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woman energetic 9466351_sE: Energy

What makes a character sparky? I’ve thought of this many times while I write out character profiles. In spanking romances, sparkiness is often exhibited by brattiness and rebellious behavior in females. In more traditional romance, a woman might be a “kick ass” girl, or she might buck the tide of her era’s customs.

Men are sometimes seen as more energetic when they do some physical activity, or use a keen intelligence to solve a thorny problem. Their spirited defense of the heroine is always a symptom of energy.

Words that come to mind when thinking about energy in characters are: rebel, outcast, bluestocking, fighter, termagant, brat, angry, pugnacious, and ruthless. These word associations produce a nearly visceral reaction in readers, making them hyperaware of what might come next in the story: is a conflict eminent?

What makes you think of energy in a book? Are there words that you link with a sparky character?

For your hopping convenience:


  1. Kathy Heare Watts

    I love sassy, fiesty, willful, stubborn characters! Spirit is very important and helps you get into that characters role.

  2. I think when they are sassy that makes me think energy.

  3. I think of action sequences with lots of movement oriented words as energetic: dash, stride, tumble, race, stagger, whirl. Thought provoking post!

  4. I don’t even know. Does that count as an answer?

  5. I think of feisty, fierce, bubbly, effervescent, sassy, spitfire, well, you get the idea.

  6. Thrillers have energy. Chase scenes, the word action, conjures up energy also adventure.

  7. I also like willful and stubborn. 🙂

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