What is the essence of the central figure in your story? Strength? Deceit? A fierce passion which borders on obsession? Revealing character through voice first, action second, will allow authenticity to flow off the page—drawing your reader further into the plot. Here are some blog posts about capturing character:
Take Your Character to Work Day
For writers, precious writing time is harder to find than a working alethiometer. It would be wonderful if we could somehow split ourselves in two and ask that clone to run those errands for us, or keep writing for us while we get some of life’s necessities done. There is a way: turn all your everyday life frustration into fodder. Take your character with you. Go about your entire day with that character in your head and ask them to comment on your humdrum life. [Read more]
Are your supporting characters doing their job?
Just as people move in and out of our world, the lives of supporting characters criss-cross those of our protagonists and antagonists. Sometimes they zip by in a flash; sometimes they linger — with a sweet after-taste, or a bitter one, like stale coffee. Regardless of the length of time they spend with us and the flavor they leave us with, they are most definitely real. And we need to give them the respect real people deserve. [Read more]
There is magic in discovering a character’s journey – no matter the age, no matter the genre. We cast a spell on our readers with this journey by offering them someone (or something) to connect with and care about. Secrets. Ambitions. Obsessions. Fears. The character’s believability must assert itself in the story to make this connection. Authors employ many methods to bring this character to the page. We interview, sketch, meditate, and dream about our characters – their backstory, voice, emotions, and conflict. [Read more]
Characters with Charisma
Think how often as a writer you’re encouraged to create likable characters. In the holy grail of what makes a book memorable and successful, we’re often told that a likable character is essential. But the qualities that make someone likable–friendliness, kindness, reliability–can seem ordinary and even boring in a book character. In thinking about my favorite children’s book characters, I wonder if what they have in common is less “likability” than something more elusive, something I’ll call charisma. [Read more]
Speaking of character, how believable is your villain?
Well-crafted villains need motivations and guiding rules that readers can appreciate. Join editor/author Patrice Caldwell, author Julie Dao, editor Tiff Liao and agent DongWon Song in an engaging workshop to deepen the shadow-side of your novel.
Posted on: March 28, 2019