Best Ever: Writing Emotions

Emotions run the gamut of highs, lows, and everything in between in all of us at different points of our lives and that is true too in the lives of the Riccoli characters.

Evan, for example, because he is our male protagonist and father figure, it was important to portray him as even-kneeled emotionally, not one who has mismanaged outburst of anger or rage, not a shrinking violet who lets his family walk all over him…rather, he is firm yet gentle, an approach that shows our readers that he is a good man but not perfect.

Francesca loves her family and pours her heart and soul into molding intelligent, independent, and free-spirited young women. She is caring and gentle, but also expects children to do what they are told to do. Not one to keep her kids guessing, her rules are well-defined and might be viewed as strict to some onlookers. When tapped, her temper can be sharp and hot, but her family never doubts her love for them.

Jennie can best be emotionally described as a nurturing soul. She is always putting her younger sisters’ needs ahead of her own despite having a full plate of aspirations and goals. Her high achieving persona taps our eldest Riccoli child as “her mother’s daughter” but with her own sense of self woven within. Jennie is capable, strong in both mind and body, and impeccably straight-laced, her caring heart often too full for her own good.

Hannah is often a work in progress in many of our characterizations, sensitive and impetuous, she is the sister most often affected by her emotions which can change often and without warning. While not explosive, she can be both resourceful and fun-loving, attributes that often gain her lots of social circles but few real friends.

Melanie is full of dreams. She sees the world as full of potential and mystery and constantly strives to discover and learn. Quick-witted and soft-footed, Melanie is easily able to spy on older sisters but also quietly creep into the nursery to check on her baby sister. Melanie, while spunky and strong-willed, has a very tender interior that she rarely shows to anyone outside the family. When wounded, Melanie is truly crushed, and she is slower to recover from adversity. Melanie wears her heart on her sleeve.

Brilliant and artistic, Lily has a scientific mind that works nonstop. She’s the kid that never quits and she focuses most of her attention on helping others find the captivating joys of life that she does. Lily is adventurous, unafraid, and ardent, emotionally accepting of whatever the world throws her and willing to toss a few back if needed!

Creating rich, emotional characters is one of the most challenging but also most rewarding parts of writing the Riccoli family story. We wanted each Riccoli family member to be a truly unique individual. Hannah’s tagline of saying “this was the best day ever” demonstrates her tendency to see the best and worst parts of each situation. Melanie’s love for pepperoni echoes her somewhat spicy personality.

These personas give us a chance to embody every person, showing the distinct and multiple layers involved in crafting characters that stay in your mind and heart long after their particular adventures are done.

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