? This author is one happy woman. To Be Continued, my first book with Vanilla Heart Publishing, has gotten good reviews. Women write that they cheer when the straying husband gets what's coming to him. My latest novel, Starting Over, romance/suspense will be released in print in just a few days. Both books are also available in ebook format, Kindle, and Nook.

This is where you can find me:
Vanilla Heart Publishing Author Page


  1. I think writing realistic characters - ones that we can identify with is a great idea.

    My only caution would be to handle it delicately. The few books I've read where the heroine was overweight, they mentioned it over and over and over which irritated me. Or they did the cliche thing and had her whipped into shape by the end of the book. Grrr.

    I'm creating a wish list at Amazon and added you last night! I've got so many authors on my blogroll, not sure how long it will take me to work my way through the list, but I'm looking forward to amassing my new collection!

  2. Great post, Charmaine!

    I also agree with MissV and wanted to add that I read an article that featured novels with full-figured heroines, and although the books were successful, the covers had thin women on them. Go figure ;-)

    I'm looking forward to reading your books & wish you much success!

  3. Hi Charmaine,
    What a terrific concept!
    I also have to add (as one of those "imperfect bodies") that being loved can make you feel like the MOST BEAUTIFUL woman on earth.

  4. Love it, Charmaine! I think you've hit on something that's much-needed and will be much-loved in our society. Thanks for the great post! :)

  5. One of the major players in my novel, Redeeming Grace, has mental disabilities. But I've never had a fat major player. Food for thought, Charmaine--no pun intended.

  6. Very well said, Charmaine! It's sad but true. We should all write about REAL fictional characters! Thanks for the great post! :)