Got two minutes? Then check out this week’s quick tip ~ A few things to remember when creating characters…
Hello and welcome…I am a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, as well as an author. I often struggle with my own writing, and I have found that sometimes, a little reminder of ways to improve the process can be helpful, so, I like to share these moments of brilliance with others :). But, in this busy world of ours, who has time for pages and pages of writing tips? That’s why I’ve condensed mine down to quick flashes you can read in (approximately) two minutes. Enjoy…
Disclaimer: All of my tips are suggestions, and are only my opinion. And, for the most part, there are exceptions when going against my advice will make your story read better. Take what works, leave the rest.
Characterization is not my strength. I’m more of a plot-driven writer, but I realize that the two are equally important. (Some feel that characterization is the most important, but without a strong plot, I’m not going to give a rat’s behind about your character, regardless of how interesting they might be) So, I am trying to remind myself of ways to make my characters more real, more vivid. Characterization is much more than physical description, and even background or favorite foods and music. Of course, there are a multitude of things you can do to flesh out your characters–character profiles, interviews, charts, etc. I’m not going into that much detail, but I do have a few suggestions (things that I need to remember myself)…
- Give your characters, mainly your MC (Main Character aka Protagonist) and your villain, a quirk, a certain way of speaking, etc. Maybe give them a catch phrase or a habit like chewing on a straw. Also, give them strange little quirks, such as an aversion to slimy foods or a fear of birds or have them like something that others would find odd, such as the taste of castor oil or give them an irrational hatred of something (such as, for me, I can’t STAND the Muppets). Little things like this can make your character more alive in your own mind, and therefore, you will more likely project them in a more vivid way in your story.
- This has been drilled into our heads over and over, but it bears repeating. Give your MC flaws and your villain at least one admirable quality. I have difficult giving my characters flaws that are still relatable/understandable/sympathetic. I find it easier to give my villains a positive trait. Weird, right? I’ve often been told that readers found it easier to relate to my villains than my protagonists. NOT a good thing. I am working on changing that though. 🙂
What do you think? What are some elements of character you feel are important?
Until next time…happy writing!
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*** If you would like to send me a few sample pages (around 7500 words or so, even though I will not edit that many on the blog. It just gives me more to choose from) for me to edit and share on an upcoming blog post, please do so in the body of an email to AliciaMDean@aol.com. Please use the subject line: “Blog Submission” This is for published or unpublished authors. In the email, please include whether you would like me to use your name or keep it anonymous, and whether or not you would like me to include any contact info or buy info for your books. Also, you can let me know if you would like for me to run my edits by you before posting on the blog. Please keep in mind, this is for samples to use for blog posts. I will not edit or use samples from all the submissions I receive, but I will use as many as possible.
How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.
Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.
Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!
*** Warning – Please do not purchase without reading a sample. (This is solid advice for any book, fiction or non. If you are not intrigued in the sample, you will likely not enjoy the book)
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